December 11, 2009


Andy Quested has now posted the last part of his response to those questionning the drop in picture quality on BBC HD; final post (and links to the others) here. The comments speak volumes...
Mr Quested is normally very candid and the time he's taken in writing these (at times very technical) blogs is appreciated, but I'd still like to ask him if, all politics and spin aside, he cannot see that the picture we now have on the channel is inferior to that we enjoyed previous to the changes introduced in the summer. Frankly I don't care about the maths and physics behind the technical evaluations, all I know is what I see with my eyes - it is not as good as it was, and is now closer in sharpness and detail to standard def BBC1 than the HD channels from Nat Geo, C4, FX et al.
Is it bit rate? It has to be a factor and yet the BBC denies this. I don't know what bitrate the On Demand programming is alocated on Virgin but a number of folk have emailed me saying they think it's better to watch programmes on demand now than live or record them. Haven't noticed it myself (BBC HD On Demand being somewhat hit or miss about what it stores still I don't rely on it) but I can say that I currently regard BBC HD as a bit of a waste of my V+ disc at the moment and I'm watching all my BBC viewing on the SD channels.
The debate doesn't appear to be going anywhere - the BBC management are so entrenched they're not going to suddenly admit they were wrong, and the channel's going to the dogs. A real shame. A real setback for high definition TV in the UK.

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