We subscribed to Darty Box for our internet/phone and TV connection a few years ago. Seeing as the TV option was the same price as the first two, we decided to take it, even though neither of us had any intention of getting our brain fried by TF1 or any of their partners in social crime in the foreseeable future. However, Mrs. Fingers recently started to evoke the potential of foreign TV so the Fingernails could get even more English and Spanish than they already have (and that's a lot). The final push was provided by internet video footage of whacky Colonel Gaddafi coughing up a furball in front of a tacky monument and no public. "Wouldn't it be good to have TV right now?" I was 'asked'. So off I trotted to the spare room to dig out the Darty Box TV decoder, various flexes and installation instructions.
You've got to hand it to Darty: their product is superb. Easy to install, works immediately (and no, they're not paying me). Still, just zapping through the moronic fare we're now going to have to pay €150 a year to host in our modest abode made my stomach churn. OK, daytime TV is a beast unto itself, but all the same: what a collection of utter crap. Channel 1 is automatically tuned to TF1, presumably working on the assumption that undemanding channel surfers, like internet surfers, will automatically click on the first option they're offered. I certainly wasn't feeling lucky when I saw the tikka-tinged afternoon game show host flashing his 35,000 capped choppers in front of an audience of school skivers and terminally unemployable, overweight Aldi-shoppers. The English, Spanish, Italian and German channels don't crop up until about 571 onwards, so there was a lot of contemporary society detritus to plough through before that particular discovery.
No doubt everyone will be delighted when they come home and discover they can now spend several hours a week watching content-free, animated entertaining versions of information they could read in The Economist for a fraction of the cost, but there you go. With more unrest predicted in the Arab world, we can now watch lots of brown people kicking seven shades of shit out of each other in real time. Great.