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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:12 pm 
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I am under the impression from what I read that England has no commercials. I think I want to move to England.

Has anybody here ever lived in England? How does that affect programming?

I watch a lot of British TV shows and I have to say, there is more difference than only the language accent.

Tell me about it.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:10 pm 
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I'm trying to remember much about the BBC. It seemed to be not that different from our TV, except for the lack of commercials. We get their best stuff on this side of the Pond, and their normal mediocre stuff is very normal and very mediocre. Lots of boring interviews in the day time, and bang-bang at night.

The news is somewhat more substantial, but just as biased in favor of the government. The political coverage is more fun, but that's because their Parliament is more fun. It's livelier. One day a week, they run the Prime Minister's Questions live. This is a session where the opposition fire hardball questions at the PM, and everyone yells hear hear or makes odd noises.

BBC has four channels, IIRC. One of them is mostly kidvid and not on all 24 hours. These compete with a bunch of commercial channels which are really pretty much the same as ours and have pretty much the same ownership. This and the usual consultant-itis homogenize their TV just like ours.

They do a lot of sports, just like here. Europeans like their sports just as much as we do, though they are different sports.

If I remember correctly, it's a bit more watchable than ours, but not by as much as you'd think. The lack of ads for snake oil and ambulance chasers is refreshing.

It's better than French TV, which may be the worst in the world, and in French besides.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:29 pm 
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I am under the impression from what I read that England has no commercials. I think I want to move to England.

Has anybody here ever lived in England? How does that affect programming?

I watch a lot of British TV shows and I have to say, there is more difference than only the language accent.

Tell me about it.

I was stationed in England twice, from 1986-1988 and from 1994-1997. From the last time I was there there were a couple of over the air channels as well as Sky TV and for those of us with with American TVs we had Armed Forces Television. To legally operate a TV in England you had to buy a license fee which funded the BBC. Because of that license fee the BBC is free from advertisements. The other channels are commercial channels.

As for their programs, there is a big difference. Many people in the U.S. are familiar with BBC comedy programs like Faulty Towers, Are You Being Served, and Waiting For God. British humor is dryer than American humor and once you get used to it seems better than American comedy programs. There are British comedies from the 80s and 90s I'd love to see again. Perhaps my local library has some of them.

Drama programs seems, to me, to be a bit darker and slower moving than their American counterparts but they are well done and the acting is much better. I guess that's because the British have well-established schools for acting.

Man of the program we think are American in origin actually originated in England and were adapted for American audiences. Sanford and Sons, Dancing With the Stars,All in the Family, Who Wants to be a Millionaire,and more.

BBC America or PBS are great sources for British programming. I just started watching Doc Martin about a month or so ago on PBS but I'd like to see Eastenders on BBC America.

At one time, the BBC was going to put all their old shows on the web for free but looking at their website there are programs that aren't there that I like. It may be I'm thinking they had a program but it was really on another channel.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:00 pm 
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I'm trying to remember much about the BBC. It seemed to be not that different from our TV, except for the lack of commercials. We get their best stuff on this side of the Pond, and their normal mediocre stuff is very normal and very mediocre. Lots of boring interviews in the day time, and bang-bang at night.

The news is somewhat more substantial, but just as biased in favor of the government. The political coverage is more fun, but that's because their Parliament is more fun. It's livelier. One day a week, they run the Prime Minister's Questions live. This is a session where the opposition fire hardball questions at the PM, and everyone yells hear hear or makes odd noises.

BBC has four channels, IIRC. One of them is mostly kidvid and not on all 24 hours. These compete with a bunch of commercial channels which are really pretty much the same as ours and have pretty much the same ownership. This and the usual consultant-itis homogenize their TV just like ours.

They do a lot of sports, just like here. Europeans like their sports just as much as we do, though they are different sports.

If I remember correctly, it's a bit more watchable than ours, but not by as much as you'd think. The lack of ads for snake oil and ambulance chasers is refreshing.

It's better than French TV, which may be the worst in the world, and in French besides.


That is the problem with socialism. If the government runs the news outlets then it is just as bad as corporate interest or some other small group. Democratic Socialism needs to have democratic safeguards. In England, I don't know how they manage it.

It is probably over generalizing, but the shows I have seen appear to value the civil rights highly though the class structure seems to always become an issue.

I am not actually making plans to leave the country. The British programs seem exceedingly brilliant. And, I think I could sacrifice missing all those wonderful commercial we have interrupting the program every ten minutes.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:13 pm 
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I was stationed in England twice, from 1986-1988 and from 1994-1997. From the last time I was there there were a couple of over the air channels as well as Sky TV and for those of us with with American TVs we had Armed Forces Television. To legally operate a TV in England you had to buy a license fee which funded the BBC. Because of that license fee the BBC is free from advertisements. The other channels are commercial channels.

As for their programs, there is a big difference. Many people in the U.S. are familiar with BBC comedy programs like Faulty Towers, Are You Being Served, and Waiting For God. British humor is dryer than American humor and once you get used to it seems better than American comedy programs. There are British comedies from the 80s and 90s I'd love to see again. Perhaps my local library has some of them.

Drama programs seems, to me, to be a bit darker and slower moving than their American counterparts but they are well done and the acting is much better. I guess that's because the British have well-established schools for acting.

Man of the program we think are American in origin actually originated in England and were adapted for American audiences. Sanford and Sons, Dancing With the Stars,All in the Family, Who Wants to be a Millionaire,and more.

BBC America or PBS are great sources for British programming. I just started watching Doc Martin about a month or so ago on PBS but I'd like to see Eastenders on BBC America.

At one time, the BBC was going to put all their old shows on the web for free but looking at their website there are programs that aren't there that I like. It may be I'm thinking they had a program but it was really on another channel.

I think you are right. You mentioned some of my favorite shows, Faulty Towers and Are You Being Served. The shows are more subtle and require more attending to get the humor. I like the shows that ignore reality in favor of a good time, like The Avengers, and Keeping Up Appearances. The crime shows are better than ours and the acting, as you say, are a cut above ours, that is, a lot of times.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:12 pm 
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Dunno. I get BBC America as part of my cable package - I still have one, haven't become a full fledged cord cutter yet. As it turns out, to watch a lot of good stuff on the Apple TV, you still need a cable subscription because many apps ask for your 'provider' (although apparently you can get by with something like SlingTV as a replacement.) I like some of its offerings. Mostly, Doctor Who, of course. But also, Sherlock, and Black Mirror. Oh, and that Graham Norton show.

I don't get why, but no, here in the U.S., that doesn't give you BBC News, through cable. That's actually available in a different tier which has not much else I want, so I don't get it. Worse, there is an iPlayer app that will stream BBC News, but surprise, you're region-locked out of it outside of the UK. So: how I get it is, on the iPad, through an app called Film.On, and on the Apple TV, through another odd app that carries a lot of international streams (*), and seems to get its BBCNews feed from Film.On, also.

My personal position is BBC News is pretty good. Probably better than PBS, in terms of European and international coverage. I think they make as much of trying to be independent of being used as government propaganda, maybe more, than PBS. They are nothing like, say, VOA, or Iran's PressTV. Which are propaganda outlets, let's face it.

I remember way back when, watching Britain's Benny Hill comedy show ... on PBS. That must have been some agreement between them. As a youngun, I didn't always understand why every episode seemed to involve Benny running away at comic high speed from women dressed in drag. That said, I didn't mind, either. :D :D

(*) Oh and one more thing - said app also gets the international English language streams for France24 (which is not so bad either honestly, has really good Mideast coverage), Israel's i24 News, DW (German news, in English), and Euronews, which seems to cover stuff throughout the EU. I find on those networks, and BBC, a lot of European events, like Catalonian independence, etc. are covered, which are otherwise almost totally ignored, here.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:11 pm 
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That is the problem with socialism. If the government runs the news outlets then it is just as bad as corporate interest or some other small group. Democratic Socialism needs to have democratic safeguards. In England, I don't know how they manage it.

IIRC, BBC News is notorious for not knuckling under to the official government line.

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It is probably over generalizing, but the shows I have seen appear to value the civil rights highly though the class structure seems to always become an issue.

There has always been a class structure running through British TV. It's hard to ignore hundreds of years of the Monarchy and its assorted lords and ladies. What is interesting is the introduction of "yuppies" and the high-income middle class into the society in the 80s and how British TV handles it. It made four distinct classes of people and regardless persons with titles were, regardless of how much or little wealth they have, are always in the top class.

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I am not actually making plans to leave the country. The British programs seem exceedingly brilliant. And, I think I could sacrifice missing all those wonderful commercial we have interrupting the program every ten minutes.

Well, if you did you'd still have commercials on the non-BBC channels. I'd love to live in England again but the cost of living is a little higher there than in Southern California.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:24 pm 
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Dunno. I get BBC America as part of my cable package - I still have one, haven't become a full fledged cord cutter yet. As it turns out, to watch a lot of good stuff on the Apple TV, you still need a cable subscription because many apps ask for your 'provider' (although apparently you can get by with something like SlingTV as a replacement.) I like some of its offerings. Mostly, Doctor Who, of course. But also, Sherlock, and Black Mirror. Oh, and that Graham Norton show.

I don't get why, but no, here in the U.S., that doesn't give you BBC News, through cable. That's actually available in a different tier which has not much else I want, so I don't get it. Worse, there is an iPlayer app that will stream BBC News, but surprise, you're region-locked out of it outside of the UK. So: how I get it is, on the iPad, through an app called Film.On, and on the Apple TV, through another odd app that carries a lot of international streams (*), and seems to get its BBCNews feed from Film.On, also.

My personal position is BBC News is pretty good. Probably better than PBS, in terms of European and international coverage. I think they make as much of trying to be independent of being used as government propaganda, maybe more, than PBS. They are nothing like, say, VOA, or Iran's PressTV. Which are propaganda outlets, let's face it.

What I like about BBC News is they don't rely "infotainment" but the present the news rather dryly, more like Joe Friday's famous quote "Just the facts, Ma."

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I remember way back when, watching Britain's Benny Hill comedy show ... on PBS. That must have been some agreement between them. As a youngun, I didn't always understand why every episode seemed to involve Benny running away at comic high speed from women dressed in drag. That said, I didn't mind, either. :D :D

PBS buys BBC programs just like local channels by syndicated programs like The Big Bang Theory and Seinfeld. I live near San Jose, Ca. from 2003-2004 and the local PBS was doing a one-night fund raiser to buy Eastenders. Their goal was the $10,000 price for the current season and they raised more than that in one night. I contributed $100 and got one of their Eastenders t-shits they had when they ran the series a couple of years earlier. Still have and wear the t-shirt.

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(*) Oh and one more thing - said app also gets the international English language streams for France24 (which is not so bad either honestly, has really good Mideast coverage), Israel's i24 News, DW (German news, in English), and Euronews, which seems to cover stuff throughout the EU. I find on those networks, and BBC, a lot of European events, like Catalonian independence, etc. are covered, which are otherwise almost totally ignored, here.

I'm going to have to take a look at that app.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:43 pm 
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Film.On
https://www.filmon.com/download#apple

Now, on my Apple TV, as there is no native Film.On app yet (I can, however, use AirPlay from my iPad or computer), I use another app - actually, not this one, but it's similar.

https://zattoo.com/ch/en/zattoo-live-tv-apple-tv-en/

They also seem to be getting BBC News through the Film.On stream.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:14 pm 
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I rarely watch BBC (news) on TV, but i do hear their radio news quite often. I'd have to disagree with No6 on it being a 'just the facts' type broadcast. BBC Newshour (again radio), I'd say the hosts do tend to be opinionated. Personally, I'm much more of a fan of NPR news.

I don't particularly like BBC tv entertainment, though there have been some very notable exceptions over the years. But that's probably more of cultural preference, that a statement of quality.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:44 pm 
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I think you are right. You mentioned some of my favorite shows, Faulty Towers and Are You Being Served. The shows are more subtle and require more attending to get the humor. I like the shows that ignore reality in favor of a good time, like The Avengers, and Keeping Up Appearances. The crime shows are better than ours and the acting, as you say, are a cut above ours, that is, a lot of times.


I doubt they could have ever gotten Mrs Slocombe's pussy past the censors in the USA.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:17 pm 
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I rarely watch BBC (news) on TV, but i do hear their radio news quite often. I'd have to disagree with No6 on it being a 'just the facts' type broadcast. BBC Newshour (again radio), I'd say the hosts do tend to be opinionated. Personally, I'm much more of a fan of NPR news.

I don't particularly like BBC tv entertainment, though there have been some very notable exceptions over the years. But that's probably more of cultural preference, that a statement of quality.

I rarely see BBC News and when I do it's because I'm channel surfing and don't linger on it. I should have clarified my opinion on BBC News was based on watching it in the mid-80s & 90s when I was stationed in England. It may have changed since then to keep up with the times.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:22 pm 
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The radio/audio stream of BBC News can be gotten by anybody, anywhere, anytime, for free.

For obvious reasons, the video/TV version is region-restricted, including streaming. You can watch it through cable or satellite in the U.S., but for most cable viewers, it's in a non-basic subscription tier. Including me, and I don't subscribe. It's not included with BBC-America. Which I get, for just having what I have.

You will have trouble streaming it outside of Britain, though I've pointed you to the way you can do it. ;)

French TV may be worse, but I can tell you France24 is much easier to stream outside of France (including the English-language stream). :D

BBC News definitely has pundits, and they have opinions, and those opinions may vary in quality, as with other networks. ;) NPR also has pundits.

They're hard to get away from at this point.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:26 pm 
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I doubt they could have ever gotten Mrs Slocombe's pussy past the censors in the USA.

I was stationed in Phoenix in the early 90s for 11 months closing down a base when the local PBS station showed reruns of Are You Being Served. It was Slocomebe's references to her "pussy" that drove the local rightwing Christians into an uproar and they demanded PBS remove it. Their protest backfired because people tuned in to see what the uproar was about and they became fans of the show. In fact, during the PBS pledge drive Mollie Sudgen, who played Mrs. Slocombe, would appear on the live fund raising broadcasts to encourage people to pledge money.

The saddest thing about those rightwing Christians was their lack of a sense of humor.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:59 am 
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BBC News is much better than PBS News Hour and in a different league than NPR News. I can't bear to watch either one of them. I don't see BBC news enough to judge very well, but it does seem to tow the accepted narrative on most issues. But it is far from a right wing slant.

Democracy Now! is independent and get right up front to say the way it is. That is what I like about it. It is smart and doesn't slant anything. It stays with relevant issues which is extremely important because there is a lot happening in these times.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:59 pm 
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BBC news is 100 times more intelligent than what we get, but then even CNN International is about 50 times better. It's also presented without all the scary graphics that make you think the world is ending even before you hear what their Golden Rolodex has to say about it. It's cleaner in its visual appearance, and you get a definite idea that it has some purpose beyond scaring the shit out of you so you'll believe corporate propaganda.

They stop frequently for the weather. End of every half hour, I think. In Britain, this is a good thing.

What I was saying was that, if you want a balanced presentation of political opinion, you won't get it on BBC. In fact, you won't get it in the UK.

Radio Espana Exterior, the Spanish international radio broadcast service, used to be the most balanced, by a mile. For a long time, it was the only mainstream outlet, as opposed to the Asian propaganda spouters, that ever dared to question the merits of US military strategy. I don't know if it's different now, but I suspect it is. Radio is just not what it used to be.

France 24 (English language service) is pretty good, yes. They took it out of our package too. I suppose I could stream it, but I just don't watch that much news. Right now I can get depressed by the weather in L.A. with no additional help from media.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:00 am 
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[quote="TheFox » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:59 am"
Democracy Now! is independent and get right up front to say the way it is. That is what I like about it. It is smart and doesn't slant anything.[/quote]Must be a different Democracy Now. You might like it, and agree with it. But to say it doesn't slant anything?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:24 am 
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Viewer, I think the word for it is HONEST. Yes, it has a point of view, but doesn't LIE to forward that point of view, as the right-wing media does.

That's the difference between us and the right. We don't have to lie and make things up to win a logical argument. Facts have that liberal bias!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:34 pm 
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Viewer, I think the word for it is HONEST. Yes, it has a point of view, but doesn't LIE to forward that point of view, as the right-wing media does.

That's the difference between us and the right. We don't have to lie and make things up to win a logical argument. Facts have that liberal bias!

Good point.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:13 pm 
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Viewer, I think the word for it is HONEST. Yes, it has a point of view, but doesn't LIE to forward that point of view, as the right-wing media does.

That's the difference between us and the right. We don't have to lie and make things up to win a logical argument. Facts have that liberal bias!


I take it you don't listen to Thom Hartmann

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:10 am 
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I take it you don't listen to Thom Hartmann

I take it you don't listen to Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter or Laura Ingram.

All of which are the biggest liars on the planet.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:37 am 
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I take it you don't listen to Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter or Laura Ingram.

All of which are the biggest liars on the planet.

For all the times Glenda the Troll glen says he doesn't listen to rightwing radio he so often uses their exact words. And for all the times he's called or inferred Thom Hartman is a liar glen back up his claim. I've listened to Thom Hartman and if he's made an error while talking with a guest or caller he'll own up to it and if he said something that isn't true and he finds out he was wrong he'll correct himself on the radio. Perhaps glen should take a lesson from Thom Hartman and when glen makes a mistake he'll correct himself without having to be pestered into doing. Yeah, I know, that's wishful thinking.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:51 pm 
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Oh shit, not Hartmann again.

Find a better scapegoat. I've got it. How about Ramsey Clark? By now he's said an inflammatory left wing one-liner on just about everything, and you can ruin your day turning over his quotes in your brain from now until doomsday.

I don't know if he's a commie or not, but he's always been active in organizations that at times are downright Stalinist. Google International Action Center, Workers World Party, Party for Socialism and Liberation, ANSWER Coalition, etc etc etc.. You'll get plenty of excuses for thinking there's a Bolshevik in a black robe with a little round bomb under your bed.

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