Pure Digital B.S.

Or A Rose Buy Any Other Name..........
Hello for 08-2000
By: Mike Lipshultz

We have all heard those ads "Pure Digital Sound"  "Digitally Clear", and so on.  Let me tell you it is a load of bull.


Now I am not picking on any one company.  Every Digital Network is subject to what we will be talking about.  I don't care if they call it  "PCS" "GSM" "Cell Phone" "Total Digital Network", and so on.  They are all basically the same.  And every single one is really a Digital radio network.


Being a radio they are subject to one nagging problem.  Bad or no reception. 


With an Analog phone when you get into a bad reception area your conversation gets very "staticy" before it gets so bad you completely lose the connection.  But even with the static you can still hear the conversation.  You may not be able to hear it well enough to understand it, but you can hear it.


With digital you never have any static.  Do not confuse this with always having a clear conversation.  In bad reception areas Digital has a bad sound all it's own.  It can range from an echo on one or both sides of a conversation, to only hearing bits and pieces of each word.  I like to call that talking "Kligon"  I apologize to all the Star Trek fans if I misspelled the word.  The geek boys that made my spell checker did not include that word). I say that because if you have ever seen a Star Trek episode with "Kligon" in it, you will hear the similarities if you talk to someone on a Digital connection when only part of each word is heard.  The one thing you will not hear on a Digital connection is static.  That's the only difference to the users of the system


It's a choice of static or no static.  In fact most people who come from using an Analog unit to using a Digital unit, don't like the sound of the Digital unit.  Their main complaint? That Digital echo, and the fact that it just sounds different.


Why would anyone go with Digital if most users like Analog?  Money.  A good example is my co-editor Tyler.  He just switched from an Analog unit to a Digital one.  His phone bill has now gone from an average of $70.00-$80.00 a month to no more the $30.00 a month.  But let me tell you, all month long I have heard the complaining about the sound.  I have told him the same thing I am telling you.  It's just the way Digital is.  Any Digital.


Now, there are something's you can do to make it better.  If you use the phone in your car, get an outside antenna (see review last month on Andrews Drive Time Antennae kit).  Also if you’re not happy with your phone, try another one.  Sound quality can vary from phone to phone, model to model.  I personally use a Motorola Star Tack.  Yes I love the small size, but I went with it, because for me it has the best reception.


AT&T, GTE, SPRINT, PAC BELL.... AND SO ON... Which one is the best?  Can't say.  They all have their place.  In my area I think AT&T is the way to go (not perfect, just better than the other choices).  In other areas other systems may be the better one.  It depends on where and how you will be using the phone.


So, don't get taken in by all that advertising "hype".  Pick the one that's best for you.


For more information read Tyler's article this month on his phone.  You should also check out these past articles.





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