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BBC SD quality improvement?


Established Member
Sorry for o/t post but BBC HD quality is discussed a lot here so I'm sure there is interest in other BBC quality issues as well.

It's struck me that in the last week or so, overall picture quality on BBC SD channels has improved quite a lot. It's always been capable of looking good like any other mpeg2 broadcast, of course, but the stat mux bit rate lottery has often meant some poor transmissions along with the good, with all their attendant digital artefacting. It now seems more consistently good across channels and even News 24 looks ok.

Have they changed anything in the transmission chain - new encoders or whatever - or am I just imagining it?


Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
Not sure about new encoders...

AIUI the BBC are building a new coding and multiplexing area - which will replace the facilities currently in use at TV Centre. This is to upgrade their infrastructure - and also yet further reduce their dependency on the TV Centre site, in preparation for selling it once they move Sport/Kids/FiveLive to Salford and News to Broadcasting House.

I doubt they have done any kit replacement at TVC so soon before they relocate - though they must have added some kit to allow for DVB Subs (for freesat) as well as WST Subs (for Sky boxes).

AIUI one of the major changes that may happen is that the BBC One English regions will change the way their regional opts happen - with the studio output from every centre fed down to London (via the new Raman 270Mbs circuits that have replaced the old PAL 140Mbs and Component 34Mbs ones) the regional opt switch happening in London, and thus the coding for every DSat and DTT region taking place in London not at the regional centre. This allows for BBC One in England to be statmuxed on DTT, at the moment it is CBR with only BBC Two+BBC Three/CBBC+BBC News statmuxed, and also avoids the permanent 9Mbs to 4.5Mbs decode/recode that BBC One permanently has in England (as every regional centre decodes a 9Mbs MPEG2 feed of BBC One, and then recodes it to 4.5Mbs permanently, so that they can switch to local content if they need to)

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