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View Full Version : OT. how reliable is discovery channel



skabbe
03-03-2005, 09:37 AM
those few times i have watched discovery makes me feel that moste of the shows are not the truth. about spitfire, about the german flying-wing to nuke USA. all those ufo stuff, and of course ailens build the pyramids. stuff like that.
what is your opinion about discovery. i think it have fooled way to many friends of mine...

BlastinFooz619
03-03-2005, 09:47 AM
I have no idea what you are talking about. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

Vacillator
03-03-2005, 09:58 AM
Another thing their (and other history channels) programmes are prone to is mindless use of video clips. Such as the narrative talking about the invasion of France 1940 while the video shows Tiger IIs in the Ardennes 1944. Kinda like someone thought 'Oh any old German tank footage will do'. Mind you a lot of reference texts aren't much better.

BBB_Hyperion
03-03-2005, 10:26 AM
Cause you make most Profit when you tell people things that they want to believe .) So in general every tv program has its own agenda and a own viewergroup that influence the content. That is even the case for books.

Chuck_Older
03-03-2005, 10:26 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by skabbe:
those few times i have watch discovery makes me feel that moste of the shows are not the truth. about spitfire, about the german flying-wing to nuke USA. all those ufo stuff, and of course ailens build the pyramids. stuff like that.
reliable? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


What you are asking is:

"Is the Discovery Channel dedicated to truth above all else?"

The answer is "No". They are a business. Some people think their business is to make TV shows, but I disagree. I think their business is the same as anyone else's- to make money

Can the Discovery Channel be reliable? Sure it can. But must it? No.

Do what you'd do on any other subject- get more than one reference source http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

crazyivan1970
03-03-2005, 10:47 AM
Just as reliable as History Channel http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Wseivelod
03-03-2005, 10:55 AM
Discovery Channel??? Reliable??? I don't think they even belong in the same sentence.


Just watch it on mute to your favorite music, and enjoy the recycled clips.

Maybe we should organize our own efforts to surface better WWII air combat footage! We know it's out there! Also, I'm sure that some people on this board have connections somewhere.....

Corporate TV (especially in referrence to history) = non sense

LilHorse
03-03-2005, 10:57 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chuck_Older:
Do what you'd do on any other subject- get more than one reference source http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think what Chuck is trying to say here is, turn off your TV and READ!

Discovery Channel, History Channel, the Military Channel are so rife with mis-information or outright errors it's almost funny. Almost that is until you concider that they present themselves as being accurate and people just accept it.

Last night for example on the Military Channel they had a special about a/c in the Pacific and said, amoung other inaccurate things, that the Japanese nickname for the Corsair was "Wispering Death" (that was the Beaufighter, the Corsair was "Whistling Death"). And that the Hellcat was designed to counter the Zero (when actually it was on Grumman's drawing boards before the U.S. entered the war).

Just read up on your favorite topics and I guarantee you'll know more about them than any of the producers of these programs.

Wseivelod
03-03-2005, 11:01 AM
I guess the channels make money pressenting "The People's History of the World - and how they would like to remember it"

Hey Chuck Older, I appreciate the clash. I would PM you sometime if I even thought you would reply.

WWSensei
03-03-2005, 11:26 AM
The problem with Discovery and History Channel is that when they do bother to do a story right they actually do a very good job. By the same token when they hose up they hose up good. Signal to noise ratio is pretty low...

I cringed on a recent special on the Flying Tigers. In general, that got most the story right but when they described the P-40 as carrying 4 "50 mm machine guns"....

Yep, not 50 cal, but 50mm...now, a P-40 with 4 50mm cannons would be really cool and could unleash some serious Hate On A Crate but come on...

Blackdog5555
03-03-2005, 12:01 PM
Oh Please.

boxmike
03-03-2005, 12:59 PM
Bought a few WWII aerial document programmes on tape and DVD. Most of them are pretty disappointing in way that they should merely be silent, than narrator talking about one thing and screen showing another. Let's take one hour document with 60 minute span of WWII air war: I won't get hurt that in Poland '39 Germans used late Stukas with anti-tank cannons. I wont get hurt that in BoB there seemed to be swarms of FW190s. What annoys me are things that in the end categorize a special programme into lowest level of quality in the eyes of enthusiasts; like famed 'The Mustang Arrives' scheme: In this particular document narrator praises that to the audience and you can see a Yak peeling off formation http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif
And I bet everyone has seen that 'authentic' flick of Germans intercepting B-17s, actually being mock attack by Spits. Well, that's not so bad IMHO, one can see at least some of the speed things were happening up there.
It's a bit jungle out there, one should be aware of companies delivering quality documents http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

http://personal.inet.fi/kerho/prkl/Boxter_Avatar.JPG

Platypus_1.JaVA
03-03-2005, 01:13 PM
Translators also are capabale of awful subtitle jobs. You can tell if a translator hasn't got any knowledge on the subject of what he (or she) is trying to translate. You would get the "P-40 has got 4X 50mm guns" kind of thing. But, that's hardly the documentary makers fault. The 'wrong combat footage' error is much more common. Example's of that are allready given. So, the only thing that we can do is use our own knowledge to filter out the parts of the program that is wrong and ignore them.

As a good rule of thumb, if it looks flashy, with lots of bright colors and very quick camera/scene changes, be sceptic about the information they give. Real history and real facts don't need to be flashy.

Platypus_1.JaVA
03-03-2005, 01:14 PM
But, when a program is made flashy, this doesn't mean they don't give accurate information of course.

Jasko76
03-03-2005, 01:29 PM
Discovery is actually almost the only thing I watch on TV, not just because WWII stuff, but because of everything else. I like to see places I will never visit, other people and cultures. There is a lot about different technologies, alot on automobiles.

A bit of misinformation is not so bad since I have a pretty good knowledge about things they're showing. Problem is with the younger audiences, they might be learned to believe things like "P-51 won the war"!

Waldo.Pepper
03-03-2005, 01:52 PM
READ BOOKS!

Chuck_Older
03-03-2005, 01:58 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Wseivelod:
I guess the channels make money pressenting "The People's History of the World - and how they would like to remember it"

Hey Chuck Older, I appreciate the clash. I would PM you sometime if I even thought you would reply. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Go ahead, I'm not gonna track you down and cut you because you PM'd me http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

skabbe
03-03-2005, 02:26 PM
i personaly like watching discovery and history aswell, just like every one else here. i dont get upset by "spitfire kicked bf109 in all aspects". but stuff like GO-226 was made for nuking amarica. wouldnt even get there... or that mountens creates oil and make it imposible for us to consume it all. or that a ship on fire with a load of urane exploded so a whole town was blown away, and that was the start of the atomic bomb. but the funniest i seen was when a extremly energetic researcher with huge hands explaining how former life would look like, chickens with one big leg often eaten by meat-eating bags that lives underground like a pit. why?

ImpStarDuece
03-03-2005, 05:08 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LilHorse:

I think what Chuck is trying to say here is, turn off your TV and READ!

Discovery Channel, History Channel, the Military Channel are so rife with mis-information or outright errors it's almost funny. Almost that is until you concider that they present themselves as being accurate and people just accept it.

Last night for example on the Military Channel they had a special about a/c in the Pacific and said, amoung other inaccurate things, that the Japanese nickname for the Corsair was "Wispering Death" (that was the Beaufighter, the Corsair was "Whistling Death"). And that the Hellcat was designed to counter the Zero (when actually it was on Grumman's drawing boards before the U.S. entered the war).

Just read up on your favorite topics and I guarantee you'll know more about them than any of the producers of these programs. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


That said, always be wary and always read more than one bok on a particular subject. I have just finished the first book of Alan Schoms recently released history of the US/Japanese conflict in the Pacific. It had me SCREAMING at the book because of some basic and obvious factual and contextual errors. Everything fom ship misidentification, incorrect unit numbers, incorrect Hp figures for Japanese fighters, a complete misunderstanding of Japanese domestic politics and the role of the Emperor all crept in. Sheesh, even well respected historians get things wildly wrong sometimes.

Take most things with a grain of salt. Wide reading and a good level of background information are the two best allies you have in assesing the reliability and bias of a source.

huggy87
03-03-2005, 05:57 PM
Just yesterday I was watching a show about american fighters that stated "15,000 republic p-47s were built, more than any other fighter in WW2." What about the 30000+ 109's, 20000 190s, the spitfire, etc. They should have qualified their statement with most of any other american fighter. They make silly errors like that all the time.

PBNA-Boosher
03-03-2005, 08:28 PM
For us blokes, it's a biased scumbag of a channel. BUT, the main thing it does is spark interest in a subject, which is good.

BaldieJr
03-03-2005, 08:44 PM
I know its all 100% correct else it wouldn't be on my TV.

GvSAP_Wingnut
03-03-2005, 08:57 PM
I have found "Sunrise Earth" to be a very truthful and accurate program.

Hopefully I'm not the only one with Discovery HDT and somebody else knows what Sunrise Earth is and will share a laugh in what is supposed to be a bit of a joke... which is what I find most of the "issues" with DC posted here to be anyway. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe S.E. is a biased scumbag of a program. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I honestly don't understand how some of you can get through each day...

F19_Ob
03-03-2005, 11:45 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by skabbe:
those few times i have watched discovery makes me feel that moste of the shows are not the truth. about spitfire, about the german flying-wing to nuke USA. all those ufo stuff, and of course ailens build the pyramids. stuff like that.
what is your opinion about discovery. i think it have fooled way to many friends of mine... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My take on it....
They tell a quick story and must make it flow.
The storytellers are not experts in the field they discuss. Even the historians summoned quite often do small mistakes, like mixing up different fighters.
Either they are in a hurry, nervous or just haven't done their homework.

I have a general interest in nature and science and even many of the science programs are filled with mistakes and often portray a theory or an idea as fact. This goes for most of the discovery programs I've seen. (anoying actually)

The other problem the program makers face is that it have to be an interesting story and then adjust the facts after that.

The only use most of those programs have is that they may get people interested in some field and from there learn the hard way.
---------------------------

Perhaps I'm a bit too hars but education/learning is my field and very important to me, so when I see a Theory/idea displayed as truth I get sad because TV is one of the most powerful tools we have and could be used better.
---------------------------

I dont mean that everything is wrong, one just cant count on it.
The best thing is to get an idea from discovery and then look it up in several sources. U still might not get it right but its the only way to get a sane approach to knowledge and truth wich really is a fragile thing and alwayschanging.

I constantly try to update my knowledge in various fields, and I admit I kind of like it. I sometimes find myself claiming stuff on these boards and directly after wonder how much of what I "know" is really truth??


a few thoughts..

ImpStarDuece
03-03-2005, 11:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by huggy87:
Just yesterday I was watching a show about american fighters that stated "15,000 republic p-47s were built, more than any other fighter in WW2." What about the 30000+ 109's, 20000 190s, the spitfire, etc. They should have qualified their statement with most of any other _american_ fighter. They make silly errors like that all the time. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually the P-47D is the most built fighter <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">sub-type</span> of all time. Its more a sin of omission than an actual mis-truth.

Rab03
03-04-2005, 02:18 AM
It is a commercial TV channel. In many cases "documentaries" are superficial and incorrect. Whether you'll percieve it depends on your knowledge on a specific subject show deals with.

BTW, if you are interested in how TV shows and stories are made, Michael Crichton's AIRFRAME is a good reading. It's an excellent thriller novel I've read couple of times.

LEXX_Luthor
03-04-2005, 03:30 AM
The Dogfighter Channel reminds me of I Dream of Jeannie and Major Nelson takes off in F~102, zips around in F~104, and lands in F~5, or some similar sequence.

Another was the final lepisode of Canadian LEXX where President Priest and first girlfriend Bunny take off in Tornado, fly around in F~18, and eject from computer rendered F~4, although I think in this case the Canadians may or may not have been poking fun at USA Hollywood doing this kind of thing.

Capt.LoneRanger
03-04-2005, 04:54 AM
Most scientific programs and journals are non-sense. I remember a discussion with a hardcore fan of the magazine "PM". There was an article stating the Mig29 was the first and only aircraft capable of performing a cobra-maneuver... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif

huggy87
03-04-2005, 07:37 AM
To be fair to the discovery and history channels, they are pretty good at covering a broad range of interesting subjects. Sure, they screw up a lot of little details on WW2 aviation, but the majority of their viewers wouldn't know the difference. For example, I have a casual interest in archeology and ancient history, but I wouldn't know if they, say, made a small error. Watching these channels has enlightened me on a broad range of topics and generally made me a more well-rounded know-it-all http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. I highly recommend the modern marvels and battlefield detectives on the history channel.

Capt.LoneRanger
03-04-2005, 07:51 AM
Yes, to be fair, it IS some kind of infotainment. Even the stories about ufos, aliens and stuff are quite nice, cause they always, or at least often say, that this is the way the people interviewed think of it, or (think) they experienced it. So, it put's itself a bit into relation. I like 'em. At least they're good for waking some peoples interest in a certain matter.

Stonerox
03-07-2005, 09:29 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Platypus_1.JaVA:
Translators also are capabale of awful subtitle jobs. You can tell if a translator hasn't got any knowledge on the subject of what he (or she) is trying to translate. You would get the "P-40 has got 4X 50mm guns" kind of thing. But, that's hardly the documentary makers fault. The 'wrong combat footage' error is much more common. Example's of that are allready given. So, the only thing that we can do is use our own knowledge to filter out the parts of the program that is wrong and ignore them.

As a good rule of thumb, if it looks flashy, with lots of bright colors and very quick camera/scene changes, be sceptic about the information they give. Real history and real facts don't need to be flashy. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, it's quite annoying when the translator mixes up vital stuff - like bc/ad when they refer to years, happens a lot in the norwegian translations... doesn't give a very seroius feeling...
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Cess-SGTRoc
03-07-2005, 11:54 AM
One of the problems is with what you are seeing is that this is the P.C. age. You have to be so carefull not to offend anyone that they have got to the point that it is just about imposable to tell the truth.
So we get the misinfomation that we see today. And it does not matter what country it is from.

blakduk
03-07-2005, 07:25 PM
Discovery channel is about as trustworthy as an eye-witness to an incident. In other words, 'not very'.
Get a group of people together who've witnessed something and they'll all give a different account of what occured. The rule of thumb is that the truth is a gestalt of all the tales combined. As some have mentioned already; dont rely on one source of information, remain skeptical and question those who supply the 'facts'.
As for the mistaken video tracks etc, there are a lot of people involved in producing these things and last minute 'improvements' are often made by those with an eye for a show rather than the truth.
Most of you will have noticed, the more knowledge you gain on a particular topic, the more jarring the mistakes seem when you notice them.
Be mindful too that we are concentrating on a time in history when: millions were displaced, killed, maimed and traumatised; when technology went from wood/canvas airframes with internal combustion engines to alloy and armoured structures with turbines; from cordite to nuclear fission; from economic stagnation to economic mania; when multitudes of aircraft were created in a dizzying variety with innumerable field and personal idiosyncratic modifications.
To get a 'definitive' history on any time is impossible, it rings even more true of ww2.

BaldieJr
03-07-2005, 07:28 PM
If it were not for the valliant efforts of the Discovery Channels' editors/producers, I would be historicly stupid. God bless the Discovery Channel.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Xiolablu3
03-07-2005, 07:29 PM
The stuff by Bob Carruthers is brilliant.

Battlefield, Tanks and load of others.

Some of the other stuff like battlefront isnt so good.

I still love to watch it tho.

han freak solo
03-07-2005, 11:26 PM
Myth Busters is awesome. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif Something is always exploding. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Wooden cannons...bullets for auto fuses...shooting holes in pressurized aircraft...testing bullet proof glass...ripping axles out of cars...etc.,etc.

Marc-David
03-08-2005, 03:18 AM
Hi,

I bought a DVD from a german publisher named "The Messerschmidt BF-109"

Reading the index I found the following:
...
18. Die P 15 Mustang [typed correctly what I saw in the booklet...]
...

The rest of the DVD was of a similar quality...
I turned of the sound and watched some nice footage of G-6s flying over Guernica...

Any questions?

Yours, MD

koivis
03-08-2005, 06:57 AM
ImpStarDuede,
actually, the Bf 109G was the most produced fighter version with 24000 http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif and over 14000 in 1944 alone. Both -G and -D subtypes were improved constantly, and there's a big difference between G-1 an G-14, like there's between D-1 and D-30.

Obi_Kwiet
03-08-2005, 12:18 PM
It seems like the Discovery Channel is mostly this annoying guy with a big mustache shouting at people who are making motorcycles for him. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

Gryphonne
03-08-2005, 12:36 PM
Any channel stating that the Hetzer was equipped with a Czech 76mm gun should quit broadcasting history shows.

womenfly
03-08-2005, 12:59 PM
http://store.aetv.com/Product_images/AAE42701b.jpg
<span class="ev_code_PINK">"The History Channel" say no more!</span>

telsono
03-08-2005, 04:51 PM
I was just recently watching the History Channel the other night. They had two shows back to back that mentioned the Hellcat. In both shows they use a clip of P-47 C or D razorbacks over Euroope to represent the F6F's. Those shows have some educational value, but mostly its entertainment.

In my job I have to work with professional translators at times. Its funny that you get someone who may have the training in a language (or even be a native speaker) but doesn't know their limits when it concerns technical jargon. One example I had was a translator that tried to translate the scientific names (binomials) of plants and insects as if they were common words of that language. Needles to say we trashed that translation.