When is television not television? The answer, said the judge, is when it is video-on-demand. Mr Justice Sears listened to 17 days of evidence and argument before making his 54-page ruling, which he said was the first to have colour graphics. He was plunged into the complex world of TV technology, hearing from four expert witnesses and studying thousands of pages of statements, legal authorities and technical publications. He said earlier applications for the case to be halted, which he rejected, had been attractive because they would have spared the court the great mass of technical evidence. But his decision that video-on-demand does not fall under the Television Ordinance was the result of plain English not jargon. The examination of minute technical details was 'more appropriate to a classroom than a courtroom', said the judge. He had to consider the TV laws in the light of their ordinary meaning and to consider what was meant by words such as 'broadcasting', 'simultaneous' and 'general public'. The biggest dispute was the definition of the words 'on a point-to-point basis' as set out in the TV Ordinance. If video-on-demand provided programmes in this way it was not viewed by the law as subscription TV. The Government said video-on-demand fell into this category. Wharf Cable argued it did not. Mr Justice Sears, a racing fan, said he had looked up 'point-to-point' in the dictionary and found the only definition given was 'an amateur steeplechase'. In his ruling he gave the words their everyday meaning - from one point to another, thus including video-on-demand.