COULDíVE BEEN A CONTENDER
Are you something to do with computers?
Nope, MAC stands for Multiplexed Analogue Component, and Iím
a television transmission system, developed in the 1970s by a consortium of
European broadcasters and consumer electronics companies
Not another TV system, havenít we got enough already?
I was conceived as the format of the future, and to get
around the problem of broadcasting from satellites
Well, satellite TV signals are really puny -- thatís why you
need a dish -- normal PAL, NTSC and SECAM signals are badly affected by water
vapour in the atmosphere, they can be wiped out altogether in a heavy rain
So whatís different about MAC?
The vision signal is broken up into components, with the
colour and brightness information, plus digital sound sent separately, in
chunks, and then re-assembled in the TV. The quality is really good
Is that it?
You must be kidding. MAC was the great white hope.
Eventually it would provide an upgrade path for widescreen and high-definition
TV in Europe, so we wouldnít have to adopt rival American or Japanese systems,
that were being developed during the 1970s and 80s
Okay, what went wrong?
Itís the same old story. Digital TV put the mockers on MAC.
Several European satellite stations still broadcast MAC signals, using variants
such as D2 MAC etc., but the future looks bleak and itís doubtful whether those
stations stick with the system much longer
R. Maybury 1998 2301