ABC Update

London across the Thames from Greenwich  (C) PJ Croft 2008
I’ve had a reply from Media Watch expressing interest in my complaint and asking for any new information. Therefore, excerpts from my follow up email:
“I’ve been through [the recordings] today working out what to do and found that the delayed feed on ABC1 didn’t cut out at the “hornpipe point” and does show the Tower Bridge fireworks and the end of the broadcast. But I was watching the ABC24 LIVE feed at 1am and that definitely did stop before the end.”
“Summing up:
* WA viewers got a live feed in hi-def on ABC24, but with the ticker tape permanently on (as for all viewers, of course)
* ABC News24 viewers were cut off before the end, ie before the fireworks and BBC closing
* WA viewers got a complete feed, but two hours delayed and in SD, whereas Sydney viewers got a live feed on ABC1, albeit in SD
* above all, who decided the banal, repetitive news ticker should stay on the live HD feed of this once in a generation, once in a lifetime, once in 350 years, unrepeatable, never to be seen again event?”
I await further developments.

Value for money

Venetian masks 2008
 I said I’m pleased with my new Panasonic DVR but I’m just discovering how good it is.
I put on a music CD this morning for the first time. It recognised it and played it but also put a track list up on the screen with the titles and times of all the tracks! I’ve never seen this before. It’s obvious now: all this information is encoded in the TOC (table of contents) in the inner track of a CD, but you can’t usually see it on a CD player.
Then after a minute or two, it switched the TV screen to a screen-saver display of quite good built-in photos of mountains, trees, flowers and so on. Nice! I’m sure I’ll become blase about it soon enough, but I’m impressed at the moment.
But wait, there’s more: I’ve had a DVD for a while with 24 old Sgt Bilko episodes in black and white that someone gave me (thanks Colin). They’re in .avi format, downloaded from the web. I’ve played one or two on the computer, but it wasn’t the ideal way to watch.
I just put it into the Panasonic to see what would happen. Bingo! It recognises them as playable by the DiVX decoder and lists them on screen complete with titles. Select one, press play and Ernie’s your sergeant.

Lese majeste

(C) PJ Croft 2008

I’ve just sent the following to Media Watch:

I couldn’t believe it. Last night’s Thames Jubilee Pageant was a once in a generation, once in a lifetime, once in 350 year never to be repeated event, but the ABC cut us off early!

I have it recorded so I’m not making this up.

I knew the event was scheduled to run from 2.00pm to 6.00pm UK time (GMT of course). No need to take my word for it, see  That’s 10.00pm to 02:00am WST (GMT+8hrs) and 12:00midnight to 04:00am EST (GMT+10hrs)

In fact the broadcast started at 8.30pm WST on ABC24, two hours before the official parade start, so that was good.

But at 01:00am WST (5:00pm GMT), our ABC cut us off and ended the broadcast, at least one hour before the end of the pageant!! We never got to see the fireworks from the Tower Bridge – I didn’t know about those until I saw the French news on SBS this morning.

As well, at the very moment “our ABC” ended the coverage, we were seeing a historic image – the RPO were playing The Sailors’ Hornpipe and the royal family were doing a little jig on the barge! I doubt this has ever been seen before, but we were cut off. I’m absolutely disgusted. It’s too late now – it can’t be fixed, it can’t be undone, it can’t be repeated. Historic vision, and “our ABC” cut us off.

The other atrocity is that the ABC News 24 news ticker was left on the bottom of the screen for the entire broadcast! While we were trying to see this amazing royal spectacle, the news ticker was telling us “Broncos defeat Sea Eagles in NRL thriller”, “Body parts found in bush grave”, “New domestic violence laws target emotional abuse” and other endlessly repeated bullshit, ad nauseum!

I tried to adjust my TV display size to force it off the bottom of the screen with some success but not enough. I tried to train my eyes to ignore it, with the same result. I ended up having to use a strip of gaffer tape across the bottom of the screen to block it off. I switched to the 2 hour delayed feed on ABC1 to get away from it, but that was in considerably degraded Standard Def and since it was 2hrs delayed, a waste of space.

SO I AM ANGRY. I have this recorded so I think I’m going to do some screen grabs and send them to the BBC to say, “Look how the ABC graffitied your pictures. Look how the Australian ABC made a travesty of this unrepeatable event by ending it early.”  Copy to Buckingham Palace. “Look Queenie – the ABC buggered you up.”

I can only hope some other organisation will release this in its unvandalised form on BluRay. Can’t rely on “our ABC”.

Yours in sadness and disillusionment