Published: Friday 2004-09-24.
Okay, I couldn’t resist, so I ordered a package of channels for my cable tv and was thusly provided with a decoder for digital tv. Unfortunately the digital cable tv suffers from the same problem as satellite and terrestrial digital tv does, the channels are heavily compressed so that they can squeeze more channels into the network.
Indeed you do get less noise in the picture than in the analogue
transmissions, a one-coloured area is really one colour and steady, but
on several of the channels one can clearly see
that is, indications of a heavy compression, so that thing about getting
perfect picture quality
is something one can only dream about, it is just a slogan the marketing
people has raved up.
But there is one advantage to digital tv compared to the classical European PAL transmissions, and that is that it can broadcast in other formats than 4:3. Since I have a wide-screen television it is nice to be able to use all of the screen area without having to zoom into the picture and getting a lower resolution as with the classical analogue transmissions. There are a couple of ideas on how to send 16:9 over normal PAL transmissions as well, but they are all just gross hacks.
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