Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SABC3 goes Windows Vista with its TV schedule - TV critics and media workers perplexed, frustrated with SABC3 obsolete 'upgrade'.

Kid you not: SABC3 is suddenly going Windows Vista with its TV schedule - to the huge frustration of TV critics and media workers who have to use it and work with it and retype it into TV listings and take information from it.

It comes just a day after the SABC told journalists, TV critics and advertisers that the broadcaster wants to be open, helpful, transparent and help stakeholders to engage with the SABC better.


Changing and using Windows XPS, Microsoft's alternative to PDF which was introduced with the hated Windows Vista which is now obsolete, and which never gained any traction, is not going to further and help.

TV critics (myself included) and others are suddenly waking up to the fact of the impossibility and frustration of having to work with a suddenly changed document format which doesn't even want to open - unless you buy the "new" (yet old) software.

SABC3 basically "demands" that those wanting to use or see the TV channel's schedule, now "upgrade" (to new, yet old) software because the SABC wanted to "upgrade".

That's not how its supposed to work. And not even any prior notice to media houses, journalists and those using the SABC3 schedule.

The irony: The SABC3 schedule in basic Excel as it was done and issued and re-issued with updates worked completely fine. It was accessible, clear, concise yet comprehensive. There was nothing wrong with it.

Now something that was working fine and great is being broken. Something that didn't need fixing, nor an "upgrade".

Not one - not a single one - of the hundreds of TV channels available in South Africa, neither any of MultiChoice's DStv channels, On Digital Media's StarSat, OpenView HD, SABC1 or SABC2 or any of the free-to-air e.tv channels, or community TV channels sends a schedule in XPS or has ever sent a schedule as an XPS document.


"The average person should stay away from XPS files," tech experts warn.

"It's unclear why you'd actually want to create an XPS file instead of a PDF file," says HowtoGeek.

Can someone please tell SABC3?

Can somebody please do something and end this madness being inflicted before it grows.

Progress and improvement are always welcomed, but don't burden those who have to type up TV schedules for magazines and newspapers and publications on a daily, weekly and monthly basis (which is already hidden, late-night, somewhat soul-deadening work) with even more cumbersome, difficult and sincerely impossible insanity.