What, if anything, might replace ITV-Digital if it folds?

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by Jim Robson, Oct 23, 2001.

  1. Jim Robson

    Jim Robson
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    From today's HCC News section :- "In what might be rather ironic timing if rumours of ITV Digital's imminent destruction turn out to be true, we learn that Discovery has finally signed up to the ITV Digital platform. The Discovery Channel is supposed to join ITV Digital's Primary Channel list from November 18."

    If ITV-Digital is going to be no more (due to a pull out of Carlton and Granada), what, if anything, will actually be left re TV broadcasting? If it folds does it actually mean that there will be no more Digital Terrestrial TV and that we'll only have the choice of either Sky Digital or Analogue Terrestrial (which itself apparently has a finite life)? What are the realisitc options etc? When ITV are broadcasting via Sky Digital what is the point of ITV-Digital? I have both systems and I couldn't really see any reason for using ITV-Digital unless a huge rainstorm made my Sky Digital unuseable.

    Regards

    Jim :D

    PS Oops! As I'm in a non-cable area, I forgot to mention Cable TV! :(

    [ 23-10-2001: Message edited by: Jim Robson ]
     
  2. JohnAd

    JohnAd
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    The ability to braodcast digital over the air is essentially infrastructure.

    So the obvious parallel here is with Railtrack. If Railtrack goes bust do all the trains stop? Oh it has, and they haven't :)

    What would happen would be that ITVDigital would go bust a new consortium would buy up the rights for 1p or whatever and carry on the service. The new company would probably have to change what is offered and probably would drop all the expensive stuff and programme origination and just concentrate on delivery.

    So it is very likely that we will have DVB-T broadcasting for some time but that stuff like ITV Active - ITV Sports channels - Those bloody monkey ads and the like may be a distant memory in a few years time.

    John
     
  3. Member 7321

    Member 7321
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    I think that if it does all go belly up people with ITV-D boxes (or integrated TVs) will find that they just have the BBC channels, ITV 1&2, CH4 and CH5 as free to air channels.

    As far as I know ITV-D et al doesn't run the transmission of the signals, just the access to the channels (i.e. they collect the subs and grant access via their cards and cams).

    This would then mean that the boxes wouldn't become useless and the government could still switch off the analogue transmissions in a few years like it plans because all the main channels are available via digital terrestrial TV.
     
  4. Duncan Harvey

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    Hmm so use valuable space for a system for which there is no commercial reception equipment, that makes sense I dont think...

    Any anyway - lets do hi-def properly, no interlaced images, and a decent resolution. Cant say I've been too impressed with the hi-def that I've seen in the US.

    What I'd like to see if the UK Gold, Drama etc channels and Granada plus going out on a free to air basis. What they lose in subscriptions they might gain in higher ad rates from being FTA.

    In particular I'd love to see UK Drama on the DTT platform. It annoys me that it isnt available at the moment. From a personal pov its the best channel around at the moment after BBC Knowledge.
     
  5. Mr Plumbs

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    Hmm... what to replace ITV Digital with if (when) it folds....

    I have a potato that everyone could look at... Probable get better customer service too :p
     
  6. Duncan Harvey

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    which "same frequencies" are you on about? the Ondigital muxes or the USA frequencies?

    As for starting somewhere, well as Austin Powers might say - that train has sailed.

    Think of the cost of going hi-def. The consumer end and more importantly the supplier end - whilst you could simply orginate everything on film and then edit to HD tape, it would be horrendously expensive, and you'd need buy in from every sector of the industry.

    Just can't see it happening
     
  7. Jim Robson

    Jim Robson
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    Thanks for the interesting and varied responses and ideas! Some big announcement due today, Thursday, apparently.

    Regards

    Jim :D
     
  8. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I think that HDTV is light years away in this country as people are just not interested in quality pictures and sound if they have to pay for it.

    The 4600 members of this forum are in a small minority as the majority of the populace are quite happy with the pictures and sound produced by their fifteen year old TV.

    In a survey done before digital TV came onstream I seem to remember that less than 5% of those asked were interested in quality as it was the quantity that they were after.

    One of the advantages of ITV Digital is that it keeps Mr Murdoch's prices down and if it fails even for a short while Sky prices would probably rise again.

    Ian
     
  9. JohnAd

    JohnAd
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    Most stuff broadcast in the UK is already 576p. There has been a big shift over to broadcasting progresive signal over the past few years. Basically it's only football and news that are interlaced these days. (I've no proof of this just perception of testing Dscaler with an ONDigital signal)

    On those it's clear that it is bandwidth not resolution that is limiting things. I think I'd rather lose the compression artefacts or improve the error correction rather than just getting more raw resolution.

    Comparing things with the situation over the pond is very difficult, one thing to remember is that the US isn't anywhere near as densely populated as the UK. The amount of usable bandwidth here is very limited by the requirement that the tramsmitters don't interfere with each other. Over there there aren't as many people on the border between transmitters so they can basically reuse the same frequencies everywhere, this simplifies everything.

    John
     
  10. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Free to air boxes that require NO subscription will ba available from next April.

    Check out...

    www.netgem.com

    and

    http://www.homecinemachoice.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?search_for=1003938255

    At last, a simple no frills digital STB with just the standard channels.

    I may not have to buy an IDTV after all !

    What's the chances of S-Video output sockets ?

    Why couldn't they have done this in the first place.

    After all they want US to switch to digital.
     
  11. Jim Robson

    Jim Robson
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    .......and the government will have to give these boxes away to those who can't afford them and also to the people who are just perfectly happy to receive 4 (or 5 if you're lucky) analogue terrestrial channels, if the proposed switch off can be successfully implemented? Sounds very expensive to me! I can't imagine my 88-year old, next door neighbour, with her 14-inch, non-remote controlled, portable set, being very interested in paying £150, (which she couldn't afford anyway) for something she wouldn't understand. What *are* the government going to do? There are going to be millions of aerials which will need upgrading too, not forgetting the communal ones that won't work! :(

    Regards

    Jim :devil:
     
  12. Norman

    Norman
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    I think you hit the nail on the head.

    ITV Digital has been and will probably always be the poor relation to Sky Digital in terms of service offered, but it does at least provide some opposition to Murdoch. If it fails Murdoch's empire will reap the rewards and we'll pay for it.
    Sky are already using their monopolistic position to charge ridiculous sums of money for their technology. Sky+ is a perfect example of Murdoch's greed. PVR technology should be available to everyone for no more than the purchase price of the equipment but it has been strangled by a £10 per month premium - "If you want it we'll charge you through the nose" must surely be Sky's new motto.
    Murdoch ensures that Sky remains the sole provider of hardware for his platform to prevent any other viable options encroaching on his territory. (I’m referring to the level of integration that Sky+ offers over other products like Tivo)
    My original Sky Digital sub has already increased way beyond inflation ever since I signed on in 1998 and I’m sure it will rise even further if ITV digital disappear.
     

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