INDI Digital TV August 11th, 2008
I got fed up with the poor reception and eventual analog non-quality on my LCD flatpanel, so when I learned Prime packs are available for INDI since August 08 I rented their HD-recorder package for 10 Euro a month.
The base package is free with 53 channels of digital goodness like Turner Classic Movies. Here you can find their schedule for Belgium. I also subscribed to the extra package which for me is worth it because of BBC 3 (Doctor Who and The Real Hustle) and BBC 4 (the Avengers → Diana Rigg ;-) and the extra Discovery Channels. Prime sport is currently a waste of time for me because of their soccer fetish, but I suspect I'll be an addict when the NBA season starts in October. Prime sport is the only way to watch the NBA in Belgium. The Prime sports package also includes NASN which features College Basketball, the NFL and Baseball.
The difference between analog and digital reception on my LCD is unbelievable. It's a joy to watch BBC again without strange moiré patterns running across the screen, and the recorder functionality is awesome since I'm not a real-time TV consumer. I hate having to schedule your evening just to keep up with a series, since these days they're all spanning 1500 episodes a year and milking the plots across 15 years or something (read: Prison Break). I'm hoping we're going to catch up in the HD department (free HD channels) because for the moment only one channel broadcasts in permanent HD and for free.
The INDI recorder apparently runs on the Osmosys platform (Java) and is not bad at all. The interface (especially the Electronic Programming Guide) can slow down sometimes, but it's never completely unusable. It's nothing like Front Row or the Apple TV but you're spending most of the time watching stuff so that's not that big of a deal.
And whoever is responsible for the firmware uploader is clearly a Star Trek fan, hence the LCARS interface: