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Saturday, 8 October 2011

Waste. It's what we do.

If anyone doesn't know what a BBC live broadcast involves, take a walk down Bedfordbury, the lane at the rear of the London Coliseum, regularly. There's the artic with the van-sized generator to power the tape recorder, two huge BBC 'control' pantechnicons that look as if you wouldn't get much change from a million if you wanted to buy one, then two or three other large trucks, and thick snakes and ropes of cables like fire hoses connecting everything together. Inside they've got the stage and orchestra pit rigged up with mics so sensitive that they can pick up whether the second violin is breathing through his nose or not, and the PR people have found a chair-scraper and a throat-clearer in the audience and they too have been wired with mics, to be faded-up just as the first chord sounds. Every single little nano-hertz of pitch and range, every micro-decibel of distant roof echo is captured. Then they broadcast it on muddy, low-quality digital radio to people in cars whose speakers cost 60p from China. 

So when, in relation to making cuts, the BBC choose to broadcast fewer R3 live concerts (hurting the listener) rather than changing the archaic way in which they operate you know they really haven't got the message. If Sky Classic (say) got the job, they'd service it with a transit van and two blokes, and the audible result would be indistinguishable from the BBC's broadcast output. 


Barnacle Bill said...

Ah good old DAB radio that we got suckered into in this country!
My car DAB radio won't work when it goes across the Channel.
Rip off UK?

Mind you it wouldn't be so bad if the Beeb actually sold some of these concerts they record, but everything we have paid for just disappears into their basement.

Anonymous said...

Change for change's sake.

On the matter of Digitisation and analogue switch-over don't get me started, the country has been done up like a kipper by the broadcasting media - spurred/aided and abetted by devious and unscrupulous manufacturers.

I can look across to the mast on Emley moor and think, gone! all bloody gone! Hundreds of thousands of video recorders, TV sets, aerials all 'up the spout' [- and how 'eco' friendly is that?].

But - Whats new? Our f**twit politicians were the google-eyed numptys who fell for it.

Bliar was a kid in santa's computerised grotto, everything they told nu Liebour was believed - what a killing and what a waste! [+NHS records 'computerisation' too - never let us forget!]

Anyway, here's hoping radio will remain analogue.

F&&& to the BBC.

There's this:

And this:

Over egging it?

It doesn't matter, when the money isn't coming out of your pocket.
More eye watering for me is Sophie Raworth, is not worth £500K/p.a. what do they do? I mean £45K would be too much and think - throw in the perks and £45k for reading the news - 'outside' people would be 'killing' for a job like that.
But honestly £500K? And then, there's Lineker and Hansen - £3.4 million betwixt the pair of, has been footie players whose trumpery and excruciating oral banalities make you weep - it's a ridiculous waste of our money [as is football really] but these t**ts add nothing to what has become a circus - why are they needed at all?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"Then they broadcast it on muddy, low-quality digital radio"

But, but, but, but the BBC wanted digital??

"to people in cars whose speakers cost 60p from China."


English Pensioner said...

Look at the money they waste on TV news broadcasts. A reporter standing outside Scotland Yard if its a crime story, or outside the MoD, Downing Street, a hospital, a railway station or whatever according to the news item. No extra news is gathered by being there, the reporter invariably simply repeats what the newsreader has just said. A few stills from a digital camera would do just as well in the studio.

Ed P said...

Yes DAB sounds poor, but that's due to choice (greed), as there is a trade off between number of channels and channel quality per band slot.
But I appreciate & enjoy the excellent FM sound still available, so think that all the time FM broadcasts continue the BBC sound trucks are justified.

Elby the Beserk said...

400+ to the annual consumer fest at Glasto tells you all you need to know about the BBC. Look - just GET RID OF YOUR TV. You really won't miss it. There is always something better to do than goggling at the idiot box

Anonymous said...

There seems to be an element of socialist, nay communist thinking in your post.
Just because the majority of cars and homes have cheap systems of reproduction doesn't mean that the BBC should reduce the technical excellence of their broadcasts to suit such systems, a kind of dumbing down to the lowest common denominator.

What about people with expensive high end Hi-Fi systems. This would ruin their enjoyment,(as digital already does) of top notch broadcasting (on FM).

Issues of cost are not the sole determinant of quality.

Blue Eyes said...

But R to save money on the equipment and staffing would be to admit that they have been doing it appallingly inefficiently up until now. Years ago some wag pointed out that there were more staff in the BBC's HR department than in the whole of Channel 4.

The news as noted above is no less ridiculous: each event overseas (Greece, say) has several reporters and no doubt huge teams behind the camera for each programme: the main News plus Newsnight plus many others. Can't they just do what CNN does and have a blue screen and a local TV feed?

Greg Tingey said...

The cheap-&-NOT-so-cheerful broadcast would sound as good would it?
Not over my (analogue) HiFi system it wouldn't!
As for "digital" I smell a tory pay-your-friends rip-off.

I STILL don't understand the hatred of the Beeb here.
Perhaps it's because I ONLY listen to R4 & R3, and don't have a TV?

Please explain?

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Not everybody listens to "speakers that cost 60p from China", R.

I don't, for one.

I listen on B&W P5's driven by a decent Quad amp, and I revel in the high quality of the broadcast sound. Apart from the compression (grrr!) of course.

I daresay they could do it cheaper, but please not at the expense of the audio quality.

Sack a few overpaid presenters instead: they could start with that despicable Ross creature.

Anthony Harrison said...

Your commenter [above] who refer to their "expensive high end" hi-fi systems are lucky: upgrading my middling-quality hi-fi would be a waste of time, since quality FM reception (DAB too) is dependent on a good signal. Our signal here, in a not especially obscure part of S.Devon (my village straddles an A-road), is crap – and yes, I have a complex dipole in the roof.... I still pay the same licence fee as everyone else; I don't watch TV; I listen to R4 news & current affairs docs, little bits of R3, ditto R2 (a curiously schizoid channel that has e.g. the excellent Stuart Maconie side by side with stuff like "The Organist Entertains"). So I receive very poor value for money. Six Music is very good – the thinking man's Radio One – but it's accessible only via the Internet. Indeed, given the chronically restricted variety of radio listening in this country, I spend more time listening to Internet Radio than to the broadcast variety. Local BBC radio seems geared toward 90-yr-olds of restricted intelligence; local commercial radio is homogenised middlebrow pap, streaming the blander sort of chart hits for housewives.So it's not just the Beeb I'm pissed off with, it's broadcasting in general.

Greg Tingey said...

A Harrison:
If you don't watch TV, why are you paying the licence fee?
I don't, but then I don't HAVE a TV, at all.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

@A Harrison: I didn't explain things fully. FM reception terrible where I live too, and we don't even try.

The high-quality sound comes over the net, courtesy of the bbc's Radio3 HD audio stream.

Anthony Harrison said...

Greg Tingey: we pay the licence fee because we have a TV capable of receiving BBC broadcasts. So even though it's only used (a) to watch DVDs, and (b) to receive German broadcasts via satellite, we have no choice in order to stay within the law...