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Final Days For Australia's Analog TV

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the enjoy-your-three-digital-stations dept.

Australia 192

jones_supa writes "The switch to digital TV broadcasts in Australia has entered its final few days, with Sydney's analog signals being fully switched off today, 3 December. That just leaves Melbourne plus remote central and eastern Australia — and those areas will be switched over on 10 December, completing the country's transition to digital TV. The government runs an information site to assist the remaining crusty luddites with the switch-over."

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192 comments

If you've got good signal, digital is better, but. (4, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | about 5 months ago | (#45581211)

Analog degrades better if you're on the fringe.

Digital is pretty much "all or nothing", with freezes, posterizing, etc.. if you've got a bad signal.

If you've got a bad analog signal, you'll get snow and static, but you'll still be able to see what's happening.

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581231)

Umm, no kidding?

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 5 months ago | (#45581239)

Well, on a good night I can tune Wollongong digital channels from Elizabeth Bay. I could never get Wollongong analog channels at all. But it's very much all-or-nothing - either I get Wollongong or I don't, never get a snowy but watchable picture. I don't actually have a digital-capable TV, only a USB tuner that I rarely use. I don't really miss TV.

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581343)

Here in Athens Greece we are in a transitional stage where most of the city have only digital but for some few places the analog signal still exists; few day ago i was watching a football game (the real one, where they play with the ball mostly with the... foot!) in a friend's house located in a neighborhood with both signals available where my friend's tv was tuned in digital and a neighbor watching the same game was tuned in analog - we kept hearing that neighbor cheer or boo almost a minute before we could see in our tv the reason, totaly destroying our experience (by the way, we soon understood that he was supporting the opposite team - they lost, we won!).

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 5 months ago | (#45581995)

Here in Athens Greece we are in a transitional stage where most of the city have only digital but for some few places the analog signal still exists; few day ago i was watching a football game (the real one, where they play with the ball mostly with the... foot!) in a friend's house located in a neighborhood with both signals available where my friend's tv was tuned in digital and a neighbor watching the same game was tuned in analog - we kept hearing that neighbor cheer or boo almost a minute before we could see in our tv the reason, totaly destroying our experience (by the way, we soon understood that he was supporting the opposite team - they lost, we won!).

Its even worse than that. If you have two digital TVs of different brands there is a slight difference in the time taken to decode. So if you have a TV in the kitchen with the same program as you are watching in the lounge you get an annoying "echo" effect

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45582031)

Instead of sitting around all day perhaps you could all try working instead of sponging off the Germans, you feckless wops?

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (4, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 months ago | (#45581349)

Analog degrades better if you're on the fringe.

Digital is pretty much "all or nothing", with freezes, posterizing, etc.. if you've got a bad signal.

If you've got a bad analog signal, you'll get snow and static, but you'll still be able to see what's happening.

But digital goes further, so if you're on the fringe of an analogue signal, you'll get a decent digital signal (well, as long as they're being transmitted from the same approximate location).

Analog vs. Digital (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581497)

But digital goes further, so if you're on the fringe of an analogue signal, you'll get a decent digital signal (well, as long as they're being transmitted from the same approximate location).

Indeed. I don't know what they'll be using in Australia, but here in the US, 8-vsb transmits 1 error correction bit for every 2 data bits. I live in a small town in a valley that's 30 miles from the nearest television transmitter. Previously we had television signals so weak you couldn't stand to watch them for more than 15 minutes before the static drove you insane. Now that we've gone digital, the channels are crystal clear.

It is annoying when MythTV records a show on one of the weaker channels at a bad time of day and so the signal drops out constantly making it unwatchable, but if we were still on analog, it would have surely been so full of static that I'd be straining to try to follow what was going on. Still, I understand how some people might look at that and think that digital sucks just because they don't understand how the signal can alternate between crystal clear and unwatchable every minute.

You just have to remind them that it isn't that the digital encoding is unable to tolerate a poor signal, but that the digital encoding makes a poor signal as usable as a good signal, and so when channel cuts out its because your signal has become worse than poor.

Re:Analog vs. Digital (3, Informative)

Static (1229) | about 5 months ago | (#45581913)

Indeed. I don't know what they'll be using in Australia, but here in the US, 8-vsb transmits 1 error correction bit for every 2 data bits. I live in a small town in a valley that's 30 miles from the nearest television transmitter.

Australia uses DVB-T which has different propagation characteristics than 8VSB. DVB-T makes it easier to do SFN (single frequency network) because it resists multi-path interference (ghosting in the analogue world) better whilst 8VSB has a better power dispersal profile, which means larger coverage areas from one antenna.

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (1)

imidan (559239) | about 5 months ago | (#45581509)

I live in a small town in the western US. I used to get four channels over the air on a good day with analog. Now, I get one. Not saying you're wrong, but I think people in more rural areas suffer more when the analog signal is cut.

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 months ago | (#45581533)

I live in a small town in the western US. I used to get four channels over the air on a good day with analog. Now, I get one. Not saying you're wrong, but I think people in more rural areas suffer more when the analog signal is cut.

Referring to Australia only. The digital signal has a greater range than the older analogue signals (different frequencies and signal strengths). This may be different in your neck of the woods, as they may use worse frequencies (or probably in your case, change the transmission sites completely).

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581607)

New poster here. I'm not one of the other A.C.'s.

I think "digital cliff" is the term for which we're looking.

It doesn't have to be a rural area. It can be any area where the signal isn't good enough.

While there are digital portable TV's, it's not good enough. We should have kept just one analog channel for a local news station to broadcast on, amping it up in emergencies, for when there are storms and the like. Local channels on cable can be problematic if you can't power the digital box that decrypts the local channels (if the cable provider has started encrypted the OTA channels). Used with a portable (battery-powered of course) TV during the power outage.

Do you think the frequencies were sold out of greed?

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (3, Informative)

NVW55V (994264) | about 5 months ago | (#45581609)

Get or build a better antenna. And put it up higher, and point it in the right direction. Use a signal amplifier. These things work.

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (3, Interesting)

niftymitch (1625721) | about 5 months ago | (#45581759)

I live in a small town in the western US. I used to get four channels over the air on a good day with analog. Now, I get one. Not saying you're wrong, but I think people in more rural areas suffer more when the analog signal is cut.

Tell us more about your antenna.

I wonder if your "old" antenna is tuned for channel bands that are
not the bands used for digital.

There are some darn fine antenna designs on the internet
that can be made with Cu wire and a tape measure. The
first step is knowing the frequency bands you wish to watch.

A well tuned antenna is the first band pass filter to select the
signal for the receiver to dig data from.

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 5 months ago | (#45581685)

But digital goes further, so if you're on the fringe of an analogue signal, you'll get a decent digital signal (well, as long as they're being transmitted from the same approximate location).

Might hold true in some places where either if you're on a hill, or it's very flat. In say most of Southern Ontario outside of a major city like London, K/W, or Toronto most people lost 1/3 to 1/2 of the US stations they used to have and picked up some they never had before. I know a few people who are able to get 40 channels in digitial in Toronto, my friends down in Brownsville/Verschoyle Woodstock/Ingersoll/Beachville used to get 15 US, they get 3 US now.

Bad Digital vs. Bad Analog (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 5 months ago | (#45581695)

How much range you get depends on how much power the broadcaster is using. Maybe it's that way for you in Australia, but not generally in the US. My mom had a weak analog signal for the channels she cared most about (US public broadcasting), but the sound was ok and if the pictures were fuzzy, most of the programs were just talking heads anyway. When they switched to digital, they were probably putting out less power, but the important problem was that the audio would cut in and out; the pictures were also blocky, but the parts that didn't change actually looked better some times.

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581357)

Imagine your comment on an "analog internet", some letters could be missing or replaced with others.

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581441)

But it's much less of an issue with people casually watching videos for fun.

Re: If you've got good signal, digital is better, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581579)

Digital fixes tpyos? Sweet! Where do I sign up?

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 5 months ago | (#45581563)

No, no, no, no!
As someone perpetually out in the fringes, allow me to correct this misconception once again...

Before the analog went away, nobody around here used an antenna. I bought my Winegard 8800 and Antennacraft Y10-7-13 antennas during the long transition. Of course I checked out the analog stations while I was at it... They were horrendous. Sure, you could tell that there was a signal there, but it was only barely perceptible that there were sharp edges and lines burried somewhere in the static if you focused hard enough. I TRIED watching news on the strongest of those awful analog stations, but after fives minutes I had a headache from the loud static over the audio and very quickly gave up straining to try and see anything. It was an immensely miserable experience.

After the transition to ATSC, most digital stations in the market come in strong and clear most of the time, with minimal breakups. While those are annoying, it's an occasional annoyance intertwined with PERFECT picture and sound, rather than a constant annoyance that nobody in their right mind would tolerate.

I have some criticisms of the current situation... A couple major broadcasters have cut down their signal power in the process, and the FCC stupidly allows another broadcaster on the came channel from almost the same direction (from here). Those two major channels missing might be a deal-breaker for some who would like to be rid of the crazy cable/satellite TV bills. However, it's infinitely more practical to use an antenna than it was with analog, and the proliferation ofnetworks on sub-channels has greatly increased selection.

Most people's complaints stem from the switch of some stations from VHF to UHF spectrum, which only propagates 2/3rds as far, and requires a different antenna than the old stations. My big complaint is that, if HALF the VHF spectrum was going to be abandoned, the FCC should have forced the rest to jump to UHF, too, so consumer antenna systems could be half as expensive, eliminating the need for VHF-hi antennas entirely (outside of Alaska). That might have gotten more people putting up antennas, and more incentive for stations to continue broadcasting at full power levels. Instead,the FCC is planning to turn the UHF band into swiss cheese, selling off bits to telcos for cellular services, forcing some back onto VHF-low where modern VHF antennas don't even work, and leaving some on UHF, again necessitating expensive antenna systems.

Problems with the transition to digital broadcasts are self-made, and makes me think we should have skipped it and dropped broadcast TV entirely. Either let it improve and succeed, or kill it entirely...

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 5 months ago | (#45581587)

Problems with the transition to digital broadcasts are self-made, and makes me think we should have skipped it and dropped broadcast TV entirely. Either let it improve and succeed, or kill it entirely...

The problems aren't self made, they disappear when they are self solved. The GP is right, but yet so are you. In many implementations digital does have better coverage than analogue but that has far more to do with technology enhancements, changes in transmission power, and changes in spectrum than anything else. An analogue signal is intelligible for a longer distance than a digital one with all other elements staying the same and cause less interference to neighbouring bands too.

Places which like for like replaced their gear get screwed, places where the transition is managed and the limitations are worked around (like in Australia) is where the real successes come.

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581901)

In many implementations digital does have better coverage than analogue but that has far more to do with technology enhancements, changes in transmission power, and changes in spectrum than anything else.An analogue signal is intelligible for a longer distance than a digital one with all other elements staying the same and cause less interference to neighbouring bands too.

But all other elements are not staying the same, Digital television uses QAM64 or QAM256 with a scrambling code (to ensure pseudo-random distribution of symbols), ensuring a constant mean spectral density and envelope power output. Analog TV uses an AM vision carrier and (in Australia) an additional AM color carrier, where over 50% of the total transmitted power is simply used for synchronisation (as was required in TVs of the 1940s), and has a varying spectral density by image frequency, and varying envelope power by power.

Also it's dubious to claim Analog TV has less RFI on adjacent bands, as the large power peaks that analog TV requires are more likely to overload the frontend of a receiver with poor filtering than the spread spectrum of a digital TV transmission (in my experience), though both will cause interference, exarcerbated by TV transmissions being of such a larger total radiated power than most other transmissions.

Terrestrial broadcast TV sucks. It requires a fixed installed antenna to work reliably, and with the falling cost of DTH satellite dishes and LNBFs (fuck, I can get a complete DTH system for under $200NZ), it makes no sense to operate terrestrial national broadcasts (as in Australia and NZ) with high power transmission sites throughout the country, AND THEN transmit every channel AGAIN, TWICE, FOR EACH REGION, on both FTA and Pay satellite services (there are 8 of each channel in NZ on Optus D1 at 160.0E, you can't make that shit up!). Where I live, I can receive 8x 8MHz DVB-T transponders (two complete sets of the national service), and there are additional DVB-T2 transponders for terrestrial paytv (Igloo). That is over 64MHz of spectrum (more like 96MHz with guardbands) wasted repeating what many people receive off satellite, that could be used for hundreds or tens of thousands of cellular or CSMA stations. Add to that most of the country is getting GPON optical fiber installed, which has far in excess capacity to deliver television (there is even a reserved wavelength in the GPON system specification specifically for this) via multicast or dedicated wavelength (cable tv), which will probably soon be activated to support UDTV or better HDTV (the current MPEG4-AVC service is abysmally low bitrate).

It's a massive clusterfuck, and waste of massive amounts of public money for a service that will be short lived and even at inception was of questionable utility. Oh yea, we're paying a private company public money to build the above mentioned GPON system, who will retain private ownership when it's complete.

Re:If you've got good signal, digital is better, b (1)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 5 months ago | (#45581725)

It is all about the payload of that signal. The big Australian media companies are deliberately making sure that the programming they show OTA (Over The Air) in DVB-T digital quality is actually inferior to the quality of the same programming shown over paid-for (satellite, cable) feeds. Typically the subtitles and surround sound are stripped from the OTA signal, and there are claims that downconverting is taking place as well.

Re: If you've got good signal, digital is better, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581739)

Final moments in Sydney, Channel7 actually says farewell http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJaft0a5VXc

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581245)

I live in Australia and they shut of analogue in my area back in 2008.

Re:What? (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 5 months ago | (#45581283)

The important cities got a bit longer ;) Possibly to allow time to replace common antenna distribution systems in apartment and office buildings with more digital-friendly kit.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581795)

That's what I wondered. Even in India, all the metro cities, and most of the country has gone digital - one can hardly get any channels on analog. I'd have thought that Australia would be way ahead of India in this metric

New Zealand's Analog TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581251)

New Zealand's Analog TV has just been turned off

Re:New Zealand's Analog TV (3, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | about 5 months ago | (#45581323)

New Zealand's Analog TV has just been turned off

Guess the sheep are pulling overtime now.

Late to the game... (2)

johnsnails (1715452) | about 5 months ago | (#45581267)

For those who don't know... digital tv is this thing that superseded analog tv too long ago to remember in your country...

Re:Late to the game... (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 5 months ago | (#45581285)

For those who don't know... digital tv is this thing that carries the same mindless, retarded, idiotic, uninteresting programs as analog tv, only it's digital.

Re:Late to the game... (3, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | about 5 months ago | (#45581325)

For those who don't know... digital tv is this thing that carries the same mindless, retarded, idiotic, uninteresting programs as analog tv, only it's digital.

Like The Dukes of Hazzard?

Re:Late to the game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581577)

Shut yo' mouth. The Dukes of Hazzard was poignant social commentary on our political system, and way ahead of its time. The symbolism of Boss Hogg, in his white suit is... oh, I can't do it. I just can't do it. LOL, Daisy Duke. Fuck yeah.

Re:Late to the game... (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 5 months ago | (#45581623)

Shut yo' mouth. The Dukes of Hazzard was poignant social commentary on our political system, and way ahead of its time. The symbolism of Boss Hogg, in his white suit is... oh, I can't do it. I just can't do it. LOL, Daisy Duke. Fuck yeah.

Hey, I'm all for any entertainment that showed dat ass on Catherine Bach in her prime. I just find irony in 'Roscoe P. Coltrane' complaining about banal entertainment.

Re:Late to the game... (1)

muphin (842524) | about 5 months ago | (#45581387)

you're saying this on... slashdot...???
i think geeks know more than the drones out there... if you are here and dont know what Digital TV is... i pitty you

I'm a crusty luddite because lower quality sucks (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581271)

I've had more signal problems with digital TV than I ever did with analog -- things like a Charter cable commercial talking about its quality when the image of the spokesman's face had been broken and reassembled more than any synthetic cubist painting, or channels simply going missing for hours (albeit I think that one's a bug in the unit decoding the signal, not something everyone would necessarily experience). I suppose one of these days I'll appreciate the wonders of this particular technological progress, but for now it just seems like being handed shit and calling it chocolate ice cream.

Re:I'm a crusty luddite because lower quality suck (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581483)

Get a better amplified antenna and aim it correctly. Putting it in the window will help.

Only been working on it for a decade years (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about 5 months ago | (#45581279)

Moved down in 2004 and they were talking about the imminent shut off then.

Re:Only been working on it for a decade years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581495)

That's how we implement things in Australia. If it's not over-budget and past the deadline (preferably by millions of dollars and many years), then continue the process until it is. For fellow Victorian readers, the word Myki may come to mind.

Re:Only been working on it for a decade years (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about 5 months ago | (#45581519)

I think New Zealand mastered that first (for fellow Auckland readers, the word HOP may come to mind).

Re:Only been working on it for a decade years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581945)

I've heard rumors, and by that I mean I've seen unreleased documents that show that HOP has cost more money in over budget expenditure, than it would have cost to have no fairs and pay the transport operators directly from the general transport fund (NB: it is public knowledge that Auckland transport operators, in particular MAXX and Ritchies, receive more than their total operating budget in transport subsidies, so the fairs are just gravy).

Re:Only been working on it for a decade years (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about 5 months ago | (#45581651)

It's how you guys implement stuff over east. The WA equivalent of MyKi actually works.

It's about control of information (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581281)

Digital - everything has to go through their pipes.

Analog - you can get an antenna and tune in to non-official sources.

Don't take my word for it, come to Singapore and see if you can view Malaysian or Indonesian channels via the digital channels. (hint: you cannot).

Re:It's about control of information (0)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 5 months ago | (#45581305)

Not only that, but with digital TV, they know what you watch and when. With analog TV, they don't. Knowning who watches what and when is a very, VERY valuable business model - just ask Google...

Re:It's about control of information (3, Informative)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about 5 months ago | (#45581313)

How do they know it with digital TV?
DVB-T - simplex transmission, just like analog.
DVB-C - also a simplex transmission.

They can only track you if you use IPTV or connect the box to the internet so it can phone home.

Re:It's about control of information (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 5 months ago | (#45581333)

Not only that, but with digital TV, they know what you watch and when. With analog TV, they don't. Knowning who watches what and when is a very, VERY valuable business model - just ask Google...

Put down the crack pipe for a second and explain how 'they' can track an OTA digital signal?

Re:It's about control of information (1)

MildlyTangy (3408549) | about 5 months ago | (#45581625)

Not only that, but with digital TV, they know what you watch and when. With analog TV, they don't. Knowning who watches what and when is a very, VERY valuable business model - just ask Google...

Utter BS. You have absolutely no clue what you are talking about.

Analog, or digital, its still a radio signal, the only difference between the two systems is the modulation and encoding.

It is *not* a two way radio link.

Re:It's about control of information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45582049)

Actually it's easier (still not feasible en masse) to tell what program* an analog receiver is tuned to, because each program has it's own frequency, and the tuner creates a small but measurable radio shadow at the antenna. With digital there is no center carrier to be shadowed, and there is mutliple programs on each transmitter multiplex, so figuring out what program you are watching is far more difficult (looking in the window would be easier in both cases).

*program in the technical lexicon meaning a video stream with one or more associated audio streams, what plebians refer to as channels.

Re:It's about control of information (1)

ArbitraryName (3391191) | about 5 months ago | (#45581319)

Digital TV is broadcast over the air just like analog. If you can't get something you used to be able to, it's probably because you were receiving a weak signal. Analog will degrade gracefully but digital will just drop out.

Re:It's about control of information (1)

jibjibjib (889679) | about 5 months ago | (#45581321)

I don't know what system they're using in Singapore (or whether perhaps your inability to tune particular channels is just an issue of signal strength), but digital TV in general is not some conspiracy to control information.

Anyone with the right equipment can transmit a digital TV signal, and anyone with a TV and an antenna can receive it. Just like analog.

Re:It's about control of information (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 months ago | (#45581359)

Digital - everything has to go through their pipes.

Analog - you can get an antenna and tune in to non-official sources.

Don't take my word for it, come to Singapore and see if you can view Malaysian or Indonesian channels via the digital channels. (hint: you cannot).

Erm, you don know that they cant actually stop an over the air signal.

The only thing stopping you from receiving Malaysian broadcasts over the air is that your equipment cant receive it.

Considering that if I mounted a satellite dish on my roof in Perth, Western Australia I can pick up satellite broadcasts from as far away as Italy (with a big enough dish). A pirate digital signal would still work in Singapore, as would Malaysian digital signals, you just need the right equipment to pick it up. Sorry but your conspiracy does not hold water.

In Australia switching to digital was all about freeing up the 700 MHz spectrum for govt sale. The good side effect is that we now get more channels, but the bad part is there is also nothing to watch on these new channels.

Re:It's about control of information (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | about 5 months ago | (#45581561)

that's not entirely true, there's a lot more fringe stuff like the multi-language channels and the NITV indigenous channel, especially on SBS and ABC. getting a 12 hr a day kids feed on ABC 2 is pretty useful, and a couple of 24 hr news channels that actually seem OK would probably be a boon if i bothered watching that stuff. not saying it's really increased my viewing time but it does actually make tv more useful.

Re:It's about control of information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581699)

You mean you don't love the new channels that run 24/7 infomercials (that's not an exaggeration)?

Re:It's about control of information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581601)

As a Malaysian, I would like to inform you the reason your Digital TV cannot tune into Malaysian TV is because we still broadcast in Analogue.

Thats said, you're not missing anything, there is nothing worth watching on Malaysian TV. Everyone here either watches satellite or torrents everything.

A little tear to my eye (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581291)

even though I haven't lived in Australia since I was a kid, nor do i watch TV at all, it made me a little sad to see:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q_S0Fk3dyM

I especially like how they played the 'go to bed kids' b&w clip and then the simulated 'switching off the CRT' images. Can't imagine how many grannies in sydney are bashing their TV trying to figure out what made it switch off.

Why should I care? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581301)

Because some niggers will lose their 4:3 aspect ratio.

Re:Why should I care? (0)

gmhowell (26755) | about 5 months ago | (#45581345)

Because some niggers will lose their 4:3 aspect ratio.

I thought you Aussie Stormfronters called them abos?

Re:Why should I care? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581559)

They're semi-politely called abos, but for maximum affront the term boongs is preferred.

Re:Why should I care? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 5 months ago | (#45581611)

They're semi-politely called abos, but for maximum affront the term boongs is preferred.

Just because I learn something new every day doesn't mean I learn anything of value.

Re:Why should I care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581649)

They're semi-politely called abos, but for maximum affront the term boongs is preferred.

Lol. The words appear to be universal. Try saying that one here in the States in a dark neighborhood if you're into suicide.

Re:Why should I care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581735)

Thus confirming the stereotype.

Who still watches TV? (1)

mtthwbrnd (1608651) | about 5 months ago | (#45581303)

Everything is on the internet without adverts.

Re:Who still watches TV? (1)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | about 5 months ago | (#45581327)

I agree... However the old farts don't.

Re:Who still watches TV? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 5 months ago | (#45581485)

I agree... However the old farts don't.

Incorrect!!! Even the old farts are without ads on the internet!
(if your favorite fart isn't yet on... say... TPB, just be patient: is only a matter of time someone will upload a torrent or magnet to an ad-free fart)

(grin)

Re:Who still watches TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581547)

Incorrect!!! Even the old farts are without ads on the internet!

Gonna have to disagree there. Ever fixed an old person's computer?

Re:Who still watches TV? (1)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | about 5 months ago | (#45581667)

Incorrect!!! Even the old farts are without ads on the internet!

Gonna have to disagree there. Ever done browser toolbar archaeology?

FTFY.

Re:Who still watches TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581453)

Someone has to be watching it or it wouldn't be on TV first so you could have it on the internet with no advertisements.

Still got problems (1)

dwywit (1109409) | about 5 months ago | (#45581317)

Especially the Sunshine Coast Region, where I live. The cheapskates put in Single Frequency Networks and some channels just aren't working. There's other problems, too. Even people with a clear line-of-sight to the tower need masthead amplifiers. At least I can get the ABC and SBS channels, but I mostly watch streaming stuff from ABC's iview and SBS OnDemad, anyway.

Re:Still got problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581505)

Speaking of SBS, I have a house on the Mornington Peninsula (90 minute drive from Melbourne CBD) and I don't think we've ever got SBS reception. Everything else comes through fine.

a support site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581347)

Something tells me a website wont be much help to people luddite enough to not know about upgrading to digital...

Analog TV sendoff. Channel 7 does it in style. (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581361)

This is interesting to watch for anyone like me who doesn't have a TV, and therefore, didn't catch the end.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJaft0a5VXc

Now if only they used the digital stream... (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | about 5 months ago | (#45581399)

Now if only the broadcasters would use the HD stream to carry HD content we might have some net gain out of the process. The little 1080i material is generally upscaled SD and/or crippled by a low bit rate to accommodate yet another SD TV shopping/trash TV stream. ABC News 24 is 720p, SBS HD is upscaled SD simulcast, Gem is upscaled reruns and shopping, 7Mate is trash TV for "blokes", One HD is M*A*S*H and Get Smart reruns in glorious 1080i

Re:Now if only they used the digital stream... (1)

imroy (755) | about 5 months ago | (#45581697)

I saw an amazing example of how the stations screw up their use of HD just a few months ago. Channel Ten was showing a live F1 race on One in SD, while their HD channel was showing Fast Foward (or Full Frontal?) from the 90's upscaled to 1080p. Wow.

Oh, its not really gone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581407)

Its not really gone. Where I live (Canada) digital came about 2 years ago, but 80-90% of tv watchers are on cable, and cable doesn't make you buy a new tv (read: cable is analogue baby), and they don't know what all this digital stuff is about. Having seen digital vs analog, I would never switch back, but to people on cable, antenna means 'fuzzy picture'. The reality is that I've seen their analogue over cable, and its sucky, their tv is 'fuzzy', but you can't tell them anything.

Cable can be analog or digital (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 5 months ago | (#45581683)

Broadcast TV went to digital a few years ago in the US, but for cable TV it's on a system-by-system basis. My town's Comcast cable went digital a year or so ago; it gave them room to squeeze more channels onto the cable than analog. I didn't have a digital-capable TV at the time, so for me the difference was that I now had to make room for a cable box, which fed analog to my TiVo, and program the TiVo to talk to that cable box. More recently I got an HDTV, so until I do something about the cable box, I've got a choice between getting all the channels on non-HD through the TiVo, or getting a subset of the channels directly from the cable into the TV (but not all of them, and the TV guide information knows about the regular channel numbers, not the digital ones.

Last-minute 'shoppers' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581423)

Reports from Australian electronics stores tell an all-to-familiar tale: shelves emptying over the past few weeks as the stragglers finally get around to stealing their own digital conversion box. Crikey!

December 3rd? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581445)

Wow, that will spoil CHRISTMAS (yeah, fuck you political-correct-hollydays-morons) for a lot of people. Or is it intention, to give a "stimulus" to the starving electronics industry??

Re:December 3rd? (0)

c0lo (1497653) | about 5 months ago | (#45581517)

Wow, that will spoil CHRISTMAS (yeah, fuck you political-correct-hollydays-morons) for a lot of people. Or is it intention, to give a "stimulus" to the starving retailing industry??

FTFY - the Chinese economy was well enough last time I checked.

Re:December 3rd? (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 5 months ago | (#45581887)

yeah, fuck you political-correct-hollydays-morons

Nobody cares if you call it Christmas. People who say "Happy Holidays" just feel it's extra nice to include other people. Nobody is forcing you to. So relax! Christmas is a time of happiness and joy.

And digital STBs are very cheap and will make a fine Christmas present.

frost Pist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581465)

be a cock-su3king Is busy infighting

It was Sydney's turn today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581471)

Looks like the broadcasters had some fun with the switch off. This guy caught the Channel 7 message, with some other general reminiscing: http://goughlui.com/?p=5238

Slashdot is now a forum for Aussie community news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581493)

Seriously, how is this worth space on the 'front page'?

What's next? Lost pets in the Melbourne area? Brisbane school sports results?

Re:Slashdot is now a forum for Aussie community ne (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about 5 months ago | (#45581527)

How come New Zealand's analogue switch off didn't make news? Boo!

Re: Slashdot is now a forum for Aussie community n (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581633)

It's about a technology switch-over. Slashdot isn't a USA exclusive site.

iLuddite (1)

braden87 (3027453) | about 5 months ago | (#45581507)

"information site to assist the remaining crusty luddites with the switch-over" Yeah, lots of luddites on the internet.

Luddites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581543)

"The government runs an information site to assist the remaining crusty luddites with the switch-over."

I'd not call a person a luddite if he/she is:
* watches TV
* wants to switch to digital signal
* looks for help on the internet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite

Who Cares - It's Television (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581557)

An electronic billboard with an endless stream of commercials, constantly doing noise banging interruptions about buying something. No amount of surfing channels will cure the fix and alleviate the boredom created by not at least a sliver of a decent amount of content -- in analog or digital.

New Zealand Also (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581673)

New Zealand switched off analogue TV in the last zone on December 1st.

In Austrailia south of the equator (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 5 months ago | (#45581733)

...the 1's and 0's are reversed. Digital TV watchers think Obama is white and Bush is black.

Re:In Austrailia south of the equator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581753)

All TVs work this way. Have you ever actually seen BO or GW with your own eyes?

OTA via Satellite in Australia (4, Interesting)

enter to exit (1049190) | about 5 months ago | (#45581763)

In Australia we have an government initiative called VAST (Viewer Access Satellite Television). Essentially, If you live in a rural area and have trouble getting OTA signals, they'll subsidize the cost of a satellite dish+decoder.

All the OTA channels are put up on the Optus C1 satellite and depending on your location they'll unlock the channels you're meant to get in your area.

I see no reason why this can't be extended to non-rural areas on a house-by-house basis.
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