The launch of UTV Ireland this January seemed to put a smile across everyone’s face. But the unveiling of Ireland’s newest station will prove problematic for one group of people in particular. Yes, Irish students now have an extra channel to squabble over in the battle for the TV remote.
Despite the popularity of laptops and streaming series online, the television room still remains the focal point of many student household; especially now with some houses in Dublin accommodating up to a staggering 15 students. I don’t think our crowded UCD-student household is the only one in where the following scene unfolds on a regular basis.
It is usually a Monday afternoon and come five or six o' clock, the girls start to trickle in from their lectures. After a quick meal they wander into the living-room, where an impromptu game of Musical Chairs breaks out.
Mind you, there are only five seats in our house and eight of us.
Bringing chairs in from the kitchen is severely frowned upon as no matter where a kitchen chair is placed it will block someone's view. So, the sixth seat to be chosen is usually an ancient beetroot-coloured footrest on wheels, which stands at an alarming angle and requires constant concentration, or else you lean too far to the front and end up sliding towards the floor.
Seats seven and eight are a patch of toasty floor beside the radiator, where you have to crane to see the television from a dastardly angle.
And even if you have managed to wrangle seats one - five, woe betide you if you need to pee or make a cup of tea as someone occupying seats six-eight could be feeling spiteful!
Then, once everyone has settled into a chair, the games truly begin.
First up Alliances. This is where everyone present divides into two or sometimes even three parties, depending on what’s on.
Secondly Who Can Argue the Loudest begins, this battle is usually won by the Grey's Anatomy/Fair City faction. Then all hell breaks loose!
The losing faction begin The Sulking Games, and things get even messier when Team Geordie Shore manage to turn their loss around by loudly discussing Charlotte’s weight loss and annoying the Friends crowd into leaving the room.
We thought that a HDMI cable would help solve all our problems. Boy were we wrong. The purchase of a HDMI cable to link the TV to a laptop meant that we had access to so many more series and films to argue over. Only at the weekends did the TV remote sit peacefully on one of the armchairs, waiting for the battle that would surely begin anew on Monday evening.
But Musical Chairs and psychological warfare aside, there was one major serious topic of worry in our student household - the TV licence inspector.
I am sure that we are not the only ones who fear that dreaded knock on the door. The TV licence fee is currently €160 but once our current licences expire student households may have to put aside their battle over the TV remote and decide whether to pay up or to live in perpetual fear of the TV licence inspector.