New CEO to Tiscali TV: 'Show me the money'
Carphone Warehouse boss throws on-demand service a bone
The new owner of Tiscali, Carphone Warehouse CEO Charles Dunstone, has told the Financial Times that he's prepared to give Tiscali TV a chance to demonstrate that its video-on-demand service can make money for the company.
The news comes as a relief to those working in Tiscali TV, as Mr. Dunstone has been pretty dismissive of on-demand TV until now, and there were concerns that the plug would be pulled as soon as the acquisition was complete.
Tiscali TV is one of the more innovative video-on-demand services, staffed largely by engineers from the Tiscali-acquired Homechoice. Homechoice was the UK's first video-on-demand service, but while the service was technically competent, the company suffered from legendarily-poor customer service and couldn't last.
The Minimote - a service differentiator in a crowded market
Tiscali TV has some innovative services, such as the kiddie remote control that automatically activates parental controls, but it's only got around 50,000 customers at the moment. Being owned by Talk Talk opens up another thousand or so local-loop-unbundled services, doubling the potential audience. But it remains to be seen if Talk Talk are prepared to spend the money necessary to turn that potential into enough customers, to make the service viable. ®
It costs 2 quid a month?
This hits an ISP network just as iPlayer does. Is that really enough to pay for the necessary assurance of network capacity?
Here we go again.
I was a happy Homechoice customer and never had a problem with the CS. The problems I had, as can be seen from many a rant on the El Reg commentard paradise, were down to the utterly baffling design of the STB.
I've also not suffered from bad CS from Tiscali, when they had to replace the latest fried Homechoice box. They came out the next day.
Personally, I enjoy Tiscali TV. It has, for my tastes, better packages than VM or Sky. Given that I rent and can't stick a dish up, or that there's no aerial on the roof, my telly has to come down a telecoms pipe, be it cable or BT line. I use the on demand services quite a lot (mostly National Geographic) and I think it's a great product. I've no cpmplaints about my broadband, either. I'm often speedtesting at 6Mbps on my "up to 8Mb" line which, considering I'm running 15 metres of extension cable from socket to STB, ain't bad.
So, I say to Mr Dunstone (who doesn't read El Reg and doesn't care what I think because he's too busy bathing in money) the Tiscali TV service is unique, it has a place in the market so please, please, don't kill it.
they don't pull the plug on Tiscali TV. While there is a small amount of lag between changing channels (3 seconds at most) and it does use up a reasonable chunk of my net bandwidth, I have found Tiscali TV to be a very good product. Accessing on-demand programmes is easy and on most occasions, you can get a show on catchup tv within 10 minutes of it finishing on the main channel.
I have found it to be ideal when I forget a show is on or want to catch some episodes of something i've never seen before.
Plus the deal I got means the TV plus phone only costs me an extra £2 a month over what I was paying for just Tiscali broadband, saving me paying BT line rental and Sky.
hmmm... maybe its deals like that that are the reason it isn't making any money!
Paris...I'm sure there's a Paris angle there somewhere.