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.
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.
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 it
s 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. That
s not a big deal if its a separate “STB” which has failed (they aren
t that expensive) but if its built into your TV then thats a rather different story… We can economically repair around 95% of conventional TV
s (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. That
s 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
4 Due to size/weight considerations many retailers do not repair any conventional TV over 32". Plasma
s, 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 there
s 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 they
re 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 they
re 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.