The 2010 World Cup in sub-SD

While the media council is getting resolved, I've got another rant about the media in Bermuda.

In 2010, the age of 3D HD TV, it is a crime against Bermudians that we are going to have to watch the World Cup on ZBM/ZFB, whose picture can only be characterised as sub-Standard Definition.

In case you're interested, Bermuda Broadcasting has exclusive rights to broadcast the World Cup, which means that when all those Bermudians see games listed on Cablevision in digital on ESPN, or perhaps even HD on TSN HD, what they'll actually see is a black out.

We've been through this before, in 2002, when Cablevision had additional games on their channels but were forced to black out their channels and carry Bermuda Broadcasting.

But now it's a bit different. It isn't just a turf war over exclusivity, it's also about product quality.

I could live with exclusivity if ZBM/ZFB was actually watchable. But it's not.

To put it nicely, the picture quality on ZBM/ZFB is cruel and unusual punishment. It's embarrassing in fact that while the Government is boasting that we're the most wired country in the world, our local TV is analog. Yes, analog. The signal that the US mandated be discontinued this year.

So as I said at the beginning, while ESPN in the US will be offering the world cup in 3D HD, here in Bermuda we'll be wondering where the ball is amongst all the snow and ghost images.

Actually it's worse than that. All those Bermudians with great big plasma and LCD flat screen HD TVs will be worse off; because those big TVs expect a digital signal, not analog, which was ended in the US this year and is no longer available. So the artifacts on the screen will be amplified on 50 and 60 inch TVs. iPods have better screen resolution that ZBM.

Good luck folks. Set your expectations for this World Cup coverage low, very low, unless Bermuda Broadcasting agrees to waive their exclusivity that is.

But that's very unlikely to happen without some sort of Ministerial intervention.

Rant. Over.

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