The Eurovision Song Contest 2008

EBU-UER title

The Eurovision Song Contest 2008
from Belgrade / БЕОГРАД, Serbia.





The Eurovision Dance Contest




The Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2008 (from Lemesos, Cyprus)



Eurovision in the press



Further reading


Technology used (credits, etc)

The screenshots this year were captured with a miro PCTV PCI capture card; the images being directly imported into ULead's PhotoImpact 5 via TWAIN interface. The original image resolution was 768×576 (full PAL resolution; 2 fields de-interlaced) and the images were tidied (contrast, sharpening, etc) and scaled accordingly (original width, 428 pixels height (widescreen cropping), then scaled 66%).

The main computer, named 'Aiko' (it's a Japanese girl's name) is a 450MHz Pentium III generic system with MSI motherboard. Despite the slower processor than the laptop that I used previously (which had a 466MHz Celeron), a faster FSB (the data path between processor and memory) plus other optimisations make Aiko measurably about two times faster than the laptop! It runs XP in 128Mb of memory.
As before, a bundled version of ULead's PhotoImpact5 was used to trim the pictures to remove letterboxing black bars, and also save with the best trade-offs between file size and image quality (usually ~85%, no (4:4:4) subsampling). For ease of manipulation on older RISC OS systems, the "progressive JPEG" format is not used.
These HTML documents were all written by hand using LiquidNinja's Metapad. This is a Notepad replacement that looks and acts like Notepad, only it is a lot more capable and powerful. I repeat again, this was all written by hand.

For actual reception, everything was received using a Silvercrest SL65 digital satellite receiver. There are no "thoughts on interactive media" pages this year because the videotext version of ITVs teletext and the BBC interactive service are systems which are proprietory to the firmware in the Sky Digibox. The SL65 can only access ordinary teletext. My Digibox, a Pace BSkyB 2500B SkyDigibox, has flaked out. Those times when it is able to successfully start itself up, it cannot 'see' the satellite signal. In other words, the only reason I've not tossed it is because, dammit, I'm either a hoarder of junk or an eternal optimist. It's 50-50 as to which is most applicable (though mom might say 90-10!).

RadioTimes is available in France, nominally priced €2,30 per issue (UK cover price £1); it is a special request which usually arrives on the Thursday before it is current (i.e. two days after its UK release). Simply give your newsagent the code 04328 (you'll notice every French magazine has a number by the barcode - TéléStar for example is "T05479"; well the 04328 (no letter) is the code for RadioTimes).
TéléStar is a French listings magazine that is printed on fairly cheap paper with lots of photos. It reminds me of the way I remember the British TV Times... in its defence, it is usually shrink-wrapped with some interesting stuff for the €1,99 price (I think €0,99 if purchased alone?). Obviously it doesn't cover any non-French channels so its usefulness may be limited in the ex-pat world.

Scanning was performed using a Canon CanoScan FB630U. Bought it in the equivalent of a boot sale for €7, downloaded the drivers from Canon's website, works just fine! Kudos to Canon for making their drivers available. Thanks also for a nice easy-to-use interface, scanning's a breeze!


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Text and HTML copyright © 2008 Rick Murray
Images copyright © 2008 EBU-UER; sourced from BBC broadcasts; calendar from Windows XP.