The Media Question Amnesty Thread

(14-09-2023, 05:30 AM)bbctvtechop Wrote:  There is a similar problem to solve before 19th January 2038 - the "epochalypse" - when computers which calculate time in 16-bits will appear to rewind back to December 1901.

This is also why on Sky+HD at least, when you see an expiry date on content of 2038, it means it can't go any further, though the content will be be available after that time, in theory. Which suggests that platform will pretty be extinct by 2038 as I think is based on some flavour of Linux, which based on the age of that platform was always going to be susceptible to that problem.

I suspect Sky Q may be affected as well, though since the long term trend of Sky is get away from satellite dishes and further towards the likes of Sky Stream, the whole issue may solve itself in due course.
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  • Stuart

It's to do with the UNIX epoch (which began on the 1st of Jan 1970), is recorded as the number of seconds since that date, and the date in 2038 is when it fills up a 32 bit integer and would overflow

Hopefully not quite the same panic as Y2K as many affected systems have already been upgraded to use a 64 bit integer

In a TV context there have been similar issues with some conditional access systems, eg one of the systems used for US cable TV uses a different date reference and a smaller integer and this is about to roll over. I gather the vendors have found fixes and workarounds however. 

(12-09-2023, 12:31 PM)TheGregmeister Wrote:  For the case of the Millennium Bug, it was just the fear of computerised systems around the world malfunctioning when the first two digits of the year changed from 19 to 20, and it turned out to be a damp squib anyway!
It was only a damp squib because a lot of work took place beforehand to ensure any potential problems didn't happen. It was a real problem 

There were a few isolated occuramces of computers getting confused with the change of century in the lead up to 2000, however they were mostly things like 104 year olds getting letters about starting school. I don't think there were many occurances were they got confused and shut down

(14-09-2023, 12:42 PM)Stooky Bill Wrote:  It was only a damp squib because a lot of work took place beforehand to ensure any potential problems didn't happen.
Not least by Richard Madeley.

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