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Tuesday 12 October 2004

Telewest suckage [Lurks]

I thought I'd save money off my BT line and Sky TV by switching to Telewest cable digital television and their phone line too. They make my broadband a little cheaper if I have other services and those services are notably cheaper than BT and Sky anyway.
Yet things did not go according to plan. They broke my cable modem so that was up and down and then died for a few days, they fixed, it changed my IP (which was a headache in itself) and finally it all worked. They never ported/installed the telephone despite me ordering this all online.
To make matters worse, the compression on Blueyonder's TV is absolutely abysmal. On a regular 28-inch 4:3 CRT, the MPEG artifacts are in plain view. Five looks like something I've downloaded...
So less than a month later, I phone them up and tell them I want to cancel. I've got Sky dish (two actually) and everything set to resume with them. I'm put through to a disconnections department that tells me that I'm locked into a 12-month contract and the only way out is to pay the entire year of charges for that. In other words, there's no point in asking to be disconnected.
The guy tells me that no one else has quality issues either which is hilarious since the forums at DigitalSpy are full of complaints.
It's just utterly unbelievable that these wankers would be so institutionally incompetent at nearly everything they do. They can't even install stuff right, they can't work out how to get good quality video out of a peice of damn coax into my house and then I'm the one left carrying the can.


  1. I've not seen TW first hand, but the artifacts on Digital NTL Cable are also absolutely horrendous and you just can't realistically watch any movie or anything black unless you've got an incredibly cheap small television.
    What's the point to digital services if the quality is shit? It's embarrassing. The public should be shown what it would/should be like if they complained. No-one wants 10 shopping channels, not even the dolescum Waynetta chav-rutting wo-beasts of the world.
    Sky really is the only way to go. Freeview I can understand for those just wanting the basics, but the cheap Freeview boxes must have a Z80 in 'em because they are appalling slow. There's not a lot of bandwidth on terrestrial either and I don't think much of the quality.
    Bring on premium rate digital satellite HDTV!
    Why don't you pursue the dissatisfaction issue and look at your consumer rights? It's not as though TW gave you a chance to trial their service.

  2. I gather that when I ordered they would have presented me some sort of T&Cs which I would have had to agree to in order to proceed the order.
    Standard evil company tactics.

  3. Hrm, I have SKY at the moment, as well as a small, naff TV. I also have cable broadband, and was thinking of moving everything over to them to save money. Not sure I will now, as I intend on getting a better TV soon.
    Most of my TV viewing is dramas and sport.

  4. I had a bit of a run in with Telewest a couple of years ago when I cancelled their service
    I had a couple of conversations which revolved around me cancelling my direct debit by a certain date and them coming to take the cablemodem and cablebox away.
    Of course it wasn't that easy, and the day I cancelled the direct debit I phoned them up to tell them they could come and get their kit and they got all high and mighty on me with threats of court etc if I cancelled the direct debit.
    I took no notice of them, left the country and that was the end of it.

  5. I'm on NTL and it's absolutely lovely, even on a big screen (42"). They do seem to give BBC channels more bandwith than others though, but then if you are going to watch shite like The Shield on C5 then you deserve what you get. Channels like UK Gold seem to have the least bandy and the quality is terrible, but not as bad as the new (Daily) Express shopping channel - the quality of the newspaper... on tv!To get a nice I use the RGB out of the NTL stb and convert it to VGA with one of these Ugly but good quality tech.

  6. I actually noted the poor quality of Telewest's output on a 28-inch TV. When you blow it up to 10-foot across, it's absolutely disgusting. Soon as there's motion, you can clearly see the MPEG blocks. All edges have those DCT ringing artifacts that you see in JPG images. The main terrestrial channels aren't as bad but still pretty rank.
    My projector has native RGB input and that's what I'm using. Next thing to try is component HDTV out of an Xbox. XBMC in HDTV, oh yeah baby.