Satellite TV On Your PC review

Makes a useful coaster

TechRadar Verdict

There's simply no reason to have this product


  • +

    Easy to use


  • -

    Nothing worth watching


    Potential copyright issues

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Do you know anything at all about the Internet? If so, this disc makes for a fine impromptu coaster. But that's where its usefulness ends. Forget any hopes of sneaking the latest episode of Lost, or swinging with Spiderman 3 - everything this software does, you can do in a few seconds with Google. And still have £20 left for sweeties.

In short, Satellite TV On Your PC is nothing more than a set of bookmarks next to a teeny-tiny player window. It promises thousands of online games, but in practice only provides links to sites like Yahoo! Games. You're technically only a click away from free movie downloads, it's true... but the same thing applies if you've just typed, say, into a browser. If you can do that, you don't need this.

Worryingly, other links currently take you straight to P2P sites, with a whole page in the manual devoted to the PPLive streaming tool. Yet still the only mention of copyright issues - and their potential legal ramifications - is saved for the usual corporate disclaimers about anything you might do, and double page admonishment about not being a software pirate.

Picking a channel instead of a link fires up the stream in the player window. It's all very easy. Finding something worth watching is much tougher. There's a real triumph of marketing over substance throughout, with the box promising 'Box Office Movies', and the manual describing webcams as 'the true Reality TV', only to leave the software itself apologetically serving up stuff like QVC, Czech news reports, and live camera footage of Exmouth.

There are some channels worth watching in the mix, such as TV5 for Francophiles and a couple of BBC catch-up streams, but they're few and far between. Even if they weren't free, we wouldn't pay £20 for access.

Beyond all this, the player itself is painfully underpowered. It doesn't even offer descriptions of its channels. Most annoying of all, you can't pin the video to the front of your screen and keep working, nor resize the tiny viewing window without all-out going full screen. Richard Cobbett