Pay TV vs Free To Air – What’s Better?
Pay TV is well established in Australia, however new players do continue to crop up. Free to air television has undergone a transformation through the advent of digital television. In this changing landscape, we analyse what’s best for consumers. Whatever these preferences are, Digital Antenna Installation will ensure a clear picture.
The Pay TV players
Foxtel is the dominant pay tv force in Australia. Austar is another operator in rural areas, but its content is largely that of Foxtel. This is also the case for Optus Vision, a shadow of its former self post the Super League wars of the 1990s.
Selectv, owned by free to air broadcaster WIN television is hoping to gain ground on Foxtel. They offer a range of channels, but whether this is sufficient to compete with Foxtel, which has well over 100 channels available remains to be seen.
TransACT, servicing the ACT and parts of Victoria is another challenger.
UBI World TV largely services Australians from non English speaking backgrounds, with programming in several languages including Arabic, Hindi, Greek, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.
With a dazzling variety of shows available on pay television, it’s pretty clear that the sheer volume of content there beats that on free to air television hands down. Some viewers have been known to carefully plan their day’s viewing well in advance, such is the amount of television on offer.
While there is undoubtedly plenty of quality television programming on pay tv, there are also a lot of re-runs of older, imported programs. Some demand for this programming may be satisfied by the re-runs that now often appear on the main free to air networks’ secondary channels.
Night owls and shift workers however, would be tearing their hair out in the early hours of the morning, with Channels 7,9,10 and Go! all showing home shopping shows around this time. There’s no doubt that at such times there will undoubtedly be a variety of interesting viewing options available on pay tv.
With its larger viewer base, free to air tv has more original Australian drama content, which is much more costly to produce than buying product from overseas. Those that choose to subscribe to a pay television service obviously don’t need to choose between free to air and pay tv, meaning one gets the best of both worlds. Popular quality free to air shows can be complemented by great pay tv when entertainment on free to air is a bit thin on the ground.
Live sport and lots of it is arguably pay tv’s biggest drawcard. Those that were in any doubt must have missed the huge stoush between Super League / Foxtel and the Australian Rugby League / Optus Vision / Channel 9 in the 1990s. While certain major Australian sporting events deemed to be in the national interest are enshrined as needing to be on free to air tv, there is plenty of great sport that can only be seen with a pay tv subscription.
Additional Features and Technological Advancements
Foxtel’s Foxtel IQ service has given viewers the advantage of being able to pause live TV, and then resume, as well as providing automatic, remote and simultaneous multiple recording. Digital TV, and equipment like digital DVD recorders have brought some of these options to free to air viewers.
It can be seen that pay tv adds welcome variety (and plenty of it!) to programming available via free to air television. Notwithstanding, free to air tv is offering more to the consumer than previously. However, if cost is not an issue, then a subscription to pay tv adds additional dimensions to a household’s tv viewing. While different pay tv services are available in different areas, Antenna Installation Perth arrange for pay tv points, satellite systems and cabling to connect you with your desired channels.