[Gllug] Freeview

john at sinodun.org.uk john at sinodun.org.uk
Tue Jun 12 21:15:28 UTC 2007

> --------
> Chris Bell writes:
>>   I have found that the technical quality achieved here by Freeview is
>>superior to that from analogue TV, more than can be said about much of
>> the
> Really? I've found precisely the opposite. Analogue TV isn't perfect,
> but it does at least degrade gracefully. Digital TV is fine when it
> works, but I just can't live with the constant screen freezes and
> sound dropouts. In poor weather, the freeview channels are literally
> non-existent, while the analogue channels are still watchable, albeit
> with some degredation in sound and picture quality. Yes, I'm in a poor
> reception area (I can't get Channel 5 at all, for example, on either
> analogue or digital), and I suspect things may be different elsewhere.
> But I'm dreading the day when they turn off analogue transmissions.

That was my first experience with DVB-T too, back when it was ITV Digital.
 However, since I upgraded my aerial I've changed my view.  Yes, Digital
reception does require a better aerial and yes, if your aerial isn't up to
scratch then digital degrades in a much less satisfactory way than
analogue, but provided you have a good enough aerial then the technical
quality of digital is (or at least, can be) noticeably better than
analogue.  Pictures are sharper and stereo sound makes a significant

I say "can be" because the better quality is true only of those channels
which use a relatively high bit rate - e.g. BBC1.  Some channels use a
terribly low bit rate (e.g. ITV3) and the result is a picture
significantly worse than analogue, even though your data reception is

> I'm afraid that for me, digital TV has a long way to go before it's
> ready for prime time. Sadly, I suspect it'll never get there :-(

I've been told that when analogue is switched off the strength of the
digital signals will be increased, although I don't know whether that's
true.  By then there probably won't be anything worth watching anyway.

I practically never watch live TV now.  My MythTV server records things
according to my pre-set preferences and I watch them as and when I want
to.  If you actually sit down and look at the listings for an evening,
even over thirty-odd channels there is practically nothing but crud. 
Without the MythTV box I wouldn't watch TV at all.


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