Sunday, December 03, 2006

Enter the world of tommorow...

Oh yeah!

I've been thinking about getting a digital STB(set top box) for a while now. Even though I know there really aren't any incentives in this country to do so yet, I thought what the heck. So on Friday after work I made my way to the nearest Dick Smith Powerhouse and bought one of these. Of course I also got talked into extra cables and a switch box thing to save fiddling with cables behind our "old" TV (it only has one set of component inputs on the rear) whenever we want to watch a DVD or video.

All I can say is wow! The reception is crystal clear, the sound is fantastic and there is no interference or ghosting. It's more or less like watching a DVD. I was worried that our rabbit ears antenna would seriously hamper the digital signal, I was wrong. All the channels have 90% + signal strength except for SBS which is around 80%. I'm impressed.

The only problem however is the crappy approach to digital TV that this country has taken. Why do I want 5 identical versions each of channels 7 and 10? I want different programming on each channel. SBS and the ABC do each have a second channel with different programing SBS 2 and ABC 2, however each would seem to have little that interests me. The former being foreign language news programs and latter seemingly endless repeats of Stateline and cricket games from 40 years ago. What would really sell digital TV in Australis is a system similar to the UK's Freeview (check out the list of channels) or even the similarly named New Zealand version FreeView. Only then will digital TV be worthwhile. Either that or do what Alex Encel suggests and give away STBs...

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