Friday, July 9, 2010

Thank you, Tata, thank you, Murdoch

Tony Greig has a favourite line when a cricket ball needs changing during a One Day International: "We can send a man to the moon, but we can't keep a white ball white".
I'm reminded of it whenever the signal goes of on my TV set, as has happened with great frequency in recent days. Why is it so difficult for satellite transmission to work while it's raining? I'd have thought this basic problem would have been sorted out before Direct to Home telecasts were cleared by regulators.
At first, TataSky tried to evade the issue; they insisted that service was only affected when raindrops of a certain millimetrical width came down, which only happened in 1% of showers or something. Finally they caved in and added the line you see at the bottom of the screen: "In case of heavy rain, please wait till the rain subsides to regain signal". OK, thanks, I guess I'll just watch the replay of the World Cup final then.
Wait till the rain subsides? It's the monsoon, the rain will not subside till bloody September. Besides, as anybody with a TataSky connection knows (I presume subscribers to other DTH services face the same problem, but I'm not sure) the breakdown of service does not follow a predictable pattern. The signal is sometimes lost in a drizzle, while at other times the telecast remains crystal clear through a heavy downpour.
I'd go back to my previous cable connection, but now I'm addicted to the additional information DTH provides, specially the programme listing. It's unthinkable now to switch on the telly and have no way of knowing which film is playing.


Anonymous said...

isn't the competition like guys with their things? the ones with the bigger dish are less affected by water

I hear airtel has the biggest dish

Anonymous said...

Even Cable has program listing & details. Even Cable service providers give you set-top box now. I thought this is pretty common now.

seana graham said...

It's interesting how quickly this kind of stuff becomes 'indispensable', and how much we're willing to put up with to have it.

Girish Shahane said...

How true.

Mukul said...

thanks. i thought it was only happening on at my place due to major renovation work in my building.

reminds me of the early days of doordarshan's 'national telecast', when the transmission would have to be shut off as the satellite went into the earth's shadow, often in the middle of a latenight film - hitchcock's notorious, in one case, leaving viewers in every place except delhi fuming. :)

adrian mckinty said...

I liked that bit in Groundhog Day when Bill Murray points at the satellite dish and says "What? Is it snowing in space?"