So, in the news today was the fact that the e-Borders “RING OF STEEL” cost £1.2bn to set-up and has resulted in:
- 2,000 arrests
- 48,682 alerts
- 1,000 refused entry
- 14,000 intelligence reports
So, lets put this in context. this security mechanism designed to protect us has cost us £600,000 per arrest to date. Now, I appreciate that the initial start up costs don’t reflect the future of the system, but lets assume it takes 5 years to achieve Return on Investment (most IT systems are budgeted this way) well we have now achieved a cost of £120,000 per arrest. Bargain!
So, what will £1.2bn buy you?
I will leave you to decide what value the e-Borders scheme has to you, does it make you feel more safe to know this?
The purpose of this document is to describe a model for housing that firmly
embraces the 80’s ideal of ‘property ownership for all’ but which avoids uncontrolled
spiralling property values and creates affordable housing which stays affordable. It
enables all socio-economic groups to benefit from affordable housing without the
need for discrimination and does not rely on social exclusion. Additionally embedding
communities at the heart of the design and not making affordability a special case.
It is not intended to be a communist approach to the property market but to be
a business model which is designed to be sustainable economically and
environmentally, but yet socially aware. Many of the statements in this document
include observations based on the past two decades of the property market by the
authors who have had varying levels of involvement in property and construction but
are presently unable to purchase due to the state of the current property market.
Continue reading “Economically Sustainable Housing Proposal”
It is that time of year again, asked questions by students and so I will now be fair and post the response here…
Continue reading “FTTH dissertation questions”
There pop-up on the forums from time-to-time, and they complain why we don’t have one feature or another. In the latest thread on DigitalSpy they complained that our product didn’t feature 1080p, or DiVx decoding. So, I thought I wanted to post something on DigitalSpy, however common sense and experience tells me if I post it there I might regret it because it could be a reactionary posting by me, so I will post it here to vent:
“It depends on where you are targeting a product in the market as a manufacturer. We pay a licence for all technology we use (this may be different than you experience) for example we even have to pay a royalty for the use of Phono connectors. It would be a cost for us and eventually for the consumer, we already have people complaining about cost, should we limit our market further?
I won’t defend the scaler in the product, I have been over this issue countless times. Personally I recommend if you aren’t satisfied with the scaler to use the “Original” mode. We manufacture Televisions as well, and I know that the scaler chip we use can cost as much as the entire MPEG decoder chip (in a good TV). In a TV part of the cost you are paying for is the scaler, if we put a dedicated scaler chip in our STB product you would effectively be wasting the money you spent on your LCD TV and paying double.
An experience of using the scaler in a DVD player is more about ensuring the quality of the output of the DVD decoder and is mostly enhanced by using HDMI output for a digital-to-digital movement of signals.
In the end it comes down to a matter of choice, as a manufacturer we make choices that we have to balance (costs/sales) and the consumer has to make a choice to decide if the product is right for them. We make the product we feel most appropriate to make, we even take feedback, but ultimately the we are responsible for the choices and how they affect our sales. Some might even say they don’t have a choice because we are the only manufacturer of Freesat approved HD PVRs, that is still about choice, you don’t have to buy anything or you can buy a non-Freesat product or you can wait until another manufacturer decides to make a product.”
At least here I can remove it…
My brother write a blog entry yesterday about home networking and powerline technology. And without knowing, he’s actually commenting on a subject dear to my professional heart.
My company produces very nice DRT (digital television recorder / PVR) products, some of the best in the industry (so the man from Sony tells me). We are really trying to lead the industry when it comes to this product range and my job is to help influence that. It is my feeling, and that of many others, that there will be a consumer device, probably in the lounge, probably grown out of a DTR product and probably it will extend it’s reach well beyond the lounge. My first hope is to secure support for DLNA, this technology makes it easy for network connected devices to share resources or control each other. From a media point of view this means that content can be streamed from one device to another without complex user intervention.
Power line technology is a lovely idea, unfortunately from a manufacturers perspective to integrate it into a product is very expensive. The cost of the module is easily more than the cost of an HD decoder chipset. This means that I struggle to justify putting it into a product when I know that the majority of consumers will never actually use the technology. I am also a bit dubious about putting signals over wires that weren’t designed to handle them, the mains in the UK is about 240V at 50Hz, the cable is designed for that and works well enough. But when you start putting complex noise signals at wide bandwidth over them you are going to have some effect at some point. Powerline delivered broadband already has a huge objection from the HAM radio groups and radio astronomy groups, thousands of low cost PLT home devices can’t be much better (even if they are lower power).
We are however striving to add ethernet ports to as many products as possible and we are working on some decent software to exploit it to the full. I do conceed however using these plug adaptors could be an easy way to avoid the fact that wireless never delivers even close to it’s stated bandwidths and most consumers don’t want to rewire their house for Cat-5e/6. Although remember that current electrical installation requirements in the UK now often require a professional electrician to do the install otherwise you can’t sell your house.
I would like to publically thank (as much as I can here) the company "Learning with Linden ".
They have sorted me out with the brackets for a projection screen that was delivered in a poor state by the vendor. The vendor has been difficult to deal with on this problem, but looking over the delivered package I noticed a name on it that included a model number. By googling that name I found "Learning with Linden" and from there I was able to find the product.
I was able to call them, explain my situation and after they verified I had purchased the product they said they would send me the brackets tonight in the post! Wonderful, well, I will see and perhaps update you.
To update you, it went up, it doesn’t look great, but then again you get what you pay for in life, and it didn’t cost much.
The essence of customers’ expectations is about customers’ needs and requirements. The needs are harder to identify as they are more profound than the requirements which are pretty obvious and straightforward. Therefore, we need to identify the degree in which these elements are present through a survey. We need to quantify customers’ perception about the quality of our service given that customers do not (or should not) always expect ‘the best’ from us as this is subject to the cost and time available for completing the project rather than our capability and experience.
Any questionnaire should consist of quantifiable/measurable elements rated in a scale of 0-100% tolerance against customers’ standards. The same survey should then form part of our service benchmark completed by the client (benchmark the demand for service). This means that we should ideally carry out a customers’ expectation survey once we undertake the project, then using the same survey for having our performance measured by the client so we can check how well we perform through the customer’s eyes (customers shouts) and identify the areas of improvement prior to getting on site. Lastly, on the project’s practical completion we need to carry out the final satisfaction survey.
Three are the key elements to the customer’s expectations.
- Competitive advantage (the wow factor that differentiates our brand from the competitors)
The questions is how elastic/inelastic are the above from the customers’ perspective? Meaning:
- What factors the customer feels as essential, prerequisites? Must have, the basics? (for example: H&S issues)
- What factors add value to the service/product for the customers? It is about good performance, deliver what we promise (for example: min cost and time, higher quality)
- What is the ‘wow’ factor of our service? Do we add value that the customer doesn’t expect? (Satisfy the ‘greedy’ customers. Once the basics, or expected requirements are met then they ask for more!)
- Being successful means that not only we should offer what customers expect but also what they don’t expect.
The input would be: customers’ requirements and lessons learnt which are turned into the output: improved quality approach and structure, calibrate the service to meet demands
Knowing our customers needs, requirements and expectations provides us with better visibility thus, better forward planning avoiding bad surprises and implications which can put the project’s quality at risk.
DVB-T2 is an 'improved' version of the existing methods we use to broadcast digital television using traditional terrestrial antennas. The idea is to achieve a better than 30% improvement in available capacity.
There is a question that has been circulated to the group discussing the design of this system: "how much will it cost?", the true cost is not the transmission system but the cost of the boxes. Here are some of my thoughts, many of which I have not sent to the DVB-T2 group because they fall outside of the debate I want to involve myself in.
Continue reading “DVB-T2 the cost debate”
This is an article I offered for publication to the BKSTS, but after a couple of revisions it kind of fell by the way-side and has laid neglected on my storage since. So here it is, an analysis of satellite technology from the viewpoint of its use in D-cinema distribution. I hope it proves useful to someone and that some insight can be gained into the various technologies available. (copyright Bob Hannent, do not reproduce without permission, yada, yada, yada…)
Continue reading “Changing satellite techniques and their potential in D-Cinema”