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A new (digital) era

A new (digital) era
by Dale Quibell

For many years, the way we have viewed television has remained more or less the same but with the switch from analogue to digital television, the time is fast approaching when television as we know it will be no more.

Some people are sceptical of the benefits of digital television over analogue television, complaining that they do not want to have to update their televisions when they are happy with their service the way it is, but it seems that for the most part this is just resistance to change in general as opposed to resistance to digital television specifically.

If all free-view channels jump on board, the results of this change should be fantastic. The switch to digital should provide better picture quality, better sound quality and it would also enable broadcasters to broadcast multiple shows at the same time.

Many countries have already made the switch from analogue to digital and many more are in the process of switching to an all digital signal. The United States plans to terminate analogue signal by June this year, with many states having already completed the transition to digital television.

Karina Amaya, an American exchange student in Sydney, said that the switch was largely welcomed in her home state of Connecticut where “everyone saw it as an improvement”. Miss Amaya said that the broadcast of multiple shows was “totally a plus”, especially since it meant that television viewers did not necessarily have to buy TiVo in order to enjoy the benefits of such technology.

The transition from analogue to digital television in Australia, which was originally scheduled to begin in 2008, is now set to take place between 2010 and 2013, with Mildura and surrounding areas in Victoria being the first to switch to a digital signal in the first half of 2010.

This means that television viewers have at least six months to get ready for the switch and for those who are feeling a bit confused by the whole idea, the Australian government has set up a website explaining the benefits of switching to digital television, how to get ready for the switch and detailed information about when each area in the country will be switching.

Although some television viewers may still be reluctant to change from analogue to digital television, this inevitable change looks set to be an improvement that everyone will be glad of once it is done.

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Will the cost be worth it in the long run

Digital TV is much superior, but with all things it has it's draw backs. The biggest, which will soon rear it's head, is the requirement to replace your expense digital TV and other equipment each 3 years after the warranty runs out. Unlike analogue TV's which have life times in the decades, digitals die not long after the warranty expires and they cost nearly as much to fix as a new one. Have a look at recycling centres and tips, you'll find many dumped digital receivers and other modern equipment just a couple of years old, which has collapsed and is unrepairable. To me this is economic suicide and the results of a throw away society which has no thought for the future.

Digital is the way of the future, but undertaken with the current economic insanity, will just cost the people more and more. No longer can you just change a capacitor or transistor, you have to replace the entire board, then they charge you exorbitant labour costs.

The Boss has my vote

57 Channels (and nothin' on)

Bruce Springsteen...

I bought a bourgeois house in the Hollywood hills
With a truckload of hundred thousand dollar bills
Man came by to hook up my cable TV
We settled in for the night my baby and me
We switched 'round and 'round 'til half-past dawn
There was fifty-seven channels and nothin' on.

Well now home entertainment was my baby's wish
So I hopped into town for a satellite dish
I tied it to the top of my Japanese car
I came home and I pointed it out into the stars
A message came back from the great beyond
There's fifty-seven channels and nothin' on.

Well we might'a made some friends with some billionaires
We might'a got all nice and friendly
If we'd made it upstairs
All I got was a note that said "Bye-bye John
Our love is fifty-seven channels and nothin' on."

So I bought a .44 magnum it was solid steel cast
And in the blessed name of Elvis well I just let it blast
'Til my TV lay in pieces there at my feet
And they busted me for disturbin' the almighty peace
Judge said "What you got in your defense son?"
"Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on"
I can see by your eyes friend you're just about gone
Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on...
Fifty-seven channels and nothin'.

More is less...

Oh yes, 1000 channels of the idiot box! Sometimes, more is less don't you think?

It will mean better immersion so perhaps better entertainment, but I am not holding my breath.

Still, being able to see all the skin blemishes on those young pimply faces is a hoot. Strips away all the glamour from some of the pusses.

And it will mean more content down the optical wire as digital will need less amplification. 

It will eventually cut down on cancer rates from EM force.

In the meantime, every storm involves disruption to the signal!

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