[tig] Freeview opinion sought

Adrian Thomas adrian
Tue Jun 10 09:49:08 BST 2003

On Tuesday, Jun 10, 2003, at 05:05 Europe/London, Rob Lingelbach wrote:

> The Freeview system in England is over-the-air digital,
> could someone comment on its quality and how the system
> works economically speaking?

Quality is... OK. There is always a big gain over PAL when you can get 
component digital reception, but less than ideal bitrates and reception 
conditions can cause objectionable contouring and break up. Audio is 
about the same (PAL I has had a digital system for over a decade). 
Freeview DOES seem excessively prone to pizza bike interference and the 
like, especially compared to Sky's service (heavy rain is about the 
only thing that can upset your dish). One of the bigger improvements 
that both services offer over PAL are their fantastic text/interactive 
services - the BBC's implementation being the best by far.

Sky costs a minimum of ?18.50 pcm with little upfront costs, Freeview 
is subscription free and around ?100 for a standalone decoder. Freeview 
coverage is still limited compared to PAL, but I doubt the situation 
will be allowed to persist with the prospect of auctioning all of that 

Adrian Thomas
adrian at autotv.co.uk
+44 (0) 20 7240 2073

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