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Digital Switchover

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Different areas of the UK are now slowly switching their radio and tv signal to digital only. It's compulsory. You either pay for the new equipment or not have access to radio/tv at all. There's a massive tv&postal campaign to inform people about the switch.

We'll all pay for it. However, very few people seem to be asking why this is being conducted? What real interest does the government have in making radio and tv entertainment digital?

For decades people were perfectly ok getting information using analogue signal. And those who wanted digital could always subscribe to commercial providers like Sky. I understand when governments want to improve roads, water&gas pipes, etc. But most TV&radio is meaningless entertainment - why is the government interested in how we entertain ourselves?

For example, why do we have to make our working radios obsolete by forcing people to buy DAB receivers? They aren't even that better, and difficult to use in cars, etc.

And if commercial TV switches to 3D, will the government introduce a nationwide, compulsory 3D switchover?

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I have no problem with the digital TV freeview service! It works quite well!

DAB however is bloody awful!

The real reason for the switchover is to use the freed-up frequencies so everyone can "Twitterbox on their iPoop" and get charged for it! ;)

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I'm sure Freeview is great if you're in a good reception area.

If not, then it's awful. freezing, dropping out, squeaking and popping makes it unwatchable.

At least with analogue if the signal isn't great you can still watch. This is what I do most of the time.

From a renter's perspective it's a pain because.. well... good luck getting your overstretched landlord to install a decent aerial for you to enable you to watch digital.

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I'm sure Freeview is great if you're in a good reception area.

If not, then it's awful. freezing, dropping out, squeaking and popping makes it unwatchable.

If it rains it destroys the signal too even in good areas.

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That's the stuff I'm talking about. Why pink, why a silly cartoon robot? How much did they pay an advertising agency to come up with this stuff? Or is this character part of some CBBC programme? Or is it from a Wii game for kids? :blink:

Why even the simpliest government messages must look like cartoons for kids?

450px-Digitalswitchover.jpg

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I'll also add that the picture quality of digital is poor compared to a strong analogue signal.

The obvious MPEG artifacts you get with SD digital drive me nuts, particularly in fast moving/detailed or highly active images such as water, flames or football.

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Selling more airspace is reason one. Second is to avoid having to use satellites and pay the premium and thirdly (maybe) it's supposed to make it cheaper for independents to start stations

In case of signal strength, once the switch over happens, the digi signal strengths are going to be increased - this will help those with poor signals, although anyone in a high signal area may get to much signal which can cause drop out.

Kaine

Edited by Kaine

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Dab did not work for me and I had to get a refund. I read the returns are very high .

I don't think so Mr Ash! A few commercial broadcasters have pulled out of DAB because the fees for the multiplex were too high, and they

did not have enough listeners for the advertisers, therefore only the state sanctioned BBC can afford it!

No sorry I read that totally wrong! I thought you were talking about returns for investors! :(

Edited by MrPin

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I don't think so Mr Ash! A few commercial broadcasters have pulled out of DAB because the fees for the multiplex were too high, and they

did not have enough listeners for the advertisers, therefore only the state sanctioned BBC can afford it!

Very true - once switched however, apparently the pricing should reduce due to high supply

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Well the dab radio did work( two stations at best) but only with the aerial extended to the full metre length, on the top of kitchen cabinet and rotated presumably in 2 favourable plane. It kept dropping to pops and squeals.

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By the far the worst aspect of the switchover is that digital is about 3 seconds slower than analogue. See something on analogue then switch to the same channel on digital and you see it again

That 3 seconds is a killer if you are betting on sport in running.

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So everyone rushed out to stimulate Gordon Browns miracle economy by buying a brand new HD tv set (along with £50 HDMI cables, TV stands etc), and consigning their perfectly good tube TV to the spare room, or the tip...

...only to find 4 years later that they actually needed to buy a FULL HD set instead (electronic stimulus part deux) :angry:

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Its so we can have 150 channels we dont want to watch rather than 5.

It's the choice we never used to have! :blink:

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It's all to transition TV viewing and radio reception to a pay-to-play model, and to prevent nasty little free enterprise private stations broadcasting news facts inconvenient to the government.

Who's got a short-wave receiver nowadays?

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They do seem to be forcing the transition through more quickly than with comparable precedents. IMHO he last major one was when PAL superseded the 405-line broadcasting system: the first PAL broadcasting was when BBC2 was launched in 1967, but the final 405-line broadcasts did not stop until 1984. I remember this because we had a 1960s vintage 405-line telly in the spare room when I was growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, and remember it being rendered obsolete when they switched the final signal off (for the last couple of years or so it was down to BBC1 only). Because Mother hated to throw working equipment away and the set was in aesthetically very good condition, it was kept in a cupboard for ages without much thought as to why, and she eventually donated it to the Museum of the Moving Image on London's south bank when it opened a few years later. It was displayed in their TV gallery (we were invited to the launch bash) until the museum closed in the late 1990s; goodness knows what became of it after that. The techies at the museum built some sort of converter box that enabled them to play a looped videotape of vintage TV stuff on it (plus several other sets in that display), that took a PAL signal in at one end and played a 405-line one out at the other.

It seems to me that fundamentally, digital TV works but digital radio doesn't. I don't have a TV in my flat (I refuse to be forced to pay the BBC to produce leftie propaganda for the legal right to watch the output of their rivals), but people I know, even in rural areas, tell me that the digital signal reception is actually easier and more reliable than with UHF analogue. Mother was even able to throw her signal booster away (no museum to donate it to this time!) after I bought her the ubiquitous flat screen with built-in Freeview tuner the Christmas before last. DAB radio, however, is a different kettle of fish. I've actually stopped using the DAB tuner I bought in 2004 because it sounds so compressed and tinny. A couple of years ago I succumbed to temptation and bought an add-on DAB tuner for the car for the knock down price of £20 (that fact alone should have rung an alarm bell), and it's never been able to receive an audible signal for more than a few minutes at a time. Friends and relatives, especially those living outside major metropolitan areas, have reported multiple problems with reception in conditions when VHF/FM works fine. This is all going to have to be sorted out before any FM switch-off becomes even remotely realistic.

Edited by The Ayatollah Buggeri

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If you get a bad analog signal, you get some interference but it's still watchable. If you get a bad digital signal, the result is bloody awful.

To go ahead with digital before these problems are ironed out so damn typical of everything in this country. Never mind the details, just push ahead and be done with it. Utterly feckless.

DAB radios are APPALLING imo. Expensively priced pieces of sh*t.

:angry:

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It's like everything else in the UK.

Someone in our FTSE government will have taken a few brown envelopes from those that are making money out of it.

One need not look further than this reply for the truth.

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Its so we can have 150 channels we dont want to watch rather than 5.

145 of them showing what appears to be little more than advert after advert and that is just on the channels which claim to have content.

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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