Most stuff publised by us still is in German, although we do translations German <-> US English and vice versa, but mostly for PR texts. Still there are some samples available:

"Wolf D. Rock Show", Radio Caroline, Maidstone, UK


Normally features rock music - eight sample rock music shows were hosted as Real audio streams on but had to be taken off due to the record companies not allowing any archives containing music...


I also interviewed Michael Moore on his book tour through Germany in November 2003 which was not only published as a German text but also aired on Radio Caroline South terrestrial on FM at the Côte d'Azur and on Radio Caroline International via the net, Eurobird and Worldspace satellites in January 2004. The whole interview and parts of Michael Moore's show again is hosted as a Real audio stream. It is hosted in the nine original parts - without the music in between - starting with the press conference. You can switch from one part to the next the same way like with the rock shows by forwarding to the end of the currently playing segment.



A magazine text published in Tele-Satellit 1-2/99: 
TV-Dinner in America / "56 Channels and nothing on"
The United States – the land of television. The tube is everywhere, in the kitchen, kids room or bedroom.  Maybe one can get a break from the daily soaps and talk shows on the potty. But what is the actual difference between the consumer electronics market in the US and Germany? Tele-Satellit’s editor Wolf-Dieter Roth had a four week close encounter with the "American dream".
Well, one cliché is right most of the time: The common job for radio in Germany, the creation of a bit of background noise, is TV’s job in the US. Only at work and in the car is the good old "steam radio" still in business. Radio programs in the States are significantly better than in Germany: it is easy to find three "classic rock" stations in the greater Jacksonville area of North Florida, as well as in Orlando, the home of Disneyworld. Since America is the home of format radio, expect to know the station’s record collection after three days –  although Pink Floyd’s "Time" is a classic, you might not want to hear it three times a day...

Despite that, radio programs are acceptable in the US. But the outlook for TV is somewhat murky. First for technical reasons: Long distances in the country are difficult to cover. Since there are so many different stations, it is not possible to use narrow bandwidth antennas like it was commonly done for many years in Germany. Instead, universal broadband yagis are sold that cover FM radio, the upper VHF band (remember the lower VHF band I does not exist in the US – they have devices like cordless telephones on those frequencies instead!) and UHF in one. For $100 you can get an antenna from Radio Shack that promises 210 miles reception (340 kilometers) in a flat area. For radio and UHF, Radio Shack still promises 135 miles (216 kilometers). If you know a bit about radio wave propagation, you can imagine what is left of the picture after a distance that far over the horizon, which would be at 60 kilometers.

However, in the city every station has its own transmitter on top of their skyscraper, which does not exactly help in deciding in what direction to point your antenna. Plus, do not forget that the US also has to cope with the older NTSC color system. NTSC reacts with strong color changes on signal reflections, therefore it is also occasionally explained as "never the same color".

Also, you do not get very many interesting programs over the aerial. Only PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) is commercial free and financed by donations from viewers and sponsors. All the other free TV programs are interrupted frequently and lengthily by commercials. German viewers with Telekom cable can get an idea what US television is like by watching the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on the "NBC Europe Superchannel" The preproduced commercial breaks are filled in with advertisements for NBC’s other programs, since American commercials would neither make sense nor probably even be allowed in Germany. No wonder such a program can only be used as background noise – it is not possible to enjoy it in the peace and quiet of an armchair without being driven to distraction. Also, theater-quality movies, frequently seen on German private channels, are rare to see on free-to-air American television. When it is to your advantage to save time and frustration from frequent commercial interruptions, its probably better to rent the movie from a local video store. Video stores flourish better in the US than in Germany, and it is probably a good reason  why the "No sex please – we’re Blockbuster" family video store chain, which failed in Germany, is the market leader in the US.

The alternative in the city is cable television. Many cable companies have various offers starting from $30 a month (50 DM), attracting customer’s attention. So one can get a good 50 channels that offer a lot of junk and also a basic delivery of programs like CNN, Cartoon Network, The Weather Channel (very important in hurricane- and tornado-prone North America), Discovery Channel and TLC (The Learning Channel, which belongs to the same company as Discovery), and the nationwide TV networks. Of course not commercial free. To make sure that the viewer does not just skip them, at least one or two hints on the running program are spread in between the commercials, seeming as if the program was about to continue. Instead, they switch from the nationwide commercials to the localized ones supplied by the cable company.

Even in cable some channels are coded, and you need a set top box and Pay-TV card to get them on the screen. Other stations like HBO (Home Box Office) will not be on the cable at all if you do not pay per month or sometimes even per view. To avoid your getting totally lost, one channel shows a program schedule – US TV does not have anything like the European "Videotext". All that remains from former plans for such a system is "close caption" (CC) that provides subtitles for hearing impaired similar to German Videotext page 150. To make sure the viewers dependent on this service do not miss the really important parts of the program – the commercials! – those get subtitles too. Have a look at this interesting dialogue from a car commercial: "Slamm! Click! Vrooommm!!". You may even recognize elements of regular German programming: BMW uses modified parts of the "Space Night" introduction of Bayrischer Rundfunk in one of their commercials. They probably would not dare to do such  plagiarism in Germany, but in the US one does not see programs like Space Night on normal TV stations, since NASA has its own TV station!

But of course many German TV shows are copied straight from American TV. The "Late Night Show" is run by Conan O’Brian in the US, in Germany Thomas Gottschalk and Thomas Koschwitz used to host it and passed it on to Harald Schmidt. Also SAT 1’s "Wochenshow" with Ingolf Lück is a direct copy of a US show, including the design of the show’s logo. Unfortunately not yet arrived in Germany is a timesaving achievement on Hollywood’s entertainment- and scandal-channel "E!": Once a week they compile all the worst mishaps and funniest conversations of all the talk shows in "Talk Soup", so that even those viewers who normally do not have the time or the nerve for watching talk shows can also have a laugh. 

Technical quality of cable reception is rather bad: CNN e.g. is carried so badly at "Cable One" in Jacksonville that you need to know politicians and moderators by their face, because the names on the screen are totally unreadable. The electronically generated program guide with the next two hours of programming shows up in a real "DX" quality: the lines are jittering just like how long distance experts might know from DX conditions, and for hours this channel completely disappears in the splatter from adjacent channels. Of course this happens on all TV sets in the house. Actually this does not really bother anyone since nobody really pays attention to the schedules. Instead they flip up and down the channels in a way that you might think someone’s playing "Donkey Kong" or "Super Mario" on a Gameboy...

If you live in the country, you do not even get this dubious luxury: there is no cable there. As an alternative you may have one of three competing satellite Pay-TV systems: Primestar for $28 a month, DirecTV with 40 digital channels for $20 a month and Echostar with Dish-TV (please do not mix up with Tele-Satellit’s "Dr. Dish-TV"!). Dish TV is not available on the East coast because the satellite used is too westwards and not able to cover the whole US. Do not forget the costs for the dish and the receiver, which you may buy or rent for an additional $10 a month. The quality of those programs have already made it into Bruce Springsteen’s song lyrics: "56 channels and nothing on" – they are not any better or different than the cable channels. Free-TV sat programs like the German programs on Astra satellite do not exist in the States, not counting sat specialists tapping internal transfers.

To cope with American TV addicts wanting a set in every room and people not able to sleep without the tube still on, at first the sat systems did not use the trick for using the same channel twice in horizontal and vertical polarization, as it is done on European Astra. So you could easily parallel several receivers and TV sets to one dish without a need for expensive Twin LNCs, multiswitches and other complicated and expensive accessories. By now at least for DirecTV, you need "Dual LNCs" if you want to connect two receivers. And unlike with Eutelsat and Astra, satellite radio is not widely known in the US.

And finally the important question: How expensive are consumer electronic devices in the US compared to Germany? Are they still cheaper or not?

For someone from Europe being in the US on vacation, that is no topic: the different line voltage and (with VCRs and TV sets) the different TV system would prevent someone from having fun with the US model of their dream device. Not to mention the problems at customs, where the officials are just waiting to cash in on such "self imports". Also applying for a guarantee would be a major problem. But if you are planning on staying in the States for a while, you should know what is expecting you:

Japanese made equipment is at a similar price level as in Germany, if the dollar would be up at 2 DM. At the present lower exchange rate those are around 20% cheaper. Native brands like Hewlett-Packard for computer accessories or Zenith for TV sets and VCRs even show up at only 50% of corresponding equipment in Germany. With PCs you only see slight differences in configuration: US citizens accept less powerful CPUs -– the "Celeron" processors that are disdained in Germany sell quite well in the US. Hi-Fi systems do not look much different, although newer developments as Mini Disc and audio CD recording are rarely seen in the stores, CD players and compact cassette still rule the market. A noticeable difference: Consumer shops like Circuit City contrary to similar German chains like "Media Markt" only show a price limited spectrum of appliances: the most expensive CD player or VCR is only double the price of the cheapest one – if you want more, you have to go somewhere else. It seems they do not have to draw the customer in by showing him an expensive high-end device to buy an economy one. Americans only get irrational – again – with TV sets: Even the cheap shops show several oversize sets as rear projection systems. You will not see features like 100 Hz display, as the American TV system operates on 60 instead of 50 Hz where screen flickering is not such a problem anymore: even the cheapest TV set looks calm and does not go on your nerves with flickering – maybe another reason why the tube is on all day...

Of course all TV sets are only able to take US signals: 525 lines, 60 Hz, NTSC. Multinorm-TVs are completely unknown and not for sale anywhere, not even a trace of 16:9 or other technical finesses. Neither are multinorm VCRs available, and even S-VHS VCRs are a rare species. No wonder American video shippers have such problems of producing PAL copies. Only the high-end chain Sound Advice could really cope with their name and supply some advice on the subject what you could get to have a look at European video tapes: they offered an Aiwa VCR with integrated digital TV norm converter (first presented at German Funkausstellung 1995), that also operates on both 110 and 230 volts without switching.

But you can not miss the new video technology DVD (digital versatile disc): DVD players and software are on sale everywhere – at prices rather high for American rates. Also you should always look twice: Not only do American discs not run on European players – this time not because of problems with the TV system but by copyright protection intentionally introduced by the film industry – DVDs produced for the US get a country code 1, and the ones produced for Europe get a country code 2 so only those play in European players. Also many of the discs on sale seem to be very well priced, but are actually one-way products: These are so-called DIVX discs that can only be played with special equipment. The players dial into a computing center via modem and register the movie being started there. You now have to finish watching the movie within the next 48 hours. Otherwise you are out of luck, since the device will not play the movie anymore. If you want to see it again, you have to call and pay for it a second time with your credit card. Otherwise, the only use left for the disc is to put it under your beer glass. The idea is to have a one-way alternative to video tape rental: Buy it, watch it, trash it. Not very environmental. But that is no surprise in a country, where you may get many gadgets, but rarely something like a glass of water from the tap that can be actually drunk or a warm bath that does not smell like a darkroom or a public pool...