Digital pictures are crap

Anybody watching the world cup finals have probably noticed that the picture quality is pretty much crap, thanks to digital technology.
There is nothing wrong with my TV or equipment, and I only live 6 miles away from the transmitter.
During a live match look at the grass in the background, you can see it distorting, digital isn’t all it’s hyped up to be.

Digital Myths

There are so many misconceptions and so much (deliberate ?) misinformation about “Digital” that we thought we should tell the unvarnished truth. We can do that because unlike the government (wanting to use the RF spectrum to make money…) or the TV retailers (wanting to sell you a new TV…) we have no hidden agenda.
I thought I would start by listing Negatives of Digital.

Digital TV

1 A Digital TV picture is NOT superior to a good analogue picture. In fact (and “the powers that be” are very quiet about this) it is actually worse… Because the broadcasters want as many programme channels as possible they have sacrificed picture quality (and a robust signal) to that end. A good (I must stress that word) analogue picture can take advantage of its greater bandwidth to give more detail and a "higher refresh rate" to the picture. One does not have to be an expert, or to look very closely at the picture, but a Digital picture is worse. Look at the fine detail (particularly on a moving shot, a football match is a good example) and one can see it "blocking". Even more annoying, to me anyway, one can sometimes see the staccato movement associated with a low refresh rate. All the inferior picture qualities of Digital (plus a few more) are also present on LCD or Plasma Televisions. 2. In our experience Digital tuners are not the most reliable pieces of modern technology and they arent really repairable either. Thats not a big deal if its a separate “STB” which has failed (they arent that expensive) but if its built into your TV then thats a rather different story… We can economically repair around 95% of conventional TVs (ie analogue, non LCD, non Plasma, non Rear Projection) but with integrated sets its possibly down to only about 75%. That is to say only about 1 in 20 of the former are economically unrepairable but around 1 in 4 of the latter fall into this category, see Repairs. Thats why we advise people to buy an analogue TV and a separate set top box. Doing it that way is actually cheaper (at the present time) and its more flexible as well.
3 The Digital signal is not as robust as the analogue one :clap: :iagree: :clap: :iagree:
4 Due to size/weight considerations many retailers do not repair any conventional TV over 32". Plasmas, LCDs and Projection sets must be brought into the shop by the customer.
They are much more problematic to repair than CRTs so the BF/Deposit is significantly higher as is the likely cost of the repair. So theres another reason to save your money and not buy one in the first place. Lets be honest, their picture quality is inferior to a CRT in many significant respects (also see Digital Picture Quality), which is why the retailers tend to display them separately. If they do stock them together they often show cartoons or still images as demonstration material to minimise the LCD/Plasmas inherent picture failings. Plasmas and LCDs should theoretically have superior fine detail over a CRT (which is why theyre often used for PC monitors) but apart from when youre purchasing it no one would watch a TV from close enough to see the difference. An analogue CRTs strengths lie in superior contrast, more natural colour and displaying movement, particularly when the latter is combined with fine detail. I would ask the shop to let you see the LCD/Plasma next to a CRT set whilst theyre both showing (say) a football match. Make sure they havent turned down the contrast on the CRT set or supplied it with a digital signal. :sad: :clap: :sad: :clap:

I agree. I have a strong freeview signal but the “shimmering” effect is terrible. So I switch off my box and go back to the good old analogue broadcast.

You will have to get used to it, in 2 years all analog broadcasts will be gone.

It is NOT true that digital is crap - Digital has GREAT potential…it is not used well.

Unfortunately, and like you said, in order to fit all those channels into the same cable they have to reduce the resolution and further compress. Don’t confuse DVD quality with digital cable, digital cable uses a much lower resolution and a very high compression rate. Don’t be surprised that some channels compress as low as 2 to 3mbit/s and to top it off the decoder boxes are CRAP quality. Remember, a high bit rate + a good encoder + good decoder = excellent picture. What is hype is when the cable company claims their digital cable is “DVD quality”.

Hopefully when they FREE UP some space on the cable they will increase the bitrate and quality of their compression, but they cannot do that as long as they squeeze both analog and digital on the same coax.

[QUOTE=greg42]You will have to get used to it, in 2 years all analog broadcasts will be gone.

It is NOT true that digital is crap - Digital has GREAT potential…it is not used well.

“Digital has GREAT potential” means nothing to the viewer now, the pictures are visibly awful regardless of whatever equipment people use.
And there’s no evidence to suggest there will be any improvements in the near future. :iagree:

The evidence is right there on the HDTV test transmissions that the BBC are currently running.

I’m sure the BBC will charge a subscription fee if they do broadcast in uncompressed HD.
And I still haven’t seen a better picture than on my 1994 Sony 32 inch 4:3 television.
Last June a TV repairmen came and fixed a dry joint which took him about three minutes.
When he looked at the picture he was well impressed.
I am assured it’s true that the reason a CRT tube TV is superior to a plasma is due to the contrast to screen ratio, the plasma just can’t produce the quality of the CRT tube. :iagree:

2008: Border
2009: West Country, Wales, Granada
2010: Grampian, West Scottish TV
2011: Central, Yorkshire, Anglia
2012: Meridian, London, Tyne Tees, Ulster

Not jsut photography. Nobody even realizes that Kodachrom was the equivalent of 2500 migapixels! Now we can’t even get it. Same for CD’s. Nowhere the equivalent of a good 33 Lp RECORD! Where r we going? Looks like we heading? Backwards???