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uk.tech.tv.sky (Sky Television) (uk.tech.tv.sky ) Technical issues of Sky television.

Still no end in site to UK digital satellite fiasco



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 11th 03, 07:09 PM posted to alt.satellite,alt.satellite.tv,alt.satellite.tv.europe,uk.tech.tv.sky
Mike Terry
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 17
Default Still no end in site to UK digital satellite fiasco

From
http://radio.weblogs.com/0121781/
A report in today's Media Guardian suggests that the UK is no nearer to
finding a solution to the farce over the viewing of the "free to air"
commercial TV channels on digital satellite. Sky TV is in the process of
upgrading its encryption technology, and was planning to send out upgraded
viewing cards both to its subscribers and to the 659,000 households that do
not subscribe to Sky but want to receive the basic "free to air" channels
via satellite rather than cable or terrestrial transmitters. Some of these
households, in remote parts of the country, had never been able to get good
reception until the DSat service started.

To prevent the broadcasts being received outside the UK (for copyright
reasons) the signals were "soft encrypted" by Sky, and could only be
received by inserting a viewing card. Earlier this year the BBC, which had
been financing the issuing of the free viewing cards, announced it was
moving its transmissions to a different Astra satellite, 2D, which has a
tighter footprint, and that it would no longer require encryption. The
advantage is that, for the first time, all the BBC's national and regional
variations will be available to viewers across the entire UK. So a viewer in
London can watch BBC Scotland, for example. However, where existing rights
agreements only allow transmission within a designated area (for example,
Scottish football) the programme will not be available.

The bad news is that the transmissions of ITV, Channel 4 and Five - which
are freely available on other platforms - continue to require a viewing card
on satellite. On hearing of the BBC's decision to stop funding them, Sky
immediately stopped sending out replacements for the free cards, leaving an
estimated 200,000 households facing the prospect of losing these services
when the older method of encryption is switched off by Sky, reportedly
within weeks. The BBC's Web site says that the newer version cards should
still decode ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 for "3-5 years" until Sky's next
major upgrade. Other sources suggest their life could be much shorter.

At last, a day after the BBC turned off encryption, some MP's at Westminster
appear to be taking the issue seriously. Media Guardian says Chris Bryant,
Labour MP for the Rhondda (an area of Wales where terrestrial reception can
be poor) has called on the government to step in and resolve the issue. He
said the affected viewers would have to switch back to their analogue
aerials [sic] to receive the main channels - against the government's policy
of converting the whole country to digital TV by 2010.

ITV was supposed to issue a statement this week, but that has been
postponed. It seems that the industry has adopted a "wait and see" policy.
Channel 4 and Five, which have much lower market shares than ITV, seem
resigned to losing a relatively small number of viewers, but ITV -
traditionally the BBC's main rival, and heavily dependent on viewing figures
to attract advertisers - stands to lose much more. Sky has said it will
resume supporting all the free cards if someone pays them to. So far, nobody
has indicated a willingness to do that. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking as
Sky is reportedly almost ready to ditch the old encryption method.

In the longer term, an interesting issue will be the effect on viewing
patterns of the BBC's decision to make its national regions (Scotland, Wales
and Northern Ireland) available across the whole country. There, are for
example, a huge number of Scots people living in England. Many of them
number amongst the 7 million Sky subscribers who can now watch BBC Scotland.
At the moment, the new services are not on the Electronic Programme Guide,
but from 29 July they will be. The audience measurement system will need to
be changed to take account of the expanded range of BBC channels on offer.
This could also influence attitudes about whether to get digital satellite.
Some peoples' loss, it seems, is other peoples' gain.




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  #2  
Old July 11th 03, 09:09 PM posted to alt.satellite,alt.satellite.tv,alt.satellite.tv.europe,uk.tech.tv.sky
R. Mark Clayton
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 152
Default Still no end in site to UK digital satellite fiasco


"Mike Terry" wrote in message
...
From
http://radio.weblogs.com/0121781/
A report in today's Media Guardian suggests that the UK is no nearer to
finding a solution to the farce over the viewing of the "free to air"
commercial TV channels on digital satellite.


Snip

Is it in the BBC's interests to help $ky out of a hole over this one?

NO, although it took them a long time to realise this.

Is it in the BBC's interests to help ITV/C4/C5 out of a hole over this one?

NO.

What should the BBC do?

Absolutely nothing.

And what is the moral of this story and the ITV Digital fiasco?

NEVER EVER buy proprietary solutions.

Corollary

During the 1980's IBM developed "micro channel architecture" (MCA) for PC's.
It was technically very good and brought channelised I/O (a mainframe
feature) to the desktop. PC purchasers were well ahead of the ordinary
British public and MCA failed spectacularly in the market place because PC
purchasers rejected a proprietary solution. Alas PC's are still bus based.



  #3  
Old July 11th 03, 10:16 PM posted to alt.satellite,alt.satellite.tv,alt.satellite.tv.europe,uk.tech.tv.sky
QrizB
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 235
Default Still no end in site to UK digital satellite fiasco

On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 19:09:32 +0000 (UTC), "Mike Terry"
wrote:

A report in today's Media Guardian suggests that ...


.... the Grauniad still take delight in BBC-bashing.


--
QrizB

I sound like I know what I'm talking about, but don't
be fooled.
  #4  
Old July 11th 03, 10:37 PM posted to alt.satellite,alt.satellite.tv,alt.satellite.tv.europe,uk.tech.tv.sky
Steve Terry
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default Still no end in site to UK digital satellite fiasco

wrote in message
...
On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 21:09:48 +0000 (UTC), "R. Mark Clayton"
pausing to cast envious glances at those who
had mastered the skill of reading without moving their lips, wrote:

snip
...and then there was 'British Satellite Broadcasting' and the D-Mac
receivers with squarials.
Nick.

I knew someone who worked on the Squarial at MDS Stanmore,
they were told by the arseholes at BSB that it had to be no more than 10in SQ
as that's what they had told the press it would be.
MDS spent a fortune, time and effort to try and get the gain up to spec,
in a 10in Sq, but gave up the thankless task in the end.
BSB gave the job to I think Fujitsu ? who came up with a SQ over 12 in

Steve Terry


  #5  
Old July 12th 03, 09:41 AM posted to alt.satellite,alt.satellite.tv,alt.satellite.tv.europe,uk.tech.tv.sky
Jim Watt
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 25
Default Still no end in site to UK digital satellite fiasco

On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 21:09:48 +0000 (UTC), "R. Mark Clayton"
wrote:

During the 1980's IBM developed "micro channel architecture" (MCA) for PC's.
It was technically very good and brought channelised I/O (a mainframe
feature) to the desktop. PC purchasers were well ahead of the ordinary
British public and MCA failed spectacularly in the market place because PC
purchasers rejected a proprietary solution. Alas PC's are still bus based.


Although its off topic, I'm not going to let you get away with that
one easily. To be accurate IBM initially developed the ISA bus which
was an open platform and MCA was a relacement with higher speed
and more features. ISA evolved messily from an 8bit bus to 16bit and
some of the cards didn't work in some machines.

Although MCA was licenced to other manufacturers, and a range of
cards came out, it never really took off and eventually IBM dropped
it. It was not a 'spectacular failure' it just quietly faded out, as
did some other 'standards'. Seen a MFM disk recently?

But so did ISA and the current PCI bus has many of the features of
MCA which was perhaps a standard before its time because the
CPUs, memory and applications of the day did not need its speed
and features.

However, some of those features, like its plug and play have carried
forward and whether they make any money out of the innovations
or not, IBM are responsible for a lot of the great PC technology
around. I just bought a tower as its virtually silent and the fans in
other machines **** me off.

But lets not mention OS/2 ...

--
Jim Watt http://www.gibnet.com
  #6  
Old July 12th 03, 10:30 AM posted to alt.satellite,alt.satellite.tv,alt.satellite.tv.europe,uk.tech.tv.sky
Nigel Goodwin
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 57
Default Still no end in site to UK digital satellite fiasco

In message , Jomtien
writes
Mike Terry wrote:

On hearing of the BBC's decision to stop funding them, Sky
immediately stopped sending out replacements for the free cards, leaving an
estimated 200,000 households facing the prospect of losing these services


Only 200,000? This seems very low to me and surely doesn't take
account of the people who are currently using expired Sky cards as FTV
cards.

I would put the total at well over 1 million. Perhaps much more.


I would also certainly put the figure as more than 200,000, in my email
to the department concerned with the analogue switch-off I suggested
many 100's of thousands (don't like to commit myself!).

Referring back to the previous quote, Sky were never replacing the free
cards - the BBC's FTV line was responsible for that, and they never
looked like they were going to even start doing so.

--
Nigel.

/------------------------------------------------------------\
| Nigel Goodwin | E-Mail : |
| Lower Pilsley | Website :
http://www.lpilsley.co.uk |
| Chesterfield | Author of WinPicProg |
| England | http://www.winpicprog.co.uk |
\------------------------------------------------------------/
  #7  
Old July 12th 03, 01:07 PM posted to alt.satellite.tv.europe,uk.tech.tv.sky
Nigel Goodwin
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 57
Default Still no end in site to UK digital satellite fiasco

In message , "Hot Dog, Jumping Frogs,
Albuquerque" writes
What ever happened to the Marco Polo Satellite, was it used by the
Scandinavians?


I seem to remember it was moved and renamed 'Thor'.
--
Nigel.

/------------------------------------------------------------\
| Nigel Goodwin | E-Mail : |
| Lower Pilsley | Website :
http://www.lpilsley.co.uk |
| Chesterfield | Author of WinPicProg |
| England | http://www.winpicprog.co.uk |
\------------------------------------------------------------/
  #8  
Old July 12th 03, 04:43 PM posted to alt.satellite,alt.satellite.tv,alt.satellite.tv.europe,uk.tech.tv.sky
Ant
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 96
Default Still no end in site to UK digital satellite fiasco

On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 19:09:32 +0000 (UTC), "Mike Terry"
wrote:

On hearing of the BBC's decision to stop funding them, Sky
immediately stopped sending out replacements for the free cards,


No free cards were ever replaced to start with, were they?
Hard to "immediately stop" anything that hadn't started..

  #9  
Old July 13th 03, 01:38 AM posted to alt.satellite,alt.satellite.tv,alt.satellite.tv.europe,uk.tech.tv.sky
Gareth Attrill
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4
Default Still no end in site to UK digital satellite fiasco

On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 11:30:49 +0100, Nigel Goodwin
wrote:

In message , Jomtien
writes
Mike Terry wrote:

On hearing of the BBC's decision to stop funding them, Sky
immediately stopped sending out replacements for the free cards, leaving an
estimated 200,000 households facing the prospect of losing these services


Only 200,000? This seems very low to me and surely doesn't take
account of the people who are currently using expired Sky cards as FTV
cards.

I would put the total at well over 1 million. Perhaps much more.


I would also certainly put the figure as more than 200,000, in my email
to the department concerned with the analogue switch-off I suggested
many 100's of thousands (don't like to commit myself!).

Referring back to the previous quote, Sky were never replacing the free
cards - the BBC's FTV line was responsible for that, and they never
looked like they were going to even start doing so.


That's what I thought when I read the article - we certainly haven't
heard of any FTV cards being replaced here or on DS so I would be
pretty certain Sky didn't replace any.

It's all one huge f*ckup really, the gov't and the regulators should
have seen it coming and sorted it earlier rather than leaving it to
the TV companies to fight amongst themselves. Even arranging a for
nominal fee for card replacement would have been better than letting
Sky shrug their shoulders and say "fsck them, they can subscribe!".

There are going to be a lot of ex-subscribers ****ed off even if only
C4 goes subscription and *somebody* has got to answer their questions.
I haven't read a single mainstream article about it. The Media
Guardian article is he

http://media.guardian.co.uk/broadcas...995806,00.html

Gareth

  #10  
Old July 14th 03, 03:32 PM posted to alt.satellite,alt.satellite.tv,alt.satellite.tv.europe,uk.tech.tv.sky
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Still no end in site to UK digital satellite fiasco


"Jim Watt" wrote in message
...
On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 21:09:48 +0000 (UTC), "R. Mark Clayton"
wrote:

SNIP

Although its off topic, I'm not going to let you get away with that
one easily. To be accurate IBM initially developed the ISA bus which
was an open platform and MCA was a relacement with higher speed
and more features. ISA evolved messily from an 8bit bus to 16bit and
some of the cards didn't work in some machines.

Although MCA was licenced to other manufacturers, and a range of
cards came out, it never really took off and eventually IBM dropped
it. It was not a 'spectacular failure' it just quietly faded out, as
did some other 'standards'. Seen a MFM disk recently?

But so did ISA and the current PCI bus has many of the features of
MCA which was perhaps a standard before its time because the
CPUs, memory and applications of the day did not need its speed
and features.

However, some of those features, like its plug and play have carried
forward and whether they make any money out of the innovations
or not, IBM are responsible for a lot of the great PC technology
around. I just bought a tower as its virtually silent and the fans in
other machines **** me off.

But lets not mention OS/2 ...

--
Jim Watt http://www.gibnet.com


There are still loads of MCA Motorola processored (sp?) RS6000 machines
running UNIX in the field.

Paul




 




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