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Thread: Broadcast Quality Rant

  1. #1

    Default Broadcast Quality Rant

    I read a thread at another forum in response to someone looking for a camera man in London. He's based in LA and can't afford the round trip to the UK for a five minute interview. Fair enough, I thought.

    This was met by a long rant by an ex-bbc cameraman exhalting the decline in industry standards driven by "fly by night" production companies. I couldn't help but respond to this with this retort:

    Before reading, please bear in mind that this is the opinion of a viewer, not a broadcaster

    Although seemingly balanced in your argument, you're fundamentally biased in your views. Coming from a production environemnt fully funded by the tax payer (and even the commercial terrestrial channels recieve some form of funding in the UK), you appear to play down the power of market economics.

    Public access, at least on the scale of that seen in the States, does not exist in the UK. Morever, programming in the UK is largely dominated by a handful of broadcasters and production companies. Although the advent of digital satetlite and terrestrial tv has expanded choice, I believe this no to be at the detriment of quality. Inded, the diversification of channels benefits the end user by increasing choice. How many times did your significant other complain of "nothing but sport on TV", or perhaps not all of us want to be force fed Eastenders, Coronation Street or Emerdale at 7-8pm?

    So rather than a centralised system where viewing habits are dicated, we're moving towards a more autonmous hierachy where viewer choice is paramount. By specialising in certain subject areas, the quality of programming could concievably increase; specialisation leads to improved skills. Morever, this specialisation enables greater targeting in advertising - and demographics are something advertisers see as key. Reduce advertising revenue per capita? Perhaps, but advertising becomes more effective and may increase returns, inturn attracting more players to the table.

    In addition, this seperation of target audience may well reduce per capita fees for advertising in certain, less desirable areas, but this would also attract a whole new level of advertiser. At present, advertising on network tevelevison is outside of the budget of most small to medium enterprises. The deregulation of the TV industry enables these SMEs to come to the TV advertising table thereby increasing the total money spent on advertising.

    I've strayed from the original post somewhat, but I believe the marginilisation you're feeling is the inevitable consquence of change. In the UK we are at a transitional point, where the end case scenario could well be programming completely in the hands of the individual. Showshifting is a step towards this, and ultimately the power is turning away from the programmers and into the hands of the audience. Audience power has been growing for some time and set to continue.

    Broadcasters must adapt or die. Innovation is key and although you talk of a declining in standards, I would argue the opposite.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Devon, England


    Another forum?!?! :o i didn't think you had completely given up on us.
    Aim for the Moon - If you miss, you may hit a Star

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  3. #3


    I just like to remind myself why I started this forum.

  4. #4

    Default Rant thread

    On the subject of rants and broadcast quality, just read this:

    The final edit is mastered on DVD producing stunning picture and sound quality that actually look better than TV broadcasts.
    Better than TV broadcasts? Erm, not sure that's possible. So, compressed MPEG is actually better than an uncompressed footage. I'll have to remember that particualr gem.

    As with broadcast video cameras, 3-Chip video cameras offer unparalleled accurate colour reproduction and because they record digitally, resolution is high (over 500 lines).
    Over 500 lines eh? That'll be the standard then.

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