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Dixons: At it again

Dead TVs
Photo by chriswatkins, modified under licence
My thanks to Nick Freestone for pointing out that Dixons are at it again, issuing the sixth iteration of virtually the same press release.

That’s now analogue radios, 35mm cameras, video recorders, the computer game Manhunt, CRT monitors, and now analogue TVs of which the Dixons Group have issued press releases with exaggerated reports of impending demise.

Keep your eyes peeled – if they manage to get national coverage of virtually the same story a seventh time, I’ll have to send their press department some kind of prize. At this rate, I’m going to have to have a regular DixonsWatch feature…

This post was filed under: Media.

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Comments and responses

Comment from Mort Karman

    14.29, 24/01/2008

Analogue TV broadcasting will cease in February 2009 here on the American side of the pond.
Those on cable or satalite will still get signal.
But all is not lost.
Converters, which will cost between $50-$75 dollars will enable using the analogue TV sets and all channels will be available.
The sets will not have the digital clarity of the new ones, but should have the same picture quality they have on analogue now.
Our government is giving away cupons worth $40 each towards the ourchase of the converters. This means they should cost us between $10-$35 and our old sets can live on.
We do not plan to spend the big bucks the new digdital sets will cost and intend to get the converters.
Back when the UHF channels were added and ye olde TV sets only went from channels 2-13 people got converters to watch the uppper channels.
Those who have radios which can tune in to TV channels will not be able to hear any once the new digital broadcasting becomes standard. Digital is a new kind of transmission which requires a different kind of receiving section to process.
People in deep fringe areas may have problems as digital does not have the range analogue does. With digital it is perfect signal or nothing, unlike analogue where you can get picture with snow.
Eventually, experts say in about ten years time, radio AM and FM transmissions will all be digital and our current radios will need converters for the expensive hi-fi and high end sets.The cheapies will be landfill overflow.
From the standpoint of band width you can put more information (that means more channels) in the same amount of frequency space.
Is it really better?
Yes and no.
When it works the pictures and sound are clearer.
But for those of us who like to DX, which is an old ham radio term for trying to receive long distance radio or TV reception beyond the usual range, forget it. That will be a thing of the past.
Many police and fire aencies here have gone to the new digital system.
While reception is clearer it required the use of many more repeaters at millions of dollars additional cost.
It appears that television stations in areas where there are long distances between major cities, such as is found in many of our western states, may have to put up additional repeaters to enable the same reception areas they now cover on analogue.
Of course, the cable type companies will be glad to hook you up ontheir systems so you don’t miss anything, for a price.

Comment from Nick Freestone

    13.42, 26/01/2008

Why, thank you!

Seriously, I don’t know why Dixons are doing this. Someone on the Digital Spy thread made the very valid point that some areas, such as the South East, are not switched off until 2011 or 12 and that Freeview is not available to them yet, due to the terrain, until the power is ramped up at switchover. Although these Digital TVs may have analogue tuners in, the analogue DVD recorders which Dixons are also to stop selling often do not. So this is a backward step for many.

There is also a huge price difference between analogue and digital TVs, when some already have a 2 tuner PVR and just want a display to plug it into without any tuners at all. An analogue TV would do just as good a job in that situation as a Digital TV.

In my opinion, Dixons should be pledging to keep the customer informed and tell them that the TV that they are going to buy will not work after Digital Switchover without a Freeview box, but not force the choice for them. But that’s too much to ask isn’t it…

Comment from Mort Karman

    17.51, 26/01/2008

Iif you think your Dixons is a bit on the shady side, you have not dealt with our cable and sat companies.
Yes, you can get both the regular analogue and the digital signal reception via the line ior the bird, but what they are not telling us here is once the analague is tuned off in February of 2009 people MUST pay the higher fee for deigital service.
So we have in effect a price raise without going through the red tape they have to normally go through to get one.
The best buy is the converters for most people in most areas.
I still say a high gain antenna with an amp and a rotor is the best solution.
But for the poor apartment dwellers or those who live in homes where the home owner ASSociation nazis restrict antennas and such you are out of luck in many fringe areas.
Try one converter and see how it works in your situation. If it is okay just
get a converter for each set and forget about the mega bucks for a new diigtal TV untill your current one goes to the TV grave yard.
Another problem is when you depend on a cable or satellite company they can stop service on any channel or program while they can not do that when you get your signal off the air. The same problem exists on all the Internet programs.
Many of us seniors look at all this pay as you play stuff and ask how we can.
Over here all of my and my wife’s money go to our drug dealer at the Kroger Pharmacy.
The cost of all these electronic conversions to the TV broadcasters runs into the billions of dollars (or pounds).
This really hurts the small stations.
As an example, when I was with KWGN TV in Denver and they started converting to digital the cost came up to more money for this one station then it cost to put any of the major U.S. TV networks on the air back in the early 1940’s and 50’s.
Of course this has to be paid for, which means even higer advertising rates, which equate to higher prices for consumers when they purchase goods.
It’s sort of like having to buy petrol.
You have no control but you get screwed.

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