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(Slate)   Europeans vs. Americans: Europeans are better looking, more fit, better educated, more cultured, better drivers, better at languages (including English), and don't shoot each other as much. And now it turns out they have better DVRs, too. DAMNIT   (slate.com) divider line 113
    More: Sad, Europeans, DVR, Europe, The End of the Game, Josh Levin, sporting events, Bostonians  
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7734 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Jun 2013 at 7:57 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-22 09:27:17 PM
I'll give you all of that but "more cultured" and "better drivers".

For one thing "cultured" is so subjective as to be useless. And better drivers, well, lol. You mean the like 3 of you with driving licenses and cars.
 
2013-06-22 09:30:23 PM

SirEattonHogg: God Is my Co-Pirate:
Yup. I love that American city planners apparently think that roundabouts will frighten and confuse their citizenry.


Because they do in fact confuse and frighten If you aren't used to them.  There are very few roundabouts on the West Coast.  Thank goodness.

I have been seeing more in the Midwest in particular and its a nasty trend.


Obligatory.
 
2013-06-22 09:31:08 PM
Dream woman:  Swedish looks, French accent, British sense of humor

Nightmare Woman: Swedish cooking, French armpit hair, British teeth
 
2013-06-22 09:33:08 PM

traylor: /oh and Subby, one thing you forgot: my average penis size is also bigger than yours
//and my average female breast size too!


Moob pride?  Indeed.
 
2013-06-22 09:34:11 PM
mimg.ugo.com
 
2013-06-22 09:34:22 PM
Subby, wars have started with less trolling.  Just think about that next time.
 
2013-06-22 09:34:46 PM
At least American's don't use stupid words to describe things: "I'm going to use my mobile to order take-away". WTF is that gibberish supposed to mean?
 
2013-06-22 09:49:57 PM
DanZero:

img.fark.net

OK, that one stings a bit.
 
2013-06-22 09:55:26 PM

Mr. Titanium: Better drivers?  Subby has obviously NEVER taken a taxi from the airport to downtown Paris!


Indeed. Driven through downtown Madrid lately?
 
2013-06-22 09:55:40 PM

Atomic Spunk: Well, European men have uncut penises that look like turtleheads. And because of the inevitable buildup of smegma, they also taste like rotten cheese. At least that's what my mom told me.


Real smurfs smurfing clean their smurf rocket
 
2013-06-22 09:57:37 PM
In NYC you can't throw a rock without hitting a European or some a$$hole Canadian who won't shut the fark up about how awful America is compared to Canada and yet they LIVE HERE anyway. Having been to Europe, you have your share of scumbags too, lots of them.
 
2013-06-22 10:03:38 PM
Yeah, but we're better shots.
 
2013-06-22 10:04:33 PM
DanZero:

img.fark.net

Hehehe. Nice. :D
 
2013-06-22 10:04:53 PM

WhippingBoy: At least American's don't use stupid words to describe things: "I'm going to use my mobile to order take-away". WTF is that gibberish supposed to mean?


I've never heard a single American use that phrase.
 
2013-06-22 10:08:15 PM
Subby, have you ever tried to get a glass of iced tea in Europe?  They can keep their fancy DVRs, but until you can get a glass of iced tea at a restaurant Europe is still in the dark ages.  Of course they do have lucazade so they do have that going for them.

One other thing, for all our faults, we are not terrified of the word "the."
 
2013-06-22 10:24:43 PM

DanZero: [img.fark.net image 400x289]
[img.fark.net image 800x600]

[img.fark.net image 526x372]

[img.fark.net image 500x341]

[img.fark.net image 633x640]

[img.fark.net image 500x339]

[img.fark.net image 277x182]

[img.fark.net image 800x600]
[img.fark.net image 640x480]


Someone's bitter.  Couldn't get a visa?
 
2013-06-22 10:29:06 PM
Better tv too
 
2013-06-22 10:37:49 PM

traylor: Why yes, my DVR is better than yours. I love my European DVR here in Europe. I can skip commercials too! It's awesome.

/oh and Subby, one thing you forgot: my average penis size is also bigger than yours
//and my average female breast size too!


You are quite correct.  There are bigger dicks in Europe.
 
2013-06-22 10:53:44 PM

Mentat: WhippingBoy: At least American's don't use stupid words to describe things: "I'm going to use my mobile to order take-away". WTF is that gibberish supposed to mean?

I've never heard a single American use that phrase.


Exactly.
 
2013-06-22 11:01:09 PM

PillsHere: Better drivers?  Really?  Granted there are lots of crappy drivers here too, but my experience in Europe has been that the drivers are downright scary.


I suppose it depends where in Europe you've been, but in light of my personal experience, I completely disagree. I regularly get to drive cars and ride motorcycles in a few European countries (mostly the UK, France, Switzerland, and Northern Italy), I have no doubt that they are, on average, immensely better drivers than North Americans. As a motorcyclist, I know that the average North American driver has no idea what a blind spot is or that motorcycles even exist. When riding in Europe I get the strange feeling that every car driver around me actually knows I'm there. Weird when you are so used to blind, uncaring drivers.

And when it comes to car control there is simply no comparison.  Most Europeans actually know the dimensions of their car and can place it within centimetres of obstacles a North American driver would likely hit and they manoeuver without trouble in very close confines. If they have to pass a slower vehicle, they know how much room they need, so if there is sufficient room they will pass where a North American will stay behind in fear because he can see another car coming in the distance.

Ask yourself this: why is it that the overwhelming majority of cases involving people who kill themselves and their families because of unintended acceleration (yes, most Euros drive stick, but there are still many automatics), tire thread separation, stuck throttles, etc.. come out of North America ?  My answer is that the typical North American driver is an incompetent who is so incapable of dealing with the unexpected the he or she kills people when the unexpected does occur.
 
2013-06-22 11:10:17 PM

jpo2269: Subby, have you ever tried to get a glass of iced tea in Europe?  They can keep their fancy DVRs, but until you can get a glass of iced tea at a restaurant Europe is still in the dark ages.  Of course they do have lucazade so they do have that going for them.

One other thing, for all our faults, we are not terrified of the word "the."


IMHO, people who travel the world expecting to eat and drink the same things they do at home are invariably disappointed. No, they don't make it like back in your home. You want to be happy ? eat and drink what the locals eat and drink.  That's what they know how to make.  This is true no matter where you are from and where you are travelling to.
 
2013-06-22 11:11:59 PM

dragonchild: PillsHere: Better drivers?  Really?  Granted there are lots of crappy drivers here too, but my experience in Europe has been that the drivers are downright scary.

Better drivers ARE downright scary to crappy drivers.  I cut my teeth as a driver in Japan where the streets are narrow, sight lines are very limited and every second is an accident waiting to happen.  Now I get all kinds of stares of horror from drivers around here because I only need a couple inches of clearance to make it through traffic at speed.  Americans already drive goddamn Canyoneros but they need three feet of clearance because they have no farking clue where the edges of their own vehicle are.  Americans' ability to focus is shiat, their awareness is shiat, their ability to control a vehicle is shiat, their reaction times are shiat and their decision-making is shiat.  It's no wonder you'd find actual driving skills downright scary.

The ironic thing is that Americans have the gall to complain about traffic.  Traffic in America is ten times more painful than it needs to be because everyone drives effin' tanks without the ability to even safely control a go-cart.


Esto.
 
2013-06-22 11:22:39 PM

BunkyBrewman: More Europeans immigrate to America than Americans do to Europe.

/check mate


F U Slate.  F U Europe.
 
2013-06-22 11:23:32 PM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: I often wonder what the US would be like had it remained more.... European...


http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Two_Georges

/on mobile so can't link easily.
//good book
///tivo, cold dead hands, etc.
 
2013-06-22 11:41:39 PM
theyre also more gay and racist
 
2013-06-22 11:43:51 PM
Im not looking forward to being the sterotypical overweight American in France. Tried for 9 months and only succeeded in pulling out my knee and a loss of 12 lbs. Needed to loose more like 30. *sigh*. Not looking forward to this trip at all.
 
2013-06-22 11:44:22 PM
Better drivers?

Subby has clearly never visited Rome or Paris.

Crossing the road was farking scary.
 
2013-06-22 11:47:29 PM
If the networks would properly synch their time it wouldn't be a problem. Except back in vcr days they started shifting just a bit to convince us to watch live vs timeshifting.
 
2013-06-23 12:27:23 AM
img.fark.net
 
2013-06-23 01:05:45 AM
Dumb list.
 
2013-06-23 01:28:41 AM

MeanJean: Better drivers?

Subby has clearly never visited Rome or Paris.

Crossing the road was farking scary.


I wasn't sure they were roads.
 
2013-06-23 02:09:51 AM
"DAMNIT"?? Ow, mes yeux!
 
2013-06-23 02:36:36 AM
Just set your dvr to record before the game, the scheduled time + 2 hour extension, and then set it to record the next hour of shiat after the game. If it goes over 3+ hours you wouldn't ever watch all that shiat anyway and whatever epic ending it has will be played over and over again on other channels.
 
2013-06-23 03:16:57 AM

WhippingBoy: At least American's don't use stupid words to describe things: "I'm going to use my mobile to order take-away". WTF is that gibberish supposed to mean?


Americans also fail to use the enormous amount of information a simple google away to help them understand basic sentences, but will use that same processing power to publicly announce how they are ignorant of the same as though such ignorance is a badge of honour.
 
2013-06-23 03:49:46 AM
honor*


;)
 
2013-06-23 03:53:43 AM

BunkyBrewman: More Europeans immigrate to America than Americans do to Europe.

/check mate


There are more than twice as many Europeans. Bullseye! Your dominoes fall like a house of cards.
 
2013-06-23 03:54:30 AM

Tax Boy: BunkyBrewman: More Europeans immigrate to America than Americans do to Europe.

/check mate

[img.fark.net image 600x800]
[img.fark.net image 500x390]


Thank you for posting that. I saw that plastered all over the train station in Zurich a few years back and it made me realize that Europe is very backwards regarding some very fundamental issues regarding race. Also, I would not say that Europeans are any more educated than Americans. The general standard is higher because the social system is better and there are therefore fewer high school dropouts. If you take the average person with a bachelor's degree from the US, however, and compare them to a person with a bachelor's, say from Belgium, you will probably see that the American had a more intensive and likely well-rounded education.

Regarding secondary education I feel that I must point out the 3-tiered system to show further inadequacies. In the US, education is generally standardized in middle and high schools with a set curriculum that encourages extra elective courses. In Belgium there are 3 options for students that have different curricula: ASO, TSO, and BSO. The ASO is the most demanding of the school options and is pretty much comparable to the education system in the US. The exception here is that students choose a major of sorts (Languages, Science, mathematics, economics etc.). The ASO is the trajectory a student must choose if they wish to go on to study at one of the universities in the country. In TSO there are still courses in math and languages and history etc., but the main focus is learning a skill such as computer or automotive repair that a student will need when working after graduation. A student from TSO can choose to do one more year of school (ASO) if they want to go to University or they can go to the Hogeschool (University college - a second tier higher education option available for certain fields such as the arts, Nursing, etc.). The last tier of the education system is BSO. This school is where students study in order to prepare themselves for jobs working in the service industry in areas like cooking, cleaning, working in hotels etc. Students from this system cannot pursue higher education beyond school.

What generally happens with a student is that they must choose their trajectory at age 12 and then it becomes difficult to change to a different school. While it is quite simple to move down, it is much harder to move up. Therefore most students start in ASO, then move down to TSO or BSO. What I generally see with regards to the TSO and BSO schools is that many of the children of immigrants from either Eastern Europe or the Middle East tend to be students in these schools while the ASO schools are predominantly ethnic Flemish creating a de facto racial divide in the schooling system - at least in the schools located in the larger cities.

While it may sound well and good to have these education options, and it is certainly good that there are ways of curtailing student dropouts I must end this wall-o-text with a simple observation: I have met university graduates here who both did not know what an antihistimine was, and did not know that dinosaurs really existed.
 
2013-06-23 03:56:19 AM
The difference between Europe and the US:

jakewastaken: Just set your dvr to record before the game, the scheduled time + 2 hour extension, and then set it to record the next hour of shiat after the game. If it goes over 3+ hours you wouldn't ever watch all that shiat anyway and whatever epic ending it has will be played over and over again on other channels.


Just set your dvr to record the game.
 
2013-06-23 04:50:56 AM

Hal5423: The last tier of the education system is BSO. This school is where students study in order to prepare themselves for jobs working in the service industry in areas like cooking, cleaning, working in hotels etc. Students from this system cannot pursue higher education beyond school.


Yeah, stupid Flanders.
Although I'm not sure you can generalize about European education based on the Belgium systems, you probably shouldn't misrepresent it when you try.
Vocational Secondary Education (Dutch: Beroepssecundair Onderwijs; BSO; French: Enseignement Secondaire professionnel): Very practical and very job specific education. Afterwards, several directions offer seventh, sometimes eighth, specialisation years. Possible directions include Carpentry, Car mechanics, Jewelry, Masonry... BSO is the only type of secondary education that does not qualify students to pursue higher education. If the student chooses to follow the optional 7th (and sometimes 8th) year, he/she will receive a diploma of the same level as a TSO diploma, which does allow him/her to pursue higher education.
Wikipedia: Education in Belgium
 
2013-06-23 07:10:59 AM
As someone who has lived and worked in both the US and the EU - I have to call b.s. on these claims about Europe.
 
2013-06-23 07:26:23 AM
Most of Europe has to pay a 'TV' tax.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, let me explain....you are forced to pay a significant fee to *own* a TV.  In most cases, it doesn't matter if you watch TV with it - if you have a TV to play PS3 games - you need to pay the tax.  You have to register too, and they send around 'enforcement folk' to knock on your door and say 'Papers please!'

In Ireland the tax is ~$230 per year.

That money is then used to produce 2-3 crappy channels most people don't watch.  What *do* people watch here?  Most of my co-workers talk about US Television.  Most of them pay for cable television (but are still forced to pay the $230 annual tax) and watch US television.  The production quality/acting is very sub-par....but as you might expect - the salaries the actors/producers receive is quite high.  Don't like it?  Too bad - it is a tax, you have to pay it.

And they are pushing to make it so EVERYONE has to pay the tax - not just people with TVs.  Because hey - why shouldn't they get your money?!

With all of that in mind, it is a bit easier to understand why there is a difference of opinions on how to do certain things when it comes to DVRs (which allow people to not watch commercials).  Stations like the BBC don't have commercials because EVERYONE HAS ALREADY PAID A HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY TO FUND IT.  So the BBC is happy to send instructions to your DVR so it stops at the exact right second.
 
2013-06-23 07:28:25 AM

Hal5423: What I generally see with regards to the TSO and BSO schools is that many of the children of immigrants from either Eastern Europe or the Middle East tend to be students in these schools while the ASO schools are predominantly ethnic Flemish creating a de facto racial divide in the schooling system - at least in the schools located in the larger cities.


Then they should study harder? Or should the students who can't keep up pace be allowed to drag down the pace of the entire class so that no one can claim that they are being left out? I, for one, am glad that I was part of a school system which allowed me to get an education at my level instead of having to be bored out of my skull because I had to go at the speed of the VMBO'ers. What we covered during our first year they covered in their final year. And every year when the exams start and the news starts reporting on it you still get a few people complaining that using sine to calculate the length of the hypotenuse or that applying the Pythagorean theorem is incredibly difficult (I know, whatever makes good television.) No one at VWO level would even make it past the first year if that was what they considered difficult. Should I have followed lessons at their speed? Great way to have me lose interest in school. Or should I take extra classes at a higher level? Give up my free time because I'm able to go through the curriculum at a faster pace? And if I get to stop going to the "normal" classes if I do the more difficult classes we'd still have a de facto divide because simply being in the same building doesn't mean that (current) VMBO level students acquire motivation or knowledge by osmosis.

My parents did VMBO so saying that they didn't have their parents to help them explain things isn't the reason immigrants can't get an education at a higher level. My parents would be very hard pressed to help me with anything beyond my first year. It all comes down to appreciation of an education and the effort people are willing to put into it. And now we are back at my first point, why have people who aren't putting in the effort drag down the education of people who are putting in the effort? Out of some misplaced sense of fairness?
 
2013-06-23 08:48:34 AM

Fark_Guy_Rob: Most of Europe has to pay a 'TV' tax.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, let me explain....you are forced to pay a significant fee to *own* a TV.  In most cases, it doesn't matter if you watch TV with it - if you have a TV to play PS3 games - you need to pay the tax.  You have to register too, and they send around 'enforcement folk' to knock on your door and say 'Papers please!'

<snip>

With all of that in mind, it is a bit easier to understand why there is a difference of opinions on how to do certain things when it comes to DVRs (which allow people to not watch commercials).  Stations like the BBC don't have commercials because EVERYONE HAS ALREADY PAID A HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY TO FUND IT.  So the BBC is happy to send instructions to your DVR so it stops at the exact right second.


I don't know what the situation is in Ireland but you can own a TV in the UK without paying the TV license. As long as it's not tuned to pick up TV, it's fine.

And is it a large huge of money? $230 vs $1080 for most Sky packages. That $230 pays for about 7 TV channels, too many radio stations to count, iPlayer, websites... all ad free. With Sky you're paying a monthly fee and still getting adverts. Again, maybe the deal in Ireland isn't so good.
 
2013-06-23 08:54:59 AM

trappedspirit: Subby, wars have started with less trolling.  Just think about that next time.


War is inevitable.  Might as well be for a good cause.
 
2013-06-23 10:05:10 AM

Dansker: The difference between Europe and the US:

jakewastaken: Just set your dvr to record before the game, the scheduled time + 2 hour extension, and then set it to record the next hour of shiat after the game. If it goes over 3+ hours you wouldn't ever watch all that shiat anyway and whatever epic ending it has will be played over and over again on other channels.

Just set your dvr to record the game.


DVRs sold in North America will record the game only for the scheduled amount of time. If the TV schedule has a 3 hour slot reserved for a game, that is all that will be recorded because the DVR will stop recording as soon as the next show is scheduled to begin. Too bad for you if the game goes into OT.

On the plus side, in North America you are not required to pay a special license in order to watch professional sports. The most ridiculous example of what can happen in Europe can be seen in Italy. If you do not pay for the expensive soccer package you will be treated to a talk show that discusses the ongoing games and has reports by envoys in the stands, but you will never, ever be shown any parts of any game until all the games are over and you can see the highlights. You can watch more games on RAI Canada (and I imagine RAI America) than on RAI's home service.
 
2013-06-23 10:12:41 AM
When I lived in Cuernavaca, Morelos I would pick out the European tourists as opposed to the tourists from the United States.  My wife was astounded how I could differentiate nationality just by looking.  After all, most white people look alike.

The secret is that Europeans on vacay look like they spent a week in a deep-fryer.  Their clothes are wrinkled, they stink (if you get close enough), and they just seem really *nervous*.

Oh and they are the only ones who still smoke apart from the Asians.
 
2013-06-23 11:52:52 AM

Fark_Guy_Rob: Most of Europe has to pay a 'TV' tax.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, let me explain....you are forced to pay a significant fee to *own* a TV.  In most cases, it doesn't matter if you watch TV with it - if you have a TV to play PS3 games - you need to pay the tax.  You have to register too, and they send around 'enforcement folk' to knock on your door and say 'Papers please!'

In Ireland the tax is ~$230 per year.

That money is then used to produce 2-3 crappy channels most people don't watch.  What *do* people watch here?  Most of my co-workers talk about US Television.  Most of them pay for cable television (but are still forced to pay the $230 annual tax) and watch US television.  The production quality/acting is very sub-par....but as you might expect - the salaries the actors/producers receive is quite high.  Don't like it?  Too bad - it is a tax, you have to pay it.

And they are pushing to make it so EVERYONE has to pay the tax - not just people with TVs.  Because hey - why shouldn't they get your money?!

With all of that in mind, it is a bit easier to understand why there is a difference of opinions on how to do certain things when it comes to DVRs (which allow people to not watch commercials).  Stations like the BBC don't have commercials because EVERYONE HAS ALREADY PAID A HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY TO FUND IT.  So the BBC is happy to send instructions to your DVR so it stops at the exact right second.


I believe only France requires you to pay for a TV licence for simply owning a TV. Everyone else requires a licence for watching live TV, so if you only play your PS3 or wtch DVDs you don't need a licence.
As for the Papers Please" thing in the UK, and I believe most other countries, they can ask but you do not have to talk to them, show them anything or let them in. So hardly the Gestapo as your 'Papers please' comment implies.
In the UK the BBC is by far the most popular channels. Even in households with Sky packages it is the BBC channels that get the highest viewing figures. And the TV licence is £145 ($220) while the Sky package with Movies and Sport is £600 ($900) a year. And you still get adverts while the BBC is totally ad free,
And it wasn't just the BBC that used PDC to send the signal to your video recorder, the commercial stations did it as well, so again it;s not fair to credit that the TV licence. If commercial channels do it in the UK then why not the US?
And claiming the pay the actors receive is high when comparing the shows to the US is a stretch. They may be high compared to the average wage but actors on a hit US show like House or Friends are paid millions of dollars an episode.
In the BBC, for example, executive pay is a fraction of the pay in commercial media groups. The head of the BBC is paid £600k ($900k) a year while every other TV station pays its CEO far more and ever the editor of the Daily Mail, a fraction of the size and complexity of the BBC, is paid about twice as much as the BBC boss.

There are many fantastic US shows that we get and people do love them. But if I moved to the US the BBC is what I would miss most, and by a huge way.
 
2013-06-23 12:01:57 PM

Flint Ironstag: Fark_Guy_Rob: Most of Europe has to pay a 'TV' tax.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, let me explain....you are forced to pay a significant fee to *own* a TV.  In most cases, it doesn't matter if you watch TV with it - if you have a TV to play PS3 games - you need to pay the tax.  You have to register too, and they send around 'enforcement folk' to knock on your door and say 'Papers please!'

In Ireland the tax is ~$230 per year.

That money is then used to produce 2-3 crappy channels most people don't watch.  What *do* people watch here?  Most of my co-workers talk about US Television.  Most of them pay for cable television (but are still forced to pay the $230 annual tax) and watch US television.  The production quality/acting is very sub-par....but as you might expect - the salaries the actors/producers receive is quite high.  Don't like it?  Too bad - it is a tax, you have to pay it.

And they are pushing to make it so EVERYONE has to pay the tax - not just people with TVs.  Because hey - why shouldn't they get your money?!

With all of that in mind, it is a bit easier to understand why there is a difference of opinions on how to do certain things when it comes to DVRs (which allow people to not watch commercials).  Stations like the BBC don't have commercials because EVERYONE HAS ALREADY PAID A HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY TO FUND IT.  So the BBC is happy to send instructions to your DVR so it stops at the exact right second.

I believe only France requires you to pay for a TV licence for simply owning a TV. Everyone else requires a licence for watching live TV, so if you only play your PS3 or wtch DVDs you don't need a licence.
As for the Papers Please" thing in the UK, and I believe most other countries, they can ask but you do not have to talk to them, show them anything or let them in. So hardly the Gestapo as your 'Papers please' comment implies.
In the UK the BBC is by far the most popular channels. Even in households with Sky packages it is the BBC channel ...


I'm afraid I only have personal experience with Ireland - but here, if the TV has a TV Tuner (and they all do), it doesn't matter if you plug in an antenna or not - you have to pay the tax.  I own a TV but do not have an antenna or cable TV - I use my PS3 as a DVD player/game console/Netflix app and, by the letter of the law, I'm required to pay the tax because my TV 'could' receive the signal.
 
2013-06-23 12:06:13 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: Most of Europe has to pay a 'TV' tax.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, let me explain....you are forced to pay a significant fee to *own* a TV.  In most cases, it doesn't matter if you watch TV with it - if you have a TV to play PS3 games - you need to pay the tax.  You have to register too, and they send around 'enforcement folk' to knock on your door and say 'Papers please!'

In Ireland the tax is ~$230 per year.

That money is then used to produce 2-3 crappy channels most people don't watch.  What *do* people watch here?  Most of my co-workers talk about US Television.  Most of them pay for cable television (but are still forced to pay the $230 annual tax) and watch US television.  The production quality/acting is very sub-par....but as you might expect - the salaries the actors/producers receive is quite high.  Don't like it?  Too bad - it is a tax, you have to pay it.

And they are pushing to make it so EVERYONE has to pay the tax - not just people with TVs.  Because hey - why shouldn't they get your money?!

With all of that in mind, it is a bit easier to understand why there is a difference of opinions on how to do certain things when it comes to DVRs (which allow people to not watch commercials).  Stations like the BBC don't have commercials because EVERYONE HAS ALREADY PAID A HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY TO FUND IT.  So the BBC is happy to send instructions to your DVR so it stops at the exact right second.


Yes, because the BBC is known for producing such crappy programming like Top Gear, Doctor Who, Monty Python's Flying Circus, The Office, Blackadder, Planet Earth, Being Human, Wallace and Gromit, I Claudius, etc.

I'd be happy to pay a TV tax if we'd properly fund PBS to make original programming that high in quality.
 
2013-06-23 12:14:01 PM

Tunney: Fark_Guy_Rob: Most of Europe has to pay a 'TV' tax.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, let me explain....you are forced to pay a significant fee to *own* a TV.  In most cases, it doesn't matter if you watch TV with it - if you have a TV to play PS3 games - you need to pay the tax.  You have to register too, and they send around 'enforcement folk' to knock on your door and say 'Papers please!'

<snip>

With all of that in mind, it is a bit easier to understand why there is a difference of opinions on how to do certain things when it comes to DVRs (which allow people to not watch commercials).  Stations like the BBC don't have commercials because EVERYONE HAS ALREADY PAID A HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY TO FUND IT.  So the BBC is happy to send instructions to your DVR so it stops at the exact right second.

I don't know what the situation is in Ireland but you can own a TV in the UK without paying the TV license. As long as it's not tuned to pick up TV, it's fine.

And is it a large huge of money? $230 vs $1080 for most Sky packages. That $230 pays for about 7 TV channels, too many radio stations to count, iPlayer, websites... all ad free. With Sky you're paying a monthly fee and still getting adverts. Again, maybe the deal in Ireland isn't so good.


On a per customer/household - maybe $230 isn't a 'huge' amount.  But when the entire country is forced to pay for it, it is a 'huge' revenue stream.  I'm comparing it to the services I've paid for though - and it's a *horrible* deal.  Which makes sense, since everyone is forced to pay for it.

An annual NetFlix subscription in the US is $7.99 x 12 == ~$96

For $96 dollars you'd get many, many times the programming than you'd get from TV tax.
In the US - *for free* - you'd get as many channels sent over the air.  And you'd be able to visit just about any station's website and watch current episodes online, for free.

I pay for a DNS service to spoof my location ($3 per month * 12 = $36) and for my $36 I get access to just about every station I've ever heard of in the US - with the exception of the premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime.

So, in my shoes - I'm paying $96 + $36 = $132 per month for about 50x the amount of programming - but I'm also legally required to pay nearly DOUBLE that amount for 1/50th of the programming.  And while quality is certainly subjective when it comes to entertainment, in objective terms like 'production costs' the quality of the 1/50th I'm getting is significantly worse.

Naturally, I wouldn't care what other people enjoy or what to support....except that I'm forced to pay it because I purchased a 'TV' instead of an overhead projector or large LCD screen.  Live and learn.  But my real point here was that the dynamic of how stations like the BBC work is fundamentally different.  I run a very lame and unsuccessful website - but I have ads on the site to generate revenue.  Visitors don't like the ads - but I want to make a few bucks - so I keep them on.  If I could magically pass a law that required everyone to pay me $230 to access my website - I would take down the ads, because my revenue is already guaranteed.  Any discussion about how it's better not to have ads on my fictional website really needs to mention the fact that I could remove them BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS TO PAY THE TAX THAT MAKES IT POSSIBLE.

The DVR concept is the same.
 
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