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BBC ONE HD possible picture fault on Freeview HD

Discussion in 'Freeview' started by DirtyNorris, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. DirtyNorris

    DirtyNorris Member

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    I kept noticing on Masterchef last night that there was a faint vertical fringing on the picture on some shots, I put it down to a camera fault. But it was also noticable on the following Ten O'clock News, and again on Breakfast this morning.

    It's only on BBC1 HD via Freeview, BBC1 HD on SkyHD is OK, as is the BBC HD channel and all other HD channel via Freeview or Sky. I have noticed it on two different TV's (much easier to spot on the 46" telly than the 24" one!). Has anyone else noticed this? :lease:

    If it's regional, I get BBC1 HD from Winter Hill. Cheers.
  2. fluxo

    fluxo Active Member

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    I came here to specifically check if someone had seen something similar and
    I find your post. So it's not just my brain going funny :--)

    It's a bit difficult to describe, but it looks somewhat like the right hand side
    of this picture:

    [​IMG]


    My transmitter is also Winter Hill. Further details:

    1) "Fringing" (faint vertical texture/lines) scales with picture when I zoom picture on the TV.
    2) Only present on BBC 1 HD. Not on other channels, nor on blu ray discs etc.
    3) Seen on the news at 6pm and the breakfast programme this morning.
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  3. fluxo

    fluxo Active Member

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    I've submitted a complaint to the BBC. Will let you know if I get a reply.

    If anyone else has noticed this, it might help if additional complaints are
    submitted.
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  4. Gavtech

    Gavtech Administrator

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    It may well be relevant which TV's are exhibiting these problems so perhaps the make / Model should be mentioned.
  5. DirtyNorris

    DirtyNorris Member

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    Thanks for the responses - I'm relieved that it isn't just me. It looks to me like a poorly-keyed CSO effect trying to break-through into the picture!

    I can see the effect on both a Sony KDL46-HX753 and a Panasonic 24" TV (Not sure of the model but it does had Freeview HD). The effect is more noticable on the Sony but probably just because of the bigger screen.
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  6. DirtyNorris

    DirtyNorris Member

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    Thanks, I've put in a complaint to the BBC as well now. I wish there was an easier way to report a transmission issue than having to put in a full-blown complaint!
  7. fluxo

    fluxo Active Member

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    I agree!

    Well, I had a reply to my complaint to the BBC, in which:

    But ... their webpage form only asked for the first half of the postcode, which I gave them as requested. Further, since the email comes from a no-reply address there is no way to tell them my full postcode or the extra information I now have.

    There's a phone number on this page: https://www.radioandtvhelp.co.uk/interference/rtis_info/about_us

    It is 03709 016 789. From that page it looks as though they deal with reception and interference problems. Trouble is, I'm not sure it is either of those.

    Since I wrote my last post here I have looked at the TVs in the local branch of John Lewis. They have lots of models of TV and they are set to use their internal tuners, which is good. The problem was noticeable there, too. Further, my mum's TV which is miles away from here shows the issue. I think it looks dreadful, but she didn't seem to care! :--)
  8. fluxo

    fluxo Active Member

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    Well, I tried the Radio and Television Investigation Service but couldn't get beyond their queueing system to speak to somebody.

    I have discovered that the way to reply to a BBC reply to a complaint is to fill out a new complaint form and include the reference code. Incredibly tedious, but better than nothing.
  9. aceado

    aceado Member

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    i also have notice this problem aswell myself it seems it started last monday from what i can tell from the video's i have recorded. same problem here from emley moor. sometimes its hard to describe a problem but a picture sure helps!

    here's a comparison between freeview hd (dvb-t2) vs freesat hd (dvb-s2) both from caught red handed this morning and the same frame aswell and you can clearly see the problem for sure!

    Caught Red Handed : Screenshot Comparison

    here's a comparison of the filesizes between them aswell kind in dvb-t2 (freeview hd) as always been smaller in size.

    http://i.imgur.com/oO8Iq2u.png
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  10. fluxo

    fluxo Active Member

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    That's a very helpful post, aceado. If you don't mind, I will phone the BBC
    and refer them to this composite I've made from parts of the screenshots:

    [​IMG]

    I tried photographing my TV screen this morning but the camera image didn't
    clearly show the fault. It is very clear in what you've posted. Thank you very
    much indeed.

    I will phone this BBC number tonight: 0370 100 222. I am not convinced they
    are taking my web form complaint very seriously, but hopefully any inertia can
    be overcome. If anyone would like to make any suggestions as to what I should
    say to them, feel free. Nothing rude, please :--)
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  11. aceado

    aceado Member

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    well i don't know how much detail you want to know but i'll paste every bit of info i have. you may any of it to help fix this issue we all are having and thanks to fluxo for also noticing the overcompression ? and very grainy video unlike freesat is. if there's anything you want or need from me, just ask :)
    also fluxo don't forget the grainy looking video aswell i've added it to your picture in red so you can notice where it is incase you didn't notice it..
    [​IMG]

    i recorded casualty on saturday and cut and compair the size and the video of both and i was shocked to find that both being 49m14s long dvb-t2 was much bigger which has never been the case as dvb-t2 was always... smaller than dvb-s2 everytime. dvb-t2: 2.94 GiB vs dvb-s2 2.41 GiB :(

    i've upload a small sample of casualty from saturday and the week before once you watch them you'll notice what it is that am talking about, am not sure what the hell bbc as changed :S
    so you know this only happen just to bbc 1 hd (emley moor)

    i've used the full url so you know what is.
    casualty.s27e27.dvb-t2.sample (16/03/2013): casualty.s27e27.dvb-t2.sample.ts
    casualty.s27e27.dvb-s2.sample (16/03/2013): casualty.s27e27.dvb-s2.sample.ts
    casualty.s27e26.dvb-t2.sample (9/03/2013): casualty.s27e26.dvb-t2.sample.ts

    this afternoon i record wpc56 as its a old style tv show..
    anyways the recording rate was: dvb-t2 avg rate: 1.080 mb/s vs dvb-s2 0.697 mb/s
    odd thing is the recording rate for dvb-t2 seems to more constant bitrate and might change by ~2-3% if that! unlike how it was before being much more variable bitrate like dvb-s2 is.

    and a comparison here aswell Wpc56 : Screenshot Comparison
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  12. fluxo

    fluxo Active Member

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    Thank you for the extra details, aceado. With regard to the compression artifacts you mention, I am not sure whether or not that is the kind of loss of quality normally associated with low bitrates.

    I chose to indicate the vertical lines as they are very unusual. I have not seen compression anomalies like that before - indeed, I am not sure that they are such anomalies, though that is certainly a hypothesis worth thinking about. What is especially odd is that the lines often seem unrelated to the underlying content. That is, when the camera pans the lines often seem to stay in place.

    I was watching BBC Breakfast this morning and it was especially bad. On that programme it's very easy to see the lines on the studio background, which is made to look like a view through a window. It would be easy to assume the lines were a part of that simulated (?) view, but actually if you look closely you can see they run down across the faces of presenters. It's almost as if the colours of the underlying image don't cause the lines, but instead affect their visibility. I say "almost as if", because I'm not entirely sure.

    I think when dealing with the BBC it may be best to focus on the lines. I don't want to see complaints dismissed as the usual unhappiness with bitrates etc. What has started happening recently is really rather different to what has gone before.

    Finally, I phoned the BBC last night and was quickly put through to someone, which was a relief. But they spent a lot of time asking me about reception issues, and did I have a signal amplifier etc. I am not convinced it is a reception issue. Nor am I convinced that they will be forwarding the correct information to anyone. I really need to get speak to one of their engineers who has a good understanding of these issues.

    Cheers.
  13. aceado

    aceado Member

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    thanks for the reply fluxo but your wrong about the artifacts you get on freeview hd as its VERY rare to see it its normally on the tv shows thats been made to look old like "call the midwife" but in this case its due to over compression take look at this pic as this is a good example of over compression (keep in mind this is from sky hd ) here's a picture http://i.imgur.com/pMcDy9c.jpg also here's a sample sample from the video you can see the problem

    celebrity.juice.over.compression.sample

    and about the bitrate its something the end user won't know nor see but as i have a tv card in my pc i am able to view what it is doing. freeview hd as always been lower bitrate than that of freesat hd even with it being abit more lower bitrate the technique they use for freeview hd is different as its been made to enhance the quality of the video whiles at a lower bitrate on some shows it will have abit more detail to that of freesat hd. you can see the differents in the bitrate between casualty.s27e27.dvb-t2.sample and casualty.s27e26.dvb-t2.sample which is showing how it "was" last week when it was all fine. i will point out that bbc hd DOES NOT have this issue at all which is very weird indeed
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  14. fluxo

    fluxo Active Member

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    Yes, that is strange! I would even go so far as to say you can identify the channel from this picture fault alone.

    I suppose the next thing is, perhaps, to try and find the number of someone who can deal with this. I'm not sure where to start.

    Do we know which company/department operates the H264 encoders? I'm guessing the BBC hands off content to a third party that deals with compression.
  15. aceado

    aceado Member

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    well this is something we both have notice from two different transmitter so i did look else where for help.
    the nice guy over at a516digital said this in a pm to me once i told him about this issue with all the details i have said here aswell

    i'll record bbc news at 1pm and compare them aswell. what i do know is that the mux itself is shared between 4 hd channels at a total of 40mb/s and with bbc 1 hd using more bitrate all the time which seems to be about ~8.5mb/s plus it will look bad for bbc 1 hd for not fixing there own issue and if i had to tell anyone how it looks it would be very artifacts and has a brush metal overlay on the video itself due to bad/over compression that isn't needed

    here's a good example of how hard it can be to notice this issue and this is from bbc news (bbc 1 hd).

    [​IMG]
    vs (background and the left side if you can see it that well)
    [​IMG]

    one thing to point out!

    whiles watching the video on some tv's and monitors it can be hard to notice unlike others. i did notice on my own pc monitor i can see the "metal brush overlay" much easier on my own monitor than that of my dads. also keep in mind the lighter/dark colours are much more noticeable.

    i'll be add much more details abit later on with some more comparison's but from the its looks of it, it doesn't matter if its pre recorded or a live broadcast the issue still stands.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  16. fluxo

    fluxo Active Member

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    Thanks again. Brushed metal is a very good way of describing it.
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    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  17. aceado

    aceado Member

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    this is something am not even sure about :confused:. all i know is the mux it own by bbc and they control it as this issue isn't just from 1 transmitter but indeed 2 and maybe more.... it sure seems bbc is at fault in this case as if it was just 1 transmitter it would be transmitter at fault :mad:

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    time for the comparison from bbc news at 1pm 19.03.2013 (bbc 1 hd) this took me a while to do as this will have more pictures to compare and what i think of each of them. also this even highlights the issue is still there if the broadcast is fully live or not!. also i have notice every show i do record the overall bitrate is about ~8.8mb/s

    http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/14101/

    #1: showing the filesize (time differents of ~2 secs)
    #2: showing a preview of the tv show thats on later tonight (good comparison for artifacts)
    #3: showing tony blair from a pre recorded interview ??? (quite abit of artifacts again)
    #4: this is 1 frame right after (back to the live studio also abit hard to tell)
    #5: a person live from rome
    #6: still live from rome with 2 people now
    #7: back in the live studio with a guest (more noise/artifacts in this)
    #8: very noticeable once again
    #9: live in the studio still and still noticeable

    i can give you comparisons like this all day long at least until they fix it :/
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  18. DirtyNorris

    DirtyNorris Member

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    I've noticed that Andy Quested (Head of Technology BBC HD), who's always been very helpful, has just posted a blog on another subject - I'd added a comment about this asking if he knows what could be causing the problem. If you Google 'Andy Quested' you'll find his blog.
  19. aceado

    aceado Member

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    am not sure what this has to do with our problem keep in mind its ONLY bbc one hd at fault and NOT bbc hd plus its much more understandable if both bbc one hd and bbc hd had this problem. all i can tell you is this has happen since last wednesday 13th march as the night before it was all fine at a guess we as the end user we are clueless as to what they have done or changed but if anything i would point him to this forum as this problem is just a joke!

    keep in mind the MORE proof and details they have the better/easyer it should be for them to fix the problem
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  20. fluxo

    fluxo Active Member

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    I've subscribed there and also posted a comment.
  21. aceado

    aceado Member

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    that's good to hear just remember telling a person something doesn't always mean they'll help and can be very questionable but once they have proof they can't question you about it as there is valid proof of the problem/issue. i do hope he does google what i said and also look into matter as watching anything on bbc one hd at the moment sure isn't nice :(
  22. kram

    kram Member

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    Ive had the same problem for a few days now as well, thought it was the TV at first but it only happens on BBC1 HD.

    Im on the Pontop Pike and the TV is a Panasonic L37ET5B.
  23. Tight Git

    Tight Git Member

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    Just a few thoughts from someone who was closely connected with the transmission system, albeit in the analogue days:

    If this is happening on Winter Hill, Emley Moor and Pontop Pike (at least) then that's potentially a large number of viewers, so why haven't the broadcasters been swamped with complaints?


    (1) It's only affecting a small number of TV models

    (2) Freeview HD has very few viewers

    (3) It's so minimal that only the keen one's notice it ;)

    Do we have any members who receive those transmitters and haven't seen the problem at the specified times?

    Remember "nil" reports are just as useful as complaints when trying to track down this sort of thing.
  24. aceado

    aceado Member

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    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  25. kram

    kram Member

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    I only watched a bit of the One Show on bbc1 hd tonight and the problem was still there but didnt seem quite as bad as a day or two ago, maybe different program material shows it up more than others.
  26. aceado

    aceado Member

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    bbc 1 sure looks back to normal for me how ever i'll record caught red handed and compare again and see what the outcome is.

    i forgot to add the filesize thingy to the comparison lol.
    what i can tell you for sure is the recording rate of freeview hd is much lower than that of freesat hd even the filesize is smaller aswell. i didn't notice any difference that much myself however i'll keep my eye's on it for rest of the day before i will admit it has been fully fixed... looking good so far :D

    [​IMG]

    http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/14251/
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  27. fluxo

    fluxo Active Member

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    Of those I would be tempted to rule out (1) as I tested many models in John
    Lewis and all were showing it. (2) & (3) are to my mind stronger possibilities.
    I do know that some people seem to not notice any picture issues. In fact, for
    some of these people it would probably make little difference if they watched
    TV with their eyes shut :--)

    It was there on BBC Breakfast earlier but there are tentative signs that it may
    have been fixed now. I only had a quick glance and will check with more care
    later. If it has been fixed, that's great news.
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  28. fluxo

    fluxo Active Member

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    From Andy Quested's BBC Blog:

    I have to say it was very nice of him to have helped resolve this.

    I would love to know more about that encoder. I wonder if it is a hardware encoder.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  29. aceado

    aceado Member

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    ya this is great news for sure as id said earlier i did notice some difference but doesn't it make your wonder did they even give it "real world testing" before using it :S :rolleyes:

    here's a nice dark bit of the video from doctors :)

    [​IMG]

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  30. Rodders53

    Rodders53 Active Member

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    OK.. a little bit of ex-'inside information' may help you understand the BBC's transmitter distribution system.

    Playout centres (in London, Glasgow, Belfast and Wales) produce the 4 separate versions of BBC ONE HD... these get (via duplicated and diverse paths) to two identical Coding & Multiplex centres. These each have (iirc) coding and multiplexing kit for each platform and each regional variation (with some form of N+1 redundancy on top).

    From C&M they again go by duplicated and diverse paths to the transmitters/uplink sites.

    None of the above is actually operated by the BBC but by its service partners.

    In addition the ITV HD and C4 HD signals from their regional centres are also delivered to the 2 C&M centres... I'm not sure of the exact number of 'different' Freeview HD muxes that will make... each with its own C&M set.

    Quite why no-one from the BBC in the areas affected saw these off-air issues is, frankly, a little worrying, but there are fewer and fewer engineers employed. However as no-one has mentioned it on the DigitalSpy forums, either, it must be pretty difficult to spot I'd have thought? ... but once seen a real annoyance!

    I was about to point my ex-colleagues to this thread but as it's been fixed it won't be necessary!
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