You 82 freeloaders need to get your own cable!
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Multiple systems for many years: cable, analog satellite (BUD) and digital satellite (2 countries) are my way of getting TV now...
I am in Australia and I get six TV channels from the Sydney TV Towers using the rooftop antenna.
Cable TV isn't available in my area and I can get dozens of extra channels via satellite dish from "Foxtel" which is pay TV.
In Sydney, digital TV broadcasting is also available as extra channels as HDTV and SDTV in the VHF and UHF spectrum.
Currently getting "3 and a half" analogue channels from a rooftop aerial, piped down to a standard coax socket in my college dorms.
I dunno, I pay £101 a year on the TV license, gawdonlyknowswhat on this expensive room partly because it had a socket removing the need for a superbooster aerial and mains-powered signal cleaner, and still can't get channel 5, or "proper" channel 4 (all the way from chester... 80 miles distant) instead of S(hite)4C..
Back home there's a Telewest digital box with some basic-ass subscription on it that means we get maybe 8-10 decent channels, a load of freeview standards that are generally better, and a giant wedge of pure unadulterated crap that surely nobody but 3AM drunks watch. And yes... the picture is generally pretty awful. They've pulled it up of late but i'll still take a rented DVD or even VHS over a film shown on one of the non-dedicated channels. Possibly a lot of the bandwidth has been sucked into the "FrontRow" movie system; heck even the "this channel is reserved for front row, please enter your pin" bizarro chains-and-water holding animation seems to be pinsharp compared to Sky One..
It's like... on a number of channels, particularly what you might expect to be the "Flagship" ones (like Sky, or BBC News)... like they've tried to make a DVD, or at least CVD from the shape of the blocks, but haven't quite realised that feeding it 2-hour XVCD bitrate when doing realtime_CBR encoding from a satellite feed is going to look like ass even on stillframes... action parts can be unwatchable in darker segs of the X-Files :/ (whereas something which surely gets about three viewers, like Hallmark or Living once the clock strikes 11 and it's target audicence is mostly asleep, looks like a freakin' DVD9 with only an hour of material on it)
But ooooh mavis it IS so wonderfully sharp and noise-free isn't it?
Urgh, between that, and the crash-proneness (and above all - PURE INHERENT LACK OF FUNCTIONALITY - not even a VCR channel/date/time timer any more! ) of the digibox itself, I wish we'd never gone for broadband and just stuck with the flat rate dial-up and oldskool 80s-tech RF decoder box. That was occasionally blurry or a bit flat colour-wise, and had some channel crosstalk (ooo the pretty colours), but it was every bit as smooth and noise-free as digital was supposed to be, and occasionally as sharp too. Plus.. it worked. All the time. With useful features (and could still access PPV movies). My aunt and uncle still have a hacked box that the servicement left behind when officially disconnecting them ages ago... guess they must have slipped the cable guy a substantial tip or something, because even though they no longer pay for service and the analogue system is allegedly nonexistant... it still works. The channels are slowly being all converted to BBC News24 and other freeviews, but IT STILL WORKS. And with the drop in channel numbers, it looks as sharp and interference free as digital all the time!
Oh yeah... and we're probably never gonna get HDTV :/ small consolation anymore that broadcast PAL whups broadcast NTSC, cuz the NTSC countries can now get 1920x1080 rez...
(that 4dtv site said standard def ntsc was 440x480 pixels, for a curiously convenient total of ~1/10th the pixel area of 1080i... correct me if i'm wrong but doesnt that figure come from "pulling numbers out of your backside" school of stats? Seen certain figures (with a scientific backup/explanation) for it before - 352, 480, 528, 720 - but never 440 horizontal..)-= She sez there's ants in the carpet, dirty little monsters! =-
Back after a long time away, mainly because I now need to start making up vidcapped DVDRs for work and I haven't a clue where to start any more!