Wednesday, April 09, 2008


A month or so ago Cox Cable (may they rot in hell) moved Turner Classic Movies[^] out of the Analog Channel range into the Digital Tier. No warning; it just wasn't there on channel 42 one evening, replaced with a placard advising that if we wanted to continue receiving TCM we had to get a digital reciever.

Apparently they *did* advertise the change in advance, in the print media. Who do you know takes the paper on a daily basis anymore? I sure don't. Even back in the pre internet days I didn't take the paper on a daily basis (Saturday Age[^] yes, other days as the fancy took me). I still read the Age online every day but it doesn't quite compare to the pleasure of relaxing over the pages on a Saturday morning with a plate of bacon and eggs and a couple of coffees!

After a bout of swearing it was time to take stock of the options. You understand that with the kinds of films I most enjoy the loss of TCM was a major loss indeed! Long story short I ended up subscribing to the Cox Digital service, including two set top boxes, to feed Bigboy, our HTPC. We stuck with Cox because any other option meant we lost analog cable, watched by Morgan and Andrew. They want digital they can earn it!

Also, based on a mistaken assumption, I subscribed to the five bucks a month movie tier. The mistaken assumption was the result of Cox's choice of channel number for TCM; it's now on 199 and channels 190 to 198 are part of the movie tier; I assumed that not only had the bastards moved it out of analog but had added it to the extra fee subscription service. Wrong assumption but, in the event, not a bad outcome. The extra channels include Sundance and Independent Film Channel and so far it's been worth the extra five bucks.

Incidentally, when I still lived in Australia I was a subscriber to Optus Cable. They also ran (may still do for all I know) TCM. Good times.

Anyways, an unexpected pleasure from the change is the discovery of Shameless[^]. The first episode I caught was the second episode. Alas, they don't seem to have the nous to run the episodes in the original order!

I have to admit it was a bit of bastardry to suggest to my wife that she might enjoy watching with me; she can't understand a word they say though I did assure her they were speaking English. I fear I have rather more experience watching British TV than she does but some of the accents are a bit extreme even for me.

This is rather different British comedy than I'm used to. None of the gentility of the sixties and seventies, no sir, this is robust language at its best. I'm pretty sure I don't want to see it broadcast on PBS - the sound would be half bleeps! I'm being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. But it's all good stuff! You really wouldn't be dead for quids would you?

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