December 01, 2009

Introducing BBC PHD

According to Digital Spy, Freesat MD Emma Scott thinks that the obvious drop in picture quality on BBC HD is a "geek issue".
"I don't think that regular punters really recognise a recognisable dip. And as Danielle said, it's down to the particular programmes that you are watching and how it is optimised for different types of programmes. On satellite, it's a pretty high picture quality.

"Ultimately, it's about the overall effect of HD, whether it's the surround sound you get with it or how they have shot it. And I think they are right to be experimenting with it to see which things work out. I just don't think it's an issue, I really don't.

"But it's a very subjective decision, a subjective judgement. . . we have no complaints about the picture quality of BBC HD."
So they're now happy with "pretty high picture quality" - maybe they should call it BBC PHD ("Pretty High Definition"). Strewth... it really is the blind leading the blind...


Andrew Nixon said...

Incidentally, I've noticed that the picture quality on on-demand BBC HD content is a lot better than the actual channel. Anyone else noticed this or is it my imagination?

tvsersity said...

Oh dear, what a farce. So we're all just imagining it, are we? BBC HD looks like BBC SD with a little less compression, that's it. The only time it looks HD is when the credits roll and the text is clearly high-def.

BikeNutt said...

And I thought Danielle Nagler's comments were insulting!

Jeez, I just can't believe such people in authority are allowed to get away with such statements.

To date, only Roly Keating has provided an appropriate response to this whole saga.

Anonymous said...

Yes, apparently it is "good enough" if your average punter with a badly calibrated no-name Tesco's special "HDTV" on "Vivid" settings cannot tell the difference.

Anyone who has bothered to set up their TV properly to watch HD is now a "geek". Sad really.

Rowan said...

As I understand it, a show could be shot in 720p, it then loses quality when encoded using Y/Cb/Cr 4:2:0 (i.e. it wont look "perfect" to begin with), then the V+ box upscales it to 1080i, and then your panel TV upscales it again to 1080p (assuming you have a 1080p TV). So, even with out any transmission encoder introduced artifacts, after all those conversion steps it wouldn't surprise me if the end result isn't as glorious as could be.

Expecting every programme to look crisp just because its shot in HD is silly. That would be like expecting every piece of music to make full use of the entire spectrum of sound that CD audio supports, just because its technically possible. Its up to the director/composer as to how their work will look/sound. Right?

Nialli said...

Sure, the quality of the picture is very much a decision for the director, and if we're to believe what's been said by the BBC before some have elected not to shoot in HD for artistic reasons.
But that doesn't mean that there hasn't been a fundamental drop in the quality of BBC HD. I watched the film A Simple Plan on BBC HD the other day, having previously watched it a year or so ago on the channel. I remember the snowy woodlands being quite stunning first time around - this time there was little detail and it was quite blurry and I don't think it's all down to me getting used to HD - it wasn't as good. Period.