Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Replace "light" with "sausages" and this may work...

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405-Line B&W IPlayer

So you only have to pay the Black and White licence
  [vote for,

In the "UK", if you use the IPlayer you have to pay the colour TV licence rather than the black and white one. This is unfair if you don't care about colour, and could be easily remedied as follows.

There could be an app and a version of the IPlayer which only shows BBC1 programmes in 405-line B&W. The other channels are unavailable because they were never broadcast on VHF TV (which was switched off in 1985). It would have the further advantage of saving bandwidth. A 405-line picture is equivalent in modern terms to something like 155i, although it allegedly has better horizontal resolution than PAL for monochrome pics. Given a 4:3 aspect ratio and sixteen-level greyscale, even a bitmapped frame would be only 16Kb of data. Hence a 405-line Iplayer app on a pay as you go smartphone would be much more practical and cheaper than the current IPlayer.

There is an argument to be had that if you need a TV licence for the IPlayer you also need it for binoculars and periscopes, so the average British household, with its pay as you go smartphone, periscope and binoculars but no TV set or internet connection, could really benefit from this.

nineteenthly, Nov 02 2018

Tektronix 4010 https://en.wikipedi...wiki/Tektronix_4010
A great advance, as they ran on kerosene rather than coke ... no stoker was needed. [8th of 7, Nov 06 2018]

Vector-Rendered Cartoon Channel The_20Vector-Rendered_20Cartoon_20Channel
[hippo, Nov 06 2018]


       By the Beeb finding a way to block the cones in the eyes, a simple monthly dose of an enzyme that reverses that blocking, they will be richer than Creosote - nobody tell them this.
not_morrison_rm, Nov 02 2018

       Would you pay an even cheaper licence fee if you used the app which simulated John Logie Baird's mechanical television? - or the app which converted TV programmes into 19th century "Magic Lantern" shows?
hippo, Nov 02 2018

       I think I'd actually pay more for that, [hippo].
nineteenthly, Nov 02 2018

       More ValvePunk than Steampunk, but still [+].
8th of 7, Nov 02 2018

       Also available, the app which converts your TV show into a Bayeaux-style tapestry, scrolling slowly and silently past the viewer
hippo, Nov 02 2018

       Presumably controlled by punchcards?
nineteenthly, Nov 02 2018

       A rotating drum akin to a musical box would be better.   

       // Bayeaux-style tapestry //   

       The Bayeaux "tapestry" is in fact an embroidery, not a tapestry; the production processes are quite different.
8th of 7, Nov 02 2018

       I like it, The Bayeux Embroidery of 1068
wjt, Nov 03 2018

       I like this a lot, I'd use it too. Going black and white is a great way of halving (at least) the data requirements. Going low (ish) res I assume 405 lines would be 540x405? which is about 10-fold less data than the HD standard, so you're at 1/20th the color HD equivalent. That's before all the various compression algorithms. I don't fully understand compression algorithms, a few quick tests with some image stacks of my own seem to show compression ratios better for color... hmm. Either way, most compression works better for small resolution.   

       I'd use this feature because many of the programs I watch benefit little from the extra information transmitted, I can get annoyed at Borris Johnson* just fine in B&W. Conversely, I think there is an opportunity for increased quality. The contrast ratio for film, even the old stuff can be >70,000:1 so there's more than 16 Bit information there. Maybe you'd like to watch Casablanca in 16 Bit black and white rather than some hacked together scanned to color and compressed version? Or maybe low res and 60fps would be more suited to the type of program, lots of sports are better appreciated at high time resolution. Snooker not so much.   

       *John Major is greyscale in real life.
bs0u0155, Nov 05 2018

       // 405 lines would be 540x405? //   

       Actually, much less. The horizontal resolution of a 625-line PAL signal using a 4.433MHz chroma subcarrier (phase modulated) is only about 300 lines; the true vertical resolution wasn't 625 either, as there was a "guard band" at the top (where the teletext signal was piggybacked) and bottom of the raster.   

       The 405 line signal used the same 6Mhz-ish sound subcarrier which imposes an upper limit on bandwidth, but due to the limitations of the technology of that era the actual horizontal resolution delivered "on screen" was only about 200 - 250 lines.   

       Since the CRTs had a 4:3 aspect ratio, this actually made things worse by stretching the X-axis, where the resolution was worst; a vertically scanned tube would have been able to deliver a more uniform granularity. Since the scanning was electronically driven, it's trivially simple to exchange the X and Y axes, and put the better resolution across the wider aspect of the tube. No-one thought of doing that, though.   

       Interestingly, the original Baird mechanical system (only about 30 lines resolution) also used vertical scanning. One of the first images transmitted was of a rather ugly wooden puppet (or maybe it was John Major - even with current 4k/3D resolution, it would be impossible to tell the difference).   

       Oh, and interlace... no, let's not go there.   

       405 went out on a VHF carrier, unlike the 625 line UHF system, which further restricted bandwidth (and available channels) but did give rather better coverage, resulting in a lower up-front capital cost for building transmitters (with a bigger footprint, fewer were needed, and VHF was less technically demanding than UHF).
8th of 7, Nov 05 2018

       How about just one wigglely line that outlines stuff?   

       So you'd get the outline of George Alagiah, and the audio?
not_morrison_rm, Nov 05 2018

       Ideally that option would come with a sharpened pencil, so that after perforating you eardrums you could stab your own eyes out too.   

       Early Tektronix CAD terminals <link> used a high-persistance phosphor with a "diddle yoke" (no, we haven't made that up) to draw the image on the CRT just like an Etch-A-Sketch (except rather faster) and then a "flood" gun to maintain the visibility. The flood gun could also be used to wipe the image as the terminals were very large and heavy, meaning that turning them face down and shaking them to erase the picture was a difficult and labour-intensive process.
8th of 7, Nov 05 2018

       I've just checked, we have a couple of microscopes that are happy scanning those pixel numbers at the right kind of rates. That's scanning mechanically with galvo/mirror combos. All I have to do is get a small fluorescent screen and a way of modulating the laser intensity at microsecond resolution, which is probably doable with a lot of money. Less than $2 million and I can make a single color mechanically scanned 1" TV! Logie-Baird was right after all, just needed nicer mechanical gear.
bs0u0155, Nov 06 2018

       Really ? How unpleasant ... try asking at a pharmacy, they do all sorts of soothing creams for that sort of problem.
8th of 7, Nov 06 2018

       This idea reminds me that I did, when younger*, use my Mammod steam engine to make a steam-powered cinema which slowly scrolled a roll of paper with a continuous story across the screen.

[* redundant I suppose - everything in the past tense is either when I was younger or before I was born]
hippo, Nov 06 2018

       Sounds like a good idea if you're heavily into 'film noir' ;-)
Steamboat, Nov 07 2018

       ZX81 in FAST mode made me irritable after a short period of time but I never had a seizure. I was wondering at the time if I was epileptic but I turned out not to be.
nineteenthly, Nov 07 2018

       Life's full of little disappointments, [19th].
8th of 7, Nov 07 2018


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