BBC Criticised for HD Service

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The BBC has come under fire for the quality in which its high definition content is broadcast via the BBC HD channel after it made significant changes to the format of its HD content in August.

Word comes via TechRadar that the BBC has been unable to identify any technical issues that would cause the problems that users had reported, which essentially amount to a lack of the “bright, crisp look which for some is synonymous with HD.” Of course, for many broadcasts these will be issues as much with the manner in which the media was produced as anything else.

That’s essentially the grounds on which the BBC has defended itself, saying that the new encoding for the channel hasn’t had a any negative effect on the viewing experience. Indeed, the BBC points out that,

“We did extensive testing on the new encoders which sowed that they could produce pictures at the same or even better quality than the old encoders at the higher bitrate.”

The big issue for now seems to be that many people have been sold on a definition of HD that isn’t necessarily representative of the majority of the content available in the medium. The fact is that not all high-definition content is going to be nature documentaries and long, panning shots of sunlit vistas. Some of that content is going to be fairly gritty drama, or crime movies, for which the “crisp and bright” look that sold many on HD wouldn’t really be suited.

All that aside, it’s interesting to see the BBC coming under so much fire for what seems to amount to a question of public perception of what constitutes “HD.”

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