Friday, November 6, 2015

HORRIFICALLY BAD. [ED] on DStv rivals the SABC with black screen, sound problems, manic promos cuts and total chaos as live broadcast gets totally botched.

On Thursday and again on Friday [ED] (DStv 190) the educational channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform definitely gave an education: an education in how not to do television.

After horrifically bad interruptions, blackouts, promos starting and stopping and being cut off, interviews being cut off and terrible sound problems on Thursday trying to do live broadcasts from the Sandton Convention Centre at the Discop Africa 2015 TV market, [ED] repeated it all on Friday ... and went one step further, with no sound at all.

The irony of the [ED] channel surpassing the SABC in terrible on-screen disasters wasn't lost on viewers, since the Urban Brew Studios channel was trying to highlight and focus on television itself.

Instead [ED] and Urban Brew Studios' eye-poppingly bad production, broadcast disruption and terrible production values became the story.

There was no explanation from [ED] and Urban Brew Studios for the ongoing problems and why [ED]'s live broadcast was interrupted on Friday after sound problems gave viewers a silent channel - a channel which is seen in South Africa and across the African continent on DStv and GOtv.

It's anybody's guess how many viewers were still left or bothered to wait when [ED] eventually went back to the live broadcast on Friday marred by production problems, similar to Thursday when a guest had to to be given a handheld mic and the video signal cut out.

[ED] tried to do twice daily live broadcast sit-down interviews from Discop Africa 2015 but it looked and was for the most part totally terrible and reflected badly on [ED], Urban Brew Studios and DStv broadcasting the mess of a channel.

The [ED] "live broadcast" Discop Africa shows were astoundingly amateurly produced.

It had some inappropriately chosen guests, an unprepared host who didn't seem to know enough about various aspects of television to ask relevant enough questions, bizarre breaks, starting and stopping and interrupting promos and ongoing sound problems as well as too soft sound.

Add in terrible switches between promos, recorded interviews suddenly being played as filler, as well as very poor, pixelated video quality, and [ED] looked like a poor African country's disastrously underfunded public broadcasting channel struggling desperately to find the "on" and "zoom" and "volume" buttons.

Of course the live broadcasts and interviews were about the business of television - hugely ironic given the utter, ongoing mess [ED] made of trying to cover Discop Africa 2015 with very little quality.

More embarrassing was that Markus Davies, the chief content officer of Urban Brew Studios was part of the on-air panel discussions on [ED] on Thursday and again on Friday ... while the Urban Brew Studios content being broadcast was laughably shoddy and completely terrible.

"Welcome to channel [ED], we do apologise for that interruption in broadcast, technically, we are sorted and we are back on track," said presenter Thabo Mdluli when [ED] eventually returned to the interrupted live broadcast on Friday which abrutly ended after several long minutes of zero sound.

The big irony is that if film and TV students produced this TV trash in studio for an assignment they would get a fail.

Yet Urban Brew Studios, the [ED] channel and MultiChoice produced and broadcast it for real -  atrociously badly as it is - as part of a pay-TV product that's supposed to be much, much better, but that is actually so much worse than what the SABC churns out.

Why do a live broadcast from location if you don't have the skills or are not devoting, or don't have, the resources necessary to do it properly? Why then not rather record it, edit it and play it out later?

Why are producers not pre-screening the guests for what they might talk about? Its terrible to put people on television who are not advancing the/a story, and who are not enlightening or informing or educating the audience, and who just play for time or waste time.

If you have audio, video and other technical problems, why are people not working late and actually fixing it, replacing equipment and adding resources? The same thing kept/keeps happening because the same thing will happen if you do nothing about it.

Everybody talks about how South Africa's TV biz needs to be taken more seriously. But we can't and we won't because we keep doing Kideo television.