Articles by Richard G Elen

Hospital ripoff

Published 1 July 2007

I had the occasion recently to go into hospital for an operation. In fact, it was the second attempt to remove a lump on my vocal cords which had grown…

Sorry, you’re not allowed to go to work on an egg

Published 21 June 2007

Do not go to work on an egg It really seems to be beyond the bounds of reason for the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) to stop the British Egg…

TIme to end it

Published 1 June 2007

It’s evidently not enough that Ofcom has roundly condemned the participants in the Big Brother racism row (see our June article) and there’s already a further racism accusation raging regarding…

Blair’s Broadcasting Legacy

Published 13 May 2007

And now, finally, we know when Tony Blair will leave Number Ten. As the media – and Blair himself – continue to be concerned with what his legacy will be,…

Spaghetti Fool

Published 1 April 2007

The spaghetti harvest of 50 years ago

Flat-screen chaos

Published 27 March 2007

Professionals worse off than viewers

Putting two documentaries together gives new answers

Published 23 March 2007

Recently we’ve been watching two interleaved documentary series on BBC Two by two award-winning people: Adam Curtis’s stunning three-parter The Trap (Sundays, 21:00); and Are We There Yet (Tuesdays, 19:30)…

Margaret Thatcher causes Global Warming

Published 9 March 2007

The real global warming swindle You’d have thought that the arguments about global warming were more or less over. After all, even the Bush administration is appearing to go along…

Flat-screen chaos

Published 1 March 2007

You’d think the headlong rush to acquire large flat-screen TVs – that cost more to run, have a larger carbon footprint, and give a poorer picture than the CRT-based sets…

Flat-screen chaos

Published 24 February 2007

Not such a pretty picture – RTS Journal vol 44/2 You’d think the headlong rush to acquire large flat-screen TVs – that cost more to run, have a larger carbon…

Unbiased doesn’t mean equal time

Published 5 February 2007

Jeremy Paxman’s recent article in the BBC house magazine Ariel, republished (presumably) here, seems to have stirred up a lot of fuss for all the wrong reasons. Well yes, of…

Who’s Next? One guess.

Published 22 January 2007

Hmmm. First we have the BBC presenting stories about WMDs that the Government doesn’t like – stories that turn out, after quite a while, to have been very close to…

When a bigger audience doesn’t help

Published 20 January 2007

So the first of the bullies is out on her ear and Big Brother has attained its highest ratings of the series. Two stunningly unsurprising interim results. Other lacks of…

Measure and Countermeasure

Published 7 January 2007

Hacker web sites and forums have been talking for the last week or two about a claim that the AACS (Advanced Access Content System) copy protection system used on both…

Measure and Countermeasure

Published 1 January 2007

Hacker web sites and forums have been talking for the last week or two about a claim that the AACS (Advanced Access Content System) copy protection system used on both…

Flat screens a bad idea – for now?

Published 17 December 2006

Do flat-screen TVs eat more energy? Bad news this month for those of us considering a flat-screen Hi-Def TV who are also energy conscious: they can take more energy than…

More reasons not to give goats at Christmas

Published 7 December 2006

Going on from my comments about radio-advertised charities the other day, last night I went to a presentation at the Royal Geographical Society by the Population and Sustainability Network (PSN)….

Where does the money go?

Published 5 December 2006

I notice that Classic FM is running a joint promotion in the run-up to Christmas with the theme “The Alternative 12 Days of Christmas”. Every day participants can win one…

Grade to the Rescue

Published 1 December 2006

Whatever the impact of Michael Grade’s departure on the BBC – and there are all sorts of opinions on that from disaster to nothing at all – there can be…

Betraying ? or just leaving?

Published 29 November 2006

That’s the question that I am sure many people at the BBC are asking at the moment. On the face of it, Grade’s departure is an enormous slap in the…

Over the top

Published 26 November 2006

Unless I’m away, items seldom stay long on my Sky+ system: I’ve usually watched them and either wiped them or archived them to DVD before the week is out. So…

Click off

Published 25 November 2006

Is it me, or has the BBC’s Click technology programme gone completely off the rails while I wasn’t looking? I haven’t seen the programme for some time and happened to…

Beatles breathe new life into hi-res audio

Published 23 November 2006

Just as the war between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray Disc is ensuring that comparatively few people buy either HD disc format (leaving the way open to downloads superseding packaged media on…

Changing the news agenda

Published 23 November 2006

Al Jazeera’s English service gets into its stride Despite US protestations, nobody can surely now be in any doubt that “Al Jazeera is the new frontier” as Sir David Frost…

It was 60 years ago today…

Published 3 November 2006

1946: The BBC Television Service re-opens.

The trouble with ITV

Published 1 November 2006

There was a time, not so long ago, when ITV was the country’s leading advertising medium, with vast amounts of money changing hands for expensive spots. Now, as ITV1 continues…

Hi-Def disc format war begins today…. not.

Published 17 October 2006

Samsung launches BluRay player in the UK (BBC Radio 4, Today, Business Report) The first player from one of the two high-definition optical disc formats has been launched in the…

Cleverness and stupidity combine to annoy

Published 17 October 2006

I don’t know about anyone else, but I discovered a cool little sci-fi series a few weeks ago, A Town Called Eureka, running on Sky. Unfortunately I missed the first…

Science or show?

Published 1 October 2006

The recent sad passing of naturalist and TV presenter Steve Irwin inevitably raises questions about how we produce television programmes about the natural world. The BBC spends vast amounts of…

Still a place for quality TV

Published 2 September 2006

ITV1’s decline and the future of TV as we know it.

Put that thing down!

Published 1 September 2006

So, the World Cup has long since passed, and as a result you’re probably watching the crop of available HD channels on your Sky box and wondering what to do…

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Published 28 August 2006

A slightly unfortunate side-effect of Charles Allen’s recent MacTaggart lecture in Edinburgh is that it has reignited a rather annoying debate around the metaphorical water-cooler and elsewhere, on the future…

Still busy making money

Published 9 August 2006

So Allen steps down, and it would appear that ITV has favoured its shareholders at the expense of its viewers. As one commentator put it: “ITV has tried to be…

Not your parents’ ITV

Published 1 August 2006

“What ITV is up to” is a subject that occupies our minds from time to time here at Transdiffusion, especially in the wake of the 50th anniversary last year, which…

Unnatural breaks

Published 10 July 2006

It’s surely a truism, but in my view the big problem with commercial broadcasting is… the commercials. Or, more accurately, the crass, ill-conceived and inappropriate ones. Typical is the supermarket…

Alexandra Palace TV Heritage Faces Destruction

Published 9 July 2006

Many thanks to Malcolm Smith for bringing this to our attention. Alexandra Palace Television Group Chairman: Richard E Norman CBE; Treasurer: Tony Wilding; Secretary: Frank Phillip ****URGENT PRESS RELEASE**** Alexandra…

HDTV or not

Published 1 July 2006

I wonder if you invested in an HDMI/HDCP-equipped flat panel display and an HD box to watch the World Cup in Hi-Def? Well, let’s not talk about that then. But…

Discs or downloads?

Published 29 June 2006

Do viewers and listeners care about technical quality? Yes and no.

Never mind the quality, feel the convenience

Published 27 June 2006

The Independent: Sony does battle with Toshiba over new DVD formats Many of us involved in the home entertainment business are keeping our eyes on the progress of HDTV, and…

TOTP’s Demise – An American View

Published 22 June 2006

by Joseph Gallant Living in the United States, I only got to see one season of BBC’s long-running Top Of The Pops: in 1987-88. That season, CBS transmitted the programme…

Sony’s clearly been Tango’d

Published 9 June 2006

Tango Clear – Bravo Sony Bravia – Balls You know that commercial… the one that starts with aerial views of a city; gently-edited shots of streets and street corners… beautifully…

It was sixty years ago today…

Published 7 June 2006

At 3pm on Friday, 7 June 1946, a BBC Television Service announcer drove up to the doors of Alexandra Palace in a chauffeur-driven car. She stepped out and walked up…

More commercial BBC-bashing

Published 1 June 2006

It seems that hardly a week goes by when there isn’t some new scheme from the commercial sector to emasculate the BBC, either by stopping it from getting the money…

A goldmine of programming history

Published 1 May 2006

There’s something that has been widely talked about recently in the several forums and email lists that discuss goings-on in television and the media. If you’re someone who frequents such…

Why Spiegl should stay

Published 1 April 2006

I’m very pleased to see that our friend ‘Sir’ Gavin Sutherland’s excellent new recording of Fritz Spiegl’s Radio 4 UK Theme is now on the shelves, metaphorical or actual –…

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