Analogue vs Digital

After reading this CBC article on the switch over from analogue television to digital, I have a few comments. I don’t agree with the switching off of the analogue television signals and until reading that story I didn’t realise that everywhere else was doing the same. I thought it was just another crackpot idea our government had dreamt up. I suppose with the international nature of modern broadcast media I shouldn’t be surprised.

The main message we are bombarded by in relation to this issue is that digital television is “better” than analogue. Personally I don’t believe it is so cut and dried. I think digital television has some advantages – picture quality and the on-screen programme guides being the main ones – but also has some important disadvantages – the signal is more vulnerable to interference and have your tried to use digital teletext? It sucks! I use ceefax/teletext a lot and the digital equivalents are just crap.

In Finland (where the analogue signal has just been switched off) some people can no longer get television because the much vaunted digital broadcasts don’t have the full coverage that the analogue ones did. If it’s so great, how come they can’t even get it to everyone?

Something that surprised me was that set top boxes in Canada cost $200, which is notably more than the £20 or so a freeview box costs. I imagine it is not a like for like comparison. Perhaps they are more like those ‘sky’ boxes that have more channels.

Since TV is the demon behind the decline of society (at least according to Robert Putnam) I guess it would be better if they turned off all the signals, but let’s not go down that road just at the moment.


~ by yorksdevil on September 3, 2007.

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