French TV is still dragging it’s heels into the 21st century. A quick spot-check around the electrical retailers in France would reveal that buying a non-widescreen TV is now almost impossible. Ironic then that almost every TV channel still broadcasts exclusively in the old 3:4 format.
This week saw the official launch of France 2’s widescreen service, the only channel to finally acknowledge the format that has been almost universally adopted by every TV and DVD manufacturer in the world for quite some time.
The arrival of TNT (terrestrial digital TV) in Strasbourg last October was hailed as a new digital dawn for the region, but out of the 12 new channels that I can watch – precisely none of them broadcast synchronous subtitles, which makes them all but useless for those of use for whom French is still a foreign language, not to mention the hearing-impaired community.
Furthermore, almost none of the channels broadcast programme information, so the ‘electronic programme guide’ that you usually get on digital services more often than not says ‘no event name’ next to each slot. Brilliant.
TNT did not bring DAB (digital radio) with it either, so we are still limited to listening to crackly FM stations.
The only thing I can honestly say I’m impressed with – is that ‘Les Experts’ (CSI) is now available in English when it is broadcast on TF1. This gives me welcome respite from having to read subtitles endlessly of an evening, when I’m trying to unwind and relax.
The downside of this of course is that it’s usually three episodes back-to-back so I go to bed with the only English I’ve heard in days ringing around my head … murder-body-killer-blood-autopsy-weapon-victim…