If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(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  
•       •       •

7736 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»



113 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-06-23 12:21:29 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: 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.


The great thing about how PBS is setup is that you *can* pay a self-imposed TV tax....and send it to PBS.  You can send as much as you want!

Anyway, the BBC is certainly the flagship of English speaking TV in Europe.  As I'm in Ireland, my TV license fee is forcefully taken from me and given to the likes of RTE.  It's not that RTE is 'bad', it's just, given the choice, quite a few people who are forced to fund it - wouldn't.
 
2013-06-23 12:26:47 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: 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..


Didn't know Ireland did that, I'm only familiar with the UK system. Here you can even watch BBC stuff on iPlayer without needing a licence as long as you only watch on catchup and not streamed live. I suspect they'll have to change that in a few years as more and more people take up watching online. Some EU countries have changed their TV licence laws to require paying if you have broadband or even a smartphone but no TV.

I compare it to the NHS. It's not perfect but because everyone pays it works out far better value for everyone. I pay Sky £600 a year, four times what I pay for the TV licence, and yet watch far less Sky channels. I do love their Sky+ DVR though.

The other advantage a TV licence system has over pure commercial TV is that the BBC can do shows like Top Gear and Watchdog (a consumer affairs show) without having to worry about what their sponsors or advertisers will think. Jeremy Clarkson can call a GM or Ford "utter crap" and Watchdog can criticise Hotpoint or Sony and there is nothing those companies can do.
 
2013-06-23 12:27:09 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: 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 acces ...


Netflix isn't really a fair comparison because up until very recently Netflix did not create any of their own content, and even since they've started the amount they create is minimal compared to the amount that they simply serve up.  It costs a lot more to produce a show from scratch than it does to just pay the rights to stream it or send out DVDs.

The comparison to the big US networks is better, but as you mention, they're ad supported.  Now, maybe that's not a big deal for a lot of people to have to put up with ads, but it also puts the networks in a rough position - every decision they make about programming has to stem from the need for more ad revenue.  That means that they take less risks with programming and have to cater to the lowest common denominator.  We end up with 20 almost carbon copy police procedurals, a bunch of cheap to make reality shows, some singing competitions, and a few sitcoms that don't take many, if any, risks.

Compare that to a network like HBO where their income comes from subscriptions instead of ad revenue, and you can see with the greater freedom they have the much higher quality programming they're able to produce.  The BBC is similarly free from having to suckle the teat of advertisers for nourishment, so they can take some chances and produce much higher quality programming as a result.
 
2013-06-23 12:30:26 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: The great thing about how PBS is setup is that you *can* pay a self-imposed TV tax....and send it to PBS.  You can send as much as you want!

Anyway, the BBC is certainly the flagship of English speaking TV in Europe.  As I'm in Ireland, my TV license fee is forcefully taken from me and given to the likes of RTE.  It's not that RTE is 'bad', it's just, given the choice, quite a few people who are forced to fund it - wouldn't.


Even PBS gets tax money paid by force... PBS and NPR get about a billion dollars a year from various Federal, State and local sources, all paid for by the taxpayer.
 
2013-06-23 12:58:28 PM  

Flint Ironstag: /I love my Sky+ DVR. I even have the Sky app so I can surf the EPG and hit Record on a program and it sends a signal to my DVR telling it to record so it will be waiting for me when I get home. Very useful if I have forgotten to set something up.


I can do that with my Directv DVR, and the DVR is highly programmable.
 
2013-06-23 03:24:13 PM  

jakewastaken: honor*


;)


He spelled the Canadian or British way
 
2013-06-23 05:34:58 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.


Please, for the love of Buddah, take your DWO, "I'm and excellent driver, because all of the accidents happen just behind me" arse out of Seattle.

You are the "yellow menace" we were warned about.
 
2013-06-23 05:38:55 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: Our digital recorders cut off the last minutes of sporting events and our favorite shows.

People still record live TV on their own, rather than torrenting a pristine copy?

Idiots.

/also, all of Europe combined only has 2x US population, so suck it
//seriously, shut yer eel pie hole or we'll come back over there


What? You couldn't even fight off a syphilitic paper hanger. Grow a pair, defend yourselves, and quit hiding behind Lady Liberty's skirts.
 
2013-06-23 07:30:33 PM  

le petit jouer de hockey: jakewastaken: honor*


;)

He spelled the Canadian or British way


That's the joke.
 
2013-06-23 09:42:07 PM  
Capt. Hollister,

I do not disagree with what you are saying and when I travel abroad I am not one of those Americans looking for "a piece of home" or "safe food."  I actually enjoy trying local foods and such and really enjoy trying to get as much local flavor (food and culture as possible).  Unfortunately, I will not drink regular sodas and try to avoid the "diet" versions-hence iced tea.  When in the UK, Lucazade is good, just not something you can drink too much of...

A shopkeeper in Abbeyfeal, IR has provided me with the solution, order hot tea with a glass of ice... problem solved.
 
2013-06-23 09:48:09 PM  

talan123: America.  Our central bank is not run by sociopaths (completely).


Maybe so, but what about your congress? It's like a sociopath's convention.
 
2013-06-23 11:07:50 PM  
European trains run on-time.
 
2013-06-24 03:46:37 AM  

Fupac: European trains run on-time.


Greece laughs at your puny timetable.
 
Displayed 13 of 113 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report