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The Glass Box for Wednesday

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Eddie Mair | 16:40 UK time, Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Welcome to the Glass Box for Wednesday - the place where you can comment on what you heard on PM, interact with other listeners and get responses from the people who make the programme. This is proving to be a useful tool for us, and we hope, for you.

Just click on the "comment" link. If you've never commented on the Blog before - don't worry. There's a simple registration process you only have to go through once.

Don't worry either if you didn't catch the whole programme, or were busy doing other things and not giving us your full attention. If there was something that "caught your ear" we want to hear about it.

The Glass Box is named after the booth outside the PM studio where we all discuss the programme at 18.00 every weeknight. We try to be honest and constructive. Sometimes there is criticism, and the criticised get a chance to explain themselves.

And so it should be here. The people who make PM will read the comments posted, and will sometimes respond. Unless it's Roger Sawyer editing. He's completely hopeless.

Please feel free to post your thoughts. There is a link to previous Glass Boxes on the right.

Also on the right, you'll find lots of other links you might like. The Furrowed Brow for example is the venue where you can start talking about anything serious: The Beach is a fun place, and there are links to Blog entries with photos, audio and links.


  1. At 04:47 PM on 02 May 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    That's Efficient!

    AND I'm maliciously premature, it seems - Plus ca change!

  2. At 04:58 PM on 02 May 2007, Rob Darritch, Notts wrote:

    Hello, let's get going. X

  3. At 05:02 PM on 02 May 2007, Gossipmistress wrote:

    Did I hear you say Malcolm Dumper???

  4. At 05:04 PM on 02 May 2007, Sara wrote:

    In the name of creation ......

    Aahhh - that'll be the big bang!

  5. At 05:10 PM on 02 May 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    I can’t hear the programme at the moment. You could sort that out for me by sending a taxi to get me home quickly...

  6. At 05:11 PM on 02 May 2007, Rob Darritch, Notts wrote:

    Scottish Tory? Explain please....

  7. At 05:20 PM on 02 May 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    There actually are some, and a few of them good ones, Rob (5). All colours welcome, thanks to PR/FPTP.

  8. At 05:30 PM on 02 May 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Anything which "hammers the Travel Industry" has gotta be the best thing since sliced bread. Note capitalisation as another modern diety is unmasked.

    "Take your place upon Olympus. Welcome, Travel Industry! You can sit between Globalism and The Economy. Mankind will bring us some drinks, there's a good fellow, Toady, and can you ask Shrub to prepare a few nibbles...."

    Global hypermobility'll be the death of us all and even before that it'll totally destroy global cultural diversity.

  9. At 05:32 PM on 02 May 2007, Just call me 'Dave' wrote:

    I've told those people up there before. They have their own Nationalist Party.

  10. At 05:36 PM on 02 May 2007, Rob Darritch, Notts wrote:

    Can we have that here, too?

  11. At 05:45 PM on 02 May 2007, Claire MacLean wrote:

    So the US want to profile by behaviour in airports- sweating, going to the toilet a lot, looking uncomfortable? That's an awful lot of pregnant women and diabetics going to get some unexpected questioning come summer...

  12. At 05:46 PM on 02 May 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    A US Embassy in Scotland? Should we recognise them? I think we should discuss any such development thoroughly and not get railroaded into things which might draw us into disastrous wars and such... ;-)


  13. At 05:50 PM on 02 May 2007, Just call me 'Dave' wrote:

    Rob Griffiths is already a councilor? He only got 176 votes in Pontypridd. But multiply that nationwide....
    Can we have PR/FPTP, please?

  14. At 05:54 PM on 02 May 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:


    Are you going to list *all* burglaries that have taken place the night before the programme?

    Or are you going tabloid in thinking that anything that happens to *footballers* must be interesting?

    Please please (repeat as necessary) keep PM a sport-free zone!

    (By the way, I thought that was world-class pip-crashing, but it was only Martha's afternoon pips. Naughty.)

  15. At 05:58 PM on 02 May 2007, Angus wrote:

    Not many of us to sort the world out. You should try an ad in the Morning Star. See you tomorrow, Edwina

  16. At 06:00 PM on 02 May 2007, Perky wrote:

    Nice piece on the Big Bang exhibition, I thought. It sounded like a good joint project between art and engineering - something that can only be applauded!

  17. At 06:06 PM on 02 May 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Yes it was Dumper (GM)

    Nice prog - thanks for keeping us updated on the ASBO welsh lady.

    Liked the mix and use of audio - and balance Amanda.

    How lovely to finish off with the Number 1 lady from Radio 4 - and the trail for WATO was good - if not bordering on 'Cheesy'

    We all love Martha - It'd be nice to have her in the Flickr gallery - especially as she is discussed so much.

  18. At 06:18 PM on 02 May 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Clare MacLean (11), exactly!!, not to mention nervous travellers with kidney infections :) But weren't they both awfully polite "thank you for having us" - I like politeness...

  19. At 07:07 PM on 02 May 2007, Dr. Rizwan Khan wrote:

    On my return from work, I couldnt wait to put in my comments about the news item on PM this afternoon.
    This is probably the most extreme form of racism to differentiate between British citizens on the basis of religion, colour, culture and country of their origin.
    I fail to understand what are Pakistanis being punished for! There was not even a single Pakistani involved in 9/11. The London attacks were conducted by home grown terrorists. Visiting Pakistan wouldnt have made any difference once the motivation was there! Most if not all G. Bay detainees of Pakistani origin are back home, not charged for anything.Pakistan has caught and handed over hundreds of foriegn terrorists to the US. Pak Army has 80000 of its troops on the western border to curb Afghan taliban activity and in doing so has lost over 500 of its soldiers. Highest no. of refugees in this world are in pakistan for last several years. A few hundred refugees in the West causes it to burst at seams. The number of terrorist attacks that happen in Pakistan are beyond counting. The biggest victim of terror is Pakistan itself. In this situation rather than helping and supporting Pakistan in its anti terrorism compaign the West and its media has run a continous negative compaign against the country. As regards British Pakistanis, just look at NHS hospitals alone and it will be crystal clear what a service doctors of Pakistani origin are providing. All these stupid ideas only create disappointment, anger and resentment in moderate muslims like me. It is high time that the US puts its own house in order rather than blamming others.

  20. At 07:34 PM on 02 May 2007, James Wightman wrote:


    My son, who is only 4 years old, was describing his friends to me.

    "There's x and y and z," he said, "And a and b and c. And Mahmood."

    He continued, "Mahmood is different. He has different skin."

    "Is different ok?" I asked.

    "Yes. I like Mahmood he's my friend. He drew me a picture." he replied.

    As a white caucasian (well, half Scottish, does that count?) over 30 I've thankfully seen differences in race, colour, sexuality, religion etc become non-issues in the most part over the years.

    As a sterotypical geek I've had my fair share of discrimination -- not least for 'being gay' because I spent my time programming computers instead of playing childhood games whilst growing up -- but I can only imagine how horrible and demoralizing it must be to be marginalised for being immediately and obviously 'different'.

    Do we want society to return to a time when, although differences are recognised, they are also vilified?

    These are sad and dangerous times.

  21. At 07:44 PM on 02 May 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    A very interesting and varied programme. Loved the comparison between the football crowd and the big bang!

    The football theft item was very well constructed - Congratulations on that! - and the interview with the American guy about the visa waivers was also good. It managed to be good tempered, yet penetrating. I think he appreciated Eddie's style, and Ed responded to the politeness and apparent openness of the US rep.

    Lots of things to take the interest. And, yes, perhaps there should be a US embassy in Scotland ;o)

  22. At 07:45 PM on 02 May 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Eddie, you will call me demented here, but I distinctly heard you trail a piece just before 5.30 about a link between the RCMP and the International Crime Court...or something. I never heard this segment which makes me wonder whether I a) missed the segment b) hallucinated the preview c) fell asleep and dreamt about Mounties. Help me, someone! (unless it was a dream, in which case, please do not wake me up).

  23. At 08:09 PM on 02 May 2007, James Wightman wrote:

    To #21

    The connection was that the interview with an ICC prosecutor contained the (para)phrase 'are you like the Mounties, you always get your man?'.

    Though option b) could also be true!

  24. At 09:53 PM on 02 May 2007, anth wrote:

    Re: crashing the bongs and pips.

    The clock in St Stephen's Tower, Palace of Westminster, is somewhat notorious for not keeping time when compared to atomic clocks (and/or the "pips"); it is, after all, governed by a pendulum, so atmospheric pressure (and, depending on the material of the pendulum) temperature will affect its timekeeping day by day.

    However, the three-quarter-hour chimes should surely be a good guide as to how slow/fast the clock is, so that the time that the full hour chime starts can be predicted and let EM know. OK, I am assuming that 19th C clocks are reliable enough to be able to predict the hour chimes from the three-quarter-hour chimes.

    The first chime of Big Ben is only rarely precisely on the hour, and usually "arranged", by speeding up/slowing down the clock, for important moments, such as midnight on New Year's eve.

    As to crashing the pips, I've heard this happen twice in a day and once a day is not unusual; it seems due to trying to cram in a trailer...

  25. At 10:18 PM on 02 May 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    About the piece on the poor panicking poll people:

    Has anyone suggested that instead of spending a lot of money on computerising the voting system we might simply go on doing what has worked surprisingly well for a long time, been extremely difficult to falsify, and is so much faster than the American system that we measure the time between closing the polls and giving a result in hours rather than months?

    Why can't we go on having people counting crosses on bits of paper, with other people looking over their shoulder to make sure they don't count several thousand as being for the wrong candidate?

    It's the one bit of the system that does work, so why in any name anyone wants to mention are they insisting on fixing it?

    After the whole sordid business is over, perhaps PM could mention the possibility that the old way wasn't too bad, in the inevitable piece you'll have to run about messed up postal voting, cracked-into computers, and you-name-it that someone has tried to fix the results.

  26. At 10:33 PM on 02 May 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Well I am amazed how + or - 2 or 3 secs can be such a talking topic.

    I take on board Eddie's point (from Tuesdays GlassBox) about the build up to the bongs - and the other Froggers who like a moments reflection on life.

    Carl picked up on how BBC Solent used to play the Pips in off tape.

    Well Carl - LBC had one of Big Ben - normally reserved as a safeguard for New Year -- and if you'd like to see me demonstrating it - click on this link - then Part Two and it's about 4 mins in.


    I should warn you that all this was filmed by a listener in 1987 - and times have changed! - bit like me :-(

  27. At 11:12 PM on 02 May 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Wa Assalamu Dr Rizwan Khan,

    Well said, Sir! The only solution to such American arrogance is to terminate the visa waiver for all on both sides.

    My understanding is that the 'western border' area is the area filled with CIA/ISI funded madrassas intended to stir up folk to 'fight the Godless Russians', so the problem is one created/exacerbated by twentieth century players of "the Great Game."

    Houb Salaam
    02/05/2007 at 23:14:28 GMT

  28. At 11:16 PM on 02 May 2007, James Wightman wrote:

    To #25:

    If only TPTB had got someone with half a clue to design a secure voting portal instead of using the same old tired systems integrators like Atos Origin and their like. How many billion pounds and how many failures before they consult people that actually know what they are doing?


  29. At 11:21 PM on 02 May 2007, susi harris wrote:

    Dr Khan
    I hope you heard the piece at the end of yesterday's pm - an interview with Ed Hussein. it was a fascinatiing insight into the mechanism of radicalisation, and showed clearly how racism and discriminatin lay the fertile soil in which the seeds of radicalisation can grow.

    To be honest I have rarely heard a better speaker on the programme. Ever.

  30. At 11:41 PM on 02 May 2007, anth wrote:

    Jonnie #26,

    I understand the need for/build up to the period of silence before the full hour chimes, but I'm pointing out a method to *predict* when those chimes start. Or is this a female thing, since C Quinn and C Gracie manage the link to the chimes so well?

    BTW, C Quinn is doing the overnight shift tomorrow night; when does she sleep?

    I am one of the few people in the country to whom the pips matter a lot, as I use them to keep my synchronome in time; and it shows up St Stephen's Tower Clock in timekeeping stakes. So the (very soon) analogue switch-off is a disaster to me: Campaign to keep R4 LW at least.

  31. At 12:25 AM on 03 May 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    May Allah bless Ed Hussein in his efforts.

    Yet another Ed, and certainly one wiser than his years.
    Houb Salaam
    03/05/2007 at 00:30:58 GMT

  32. At 12:36 AM on 03 May 2007, jonnie wrote:

    anth --

    I'm with you *ALL* the way.

    I have actually suggested several times on previous threads - (The Beloved reverend will back me up) - on ways that the BBC could predict when the Big bell chimes!

    Alas - like this comment, they will sit in the big google search engine until some bright spark claims the idea as his own!

    --A little like the Glassbox we are sat blogging in now?

    I have never made any coments against the pips, apart from the fact that daily - with the advent of DAB and Freeview, they are becoming misleading and meaningless -- however -- like the Archers theme and Mark Damazer and all that dislike change - we can rest assured that in 2017 Radio 4 will still remain a piece of 'Little Britain' that we love and cherish - Oh listen (12:30)Charlotte Green sounds very excited! --

    No - it's too early and it's tomorrow that they will do a 'Through the Night broadcsast' -- Oh well -- Yet another night of a simulcast of the BBC World service :-(

  33. At 12:38 AM on 03 May 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Sis (21),

    Ah, but my question was more to the point. Should Scotland open diplomatic relations with a Rogue State?

  34. At 12:51 AM on 03 May 2007, jonnie wrote:

    And finally :-)

    The shipping forecast after we've heard 'Sailing by'

    ..Enough said I think .....

  35. At 01:37 AM on 03 May 2007, anth wrote:

    jonnie #31,

    Yes, all too much "little Britain", but not the radio show of that name from a couple of years ago.

    I was going to write to Feedback about the trailers crashing into the pips, but I figured that writing to them about trailers had the following reaction:

    "Ah, the audience does not understand trailers, we must put more of the out so they understand what they are for".

    Sorry, boring old f*rt mode again.

  36. At 09:12 AM on 03 May 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    I enjoyed last nights show, especially the big bang piece and ICC chap. Good to have the two voices re the visas though it sounds like a half baked idea that some bod has coughed out without thinking; was it me or the second chap (sorry, names pass me by) seem to be suggesting that this had been taken out of context and Homeland Security didn't know much about it?

  37. At 09:18 AM on 03 May 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    At 11:41 PM on 02 May 2007, anth wrote:

    "... the (very soon) analogue switch-off is a disaster to me: "

    It's a disaster to all of us. No doubt it is driven by a desire on the part of certain politicians to "Sell-off" the air space to anyone who is mug enough to pay for it. There was an interesting item about digital on You & Yours yesterday.


  38. At 09:51 AM on 03 May 2007, Peter Rippon - PM Ed wrote:

    Thank you again for the comments. For those of you who found the Pepe Reina story too tabloid please note I was offered a feature on Britney's triumphant post haircut/rehab gig in California. It did not make.
    In the glass glassbox last night we wondered how well the ICC interview went. We ran it quite long because we wanted to reflect the debate about justice v's peace around the ICC as well as just telling the story. Luis Moreno Ocampo is at the heart of the story so just the right person to speak to but he does not speak english as a first language and he was on a foreign telephone line. So it was quite a demanding listen. Should we expect our listeners to pay such close attention?

  39. At 10:08 AM on 03 May 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Peter - it was hard going but if we want insight from the best person available we should have it and be prepared to listen. Its arrogant and impractical to assume that everyone 'important' should speak english fluently. This matter wouldn't have crossed my mind had you not brought it up!

    I value insight and knowledge (and he seemed quite eloquent to me - more so than some native english speakers sometimes featured) and am prepared to work at understanding the points presented; think most listeners would feel the same.

  40. At 10:22 AM on 03 May 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Agree with witchiewoman -- very interesting and providing it's an interesting story we listen closely Peter.

    Re: Vyle - Why is the switch off such a disaster for you ?

  41. At 10:34 AM on 03 May 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Peter - Absolute agreement from me with WWoman. I'd always prefer to hear from the 'right' (i.e. most informed or appropriate) person regardless of their competence in English. In fact, I'd say that it makes me listen more closely - which, sadly, I don't always with other features!

    Can I also repeat how extremely interesting I found Mr. Hussein's interview on Tuesday? Like others, I could have listened to him for the whole programme - his insights were extremely useful.

  42. At 10:58 AM on 03 May 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Can I also add my agreement to Witchi's comments above (39).

    I also enjoyed the coverage on the French presidential election debate - I very much enjoy Caroline Wyatt (hope that's correct sp?) style and I enjoyed the feminist/sexism angle it took as it is a very valid point to explore.

    Also found the personal judge feature very interesting but missed part of it due to a phone call. May have to listen again to that one if I have the time

  43. At 11:00 AM on 03 May 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Further affirmation of the excellence of Ed Hussein's piece. I shall be buying his book.

    XXIII. We must not again allow public emotion or the public media to
    caricature our enemies. If our enemies are now to be some nations of
    Islam, then we should undertake to know those enemies. Our schools
    should begin to teach the histories, cultures, arts, and language of the
    Islamic nations. And our leaders should have the humility and the wisdom
    to ask the reasons some of those people have for hating us.

    Luis Moreno Ocampo:
    His understand was well sufficient to handle any language shortfalls, if any. I found myself in total agreement with his position. The law is the law, and should not be abandoned just because some criminals are hard to indict and harder perhaps tom capture and prosecute.

    Next in line ex-presidents and Prime Ministers?

    Hope so.

  44. At 11:08 AM on 03 May 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Jonnie (40) I think we may be going too far from the glass box here, but never mind.

    Just think of all those millions of radios (including car radios) that will no longer be usable. We have at least 3 in our home, one of which doesn't even do FM (in fact it has a "208" button specially for Radio Luxembourg). You can buy a R*b*rts radio today that looks like the ones of yesteryear, but many people are still using the original versions which weigh about 5x as much as the latest.

    No wonder the WEEE directive was introduced.

    Many reports tell that the digital product is inferior to the FM one. It took 'Them' many years to produce a decent [RDS] system to allow car radios to maintain reasonable FM reception. Now it looks as if we'll have to go through the whole miserable process again.

  45. At 12:02 PM on 03 May 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    My understanding is that the digital switchover applies to TV only, not the radio spectrum?


  46. At 12:27 PM on 03 May 2007, mittfh wrote:

    Do different DAB radios take different amounts of time to decode the MPEG encryption? I would have thought that for something as simple as the pips and bongs, it would be possible to work out the delays induced by encoding / decoding the data, so after radio stations submit to digital switchover, presenters could compensate for the delay by starting the pips a few seconds early. If necessary modify the pip timesignal to read:

    pip pip pip pip peep (pause) (pause).

    Hence in real time the hour is on the second pause, but in DAB time the hour is on the peep.

    Evidently, there would be problems with a certain clock, but you could always fake it by anticipating when the chimes will start, and play a recording.

    Whereupon someone will tell me that encoding / decoding rates are not an exact science (but then again, the timing of the Westminster Chimes isn't an exact science, as described in an earlier post).

  47. At 01:35 PM on 03 May 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Si (45) is, of course, right. The switchover to Digital only applies to TV broadcasts. There have been no proposals published as yet that even suggests changing to digital only for radio. Of course, this could change, but for those listening on FM, your pips and bongs will still be as accurate as a broadcast signal can be. (of course there is still an error for the bongs based on the tiome taken for the soundwave to reach the microphone, the impulse from the microphone to be transmitted to the main hub, then for that to be broadcast across the network, and finally for the impulse to be converted in the receiver, and the soundwave to travel from the loudspeaker to your ear. So, to be more accurate, just stick your head right up to the speakers when Eddie's finishing tonight!)

  48. At 02:10 PM on 03 May 2007, Brian Christley wrote:

    Good Afternoon PM - Whilst driving home from work those in my car would fall silent at approximately 5:50pm as the letters were read out on the PM programme, and on most days your correspondents managed not only to put the day’s news into context but invite further thought and debate. Now that you have moved the letter slot to Friday, their impact has gone, you seem to spend most of the allocated time rerunning the reports so that we have some idea of what the letters were about, and when they are finished none of us even mention them. We all like Eddy, but not his choice of ad hoc text messages he sometimes reads out that are not really fit for purpose – they seem to be the type of things people say and then 10 seconds later wish they hadn’t. Please turn the clock back and let us enjoy something that really worked.
    Yours faithfully

  49. At 02:24 PM on 03 May 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    It was from Y&Y that I got the impression the UK radio stations were going to stop analogue broadcasts.

    TV I/we can live without (unless EM presents "Have I got News for You," of course).


  50. At 02:41 PM on 03 May 2007, Joel Nicklasson wrote:

    Just a thought from someone who regularly listens in on the way from work in the car:

    Voice levels are very uneven on the programme, the host often trailing off into a very low volume at the end of sentences. This makes for a frustrating experience when driving, as to hear the entirety of the conversations/reports, the volume on the car stereo has to be turned up quite high, which means that some sections (beginnings of sentences, emphasised sections of sentences etc) are too loud. Can you please bear us drivers in mind and try to keep a relatively level... umm, sound-level?

    Other than that, PM is an excellent programme!

  51. At 03:04 PM on 03 May 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Vyle and FFred;
    More on the DAB / FM / etc. thing. I recently had a spanky new head unit installed in the Blue Wreck Volvo. Ideally I wanted DAB, MP3 compatibility and the ability to run an MP3 changer. Very helpful chappie in the local In-Car Entertainment emporium rang around to find out the score and see what is available.

    Surprised to find out that all the major ICE manufacturers are dumping DAB as a lost cause. S*ny, K*nw**d, Alp*n*, Bl**p*nkt, etc. All of them. No reasons why, they just don't want to know.

    Something we should know about regarding DAB? Is there a super-DAB about to be revealed which will make the current version obsolete?

    And no, I didn't have the bass tube, twenty speakers, ten amplifiers, etc. fitted, along with the plush seat covers, furry dice and blacked-out windows. I'd like to hang onto what little brain I still have left. Besides, Vaughan Williams doesn't need to be played at 150dB to be enjoyed (although it helps ;-) ). Mind you, Motorhead does.... darn the dilemma!


  52. At 03:40 PM on 03 May 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Simon Worrall :-

    Something we should know about regarding DAB? Is there a super-DAB about to be revealed which will make the current version obsolete?
    --------------------- -------------- ----------------

    The simple answer is Yes Simon. Although I doubt the BBC will want to tell you that!

    To cut a long story short the majority of the DAB sets that people own are based on MP2 technology (very outdated) -- that means that for example a sation transmitting at 128 kbps will not sound as good as an MP3 file played at 128 kbps.

    The new technology is based on AAC+ codec which is similar to that of the Apple ipod's.

    This website will tell you what you need to know :-


    There are a few manufacturers such as JVC that you can add a little box on to give you DAB. I believe Blaupunkt also make one - but in 7 years or so you'll have to junk them all. What a waste of natural resources eh?

  53. At 03:51 PM on 03 May 2007, anth wrote:

    Fearless Fred #47

    Ofcon are asking people about the shutdown of AM/FM, possibly as early as 2012, according to some rumours. Given the number of AM/FM radios that would become useless - 100 million in the UK would be an underestimate in my view - (WEEE directive and all) this seems utter madness; so it is the sort of thing that would happen.

    Don't buy a DAB set, use a Freeview box, as the quality is better (there is none of this bit rate limitation). But if you don't have a TV, you need to get a licence to use it.

  54. At 03:58 PM on 03 May 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Simon, you'll need the blacked-out windows (and a mannequin) when the multiple-occupancy lane is added to the M1.

    Ray Hen Evil

  55. At 04:05 PM on 03 May 2007, anth wrote:

    I forgot to add in my last post

    mittfh #46,

    Yes, different receivers will decode at different rates - it depends how fast the microprocessor inside them is running. Or indeed your computer, if you were listening via that, and there could also be additional delays if you were also doing some other heavy computing work with it at the same time.

    Sadly, this is an area where the technology is improving all the time, but then the goalposts also move all the time. It's almost as bad as the mobile phone situation, where the thing is obsolete (features wise) before you've left the shop; yet my 6 year old one still works fine (although it would be nice to have a camera built in). As jonnie #52 says above, what a waste of resources.

  56. At 04:10 PM on 03 May 2007, Humph wrote:

    Simon (51) I recently purchased a pocket sized DAB radio for my journeys to and from work so that I could listen on the bus or whilst walking. I would have got an analogue radio if I could find one cheaper than the DAB, as the only stations I was really interested in on a regular basis were BBC Radios 3 and 4, but could not find any analogue only ones and anyway “DAB is the future”. After getting it home, putting in the batteries, reading the instruction manual and tuning the stations of choice I was ready for crystal clear sound of programmes such as PM. Although the signal was fine at home and near where I work, whilst passing through the city (Norwich) the signal would become distorted and eventually lost. If you have never heard Mr. Mayor’s voice morph into that of Professor Hawking’s then you have missed out on one of the strangest things in the known universe. I am not sure what caused the problems but believed it might have something to do with the size of the buildings in the centre. It would seem, though, that there is a problem with using DAB on the move. After about a month, I gave up and bought a DAB/analogue pocket sized radio which I use in analogue mode only. The other radio is now only used for listening to programmes when I am sitting on my balcony at home.


  57. At 04:17 PM on 03 May 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re; Joel Nicklasson:-

    Yes - A thorny subject indeed. There is compression applied to Radio 4 but it could possibly be a tad higher for the drivers on FM. The Longwave transmitter has more compression on it.

    I too have noticed that the comparative sound levels between Eddie / Contributors / phone -out's are not always too good.

    In defense of the desk operator there is often a lot of noise in the control room which makes it hard to balance the levels and wearing headphones would not be ideal. However certain days are notibly better than others?

  58. At 04:20 PM on 03 May 2007, jonnie wrote:

    To add to anth's comment - Classic FM anticipate the *typical* delay and run their clocks 2 secs fast, or delay FM by 2 secs (Amanda could clarify which)

    When the DAB receiver falls back to FM (due to poor coverage) it is not so noticeable.

  59. At 04:41 PM on 03 May 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    enough already, i live in Norwich and everything is distorted, unless you listen to that nice Mr Partridge on BBC Radio Norwich

  60. At 10:15 PM on 03 May 2007, Pilar of the Establishment wrote:

    The Homeland security bod who was interviewed on Wed 2 May PM used the expression "rollbox relationship" to describe close links between the UK & US. May have misheard, can anyone enlighten me?

  61. At 08:54 AM on 04 May 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    As ever you are a mine of useful information about this kind of thing. Thanks for that.

    Multiple-occupancy lane? Is that the same as the 'Prescott' lane (sorry public transport lane) on the M4? And thank God I only use a small proportion of the M1 from J31 to 35A twice each week. That's more than enough.

    Probably just as well that I didn't get the DAB version then, seeing as I've been working in Norwich for the last 8 weeks. 4 more to go.....


  62. At 09:50 AM on 04 May 2007, Belinda wrote:

    I travel through Norwich every day and yes, the radio signal be it analogue, digital or coat hanger, is practically non-existant (which is why I probably missed the Mountie story from a few days ago). I often end up hearing about 50% of the programme clearly and then having to Listen Again to the other half if the response on here to certain items warrants it.
    Intrestingly for me as well, my FM signal also stops about 20 minutes outside of Norwich (where LW takes over, going towards the coast), so really, the ability I have to listen to PM on the move is rather limited!

    Exactly how many of us are living in Norfolk?! I sense the world domination plan beginning to take hold.

  63. At 01:06 AM on 05 May 2007, jonnie wrote:

    A mine (mind) full of junk Simon :-(

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