unpopular decisions v deciding to serve the unpopular

Published Categorized as fta, radio, television

Hats off to RTÉ who see a future for MPEG4 on DTT. RTÉ don’t do visions they receive apparitions. There has been mention of MPEG4 in the tender docs for the 3 commercial mux. It would seem that RTÉ favour MPEG4 and the possibility of HD. This is a good thing and is forward looking. It means that UK hardware (cheap now and mass produced) will not work in the 26 counties. But the suggestion of MPEG4 does not make it a minimum standard and as I read it it is being set as a maximum. If RTÉ applied this logic on MPEG to radio they would run a mile from DAB, but they want DAB so much they’re shutting down MW to help fund DAB. Crazy. I wonder though if the spectrum efficiencies are lesser our greater with HD mpeg4 (not standard definition mpeg4) versus mpeg2 standard definition.

The RTÉ mpeg4 argument also makes a laugh of the RTÉ DRM argument, RTÉ know they need to innovate and lead DTT MPEG 4 to drive down STB prices on new tech. The same logic applies to DRM which RTÉ now stall in favour of analogue half power LW with no MW fallback. [i note that RTE are neither members of or supporters of the Digital Radio Mondiale consortium DRM.org, something they are entitled to not be, but odd when the own a 300KW LW DRM transmitter that they had tested in DRM mode August 2007]

RTÉ do not have limitless resources, but that is no excuse for the differences in transmission planning between TV & radio, between analogue & digital & between old & new. RTÉ have a clear mandate from Gov. (March 2007) for International TV and (added at the last minute) International Radio. We need a viewers & listeners association that has teeth (and will bite), the suits in RTÉ are playing a numbers game as the only thing they seem to care about is share and competition with the commercial TV & radio companies in Ireland.

On reason given for MW shutdown was not many listen to it anymore. Based on this logic RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, Philharmonic Choir, Cór na nÓg and the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet should expect the P45 any day. This line of argument I don’t support. What is needed on the lawn of Montrose is 12 foot letters reminding the organisation that they are a public service broadcaster not commercial. This means both taking unpopular decisions but also deciding to serve the unpopular.