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Stephen Coates
18th October 2007, 21:50
OK, so the digital switchover has started with one of the first regions loosing BBC2 on Analogue.

This will be a shame as it is very convenient having both Analogue and Digital. Luckily I still have until 2011. I know I'm not the only person who will miss it (I know one other person who loves his analogue cable and 4:3 CRT).

However, I am getting a bit confused. I recently went on holiday to Guernsey in the Channel Islands. There, the only digital TV is via Satellite. Terrestrial broadcasts are only in Analogue (This a was a little bit annoying as the people I were staying with had a widescreen TV, but the analogue picture is only 4:3 with little black bars).
I have read about them having to wait until 2013 or even later, but there is currently no fixed date as far as I'm aware. It's just that they have the same channels as us, with the exception of Channel 5, but they don't have anything to do with the UK, so our digital switchover won't nesseceraly affect them. Also, Channel TV (their local ITV), isn't owned by ITV plc. There is also the issue of interference with France apparently. I was just wondering if anyone could shed any light as to when they are likely to at least start getting digital TV (and when their analogue will be switched off)?

Secondly, there is cable. I recently read somewhere that some cables still don't get digital and are likely to remain analogue for quite some time, and possibly after the switchover. Does anyone know about this, and what sort of areas it is likely to affect?

And I really don't know why everyone is getting so obsessed over HD.

And when will the BBC realise that the 'Press Red' icon at the top of the digital news broadcasts is very annoying?!

Also, on the subject of digital switchover, what about radio? DAB is really quite bad. It is quite conveniant sometimes, and the bad sound quality won't make much difference on some radios, but I would expect that if you had a good audio system, then you would be able to hear compression artifacts all the time. I can hear them even on little DAB radios. I can usually spot compression artifacts a mile off.I expect a digital switchover for radio would be alot harder than TV as we have many more radios than TVs (or at least I do), and it would make lots of radios useless, as it is impossible (and sometimes impractical) to connect extra DAB tuners to them, unlike with TVs which normally have SCART sockets.

I just did a quick count and we have about 7 FM/AM radios that me/my mum use regulaly.

What's your opinion on DAB? And do you have a DAB tuner? (I don't - my favourite radio station is only on FM).

Harrison
19th October 2007, 00:25
What's your opinion on DAB? And do you have a DAB tuner?

I don't really listen to the radio much. Sometimes I have Radio 4 or Radio 2 on, but that is about it, and even then it's probably twice a month! I used to listen to a lot more radio when I was younger, listening to the latest music, but as we can get that from the internet and music TV I've given up. I never did like listening to DJs droning on.

But I did buy a DAB radio about a year ago and took it back to the shop the next day. Where I live it couldn't pick up any BBC radio channels, but the quality of the other stations was very nice and didn't contain any digital artefacts as far as I remember. But as I wanted it for the BBC channels it as useless.

Regarding a digital radio switchover, I don't think that is likely to happen any time soon for broadcasts over the air waves. The main reason is coverage. I still hardly know anyone with a DAB radio and not many people are that bothered. Also how many current cars come with a DAB radio and not an analogue radio fitted? Do any as standard come with one?


And I really don't know why everyone is getting so obsessed over HD.

Picture quality, 4 to 5 times the resolution, higher less flicker refresh rate (or with progressive scan no flicker at all) richer colours... need I say more?

If you are only interested in watching the news and soap operas then a cheap CRT from Tesco is going to do the job... but if you are more serious about what you watch then a larger screen, with more resolution, higher fidelity, better colour reproduction etc.. is going to be a big factor. Any film or sports fan will want the best quality they can get and HD is the format to deliver it.

Also regarding video games. Playing the 360 or PS3 on anything other than an HDTV means you are not viewing the games at their full resolution so are not getting the most from the games.


Luckily I still have until 2011. I know I'm not the only person who will miss it.

Our analogue signal doesn't get switched off until 2012 so quite some time still to go. But I don't get why people are so against digital TV. Most new TVs now have a freeview receiver built in, so for owners of newer TVs it's not going to make any difference. And Sky viewers have been watching digital TV for years now, and with Sky+ and SkyHD boxes you can watch one channel while recording another on the built in HD, so there is another problem solved.

Personally I wouldn't bother with Freeview. It's too limiting compared to Sky Digital. Low bandwidth means it won't see HD broadcasts any time soon, so all you are gaining from freeview is digital audio and video at the same resolution as analogue. This does mean many more channels which is a bonus, and it's free other than the purchase of the freeview box, but if you are serious about watching more than the basic set of standard TV channels you would pay for Sky or Cable anyway.


I recently read somewhere that some cables still don't get digital and are likely to remain analogue for quite some time, and possibly after the switchover. Does anyone know about this, and what sort of areas it is likely to affect?

Cable TV is a limited service anyway, regardless of analogue or digital. Only those mainly living in larger cities have access to it. Everyone else is left out in the cold. The reason Analogue cable is still the only type available in many areas is due to the network infrastructure. They had to originally lay the cables and in order to receive digital cable they need to replace all of these cables with new fibre cables for digital. This is only cost effective in areas with a lot of customers. Anyone in areas with less customers are not as high priority so their cable won't be upgraded to digital as quickly, if at all.


I recently went on holiday to Guernsey in the Channel Islands. There, the only digital TV is via Satellite.

Well they are small islands so cable isn't viable as you would need a downlink satellite on the island to receive the broadcasts to then transmit via the cables. Too expensive and not very practical.

Satellite is the main method of receiving TV in a lot of European countries, and especially on islands. With Satellite the broadcasters don't need to install any ground equipment, just give the viewers a dish to pick up the signal. Much easier, as long as you are in the satellites footprint.

I would be very surprised if the channel islands ever got freeview digital TV. It would be too expensive to upgrade the transmitter for the size of the population.

Stephen Coates
19th October 2007, 08:36
Regarding a digital radio switchover, I don't think that is likely to happen any time soon for broadcasts over the air waves. The main reason is coverage. I still hardly know anyone with a DAB radio and not many people are that bothered. Also how many current cars come with a DAB radio and not an analogue radio fitted? Do any as standard come with one?

I don't know about car radios, but I expect that DAB isn't very popular in cars. It would probably have problems with the signal, due to the car moving. I have such problems when listening to my Walkman. I can listen to RotherFM (my local station) in one place, then move a metre, and I will hear BBC Humberside (I think), dependin on exactly where I am.


Our analogue signal doesn't get switched off until 2012 so quite some time still to go. But I don't get why people are so against digital TV. Most new TVs now have a freeview receiver built in, so for owners of newer TVs it's not going to make any difference. And Sky viewers have been watching digital TV for years now, and with Sky+ and SkyHD boxes you can watch one channel while recording another on the built in HD, so there is another problem solved.

I think people would be against Digital TV, because we have all purchased television and video recorders which all have analogue tuners over the last 10, 20 or more years, and whilst this might not apply to some people, who prefer HDD and DVD recorders, some people (probably quite a lot), prefer to stick with what they are used to. I have been using VHS for recording TV programmes since the early 90s and have stuck with it ever since. The quality might not be perfect, but it is fine for mine (and alot of other peoples) use. And it has an analogue tuner. Also, the TV which someone bought a long time ago might also have an analogue tuner, which means that you would have to get two digital tuners and then set both the tuner AND the video recorder up to record things, and it can get a bit confusing.

Then there's the issue of portable TVs, and having to get a new tuner for each TV. Just because new TVs have digital tuners, alot that were made over the last 30 years and still work perfectly, won't. I think these are the main reasons why people might be against digital TV.

Freeview is indeed limited when compared to Sky, but the only channels that i watch regulaly are BBC1 and ITV, so it doesn;t really make any difference what other channels are avaliable.

Harrison
19th October 2007, 11:24
Yes, it is true that many have perfectly good older TVs that only have an analogue tuner, but if everyone thought in this way (that the current old technology should still continue to be used) then technology would never progress. There has to come a point where you have to make the decision to cut ties with the old technology and move forward with the new.

At least there is an easy solution to allow older TVs to still be usable with the addition of an inexpensive digital tuner (under 20). This way no one is being forced to upgrade their actual TVs.

If we all continued to think in terms of electronics we already had and refused to ever upgrade then the CD would never have replaced the tape and we would still be listening to horribly muffled and distorted audio that degraded with each play, and we would still be watching 9" mechanical Baird TV receivers displaying low-definition 30 line transmissions as used in the 1930s!

AlexJ
19th October 2007, 12:56
Digital TV can be overcompressed, which I find is the only downside of it. You can (usually during sport) get compression artifacts which are annoying but that's primarily down to using an antique codec. HD uses a more modern codec so combined with the higher bandwidth (a 4:1 ratio I think of SD:HD channels) the picture is no noticably different from the source analogue signal. The industry is quite lucky in the sense it will get a second chance to get the codec right having originally jumped in too soon.

Both HD and SD digital have several advantages over analogue. For starters, I live some 40 miles as the crow flies from my transmitter. This means with analogue there is a little inteference on the picture (occasionally it looks a little noisy). However it's more than strong enough for digital to work fine and I get as good a picture as if I was right next to the transmitter. The second is that I get the option of a 16:9 widescreen picture, handy with a widescreen TV, and no difference with a 4:3 set. Thirdly, even on Freeview, there are more channels. Living in Wales one of the big draws of digital is that we get Channel 4, which is only available near the English border on analogue. They aren't great, but having a news channel, music channel and a few extra entertainment channels is surely better than not having them even if you only watch them occasionally.

The main reason behind the analogue shutdown is the lack of space in the radio spectrum. When there's a limited amount of something, it's value is driven up as more services compete for that space. Today, we have mobile phones, radio, TV, emergency services radio and many other services wanting a piece of the spectrum. Being able to have 6 channels in the space of one analogue channel means that the government can make 6 times as much cash for that space (well not quite, but more than for 1 channel anyway). Eventually I'd imagine they'd be interested in getting everyone recieving satellite television, hence we have the BBC and ITV launching Freesat next year. The governments reluctance to reserve any space for HD broadcasting on Freeview suggests that HD will be their vehicle for encouraging people to switch.

Satellite went digital years ago, when Sky realised they could fit more channels on a transponder with digital allowing (for example) more box office screens and more chances to make money. Cable upgraded most of it's infrastructure to support digital some time ago. It doesn't really concern the government when they finish this, as the cables are owned by the cable company and there's no competition for the space on them.

At the end of the day, it costs as little as 20 per set to convert to digital, considering most people pay over six times this amount every year for the right to watch their TV this is a pretty small outlay.

DAB on the other hand is pretty stuffed. They also jumped in too early with their codec (MP2) and the bandwidth used is usually a maximum of 128Kb/s. Now, I find that too low for my MP3s so for a less efficient codec to be using that bitrate is going to sound terrible. Realising the problem, they've come up with a new version DAB+ which uses the AAC codec. Now the problem is, how do you get people to buy this having already bought a DAB radio. With TV, the promise of HD does the trick. With DAB, it's a case of "You know that DAB radio you bought because we told you it's CD quality? Well we lied. We've made a better one which is almost CD quality, but you'll have to buy a new receiver". It'll just piss a load of people off, who will just go back to analogue.

Stephen Coates
19th October 2007, 15:59
Saying that it is near CD quality is silly.

I don't really see how you can get much better than the current FM system for radio.


At the end of the day, it costs as little as 20 per set to convert to digital, considering most people pay over six times this amount every year for the right to watch their TV this is a pretty small outlay.

There is still the issue of video recorders as I mentioned earlier. You still need an aditional one for each VCR that will be recording digital (having just one is OK now but won't be in a few years). And ones that have things like SmartLink are even more expensive (useful for those that don't seem to have a clue about how to record off the digital reciever, and useful for those that do but can't always be bothered).

The 16:9 picture is useful, as it can be adjusted to fit a 4:3 screen as well.


However it's more than strong enough for digital to work fine and I get as good a picture as if I was right next to the transmitter.

That is great when the digital signal is strong enough. If it isn't strong enough, it wouldn't work. A good example of this is when I was listenig to HallamFM in Edale where I couldn't get a very good signal. I could however easily lsten to HallamFM with alot of noise on top. I bet it wouldn't have worked at all if it was digital (and the same should apply to television)

Harrison
19th October 2007, 16:02
The problem with any technology like this is that a lot of people won't understand how it works, so talking about codecs, compression ratios, bandwidth etc means nothing to them. Therefore the only way they could try and sell the original DAB radios was to say the quality would be "close to CD quality" as they knew everyone could relate to that. But as you pointed out they have no come unstuck with that original analogy and it is going to be hard to find a way to explain how it wasn't quite as good as they originally were making out.

Harrison
19th October 2007, 16:06
At the end of the day, it costs as little as 20 per set to convert to digital, considering most people pay over six times this amount every year for the right to watch their TV this is a pretty small outlay.There is still the issue of video recorders as I mentioned earlier. You still need an aditional one for each VCR that will be recording digital (having just one is OK now but won't be in a few years).

But, VCRs are now a dead technology just like audio tapes. Yes some people still use them, but they are not supported any longer. Therefore people are going to just have to upgrade to a new recording technology with freeview receiver built in once the time comes. It is true that many people will complain, but as I said before, technology has to move on and ditch the out of date technology as it goes.

Stephen Coates
19th October 2007, 20:30
That's funny. Everyone seemed to be using VCRs up until about two years ago.

With the exception of Data VHS and PVRs, which arn't really that good due to price and in the case of PVRs, lack of removable media, there isn't really any replacement for the VCR.

I will have to continue using VCRs anyway as I do still know other people who have them and occaisionally have the need to swap tapes, or watch old videos.

I would be quite tempted by Data VHS in the future for HD stuff though if it is still possible to get DVHS tapes then (unless there is some better magnetic solution avaliable then).

Is it actually still called Data VHS? Or did they change it to Digital VHS?

Harrison
19th October 2007, 21:12
D-VHS??? That was dead before it even got started. Based on SVHS technology and recording onto the tapes in MPEG2 format (same as is used by DVD and broadcasters such as Sky Digital), it never really took off properly as a mainstream format because blank DVDs are so cheap and D-VHS was never properly marketed. It also has the big advantage of being tape based. While the recorded information is digital, tape still stretches with repeat use and the data eventually become corrupted or degraded.

HD recorders are the perfect solution for general home TV recording. No more media to store away and you have to admit that for most programs everyone records they watch it once then delete it/record over it. For this PVRs such as Sky+ and Tivo are perfect. And if you do want to keep something there is recordable DVD.

And for films, to get good quality, buying original copies on DVD or one of the two HD formats is the best solution, or storing them on HD in DivX format.

Stephen Coates
20th October 2007, 10:20
I do buy films on DVD. Only exception to that is old films, which are either much cheaper or harder to get on DVD.

The lack of media in PVRs does prevent me from taking the recording to another place to watch it though (e.g. I could not watch it on another TV in the house without moving the whole PVR)

AlexJ
20th October 2007, 22:30
Well if you wanted to do that, you could just burn it onto a DVD.

Harrison
20th October 2007, 23:10
Exactly. Pretty much every PVR allows you to run off copies of programs to DVD or any device connected to it.

Stephen Coates
13th November 2007, 15:32
Would any of you people with Sky Digital say that the picure quality of it is better than that of Freeview?

Harrison
13th November 2007, 15:49
Yes. I've had Sky Digital since it came out and would say the image quality is generally very good and much better than Freeview. You do sometimes notice some artefacts during films with smoke and explosions, but other than that it is good quality.

I've also owned a freeview box since they came out (which I use in the dinning room) and the quality is definitely better than normal analogue TV, but I have noticed more artefacts and pixelization than Sky. Also Freeview suffers from signal degradation quite badly when the weather is bad, and even signal lose sometimes. Something that doesn't normally happen with Sky Digital these days.

Also Sky Digital has a lot more bandwidth compared to Freeview so can broadcast higher bandwidth video with less compression on the key channels that are given more bandwidth such as the movie channels.

Plus if you include Sky HD then there is no comparison as Freeview doesn't support HD.

One other interesting thing I discovered recently when looking to upgrade to Sky multiroom is that a single Sky satellite dish has enough bandwidth to feed 4 Sky boxes, or 2 Sky+ or Sky HD boxes (as they are basically two boxes each).

AlexJ
13th November 2007, 19:01
One other interesting thing I discovered recently when looking to upgrade to Sky multiroom is that a single Sky satellite dish has enough bandwidth to feed 4 Sky boxes, or 2 Sky+ or Sky HD boxes (as they are basically two boxes each).

Technically speaking it's the LNB at the end of the dish that feeds the boxes. The newer installs will use quad-LNB's which allow up to 4 boxes (Sky+ and HD as you say take up 2 each in order to provide the record one while watch another service). Older install will use either Dual or Single LNB's so it would need replacing if you wanted more services. Sky would probably do that for free if you were upgrading your package to give them more money!

Harrison
14th November 2007, 12:37
Yep, I used to use a dual LNB with an analogue dish to feed two boxes. But I'm not sure regarding Sky Digital if it quite works in the same way. For example a Sky+ box uses two feeds (one to record and another to watch) but only uses a single line from the LNB, so it is sending the two signals through the same cable at the same time, something that didn't used to be the case with a dual LNB. Or is it just internal to the single LNB now and can feed the four signals through a single cable?

Buleste
14th November 2007, 14:30
All i know is that BT gave me a new BT Vision box for free. Which would be good but where i live ther is little to no Freeview signal and you have to pay for all on demand programmes including the free ones. At the moment in my area there are 5 different transmitters we could try 3 in the Central region, 1 Granada and 1 Wales. Of the 3 in the Central region we will only get 22 channels by 2011 but nothing now and no Channel 5 even then, the Granada transmitter will give us 56 channels now with an ariel upgrade and 56 by 2011 and the Wales one will be in a made up language so it doesn't matter. VCR's will only be able to record on the channel that is being used by the digital box so once the anaolgue signal has been turned off they are basically useless. We can't have cable where we are and i refuse to give Rupert Murdoch any money so Sky's out. Having said that when the Digital switchover is complete we will have lots of Channels showing crap so it doesn't matter that much anyway.

Harrison
14th November 2007, 14:35
Personally I think the only good option is Sky Digital, especially once anyone upgrades to an HD TV. Yes it is owned my Murdoch, but I'm not that bothered. Sky has offered the best, if slightly expensive, service for many years now.

AlexJ
14th November 2007, 15:21
Freesat HD will be launching early next year if you want to go down the Satellite without Sky route.

Harrison
14th November 2007, 15:31
Freesat is definitely interesting and I will be continuing to watch its progress closely. It may also be of interest to European countries being unencrypted and with a footprint wider than Sky's Astra 2 satellites.

I actually think Freesat is a bit of last minute idea though because Freeview isn't going to be good enough for much longer. It doesn't have the bandwidth to carry HD programs, and so satellite was the only other option to explore (as cable isn't possible in most areas). It will be good to have a competing satellite service in the UK again as this might force Sky to lower their subscription prices to compete. At the moment Sky don't really have any competition outside of Cable enabled inner cities so hold the monopoly if you want the range of channels they offer.

Freesat could definitely be a great alternative for those just wanting to receive the standard range of channels and go HD, but not require the channels Sky have to offer.

BTW, if anyone wants informaton on FreeSat then the official website is at http://www.astra2d.com/freesat.htm

AlexJ
14th November 2007, 19:35
Freesat is definitely interesting and I will be continuing to watch its progress closely. It may also be of interest to European countries being unencrypted and with a footprint wider than Sky's Astra 2 satellites.

I actually think Freesat is a bit of last minute idea though because Freeview isn't going to be good enough for much longer. It doesn't have the bandwidth to carry HD programs, and so satellite was the only other option to explore (as cable isn't possible in most areas). It will be good to have a competing satellite service in the UK again as this might force Sky to lower their subscription prices to compete. At the moment Sky don't really have any competition outside of Cable enabled inner cities so hold the monopoly if you want the range of channels they offer.

Freesat could definitely be a great alternative for those just wanting to receive the standard range of channels and go HD, but not require the channels Sky have to offer.

BTW, if anyone wants informaton on FreeSat then the official website is at http://www.astra2d.com/freesat.htm

Technically Freesat has been running for ages, the thing launching next year is just a brand to promote the service and a standardised EPG and interactive platform (probably MHEG). The BBC have been broadcasting free-to-air since 2003 and ITV since 2005. C4 still have a contract with Sky until sometime in 2008 after which they'll be going FTA (except Filmfour which is already FTA) while C5 say they have no intention of going on Freesat, which to me seems like commercial suicide when your 4 major rival channels are going to be, along with some of the big digital rivals (ITV2, E4 etc.)

Freesat could bring benefits even for Sky subscribers IMO - instead of multiroom, you could just put a standard Freesat box in another room and get a lot of the basic channels in HD without paying the 10 extra a month.

As for the HD channels, the launch dates are

BBC HD (Variety of content from across the Beeb) - Already launched - FTA
ITV HD (Variety from all ITV channels) - Spring 2008 - FTA
Channel 4 HD (C4 simulcast, no content from E4/M4/F4) - 10th December 2007 - FTV

With three big channels going HD without needing subscription to Sky HD service (just a Sky HD box), Sky may have to reduce the price of their HD package.

Finally, after a year of false promises, 2008 really could be the year HDTV takes off in the UK.

Harrison
14th November 2007, 22:08
I think it will have to end up being like Sky Digital. When that first came out people has to buy the box (I did on launch to upgrade from analogue), but for the past couple of years the box has been completely free when you join. In a couple more years the SkyHD box is going to become the normal sky box as more and more HD channels role out, and as Sky slowly move some more of their most popular channels over to HD. Then the HD box and the subscription charges will hopefully drop.

Stephen Coates
31st December 2007, 23:32
How are they going to broadcast the fireworks at new year after the digital switchover?

After watching them on analogue BBC1 today, I really fail to see how Freeview (and probably also Sky) could cope with it, even if it wasn't compressed as much. I expect in the future we will see various coloured squares on the screen which will be delayed by a second or two.

How that kind of technology is 'better' than the current system I don't know.

Another thing I was thinking of recently if how complex the digital systems are. I'm not really sure about television, but when you think about AM radio, you need only and ariel, a coil, a diode and a variable capacitor to recieve those signals. Just think about how complex a digital radio is compared to that.

Going back to TV, what is the point in freeview if we are already starting to get HD? Are we supposed to ditch out new digital TVs in 10 years time to recieve the HD signals?

AlexJ
1st January 2008, 12:08
Digital radio/TV isn't much more complicated than analogue really. The way it's recieved is pretty much the same, it's just there's a decoder added in to the circuit.

As for the fireworks, they'll broadcast them the same way they have been since BBC launched on Sky Digital in 1998! From what I saw of it that was repeated on News 24 this morning, it coped pretty well with digital pixellation, far better than water spray does. They chose not to cover it in HD this year, but did last year so I'd imagine that looked better than analogue did.

StuKeith
1st January 2008, 13:09
is stephen really 17? or is he a 70 year old in disguise? lol :lol:

I had freeview for a while, but needed a booster to get it to work! Then I had multiview NTL which cost 80 a month! :unsure: then Just normal NTL at 45 a month!

Then they peeded me off too much, and didnt have all the channels for the same money! So I went to sky!

Yes they arnt cheep, and I have so many problems with them in terms of miss billing and channels! but I get the most channels for the money!

I have two dishes here and two+ boxes, I use the 2nd box upstairs and use that as a freeview box! even on sky freeview you get more channels if not all the same ones as freeview.

Buleste
1st January 2008, 20:38
That's shocking you're happy to pay for bad service because you get more channel's. Thats why Sky feel they can rip people off. If you are getting shoddy service then complain or cancel with them but don't carry on.
As for the Digital switchover it's just another shoddy cock up by the government. For some reason in my area if i stay with a Central TV transmitter i will only ever get 22 channels when switchover happens (in the final phases of switchover i might add) whereas if i change to a Granada TV transmitter i'll be able to get 57 and rising channels. That's my first whinge of 2008.
If Stephen is 17 then I'm in trouble as i've got quite a few T-shirts that are oldeer than him.

AlexJ
1st January 2008, 20:41
That's shocking you're happy to pay for bad service because you get more channel's. Thats why Sky feel they can rip people off. If you are getting shoddy service then complain or cancel with them but don't carry on.

It's not as if there's much choice. If you want more than the basic channels then, after quickly discounting NTL/Virgin, Sky's the only option.

Stephen Coates
2nd January 2008, 09:45
In the Broom area, I get a very good analogue signal fron the Emley Moor transmitter, which transmits Yorkshire TV, however, I can also get the five North East channels there as well, and the signal is quite goog. I'm not sure which transmitter it is though.

The signal isn't as good as the yorkshire one, but it is good enough to watch. This was good when there was a programme that was only on Tyne Tees TV. I remember that when I got my new portable TV in 1997, that automatically put TTTV on channel 3 and I was watching that most of the time instead of Yorkshire, which was on channel 6.

This also caused a little bit of confusion when my Amiga's new teletext adaptor was auto tuning, especially since it didn't know what Channel 5 was and wanted to put it on Channel 1.

Unfortunately the TV signal here in Flanderwell isn't as good and I can only get the Yorkshire channels, and that signal could be better.

Is there really much point to having all these extra channels avaliable? I find that the only channels I still watch are 1 and 3, and occaisionally 2, 4 and 5. I rarely watch any of the other digital channels. I probably would watch some of the Sky channels if I had Sky, but on Freeview, there isn't really anything that is very good. Maybe except for News 24 and the extra BBC/ITV channels which might have something good.

This lack of good stuff makes me wonder something else. Apparently, all the TV companies are loosing money. The BBC is supposed to be loosing money somehow, and the commercial channels (according to something that was on the radio news yesterday), are going to be loosing lots of advertising money. There was a quote in the newspaper a few months ago from someone saying that they should stop focussing on digital and internet based interactive stuff and concentrate on making good programmes. I'm sure we would all rather have a few channels with excellent programmes, than 100 channels with rubbish programmes.

Submeg
2nd January 2008, 12:40
This lack of good stuff makes me wonder something else. Apparently, all the TV companies are loosing money. The BBC is supposed to be loosing money somehow, and the commercial channels (according to something that was on the radio news yesterday), are going to be loosing lots of advertising money. There was a quote in the newspaper a few months ago from someone saying that they should stop focussing on digital and internet based interactive stuff and concentrate on making good programmes. I'm sure we would all rather have a few channels with excellent programmes, than 100 channels with rubbish programmes.

That is the smartest thing I have heard all day. Good work Steve. :thumbs:

Buleste
2nd January 2008, 13:05
TV companies are trying to be everything to all people and failing miserably. BBC has 4 TV channels and about 2,000,000 radio stations (OK exagerating on Radio a little but not by much) and god knows how many chanels ITV have got with all these +1's turning up. The ITV channels are poor at best and BBC does produce some good stuff but most of it's repeats. Channel 4 and all it's varients is OK when they don't have Big Brother on but it is swamped by too much "reality" programming. Channel 5 can only be recieved if you live under a transmitter and haven't died of cancer. As for digital channels, well i scan the listings and the fact you have several channels dedicated to repeats says it all. But still soon we'll be able to have our repeats in HD. Won't that be fun.

Harrison
2nd January 2008, 16:46
The freeview digital channels are on the whole pointless. They are the channels on sky that people flick through when bored, not channels people would have one every day. The exceptions are Sky News, BBC New 24, E4 and BBC3. Not sure any others are though.

The idea behind sky and cable has however always been a good one, to split the channels into types of viewing, with movie and sports channels being good because you don't have to then worry about normal scheduled programs on the main channels being cancelled for a football match, and you always know where to go when you want to watch a film. Plus there are a lot of other good channels in the lineup, such as Sky 1,2,3 which do have a lot of good programs, Sci-Fi and FX if you like Sci-Fi series and films, the Music channels, although many of those are now filled with musicless music (hiphop, r&b, rap etc... where's the White music?)

One think I am glad about is that they finally split the channel categories down more and have the religious channels their own section. That way I never have to scan through them!

One thing that is amusing though is that Sky promote the Sky+ feature as being great to have stuff recorded for when "nothing is on". Surely that should never happen? :unsure:

AlexJ
2nd January 2008, 17:39
The freeview digital channels are on the whole pointless. They are the channels on sky that people flick through when bored, not channels people would have one every day. The exceptions are Sky News, BBC New 24, E4 and BBC3. Not sure any others are though.

Dave can usually be relied on to have something watchable on if there's nothing else on and Film4 occasionally has something worth watching especially less mainstream and older films but suffers (like all film channels) from the fact if you haven't already seen it at the cinema or on DVD by the time it's on a film channel, it's probably not worth watching.

Harrison
3rd January 2008, 00:11
Dave is quite a useful channel, especially if you are a Top Gear fan!

As for the film channel argument. I tend to only see the must see films at the cinema and then just wait for the rest to appear on Sky. And I only buy DVDs these days if a film is really something special. If it is one I will only ever watch twice at most then I don't buy it.