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Rocky's Blog

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Media Crazy




I've gone media crazy, in fairness it's not just me it's technology gone mad. Can you say Tech Overload?Where to start - How about the current state of the television network in the UK. We've got 400 channel cable, satellite and then Freeview set top boxes. Throw into the mix emerging technology of PVR boxes, Teleport technology and HDTV and I am really wishing we could just go back to the days when if you wanted to watch a programme, you tuned in when it was on, at a specific time and a specific day of the week. Then, when you went to work or school the next day, you could all talk about that great programme that was on telly last night.Now though, hardly anybody watches a programme at a set time. Folks with a PVR box are recording programmes to watch at a later time, folks with teleport can watch programmes whenever they want, and there are so many channels just repeating stuff at a later slot, the amount of options are dizzying. Infact it's gotten to the point where you might decide to miss a programme you had intended to watch, knowing you can watch it via teleport or a re-run in a couple of nights, then you prompty forget all about it.That's not to mention my personal bugbear that digital tv through cable isn't all it was cracked up to be, because the picture quality FREAKING SUCKS compared to the analogue service we got a decade ago! Our cable operator must be compressing the signal too much because sometimes the picture is so blocky that is actually worse than a divx movie download by a very long chalk.Of course now we have HDTV on the horizon here in the UK, with Sky satellite broadcasting it around Christmas time on some channels, and the BBC early next year. The only problem being that consumers don't understand the technology, and are rushing out to buy HDTV ready sets to enjoy this great new picture quality. That would be fine, but the freaking stores don't understand the tech' either and are selling TV's that are not HDTV ready (they do not have a HDMI connection), and the consumer is none the wiser.I think technology is moving too fast. And I haven't even started on keeping up with the information overload, these days I am a media magnet, I just can't get enough of the stuff and it's all RSS and portable media players fault! I'll save that for another rant though, later this week, when there's nothing on telly. :huh:



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YES Thank god its not just me who thinks the picture on cable is crap, how the hell theyre going to HDTV is beyond me, I've lost count of the times i've phoned them up and moaned about the compression on the picture, mad digital artifacts all over the place, black colours are terrible and skin tones look posterized and you know what they say when you phone em up???? "We think it might be a faulty scart cable sir, we'll put one in the post to you" GAH I give up, I might even go back to sky....

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You got it in one.

What about the grass in football matches? You go crosseyed with all the hazing and jumping it does.

I'm worried about HDTV too, what right do we have to expect it will actually be as good as promised when cable is worse than analogue? What me might get is a picture that is actually comparible with the free analogue signal we used to get with an ariel planted on the chimney stacks of our houses a decade ago! But wait - we have to spend hundreds of pounds on a new telly and pay extra for the signal!

Someone tell me this is a bad dream.

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Dunno whether its a ploy on the part of blueyonder mate but have you noticed one of the worst channels is sky one? I'm wondering if theyre actively choking that signal to make it look like the pictures from sky are really bad. When I asked what compression they put on the signal as it looked like an internet feed they said I'd have to talk to one of the technicians, and he's probably got a pad in front of him with a set of standard replies which he goes through. I think its going to be sky for tv and blueyonder for phone and internet.

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The answer I have seen is that it is not the cable or sat operator - it is the actual channel that decides the picture quality. I don't think either of us has had the truth yet though.

At one point I started to make a note of what channel and what time the image was really bad, to see if there was a pattern. I don't think it is a Sky One conspiracy thing, but I do think there is probably a pattern to it if we just start writing it down and spotting which programme, time of day, or channel is the worst offender.

It's easy to spot, my kids channels are always looking great, but then they are alot of flat colours that don't need alot of bandwidth or compression.

I don't watch Start Trek, but when I surf past it, I always notice it looks really really bad.

You've sort of spurred me on to start that project again, I might just start noting this info down.

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Star trek is always a bad picture, Buffy was terrible too, even some of the main channel programs like the enders and the street look a bit ropey, I even started to wonder if it had anything to do with my computer being on and me robbing the tv of bandwidth from the cable or if there were a pile of downloaders in my street who were all leeching all day long.

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I even started to wonder if it had anything to do with my computer being on and me robbing the tv of bandwidth from the cable

HAHAH! ME TOO!!!! I even asked the cableguy that very question when I first got cable installed - "will it degrade my TV picture?" - not a silly question really as both signals come down the same cable.

Yep, the programmes you mention, I agree those images are poor. I think more and more of them are getting worse, because I can't think of a single programme that I watch and think "wow, that is a good picture" APART from Dora The Explorer :wall::wall:

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