16 January 2009

HD TV arrives

It did several months ago actually.
I live at the bottom of a narrow and twisty valley so terrestrial TV is and always will be poor, the nearest cable is several miles away and across the Thames so satellite is my only option, doubly so when analog is switched off in 2012 as digital doesn't do poor reception. That leaves me with satellite.
Rupert Murdoch used to have a monopoly on this with Sky TV, though in a rare display of determination the government forced him to offer the channels that are normally free for no subscription and I got my dish that way. From the same satellite there is now a BBC/ITV joint service, Freesat which I recently switched over to.
Is it better? It has less rubbish channels including Sky - Sky makes its money from sport and movie subscription channels which are of no interest to me. And it does have HD for free, for which Sky charges an extra subscription on top of a normal one.

So I watched the Olympics in HD, which was excellent except that with its limited number of HD cameras that meant the BBC either showed everything or nothing, with some sports being totally ignored.

As for normal viewing, the BBC offers evening only HD and mostly endless repeats since they don't have enough cameras to do much production. ITV came up with the brilliant marketing strategy of keeping their HD scheduling secret, only putting up an 'also in HD' message up on their main channel at the last moment.
I guess we'll have to wait until the American switch to HD before more is available.

HD TVs do generate a good computer picture though, with a reasonable 1360x768 resolution.

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