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21-02-2012, 13:20   #31
watty
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Advertisers are trying as ever to close the public's eyes.

Almost anything Retail in a Shop in Ireland is overpriced.
Batteries are x4

The Distribution structure is wrong and also too many Euro countries appoint UK companies as sole distributors and so we get hit by extra currency hedging and often an extra layer of distribution.

Never Mind Irish vs German Aldi / Lidl prices. Look at Tesco prices for the same products imported to Poland and Ireland.

Look at UK Argos vs Irish Argos.

Irish Book prices.

Cars!

Wrangler jeans
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21-02-2012, 18:49   #32
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I was trying to explain to a friend of mine in England that the internet is an essential here because it saves you a fortune. Long live Amazon's free delivery

I won't rush out for a Saorview box. I would never be an early adopter with any new tech. Whenever friends call round they comment favourably on the picture quality of my TV - it's an ancient Sony Trinitron. It's predecessor a Sony Profeel lasted 18 years !

I was going to get a plasma & then LCD appeared. I thought that I would wait for the prices to drop & now 3D has come along
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21-02-2012, 21:30   #33
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In the fullness of time, all TVs will be iDTVs that can receive the full spectrum of standards deployed in Europe, just select your country.
I'm sure it will like in the last 10-15 years most analogue TV's sold in Europe being multistandard with full VHF/UHF coverage.

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In the meantime, those with old TVs just want a temporary solution to solve the immediate problem of the 24th October next. The STB is a short term solution in anybody's language and a cludge.
I wonder how many people howling at STBs being a short term solution and a "cludge" have no problems having a monster Sky HD or UPC set-top-box? Also if you're looking to get a true PVR - with twin tuners and preferably an internal hard drive and not some examples with a single tuner outputting via a USB port - then your options are pretty much limited to using a form of STB.

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Why spend the guts of the price of a small TV on a STB that is at best awkward to use? It is not even as if the STB market is flooded any major manufacturers like Sony or Panasonic. No, most are made by a low-end Turkish producer - Vestel.
In the UK STB's back in 2002/03 started around the £100 mark and took around three years to get below £40 and sub £20 STBs only started appearing around 2008/9. There's also a good reason why most STB's are Vestel clones - in the first couple of years numerous manufacturers like Sony, Pace and Panasonic came out with Freeview STBs but withdrew from that market a few years later except for some specialist devices because their "premium" products simply didn't sell as well as most of the cheaper models, many of these based on Vestel chipsets and software, were much more popular and where STBs are still being bought they continue to be. The only "higher end" manufacturers that are still prominent in the Freeview STB market are Humax and Sagemcom. Don't hold your breath for Sony or Panasonic stand-alone STB in the Irish market with Saorview approval any time. And from my experience, there's little wrong with most Vestel products, in fact their ubiquity in budget end STBs, PVRs and IDTVs actually give a familiarity of on-screen menus to many users and for day-to-day use I've yet to find anyone say that it's awkward to use.

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Within two years, all major suppliers will have full products available in iDtvs that meet most peoples requirement. [Even Panasonic now have certified product] Buying a STB of any kind is a waste of money, and for any CRT TV I would think is a bad investment. At best, it is postponing the inevitable purchase of a fully specced iDTV, maybe only justified by wisely waiting for maturity in the market.
A foolish outlook to make. There are generally three reasons why televisions be replaced, (i) the current television breaks down and is either beyond repair or not economical to do so, (ii) the current television does not have a feature that the main viewer(s) desire and only a complete replacement can achieve this, or (iii) keeping up with the O'Connors. The last one is beyond any control here within a technical discussion. The first one is simply a case of natural wastage and product life cycle, while the second one is attractive to those for whom are seeking to have relatively new features like high definition or internet connectivity. Also it is not just CRT TV's that are affected here - many "HD ready" displays that were sold a few years ago had no integrated digital tuner (my parents Hanspree TV which worked up until last year was one of these) and as often pointed out on this forum, 'product dumping' by UK retailers into Ireland has resulted in a lot of people who have IDTVs but only meeting the UK Freeview spec with no MPEG4 broadcast handling capabilities and therefore useless for Saorview other than to listen to radio. In each of these cases, if the viewer is happy with their CRT display and isn't fussed too much about HD, or those with plasma or LCD displays which doesn't have the correct hardware required, why should they need to buy a completely new TV? The idea that you need to is as much of a con-man trick as those selling "digital aerials" or telling people they have to upgrade their aerials when there is no need. Money's tight for many people right now and a simple STB add-on to a TV display that could still last for many more years to come is something to strongly think about, and a STB is an attractive option on a budget - but at the same time there's penny wise, pound foolish.

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If one agrees with this, why spend more than €25 to get one rather than €80 for a certified one? [Assuming €25 is the price]. I do not think MHEG5 can be worth the difference, but at €50 for the certified product the argument changes. It all depends on the price.
It's not just MHEG5 which itself actually doesn't cost much itself as it is licence free, but also a cut to cover the cost of certification (that's for a different debate), the ability for the receiver to receive OTA software updates via an engineering channel (I don't know if it's running yet on Saorview) and a certification of meeting a minimum set of standards that should be able to cope with future changes in technical parameters within it e.g. TV audio and radio streams moving from MP2 to AAC not to mention retailer costs for staff wages, showroom etc. rather than some guy importing a load, storing them in his shed and selling for a far less profit margin either locally or by post. The price currently for retail Saorview receivers isn't as cheap as possibly hoped due to the small market (New Zealand would be comparable here) it's operating but if more manufacturers are starting to get products approved, hopefully €50 for a single tuner STB should be achievable by the end of the Summer. OTOH, cheap mass-market Chinese produced generic DVB-T receivers designed for (basic) international use has a potential international market and cheap labour to drive down selling costs but unless explicitly mentioned in its specs it may fall when a local technical specification changes (witness ex-Picnic boxes among others not being able to handle RTÉ2 HD) or cannot handle middleware features being used by broadcasters to enhance viewer experience & input, not to mention that at best the firmware can be updated via USB but this itself isn't as convenient as an OTA download.

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Well, that is my opinion for what it is worth.
Everyone's entitled to an opinion, but I'm still bemused.

Last edited by lawhec; 21-02-2012 at 21:35.
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21-02-2012, 21:48   #34
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There is no information on what is planned for MHEG5. It is vapourware.
DO you actually understand what vapourware is? MHEG5 has been around for a decade itself, it's being used on the Saorview platform for an "upgrade" to Aertel over its WST service (wherever it's any better is subjective) as well as channel information for non-24h channels

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We have been promised series link sometime never. Another 'jam tomorrow' product.
Until an actual Saorview certified PVR comes on to the market, there is pretty much no necessity for series link abilities to be available. Current Saorview STBs are not designed for true PVR use even is many of them can record anything that is on that multiplex to a USB drive - once the second multiplex is up and running eventually, whenever that may be, this feature will be badly handicapped.

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The only reason for MHEG5 as far as I can see is for a new revenue stream for the broadcasters, like their websites which direct you to more advertising. MHEG5 is another advertisers opportunity waiting to happen. A further extension of the phone in competitions - 'Pancake day is known as A. Shrove Tuesday, B. Shrove Wednesday, C. Shrove Thursday? Phone this expensive premium rate number to win a supply of pancakes'

I think I can live without that kind of opportunity.
Cynical much? That's nothing that TV shows and Aertel/Threetext themselves currently do, and just for reference none of that happens in the UK because they're not allowed to. So while such a pop-up is technically possible, that is a regulatory issue.
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21-02-2012, 21:56   #35
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I was trying to explain to a friend of mine in England that the internet is an essential here because it saves you a fortune. Long live Amazon's free delivery
And ironically internet costs in the Irish Republic are on a general basis higher than those for many in the UK.
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21-02-2012, 22:35   #36
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DO you actually understand what vapourware is? MHEG5 has been around for a decade itself, it's being used on the Saorview platform for an "upgrade" to Aertel over its WST service (wherever it's any better is subjective) as well as channel information for non-24h channels
Vapourware is all talk, as is these great unknown benefits we are going to get from MHEG5. The engine has been out for a long time, as has the promise of what it can do for us, only nothing concrete as yet. Much promised, much to deliver, but not just yet. You could use that as the slogan for the DTT project overall.

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Until an actual Saorview certified PVR comes on to the market, there is pretty much no necessity for series link abilities to be available. Current Saorview STBs are not designed for true PVR use even is many of them can record anything that is on that multiplex to a USB drive - once the second multiplex is up and running eventually, whenever that may be, this feature will be badly handicapped.
If there is a spec, then it can be delivered. If no manufacturer were to bother to certify a PVR, RTE would simply not bother with it? That is nonsense. There is no reason why it is not being broadcast now (assuming they can get it to work)

Quote:
Cynical much? That's nothing that TV shows and Aertel/Threetext themselves currently do, and just for reference none of that happens in the UK because they're not allowed to. So while such a pop-up is technically possible, that is a regulatory issue.
Why would one not be cynical having watched this circus move from one failure to another disappointment. The long 3 year search for someone mad enough to try PayTV, followed by a Memorandum of Understanding that was so well understood that it was cancelled before the ink was dry. We have seen how well regulation works in this jurisdiction, with TV3 settling for 80% coverage without penalty and then refusing to pay for DTT but being carried anyway. RTE prevented fom advertising on two extra channels, but having to pay for them. August 2008 RTE NL took over the BT trials (or were they tests, I forget) and more than four years to get to analogue switch off, and now, nearly a full year since the official launch, all broadcasters are ignoring the whole DTT project. RTE Sport mention that some matches are in HD in passing. Plugs for RTE Jr radio do not mention DTT, only this last week have RTE Jr TV started broadcasting during the weekend. RTE 1+1 shows blank screens for some home produced programmes like Fair City and Ear to the Ground. What a complete farce this has turned out to be.

Of course I am cynical. Nay, I am cynism itself.
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22-02-2012, 10:31   #37
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Until an actual Saorview certified PVR comes on to the market, there is pretty much no necessity for series link abilities to be available.
Surely now is the time to be offering a PVR or do they want us to all buy STB's & then have to fork out again for a PVR.
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22-02-2012, 11:04   #38
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Surely now is the time to be offering a PVR or do they want us to all buy STB's & then have to fork out again for a PVR.
I think you have the THEY wrong. There is no THEY because that would imply that someone is in charge and that some planning has been done. RTE NL have qietly gone about their business and had their bit done by 26th May last year and they should be congratulated on that.

If this whole project had been planned, all these iDTVs, STBs and PVRs would have been in the shops at the launch of DTT, last May. However, THEY (the broadcasters, the BAI, COMREG, and the dept) are working to a launch date of the 24th October 2012, which is not the launch of DTT but the shutdown of the analogue service.

There is no excuse for SeriesLink not to be broadcast at the moment. Can you imagine if the DAA said it was not turning on the radar because there were no aircraft due, and would only turn it on when an aircraft took off?
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22-02-2012, 11:15   #39
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This make me even more likely to buy the cheapest possible decoder on the basis that I will replace it in a year or two when better equipment is available or prices drop.

I even wonder if RTE might experience a drop in viewers as people who already have Freesat & an aerial, decide to do without RTE especially given all the demands on income.

Last edited by Discodog; 22-02-2012 at 11:18.
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22-02-2012, 11:27   #40
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Russell
In the fullness of time, all TVs will be iDTVs that can receive the full spectrum of standards deployed in Europe, just select your country.

I'm sure it will like in the last 10-15 years most analogue TV's sold in Europe being multistandard with full VHF/UHF coverage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Russell
In the meantime, those with old TVs just want a temporary solution to solve the immediate problem of the 24th October next. The STB is a short term solution in anybody's language and a cludge.

I wonder how many people howling at STBs being a short term solution and a "cludge" have no problems having a monster Sky HD or UPC set-top-box? Also if you're looking to get a true PVR - with twin tuners and preferably an internal hard drive and not some examples with a single tuner outputting via a USB port - then your options are pretty much limited to using a form of STB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Russell
Why spend the guts of the price of a small TV on a STB that is at best awkward to use? It is not even as if the STB market is flooded any major manufacturers like Sony or Panasonic. No, most are made by a low-end Turkish producer - Vestel.

In the UK STB's back in 2002/03 started around the £100 mark and took around three years to get below £40 and sub £20 STBs only started appearing around 2008/9. There's also a good reason why most STB's are Vestel clones - in the first couple of years numerous manufacturers like Sony, Pace and Panasonic came out with Freeview STBs but withdrew from that market a few years later except for some specialist devices because their "premium" products simply didn't sell as well as most of the cheaper models, many of these based on Vestel chipsets and software, were much more popular and where STBs are still being bought they continue to be. The only "higher end" manufacturers that are still prominent in the Freeview STB market are Humax and Sagemcom. Don't hold your breath for Sony or Panasonic stand-alone STB in the Irish market with Saorview approval any time. And from my experience, there's little wrong with most Vestel products, in fact their ubiquity in budget end STBs, PVRs and IDTVs actually give a familiarity of on-screen menus to many users and for day-to-day use I've yet to find anyone say that it's awkward to use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Russell
Within two years, all major suppliers will have full products available in iDtvs that meet most peoples requirement. [Even Panasonic now have certified product] Buying a STB of any kind is a waste of money, and for any CRT TV I would think is a bad investment. At best, it is postponing the inevitable purchase of a fully specced iDTV, maybe only justified by wisely waiting for maturity in the market.

A foolish outlook to make. There are generally three reasons why televisions be replaced, (i) the current television breaks down and is either beyond repair or not economical to do so, (ii) the current television does not have a feature that the main viewer(s) desire and only a complete replacement can achieve this, or (iii) keeping up with the O'Connors. The last one is beyond any control here within a technical discussion. The first one is simply a case of natural wastage and product life cycle, while the second one is attractive to those for whom are seeking to have relatively new features like high definition or internet connectivity. Also it is not just CRT TV's that are affected here - many "HD ready" displays that were sold a few years ago had no integrated digital tuner (my parents Hanspree TV which worked up until last year was one of these) and as often pointed out on this forum, 'product dumping' by UK retailers into Ireland has resulted in a lot of people who have IDTVs but only meeting the UK Freeview spec with no MPEG4 broadcast handling capabilities and therefore useless for Saorview other than to listen to radio. In each of these cases, if the viewer is happy with their CRT display and isn't fussed too much about HD, or those with plasma or LCD displays which doesn't have the correct hardware required, why should they need to buy a completely new TV? The idea that you need to is as much of a con-man trick as those selling "digital aerials" or telling people they have to upgrade their aerials when there is no need. Money's tight for many people right now and a simple STB add-on to a TV display that could still last for many more years to come is something to strongly think about, and a STB is an attractive option on a budget - but at the same time there's penny wise, pound foolish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Russell
If one agrees with this, why spend more than €25 to get one rather than €80 for a certified one? [Assuming €25 is the price]. I do not think MHEG5 can be worth the difference, but at €50 for the certified product the argument changes. It all depends on the price.

It's not just MHEG5 which itself actually doesn't cost much itself as it is licence free, but also a cut to cover the cost of certification (that's for a different debate), the ability for the receiver to receive OTA software updates via an engineering channel (I don't know if it's running yet on Saorview) and a certification of meeting a minimum set of standards that should be able to cope with future changes in technical parameters within it e.g. TV audio and radio streams moving from MP2 to AAC not to mention retailer costs for staff wages, showroom etc. rather than some guy importing a load, storing them in his shed and selling for a far less profit margin either locally or by post. The price currently for retail Saorview receivers isn't as cheap as possibly hoped due to the small market (New Zealand would be comparable here) it's operating but if more manufacturers are starting to get products approved, hopefully €50 for a single tuner STB should be achievable by the end of the Summer. OTOH, cheap mass-market Chinese produced generic DVB-T receivers designed for (basic) international use has a potential international market and cheap labour to drive down selling costs but unless explicitly mentioned in its specs it may fall when a local technical specification changes (witness ex-Picnic boxes among others not being able to handle RTÉ2 HD) or cannot handle middleware features being used by broadcasters to enhance viewer experience & input, not to mention that at best the firmware can be updated via USB but this itself isn't as convenient as an OTA download.

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Originally Posted by Sam Russell
Well, that is my opinion for what it is worth.

Everyone's entitled to an opinion, but I'm still bemused.
This is too long to answer in detail. I will just ccover the points I underlined.

SKY and UPC are PayTV operators and require STBs to protect their services. They are subscription services and have caused people to invest in weird and wonderful cludges to distribute one subscription around a house. This thinking has caused some to try to do the same for one Saorview STB, rather than get one per TV. STBs are a temporary (but necessary) fix for a problem of missing hardware in existing TVs. It is cheaper than buying a new TV, but should be seen as a temporary cludge, not a prefered option. Cars had to cope with lead-free petrol, and additaves were brought out to 'fix' the problem, but all current models work on low-octane, lead-free petrol.

I think spending €80 to upgrade a ten year old 28 inch CRT 4:3 TV worth maybe €50 to get Saorview is a mistake. To do the same for a 5 year old 40 inch LED TV with a MPEG2 decoder is a different matter entirely.

Because the normal reaction (in this country) is to wait till the last minute before taking action, it would have been better if the ASO date had been set for Oct 2011. The ensuing panic would have been over by now.
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22-02-2012, 12:04   #41
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The last minute is December 2012.
UK doesn't like to do ASO stuff Nov, dec, Jan.
We are doing it same time as N.I. so for Border areas there is only a single retune. (Mt. Leinster has a retune too to fix the Welsh issue).
So October 24th 2012 is about 6 days before the last minute.

They only really announced it (ASO) officially 1 year in advance (Oct 2011).

So they have done what you suggested.

They may even announce the Satellite service next week, and only admitted in the last month that it really is on 9E and will really happen (of course we knew that was really the case since July 2010).

A ten year old CRT TV could last 20 years more. A 10 year old LCD or Plasma less likely to be very good after another 5 years (Plasma about 5,000 hrs. LCD dye stripes fade in sunlight and from backlight and backlight fades and changes colour).

Last edited by watty; 22-02-2012 at 12:06.
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22-02-2012, 12:25   #42
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A ten year old CRT TV could last 20 years more. A 10 year old LCD or Plasma less likely to be very good after another 5 years (Plasma about 5,000 hrs. LCD dye stripes fade in sunlight and from backlight and backlight fades and changes colour).
I enjoy watching tv & I value a good picture quality. I have seen so many LCD's that are dreadful. In fairness it is difficult to know how much is due to poor setup & a TV has to be the hardest thing to buy - you can only really go by revues as the shop setups are so false. Many many year ago I wanted to buy a good TV so I went to an AV specialist. He recommended a Sony Profeel which was a modular tv so it had a monitor & separate tuner with an incredible amount of connectivity. As the years passed successions of visitors to my home were amazed at why this old box produced a better picture than their own new tv .
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22-02-2012, 12:53   #43
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The last minute is December 2012.
UK doesn't like to do ASO stuff Nov, dec, Jan.
We are doing it same time as N.I. so for Border areas there is only a single retune. (Mt. Leinster has a retune too to fix the Welsh issue).
So October 24th 2012 is about 6 days before the last minute.

They only really announced it (ASO) officially 1 year in advance (Oct 2011).

So they have done what you suggested.

They may even announce the Satellite service next week, and only admitted in the last month that it really is on 9E and will really happen (of course we knew that was really the case since July 2010).

A ten year old CRT TV could last 20 years more. A 10 year old LCD or Plasma less likely to be very good after another 5 years (Plasma about 5,000 hrs. LCD dye stripes fade in sunlight and from backlight and backlight fades and changes colour).
You are missing my point. I was talking about viewers, not the broadcasters/implementers. But you do prove my point that, as a nation, we like to wait till the last moment. If the switchover had been set as October 31st 2011 (in plenty of time) then the rush would have started on October the 25th, and would be all done and dusted by Jan 2nd 2012.
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