The antenna guys came on Saturday. They were a startling and pleasing contrast to their esteemed colleagues at Foxtel. Being half owned by the semi-government-owned phone company probably doesn’t help Foxtel – their work practices are rife with public-service style practices.

You want Foxtel connected? You have to be home on a weekday, and guarantee them a five hour block in which you’ll be there – either 7am to midday, or midday to 5pm. The antenna guys? Saturday’s fine, and they gave me a two hour block in which to expect them, and they rang ahead to make sure I was home.

And of course, Foxtel couldn’t do the job. I might have any amount of permission from the landlady, but they claimed there hands were tied – they couldn’t wire up a new point. "Yep sure, you’ve got permission? Then we can do that", replied the antenna people. And they did. It only took them a few minutes, and a brand sparking new TV antenna was up on the roof for me. And they took their boots off at the front door.

It now bugs me that I didn’t do this a year or two ago, but the fact is that it’s only since I got my new television a few months ago that the signal has been so noticeably bad. Apart from the TV being so much bigger, and thus showing off static better, I think there’s something in the TV itself (and one of my VCRs) that can interfere with the signal if it’s not very strong.

Anyway, the picture now is crystal clear, well, about as clear as a PAL transmission can be (I think I may have been a little spoilt by DVDs recently). Channel 31 is a little fuzzy, but that’s to be expected given the pittance they operate on. They probably use an old coat hanger for their transmission tower.

All in all, a very pleasant change, and while I may not be drowning in the myriad of channels I’d have if Foxtel was connected, it’s free from a monthly contribution to their ungrateful coffers.

By the way, when I got home, I had to laugh. Guess what was in the mailbox…. yep, that’s right: a Foxtel magazine.

Continuing this month’s globalisation theme, I just discovered that Toblerone is now owned by Kraft, which in turn is owned by Philip Morris. That’s terrible! The famous triangular chocolate bar, in all its various sizes, is manufactured by a cigarette company!

[Toblerone packet]

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.