So after being brain-washed over and over by the Freeview advert I went out and purchased a satellite dish, three Freeview decoders, a WinTV HVR-3000 and enough coax cable to rival TVNZ themselves. I have had Freeview Satellite in the house for just over a week now and I have to say that the visual improvments as well as programming quality are about as noticable as a black ant in a sea of tar. Even though I try convince my parents every day that it was worth the three or four hundred dollars they spent on buying the equipment by explaining that the signal is Digital! (I leave out the SD part....They wouldn't understand anyway.)
Infact, in so many more ways...I feel analogue is better. At least when I want to watch the Simpson on TV3 at 7PM, I can watch it across the full 42 inches of my 4 thousand dollar plazma television rather than a small box the size of a squashed flea in the centre of the screen.
OK, so the sound and picture quality are both a little better over analogue...But if you are watching anything faster than the six o'clock news, strange artifacts and/or vertical tearing will start appearing! The stuff that is actually recorded or upscalled in/to a 16:9 resolution does look much better on my TV. However, when watching from my trusty VHF aerial, I don't get random glitches that seem to turn my intermitent satellite signal into a blue haze of splotches for a few seconds before returning to normal only to repeat another 5 or six times before it happens again 2 hours later!
When I flew to the gold coast, I had to endure Australian TV. And I have to say it was the worse TV programming that my eyes have come to endure. Its like watching "Home and Away" but imagine it is every single show, dipped in some sort of concentrated formula designed to enduce bordom! To some extent it makes Freeview look like it was sent from the heavens. But when the only decent thing to watch on TV is the parlement channel featuring Bill English with a few other rude long toothed members of parliment arguing about scandles, you know that the TVNZ network is headed for a long decent to the centre of the earth. You never know, maybe they will meet Telecom!
I forgot to mention my favorite channel! TVNZ 6! I like to call it TVNZ666 because its the devils channel! When kids are in the house, it may as well be the only channel avalable! How come they can dedicate channel 6 to kids shows from six till' six, (hence the 666 reference) but they can't upscale the Simpsons to a slightly more watchable resolution? I know this country is skint when it comes to bandwidth or anything digital or to do with internet, but surely they know the Simpsons is equally if not more popular than 3 News!
Not to rant more about the channels, but I thought I had to mention Prime. When I was little we actually managed to get prime in its hazy form though a standard aerial when living in Auckland. I thought it was good simply because of Top-Gear and was looking forward to having Prime again as the only shows advertised on other channels about Prime go about as far as Top Gear. I watched The Late Show with David Leterman for the first time in my life yesterday. I honestly don't know how the Americans find that funny? I tried as hard as I possibly could to giggle at the old coot, but I just couldn't summon the strength to waste on poor humor. I don't think I could get a paid audience to laugh at his crap. Maybe they just repeat the un-canny thought of him making 20 million a year doing the show! I keep thinking Reece Darby is about to walk on stage and say something (anything!) in order to make his jokes funny...But he never comes.
So over-all. I don't feel like Freeview is up to all the hype. I still don't see the point in investing money in broacasting an HD signal to only 75% of the country either! Especially when all along they knew that satellite would reach 100% of New Zealand residents. And since there are no plans for an HD signal for satellite, I guess I will be forever convincing my parents that they put their money to good use. I'm still trying to convince myself that my 160 dollar WinTV card was worth the investment...I guess not.
I appologise if it is in the wrong place. But I couldn't find a spam forum. You never know. I might spark second thoughts amongst those who already have good VHF reception and are considering upgrading.
Anyone else as happy as I am?