Costly Star fails to shine: Service full of bugs

WATCH what you want when you want.It sounds like a great pay-TV service, but according to at least one local subscriber and a south-west television technician, Austar's My Star service is riddled with faults.About 40,000 households across the country pay about $100 a month to subscribe to Austar's on-command My Star service.My Star costs another $14.95 a month above standard Austar charges which range from about $30 to more than $100.My Star is designed to allow users to record two programs while watching another, with storage for up to 60 hours of viewing.But, according to an online forum devoted to the issue, subscribers are experiencing a host of problems with the service.The My Star set-top box regularly causes the screen to black out, recordings to fail and the service to automatically switch itself on and off.Austar corporate affairs group manager Emma Rickley was aware of "isolated problems" but said the issues were "not across the population".A local technician, who preferred not to be named, contacted The Standard to voice his frustration over the set-top box which he felt had been released to customers before the "bugs" had been fixed.Warrnambool network engineer Jarrod Mast is one of hundreds of south-west subscribers to the service which, he joked, allowed you to "watch what you want, when it works"."It's got the ability to schedule recordings and sometimes they disappear," Mr Mast said."On the off chance that the actual recording does happen, sometimes they're gone when you look for them," he added. Mr Mast, 26, has a mid-range package that gives him and his fiance{aac}e Jane Wickenton and eight-month-old daughter Jayla access to about 60 different channels. The couple's monthly bill is about $90."We're paying to test a product for them (Austar)," Mr Mast said. He said customers with limited technical knowledge would simply give up.Ms Rickley, of Austar, maintained the set-top box went through "many months of testing and it was thoroughly scrutinised" before being released to the public. "We have a huge team of people who are actively jumping onto any issues as soon as they are reported to the call centre," she said.

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