Jan 272013

It was not so long ago that we had to exchange our old box televisions for flat-screens.   And then there were the endless upgrades to high definition and screens that could show 3D images.   But it seems it could all have be in vain as the technology is already out of date through the arrival of the 4K picture.

The ultra-high quality definition is four times as sharp as standard quality high definition and is close to that viewed only in an Imax cinema.   However, for those wishing to view the latest picture in their own living room, they must have plenty of room available for the 84inch screen and plenty of spare cash.   Sony has brought out a model that is more than 7ft wide and can play the new technology. Costing £25,000, only Harrods in central London currently sells the television.

The giant screen can convert ordinary television into 3D, and comes with five pairs of glasses for viewing the pin-sharp images.   Even without 3D, the ultra-high definition images are 16 times sharper than those on a normal television.

Experts say the television’s picture is so technologically advanced that few broadcasters can yet take advantage of its full potential.

It may also solve family arguments. The screen is so large that it can be split, allowing viewers to watch two movies at once – and it has voice-activated and motion controls, putting an end to fruitless searches for the remote.

Those preferring something more discreet might wish to wait for the 65-inch version or even the dinky 55-inch, which will be in the shops this summer.

The emergence of 4K comes as the BBC is preparing to film it’s next meerkat natural history programme using the new technology.   The series, being made by the BBC’s Natural History Unit in Bristol, will show how animals go through the same basic life stages as humans.   ‘We are looking at six ages of man as seen through animal lives,’ Mike Gunton, creative director of the NHU, told The Independent.   ‘It’s looking at the trials and tribulations that animals face at different stages of their lives and how different species have different solutions – from birth, to growing up, to adolescence, to finding their first home, to finding their place in the social hierarchy, to getting a mate and finally having offspring of their own.   ‘There’s a new reality which those images give. I think it makes the images more engaging. You feel you can almost touch them and get into the heads of the animals.’


Jan 132013

British Eurosport will be the only place to see extensive live daily coverage of the 2013 Australian Open as the BBC scales back its coverage further.

After limiting their live coverage of the Australian Open to the semi-finals and final in 2012, the BBC have reduced their TV coverage further this year with only the men’s & women’s finals scheduled for live broadcast on BBC Two. The reduction in the BBC’s coverage of the event sparked angry reaction from fans last year.

British Eurosport’s unrivalled coverage will start on Monday 14 January and include over 300 hours across both channels with live action on British Eurosport HD and British Eurosport 2 HD. Tennis fans can also catch up on the day’s play with daily and evening highlights while online viewers can access live streams from up to seven courts and comprehensive video on demand via Eurosport Player.

BBC Two’s live coverage of the men’s and women’s final will be presented by Sue Barker with Andrew Castle and John Lloyd on Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 January.

Australian Open 2013 (14 – 27 January)

British Eurosport coverage

– Daily live coverage (14-27 January) throughout the tournament on British Eurosport HD, British Eurosport 2 HD & Eurosport Player from midnight daily.

– The only place to follow Andy Murray’s progress through the tournament

– Daily Eurosport Tennis Magazine ‘Game, Set & Mats’

– Daily and evening highlights

BBC TV coverage

– Live coverage of women’s and men’s single final only

– Saturday 26 January – Women’s singles final, 8:25am live on BBC Two

– Sunday 27 January- Men’s singles final, 8:15am live on BBC Two

Dec 012012

With all the talk of new satellite signals, and potential loss of UK satellite TV channels in Spain, once again, there is talk that restricting TV signals from one EU country to another is against EU rule / law.

The “rule” often quoted is the “Television Without Frontiers” Directive.

Unfortunately, many people (and installers!) take the title too literally.

And this “Television Without Frontiers” Directive was actually never law – however its updated version “Audio Visual Media Service” Directive is.

The directive provides guidance as to how to standardize the rules regulations and governing of European broadcasters.

For example, how many minutes of adverts are allowed in an hour, rules on product placement and rules on violence on TV during hours when children may be watching.

There is nothing in this EU Directive that states that people should be able to watch all of their own language television channels in any member state. Perhaps they are getting confused with the section that states that EU countries cannot block transmission from other EU countries?

However, there is a rule under the EUs Freedom of Information, which says that all EU members should have the right to access news and information in any EU country in their own language. It could be argued that this particular rule is actually complied by the UK by channels like BBC World News, and Sky News International, which are available for free around the EU, on “small” satellite dishes.

So, despite what you may hear or be told, there is no EU rule or law that states all EU countries TV channels must be available for free, with easy reception, to all other EU countries.