I hit my technological peak back in the late 1990s when I invested my hard-earned cash in a revolutionary new gizmo, the minidisk player. I had refused to abandon my trusty Walkman in favour of a portable CD player which we all know had to be held flat and steady to ensure only 23 skips per track.
The minidisk was my new thing and I took great care laboriously creating little stacks of these modern equivalents of mixed tapes. The digital revolution that arrived just a few short years later hit me hard. I resisted picking up an MP3 player for a fraction of the price of my now lumpy minidisk player stubbornly defiant that this new phase wouldn’t last. Clearly spotting the next big technological thing is not my forte!
Thanks to my other half’s efforts we have used Freesat for the TV for a couple of years now. We were chuffed to get rid of NTL bills and like being able to put on the telly to actually watch something rather than wasting an hour cruising and flicking. We’ve a great stack of programmes recorded on our Freesat box so it’s been easy to keep up with series we’ve liked and to avoid buying box sets too. So too with kids tv. We have a million Peppas, Fireman Sams, Piggleys recorded and like being able to pop one on ‘on demand’ rather than having the telly on in the background. It saves my nerves getting shattered by the din of the telly and also makes sure we have a fairly good handle on the kids screen time.
This month opportunity has knocked and at last I’m catching up with everyone else with arrival of Netflix. Possibly the last people on the planet to get this cool streaming service we’ve the added bonus of having been given an Apple TV, a years free subscription to Netflix and membership of the Netflix Stream Team.
So far, a week or so in, we’re liking it. It suits the way we watch telly and also the way we allow the kids to watch – which is turning it on to watch a certain something and then turning it off! The kit is very smart – a small Apple TV box slightly bigger than a stack of antiquated minidisks connected to the tv via a HDMI cable, and a super stylish (if ridiculously small) remote control that was clearly designed by a childless person with a great sense of humour!
The littelies have gorged a little and dabbled in the likes of Turbo Fast, Care Bears, Sonic, Dora and a few movies. I’ve been a bit chuffed though to see a bit of retro telly watching with my guys falling in love with Babar and the Adventures of Badou more than 20 years after I spent hours watching the original series with its beautiful music and hand drawn animations. From this month TinTin is also on offer and again I’ve fond memories of reading the books from the library. I may plonk my pair in front of an episode or two one of these afternoons, in the interests of research you understand!
For the grown-ups there’s a great mix of TV and movies available. Having spent a few months earlier this year being desperately disappointed by The Sopranos, we were chuffed to have a few seasons of the utterly brilliant Sons of Anarchy recorded on Freesat. Happily Netflix has brought us back to SAMCRO with Season 5 which thankfully features on a few dodgy Northern Irish accents. I’ve also lined up a long list of things to watch – starting with Orange is the New Black, which I’ve heard great things about.
In terms of the setup one feature of the system which I was glad to get a ‘heads up’ on was the autoplay option. Accessing my account online I’ve made changes under the kids user profile to make sure that the system doesn’t keep endlessly playing episodes ‘back to back’. It saves us from binging on Dora or Charlie Hunnam – depending on what floats your boat!
As a member of the Netflix Stream Team I have been given, free of charge, an Apple TV and year-long subscription to the Netflix streaming service,for the purposes of monthly Netflix updates. At all times the opinions given will be independent and my own.