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Martin

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Subject:  Digital SBS and the one percent rule

14/05/2009 14:41 GMT

I've lived over Adelaide with varying reception, but only made this unpleasant discovery this week, with the help of SBS Transmission. I've found SBS's digital terrestrial signal nigh impossible to acquire, probably because it is the only digital station to be broadcast in UHF. While I've been able to get poor SBS in analogue with a VHF aerial or even rabbit ear antennae, this makes SBS unreliable in the fragile digital broadcast format.

Digital media suffer from what I call the one percent rule. With analogue media (say a vinyl record) you can play the thing in an extraordinarily damaged state -- it can be scratched, broken through or rubbed bald and you can still read the data down to the last one percent. In truth you can read it below this level. With digital media (say a compact disc) you can take the top one percent of the signal -- in this case the registry -- and it becomes non functional.

The reception issues of the Adelaide plains are pretty trivial compared to some ares in the country. No wonder Digital Broadcasting Australia has chosen Mildura for the first area to switch off the analogue signal -- most people there find it so poor they don't use it. Look forward to them switching off a few more areas, see what the rest of Australia thinks. There was nothing in the budget for community television, who were expecting to migrate to digital this time 'round, by the by.

I wrote a nice essay on the difference between analogue and digital once if anyone's interested. Analogue rocks.

 
Bluey

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Subject:  Re: Digital SBS and the one percent rule

15/05/2009 01:49 GMT

'Analogue Rocks' - ha. 

I bet you still argue till your blue in the face that Betamax was better than VHS, music sounds better on Vinyl than CD, and TV shows should all be filmed in 4:3 rather than widescreen 

 
Martin

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Subject:  Re: Digital SBS and the one percent rule

15/05/2009 08:13 GMT

That's Betamax *is* better than VHS -- Betacam became the industry (rather than domestic) standard for a reason.

I'll tell you what I think is funny: people who argue digital is superior with only a vaugue idea of what the difference is. One reader of my essay confessed he thought digital meant "better".

 
zaphod

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Subject:  Re: Digital SBS and the one percent rule

15/05/2009 09:50 GMT

The real problem with digital vs analog, as Martin pointed out is it's ability to take damage.

With digital, because it is mainly based on compression algorithms, there is even less ability to recover from the smallest bit of corruption.  Each problem will be compounded until you have no valid data remaining.

However, that being said, digital data is much simpler to copy, in that each copy will be identical to the previous copy, unlike analog where each subsequent copy is slightly more degraded than the one before.

Of course that's from a technical point of view, from a political point of view Beta is a much better format/system, but it's creator (Sony) is a company I have personal prejudices against because of dodgy business practices. 

There is a good and bad point to everything.


Never settle with words when a flamethrower is so much more fun ...
 
Bluey

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Subject:  Re: Digital SBS and the one percent rule

15/05/2009 11:23 GMT

Oh dear, I cant believe 30 years later people are still taking the Beta v VHS bait.  The simple fact is IT DOESNT MATTER ANYMORE!!!

Digital versus analogue, again, in a few years, it'll be irrelevant, nobody will remember analogue,some form of technical jiggery pokery will no doubt fix the error problems.  In the meantime it lets us watch the good Doctor in widescreen HD with 5.1 surround sound, and in my view that beats the pants off analogue anyday. So hurrah, thats all that really matters.

As for the Windows v Linux argument before someone else raises it, (I work in IT by the way, with Windows and various Linux flavours), I will say only this, get a life, cos deep down, it's all just a bunch of 1's and 0's being pushed around by magic pixies, now bugger off and find something more interesting to think about

Sony's dodgy business practices, well all big businesses have them, it's just that some get caught and some dont and no doubt Zaphod's favourite electronic manufacturer has buried just as many bodies in the foundations of big buildings as the big S.

(Ouch...I've just fallen from my high horse, think I'll shut up now and pour myself a nice calming beer!)

Have a good meeting tomorrow, one day I may even come to one as long as Martin promises not to give a diatribe on how much better than DVD the Laserdisc format was 

 
Martin

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Subject:  Re: Digital SBS and the one percent rule

15/05/2009 18:01 GMT

I've been told it was excellent (I've seen laser disc in operation but I'm not that impressed), and I remember when DVD first went public and the laser disc snobs turned their noses up..."It'll never catch on!".

But as Zaphod says, it's a political decision.
Political Betamax. Ha!

 
Martin

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Subject:  Re: Digital SBS and the one percent rule

16/08/2012 07:43 GMT

It's been a day of atmospheric disturbances, and with every electrical fart the digital spectrum gives up the ghost. The analog signal merely degrades but remains watchable.

There is no "form of technical jiggery pokery" which can fix this, suggesting so merely shows you don't understand the difference between formats.

Stroll on April 2013 and the analog shut off.

 
Martin

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Subject:  Re: Digital SBS and the one percent rule

17/04/2013 13:12 GMT

Come and gone, sadly.

 

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