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BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

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BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby MarkOne » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:37 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-24441979

Take a look at the diagram...

Shame on the BBC - don't these people do fact checking with anyone?
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:54 am

I dropped the link to that in here: downloads thread

But your guess is as good as mine as to what that diagram is supposed to show.
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:56 am

I suspect the Beeb have simply republished Universal's marketing puff. That diagram is invalid and misleading in so many ways... Why not write to mark.savage@bbc.co.uk and explain it to him! I'm sure he'd love it...

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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby The Elf » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:36 am

To be fair, that's the diagram we have all known and loved for decades - and it seemed to make common sense. That's why that stepped diagram has been lovingly preserved and regurgitated and will likely continue to be so.

I was one of the culprits that saw it as undeniable truth! It took a lot of patience and some difficult re-education until the penny dropped for me. I doubt most 'normal' folks have the time and patience to see that kind of learning process through.
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby Scramble » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:57 am

>I suspect the Beeb have simply republished Universal's marketing puff.

The whole article is just a reproduction of PR puff.
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby Thomas. » Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:03 am

The Elf wrote:To be fair, that's the diagram we have all known and loved for decades - and it seemed to make common sense. That's why that stepped diagram has been lovingly preserved and regurgitated and will likely continue to be so.

I was one of the culprits that saw it as undeniable truth! It took a lot of patience and some difficult re-education until the penny dropped for me. I doubt most 'normal' folks have the time and patience to see that kind of learning process through.

I must admit to being in the "un-educated" camp over this (I thought the stepped thing was accurate). Can you point me in the direction of some good material that explains what is really happening?
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby BJG145 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:18 am

The Elf wrote:To be fair, that's the diagram we have all known and loved for decades - I was one of the culprits that saw it as undeniable truth


Hah, yeah...I remember happily explaining it to people years ago. (Can't say I'd be able to explain the reality.)

Thomas. wrote:Can you point me in the direction of some good material that explains what is really happening?


Hugh covers it here...

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb08/a ... laudio.htm
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby molecular » Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:29 am

The Elf wrote:To be fair, that's the diagram we have all known and loved for decades - and it seemed to make common sense. That's why that stepped diagram has been lovingly preserved and regurgitated and will likely continue to be so.

I was one of the culprits that saw it as undeniable truth! It took a lot of patience and some difficult re-education until the penny dropped for me. I doubt most 'normal' folks have the time and patience to see that kind of learning process through.

Not sure which way round you meant this but...

The fact that normal folks don't and won't care to try and understand what is wrong with the diagram is a very strong argument for not using it.

There are lots of occasions when partial truth is very useful for understanding the world (...light is a wave...Miley Cyrus is an idiot...) but for that to be valid, the partial truth needs to actually be useful, and the inaccuracies not problematic on a day to day basis. But that diagram seems to be exactly the opposite - the things that most normal people "learn" from looking at the diagram are the very things that aren't accurate OR useful but are rather misleading and unhelpful. On the other hand, those parts of it which might be thought of as accurate (maybe some kind of visualisation of the way digital audio data is actually stored on disk) is actually of little relevance to what comes out of the speakers as far as joe bloggs is concerned.

People love diagrams, though - somebody at SOS should come up with a new diagram, I think that's the only way out of this.
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby Emmet » Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:53 am

"churnalism" rules OK
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby feline1 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:05 pm

"Stevie Wonder's I Wish opened up, with a rounder, fuller bass and the intricate hi-hat work sounding crisp and bright."

- I recognise that prose style. Clearly this article was written by RUSS ANDREWS!
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:15 pm

Everyone loves round bass. It is clearly the best kind.
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:27 pm

I can only find US companies selling these, but no stock yet. More than half is orchestral. I am interested in hearing if there is any difference in the quality; they have Quincy Jones Bossa Nova album and the Getz/Gilberto album, both of which I have on vinyl, ad the QJ one on CD too.
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby feline1 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:27 pm

if this means they re-released those elusive 5.1 DVD Audios that came out in the early noughties, at reasonable prices, then I'm all for it.
Most of them go for over £100 now, I can't be doing with that, much as I'd like to hear Yes's Fragile or Simple Minds New Gold Dream in surround sound...
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:07 pm

http://www.musicdirect.com/c-805-blu-ray-pure-audio-disc.aspx

This is the catalogue I found. It says 5.1 where available, so your wish list may get fulfilled, if those albums make the new releases.
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby johnny h » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:43 pm

Image
This is what happens when you cut off the funding to the BBC journalism department. Not enough journalists with not enough time to check facts.
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:54 pm

Thomas. wrote: I must admit to being in the "un-educated" camp over this (I thought the stepped thing was accurate). Can you point me in the direction of some good material that explains what is really happening?


http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb08/a ... laudio.htm

The error here is in thinking that all digital audio signals are stepped and that this is what makes them different from analogue signals. it's a very common misconception -- largely because of erroneous diagrams like this and inadequate explanations of what is actually going on. The ONLY practical thing that's different is that digital signals are more strictly constrained in terms of bandwidth and signal-noise ratio than most analogue systems.

The notion of steps comes from incomplete descriptions of parts of the digitising process.

The vertical edges of the steps that are assumed to be an inherent part of the discrete time sampling process don't exist in the real world. They are an artefact of the modulation process (actually they represent the sideband images) and the reconstruction filter in the D-A removes them as an inherent part of reconstructing the analogue output.

The horizontal step levels are assumed to be an inherent part of the quantisation process, but they don't exist either because we always use dither to randomise the quantisation levels in order to linearise the entire system.

Increasing the sample rate and/or wordlength does not improve the 'resolution' of the digital signal, despite the popular myth. Increasing the sample rate simply extends the system's audio bandwidth. Whether that is audible is highly questionable if the equipment has been designed and built properly. There are advantages to using high sample rates for some forms of signal processing, but that's a different story altogether. The sample rate has broadly the function as increasing the tape speed on an analogue tape machine. Increasing the wordlength simply improves the signal-to-noise ratio and is comparable to using wider tape (or fewer tracks across the tape) on an analogue tape machine.

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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby feline1 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:59 pm

Richie Royale wrote:http://www.musicdirect.com/c-805-blu-ray-pure-audio-disc.asp...

This is the catalogue I found. It says 5.1 where available, so your wish list may get fulfilled, if those albums make the new releases.

Yes, they've got Queen's "A Night At the Opera" there for starters
Wouldn't mind hearing their Stevie Wonder and Nick Drake too.
It says "Availability: TBA" though, what does that mean? "To be advised"? "Totally bloody arrrgh"?
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:08 pm

feline1 wrote:
Richie Royale wrote:http://www.musicdirect.com/c-805-blu-ray-pure-audio-disc.asp...

This is the catalogue I found. It says 5.1 where available, so your wish list may get fulfilled, if those albums make the new releases.

Yes, they've got Queen's "A Night At the Opera" there for starters
Wouldn't mind hearing their Stevie Wonder and Nick Drake too.
It says "Availability: TBA" though, what does that mean? "To be advised"? "Totally bloody arrrgh"?

Stevie, yes, I would like to see how it compares to my CD and vinyl copies.

TBA means, out sometime, but who knows when.
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby feline1 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:14 pm

Richie Royale wrote:
feline1 wrote:
Richie Royale wrote:http://www.musicdirect.com/c-805-blu-ray-pure-audio-disc.asp...

This is the catalogue I found. It says 5.1 where available, so your wish list may get fulfilled, if those albums make the new releases.

Yes, they've got Queen's "A Night At the Opera" there for starters
Wouldn't mind hearing their Stevie Wonder and Nick Drake too.
It says "Availability: TBA" though, what does that mean? "To be advised"? "Totally bloody arrrgh"?

Stevie, yes, I would like to see how it compares to my CD and vinyl copies.

TBA means, out sometime, but who knows when.

"MEH", in other words....
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby MarkOne » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:39 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I suspect the Beeb have simply republished Universal's marketing puff. That diagram is invalid and misleading in so many ways... Why not write to mark.savage@bbc.co.uk and explain it to him! I'm sure he'd love it...

H

I tweeted Mark and to be fair to him I got an almost immediate response. I then linked him up with your article Hugh and a rather good youtube explanation of Digital Audio from XIPH.org and he has thanked me, and promised he will take a look/read. So at least next time he's primed with some better facts
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby hollowsun » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:06 pm

johnny h wrote:This is what happens when you cut off the funding to the BBC journalism department. Not enough journalists with not enough time to check facts.
Nothing to do with that - science reporting is and always has been shite ... by the Beeb, the papers, whatever, whoever. You can see it in the "Wine/beer is good for you/bad for you/good for you/bad for you/good for you" headlines ... "A mobile phone will scramble your brains/blow up a petrol station/not a problem at all/not to be used by pregnant women/the end of civilisation", and so on.

Read 'Bad Science' by Ben Goldacre (as just one example) to see how science and technology is so badly misrepresented in the meeeja by idiots just wanting to fill column inches, ideally with a sensational headline.

And just as we throw our arms up in horror here over a crudely drawn diagram of D-A conversion and read PR hype, imagine others in different professions ... doctors reading re-published pharma PR shite and bad facts/stats and horsearse, etc., whatever.
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby Jim » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:16 pm

And in other news, a classical pianist produces an analogue LP. All done on restored classic mixer and tape deck!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvE4391eW1Q
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby johnny h » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:18 pm

hollowsun wrote:
johnny h wrote:This is what happens when you cut off the funding to the BBC journalism department. Not enough journalists with not enough time to check facts.
Nothing to do with that - science reporting is and always has been shite ... by the Beeb, the papers, whatever, whoever. You can see it in the "Wine/beer is good for you/bad for you/good for you/bad for you/good for you" headlines ... "A mobile phone will scramble your brains/blow up a petrol station/not a problem at all/not to be used by pregnant women/the end of civilisation", and so on.

Read 'Bad Science' by Ben Goldacre (as just one example) to see how science and technology is so badly misrepresented in the meeeja by idiots just wanting to fill column inches, ideally with a sensational headline.

And just as we throw our arms up in horror here over a crudely drawn diagram of D-A conversion and read PR hype, imagine others in different professions ... doctors reading re-published pharma PR shite and bad facts/stats and horsearse, etc., whatever.
Read 'Flat Earth News' by Nick Davies. Journalists are expected to churn out triple the amount of articles today than they were expected to in the 70s. That's why they are all so dependent on press releases to fill their newspapers and websites. Murdoch started it by cost cutting at the Times and its just got worse with falling revenues and the financial attack on the BBC.
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby Scramble » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:27 pm

>the financial attack on the BBC.

You mean that wholly mythical financial attack on the BBC, who take more of our money than they ever have done (currently about 3.5 billion pounds a year)?
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby The Elf » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:28 pm

molecular wrote:
The Elf wrote:To be fair, that's the diagram we have all known and loved for decades - and it seemed to make common sense. That's why that stepped diagram has been lovingly preserved and regurgitated and will likely continue to be so.

I was one of the culprits that saw it as undeniable truth! It took a lot of patience and some difficult re-education until the penny dropped for me. I doubt most 'normal' folks have the time and patience to see that kind of learning process through.

Not sure which way round you meant this...

What I'm saying is that when something makes comfortable, 'intuitive' common sense it takes a heck of a lot of re-education to convince people that it isn't true!

It took the infinite patience of some very reputable people and a lot of head-scratching before I finally 'got it' - and I'm one of the few that care enough to make the effort!
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby molecular » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:35 pm

@ the elf,

yeah, I totally get that. Once I've been exposed to a diagram that seems to make sense, the same thing often happens to me.

On the back of this, I would agree that it's wrong to blame the average person for getting the wrong end of the stick and not giving enough of a sh!t to look any further into it.

But nonetheless the concept that that diagram has come to represent seems to be having an insidious effect on some aspects of the industry, and perhaps it would be better if people were just prevented from ever seeing it in the first place. Perhaps it should be kept in a dark cave somewhere, only accessible by the initiated.

I still think that the best way to do this would be to try and come up with another diagram that also makes a kind of intuitive sense, but isn't weirdly misleading, and make it look so goddam great that it becomes the "go to" graphic instead of that one..

Maybe just a bright red sign saying "Don't Panic" would do the trick!
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby johnny h » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:54 am

Scramble wrote:>the financial attack on the BBC.

You mean that wholly mythical financial attack on the BBC, who take more of our money than they ever have done (currently about 3.5 billion pounds a year)?
No, no and no. And this is just the last couple of years.
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby hollowsun » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:01 am

Well, perhaps you should pay more than the 38p a day for the TV licence if you want more researched BBC news coverage. You pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

The fact is that reportage is just sh!te and most, it not all, of it tinged with bias, agenda and ignorance.

"You want the truth - you couldn't handle the truth" - Jack Nicholson 'A Few Good Men' ... now the motto of most news agencies.

So, journalists have to do some proper research. Oh, f'k'n diddums - working for a living . . . how outrageous! Let's blame a rich person!

There are, IMO, far more serious things to sort out and get worked up over at Chez Beeb than some daft diagram of digital audio ... like the outrageous salaries of tosswit (ahem) 'managers' with all their idiot 'initiatives' and 'directives' and outsourcing to save costs (my arse) and their golden handshake redundancy handouts, nice pensions and so on, not some poxy diagram some numpty re-printed on their website.
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby Scramble » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:20 am

johnny h wrote:
Scramble wrote:>the financial attack on the BBC.

You mean that wholly mythical financial attack on the BBC, who take more of our money than they ever have done (currently about 3.5 billion pounds a year)?

No, no and no. And this is just the last couple of years.


The BBC is rather good at creating the impression that it's under 'financial attack'. Hardly. The fact that it is cutting jobs in some areas does not indicate that it is. What that indicates is that the BBC is not getting the *increase* it was expecting. It used to be that the license fee was only increased every few years, but from 1988 the BBC started getting increases every year, and the BBC got used to having a vast amount of money hosed at it every year, which got bigger every year. That all stopped in 2010 when the license fee was frozen. But the BBC still gets a staggering £3.5 billion every year just from the license fee (they also get more from overseas sales, government subsidies of over 75, and a few other areas). That's an enormous amount of subsidy. If they can't hire decent journalists with that sort of money blame management, not the 'evil funding cuts'. There isn't another media organization in the world who gets that level of funding with very few strings attached.
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Re: BBC News item on Blu Ray Pure Audio - more bad science

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:23 am

hollowsun wrote:There are, IMO, far more serious things to sort out and get worked up over at Chez Beeb than some daft diagram of digital audio ... like the outrageous salaries of tosswit (ahem) 'managers' with all their idiot 'initiatives' and 'directives' and outsourcing to save costs (my arse) and their golden handshake redundancy handouts, nice pensions and so on, not some poxy diagram some numpty re-printed on their website.

All true... and the whole of that culture started in the John Birt DG era in the late 90s. His 'Producer choice' initiative cost the BBC shed loads of money and destroyed much of its integrity and organisational strength. He started the culture of bringing in 'Leaders from Industry' who expected private-sector-sized rewards, and yet these people generally knew nothing of what made the BBC special and Essentially destroyed it.

Birt is often credited as saving the BBC from a Government sell-off, but he 'saved it' simply by changing it in precisely the way the government wanted, throwing the baby out with the bath water. He created the process by which the BBC has ben taken to pieces and sold off, emasculating the organisation. And look at how he was rewarded...

As for the diagram... there isn't a sensible alternative diagram because the theoretical audio quality improvements offered by the Blu-ray 24/96 format simply don't exist in any practical sense for a domestic listener. And so they have to resort to obfuscation and misdirection

H
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