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Poll #863643 Watching TV

How do you receive the TV programming you watch?

Analog[ue] terrestrial
6(12.0%)
Analog[ue] digital (eg Freeview)
1(2.0%)
Satellite
6(12.0%)
Cable
11(22.0%)
Other (BitTorrent, etc)
12(24.0%)

Do you prefer the HD option?

Yes
8(16.0%)
Yes, if I could, but it's too expensive
12(24.0%)
I might, but it's not available
7(14.0%)
Not bothered
23(46.0%)

What do you watch TV on?

Laptop
4(8.0%)
Desktop
8(16.0%)
TV <30"
19(38.0%)
Honking huge TV or projector
2(4.0%)

What decodes it all?

The TV
10(20.0%)
The media player on the computer
13(26.0%)
A set-top box
15(30.0%)

What do you generally record TV on for keeping?

magnetic tape
11(22.4%)
CD-R/DVD-R
23(46.9%)
Generally don't bother storing, only timeshifting
15(30.6%)
 
 
 
 
 
 
I assumed "Cable" covered "FIOS" :)

-Digit
The big widescreen TV in the livingroom gets digital/HD stations, which are nice except the reception is terrible. That TV gets bad reception on the analog channels too, though, even after we upgraded to an outdoor antenna (the old TV it replaced (which died) got better reception with rabbit ears and a loop... Hech, this ancient B&W Sony portable I have gets better reception usually, and its metal telescoping antenna (like a radio) has the end broken off!)

Figures. Big fancy expensive TV, and the tuner in it sucks.


Someday I should get a TV/DTV/HDTV tuner card for my computer, that would seriously rock. Then I could hook my VCR to the computer and watch it on my monitor instead of needing a TV also...
Ugh! How frustrating - especially with regard to HD broadcasts. I've only recently started taking notice of such, as I don't follow many shows, and most torrents remain SD-based. Thankfully, Torchwood is appearing as HD-based torrents (960x528, downsampled from the 1080i broadcast, as compared to 640x352 from the 576i original), and the difference is pretty clear to see. Nice frame size, too, as much larger than that, and I'd run into problems playing the file smoothly.

'Course, one "benefit" of a TV is the amazing job they do of filtering out compression artefacts. =:)
I've got an old satellite dish outside from the previous tenant's Sky subscription. So with a satcard in my computer, I've been able to 'watch' BBC-HD.

For values of watch that mean 'The computer is just too slow to decode it at the proper frame rate', due to Aunty deciding that 1080i with MBAFF is best. But the picture quality is very nice, and having six channel sound is good too.

Of course, someone does need to explain to them that 1080i is perceptually worse looking than 720p.
Hmm! That might be an interesting option, assuming I could find a card compatible with the open source driver I'm thinking of, given the only Windows system in the house would be hard pressed to decode SD well. There is a Sky dish on the house, but no decoder.

Of course, 1080i or 720p are both attractive options compared to 576i, let alone the wonderful noise factor unless you're living next to the mast. But then, I suppose purely digital torrents on LCD have spoiled me somewhat in that regard. I definitely would like to put a multichannel audio setup on the Christmas list, if there were the money - still, the headphones work well enough in the meantime. Given the noise level often prevalent in the house (ah, the joys of children), some in-channel noise isolating ones might work quite well, though they tend to be fairly expensive. I admit I'm a little disturbed about poking things quite that far into my ears, too, even though they may be in routine use by thousands of people.

Now, if only they could manage to squeeze some flavor of HDTV over Freeview, presumably by virtue of judicious application of H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10) rather than MPEG-2.. don't suppose you know what the bandwidth typically available on a Freeview channel is? They certainly don't seem shy about guzzling bandwidth on BBC HD, though - as I recall, the 30 second trailer for Torchwood was around 80MB as received, in MPEG-2, or about 21Mbps. I'd expect good use of H.264 could drop that by around 75%, with very little perceptible difference.
At the moment, most of the transponders on UK DTT are 8MHz 16QAM giving 18 megabits/second. The two ITV run transponder (A and 2) are at 64QAM with 24mb/s. (Which combined with using stretched A/R is why they have more channels)

After switchover, all channels should become 16QAM. Which theoretically gives you 4 blocks of 6mb/s extra bandwidth. Mux 1 and Mux B will become PSB 1 and PSB 2, and use up the entire bandwidth on MuxB taking over the 'Main Channels' currently on analog.

There are no current plans to create new country-wide transponders.

This leaves each of the BBC, ITV, C4 and Five with a block of 6mb/s to try and put HD content in if they want. However, the HD content the BBC puts out on Astra in H.264 is 22mb/s. Even reducing complexity while still being 'HD' would only get you down to 18mb/s. So even before you get to the issues of having new set-top boxes, you have the problem that you'd be loosing SD channels to make space for HD. (Unless you replace all DTT boxes with ones that can downsample the HD content and use the HD channels as replacements.)

Nationwide multiple channel HD on UK DTT doesn't look workable at the moment.

Although, honestly, I don't watch TV. Just anime. And since I don't get anything other than internet here (no cable, no landline... well, technically we have a landline now that we're on slower DSL (stupid companies made it look like it'd be cheaper. But it's not. And there's a 200 KB/s download limit that I keep hitting, which annoys me. Although 50 KB/s upload is better than 30~ but I digress), but said landline isn't plugged into anything).

Besides, not going to pay extra for cable/Satellite tv that I would never watch. And there's no TV in the apartment anyways...
Of course you do realise "analog digital" is a contradiction? Just call digital terrestrial.
Oh, and for storage, I use my NAS :)
*giggle* Yep, a bit of a brain fart there. ^_^; As people probably guessed, thankfully (given it's not possible to edit a poll), I meant terrestrial analog[ue] & digital for the first two options.

Ah, but what happens when you run out of space - do you archive off to DVD-R, or just add another drive? (When I can, I'd love to set up a couple RAID cases for mirroring - after all, a pair of 750GB drives would be just about sufficient for one copy of everything here, so four drives.. not all that expensive, really. But I think I'd want to go for an island on SL first =:)
I do not as a rule watch commercial television.
Yay for the BBC! :)
And BitTorrent. ^_^

But yes, the BBC's a wonderful institution. Far from perfect, but still, the amount of original programming they produce is fairly amazing.
Industrious bunny, neh? :)
What do you generally record TV on for keeping?

[X] I neither record to store nor to timeshift.
Oh, you watch "live"? I much prefer watching from a recording, so if there's any kind of interruption, I can just pause and come back to it. Unless it's some kind of live event I'm particularly interested in, like the mighty Eurovision cheesefest. =:) (Which, thankfully, the BBC provided as a RealNasty stream last time - I don't have a TV. Though there are three in the main room downstairs.. !)
Yeah, I pretty much only watch "live". :) I've got a VCR, but I think it's broken, and even though the advertising etc. is annoying, I've found it's easier to allow yourself some time off to watch a show when you cannot postpone it (because it's running *now*, and the network won't stop it just for you). :)
(Deleted comment)
*grin* That's what a brain fart looks like. ^_^; I meant terrestrial analog[ue] and terrestrial digital, but it's not possible to edit a poll, for good reason.
It's unfortunate that most of the things broadcast would be complete shit, and therefore unwatchable for me. The only channels of interest in this area being PBS, Discovery, and INHD which have the ocassional Kubrick film. Oh, and CBS for Letterman, because he really is beautiful in HD.
It has to be said - Torchwood has many serious failings, but amongst them is not the lack of Jack Barrowman in HD. ^_^

Oh, congratulations, INHD - you've just declared I don't have Flash. Berks. And not in the Home Counties sense.

Is it wrong of me to wish to see Ian Hislop in HD? (And Angus Deayton, I'd hope. *sigh* I do enjoy the rotating hosts shtick, but still..)
Oh quite. :D

I suppose Channel 4 was the same way when it first began. BBC3 had their share when they started. Irritating anyway.

Yes. Enough is enough. Just bring back Angus for good, with Bruce Forsyth given a standing invitation.