Blimey! The Bill in Hi-Def!?

Boris Blank

Member
ITV's The Bill has been commissioned for a further 6 years, now this is not normally something that would bring cheer to A/V fans but the producer of the show also had this to say;

"In the next few months, we will talk about the possibility of changing the look of the show. This could involve the size of the sets, the style of the show and a switch to high-definition cameras."

Full article here - http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/article/ds14011.html

Paul
 
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pdundas

Guest
HiDef cameras should give a slightly better picture on UK broadcasts.

However, I suspect the main reason is that The Bill is a popular programme in Australia where HDTV broadcasts are steadily on the increase.

More and more UK programmes will be made in HDTV over the next few years but, sadly, the one place you won't be able to see them in this format is in the UK!
 
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Rimmer

Guest
Good to hear that another UK show may be shot in Hi-Def, even if we don't get to see it.:)

I would be well satisfied if there were just a few 1080/24p HD movie channels and Sky One HD equivalent, so that anything mastered in Hi-Def can be shown in that format. Anything else would be a bonus.

I think that is unlikely for a couple of years at least, unfortunately.:(
 

richard plumb

Distinguished Member
The BBC are pushing lots of digital stuff (interactive, widescreen etc). Would have been nice for them to take the opportunity with Freeview to have a 'BBC HD' channel, with HD bits and pieces from them and other producers.

Could have done that with the bandwidth used by Top up TV.
 

Chris Muriel

Distinguished Member
Yes but how would Joe Public watch terrestrial HDTV ?

The MPEG decoders in the settop boxes ot IDTVs won't handle it !

Chris Muriel, Manchester.
 
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pdundas

Guest
None of the installed base of set top boxes - Sky, terrestrial, satellite or other can handle HDTV resolutions.

Any HD service would require a new box.
 

Starburst

Novice Member
A new STB certainly would not be an issue for those people who had spent thousands on a display capable of handling HD material in the first place especially as the STB could handle standard definition services as well.
HD has to start somewhere, thankfully the BBC and governement back in the radio only days thought TV was viable even though only a few hundred housholds could receive the first transmissions and it was decades before it became the norm.
The potential userbase both in terms of cost and interest is far higher for HD now than it ever was for TV back in the 1930's.
Unfortunatley back then the government was keen on the idea and the boffins not hampered by suits only interested in short sighted profit margins:(
 
R

Rimmer

Guest
What makes things worse is the fact that so few people have even heard of HDTV in this country. When I mentioned to a colleague the other day that 24 is shown in high-definition in the US, the reply was, "What's high-definition TV?". That response is not uncommon.

Of the few people who have heard of HDTV many of them think that to get high-definition all you need is a plasma or an LCD monitor. In the US it's a fairly straightforward proposition: digital TV = widescreen HDTV.

No doubt Sky and other broadcasters maintain even now that the public has no interest in HDTV, but why would they if they haven't heard of it?
 

rcman2

Standard Member
Rimmer, I understand perfectly the gist of your message. A friend of mine bought a Mits HDTV monitor only to discover when he got it home that it was indeed just a HD ready monitor. When he told me, I was shocked that he had not any homework before shopping. This kind of confusion only confirms my feelings that while we here in the U.S. are getting HDTV, I don't believe enough in the way of educating the public is happening. This will only delay the shut-off further. As for watching HD, I just got my first taste of HD hockey in 1080i on HDNET and all I can say is wow. I cannot believe the clarity. Its just amazing. Also, this maybe a little nit picky on my part, but 24 is not in HD yet. It is shot in HD but Its still broadcast in Fox 480p EDTV.
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
I doubt we'll see broadcast HD in the UK for at least a couple of decades.
However . There is the possibility that as internet bandwidth increases there could be a streaming service within a closer timeframe than a broadcast sevice.
 
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pdundas

Guest
Originally posted by Mr.D
I doubt we'll see broadcast HD in the UK for at least a couple of decades.
However . There is the possibility that as internet bandwidth increases there could be a streaming service within a closer timeframe than a broadcast sevice.

Technically speaking we already have broadcast HDTV (i.e. a HDTV channel legitimately available to UK viewers). However, there is a limit to how much German volleyball one can take...

Broadcast (as in mainstream) HDTV will come to the UK sooner than 20 years. HD-DVD is not that far away (within 2 years I reckon) and once this gains a foothold pressure will be put on broadcasters to keep up. Sky had to introduce DD sound and widescreen on their movie channels for the same reason with DVD.

Remember that in 1998 almost nobody had heard of DVD in the UK (it didn't launch nationally in the USA until autumn 1997 and not all studios supported it until early 1999) and now look at it!
Things can change very quickly.
 
R

Rimmer

Guest
Originally posted by rcman2
Also, this maybe a little nit picky on my part, but 24 is not in HD yet. It is shot in HD but Its still broadcast in Fox 480p EDTV.

That's interesting. My brother is an avid 24 fan and has been downloading the NTSC version, which has an opening caption 'Also Available in High Resolution Digital TV'. I assumed that meant HDTV. Oh well, I suppose 'high-resolution' is a fairly flexible term...;)

Originally posted by pdundas
Broadcast (as in mainstream) HDTV will come to the UK sooner than 20 years.

I certainly hope so. Although there's very little chance of HDTV via DTT before the analogue switch-off (whenever that may be), HDTV via cable or satellite could begin at any time.

Originally posted by pdundas
Broadcast (as in mainstream) HDTV will come to the UK sooner than 20 years. HD-DVD is not that far away (within 2 years I reckon) and once this gains a foothold pressure will be put on broadcasters to keep up.

Although some people don't like the prospect, the fact that there are two competing HD-DVD formats should help raise HDTV's profile here from zero to... well, somewhere a bit higher at least.:)
 

richard plumb

Distinguished Member
Yes but how would Joe Public watch terrestrial HDTV ?

er, like they picked up freeview, ITV digital, sky etc - they buy/rent a box? Of course they'll need a new one, but thats not an issue for many people. And I'm sure the new box would support 'SDTV' too.

I would hope that maybe the BBC will get some of the analog spectrum when analog shuts down. We definitely need some HD to get the ball rolling.
 

(GTV)Chris

Active Member
Would we all need to buy new TV sets though?
There seems to be a lot of HD interest at ITV at the moment but a lot of Drama producers, in their constant quest to find a film replacement, are still not convinced and because by broadcast, at the moment, will inevitably be down converted they cannot see the point, future proofing aside.
If budgets permit, they shoot on film, if not, they turn to Digi Beta.
I am only learning the basics of HD at the mo but shot on Varicam or HDcam and played back at 60p, the results can look very nice indeed.

Ta
C
 
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pdundas

Guest
I think for UK broadcasters HD is very important for both future proofing and overseas sales.

Presumably, if its on film, then it can be telecined at HDTV resolutions if required but anything shot on video cannot.

In my view any broadcaster who does not use a HD format for any "premium" material is daft as they are seriously reducing the future value. HD formats will come - HD DVD is only 2-3 years away at most - and how are broadcasters going to resell us everthing we already own on DVD unless they can offer a HD version?

There is also the issue of overseas sales. In the next few years it will probably become impossible to sell anything to US or Australian markets which is not in HD.

There will come a time - maybe in 10,20 or even 30 years time - when SD material will be difficult to broadcast (in terms of viewer acceptance) in the same way black & white is now. On the main channels it is already becoming increasing unacceptable to broadcast archive 4:3 material and 4:3 archive material has significantly less long term value than 16:9. The same will happen with SD v HD all over again.
 

neilneil

Active Member
I doubt Joe public will demand High Def very much. Joe Public doesn't care about quality just look at MP3s growth to see that.
And Sky care even less than that about quality all they are interested in is QUANTITY of channels. Somthing that unless it's free ie wide screen requires no extra bandwidth then Sky will resist spending any money (bandwidth) on anything that doesn't make a return for them.
Sky changed to widescreen LONG after the terestrial channels did.

-Neil
 

(GTV)Chris

Active Member
Neil and Pdundas,

I totally agree with both your comments.
We have recently been post producing drama's shot on Digi beta.
Lit like a drama and givena drama grade, followed up with film effect and dare I say it, introduce a bit of noise/grain and hey presto- you deliver something that Joe public cannot tell between film and tape. And at a fraction of the price.
This, unfortunately, is how it goes. It doesn't make the drama any less palatable fpr the viewer and lets face it.. most viewers watch a programme for the content.
Future proofing is very important, similar to the swap from making telly in 4:3 to 14:9 to 16:9 it will take a bit of time.
As pdundas has pointed out, overseas sales is a very important money maker for broadcast companies and we could get into the area that we will produce a programme in HD for overseas whilst our version is down converted to SD??
But with the ever diminishing budgets for making cheap Drama etc..The production will try to keep costs down, and whilst panasonic and sony battle to offer camera equipment at a seriously competitive price against film equipment...post production can still be extremely costly.
I am a film fan primarily, but do find the prospect of HD very exciting once the problems are ironed out.

Cheers

Chris
 
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pdundas

Guest
Originally posted by (GTV)Chris
As pdundas has pointed out, overseas sales is a very important money maker for broadcast companies and we could get into the area that we will produce a programme in HD for overseas whilst our version is down converted to SD??

This is already happening. Discovery are producing and broadcasting in HDTV now and I would image programmes produced under the joint BBC-Discovery deal will be made in HD from now on. BBC joint productions with HBO already are - Churchill: The Gathering Storm was in HD (and I have a copy - its excellent!).

Unfortunately, we will continue to get such material in low bandwidth over compressed SD crap-o-vision.
 

(GTV)Chris

Active Member
Here, here.
 
R

Rimmer

Guest
The drama "Every Time You Look at Me" shown on BBC2 a couple of weeks ago was shot in HD.

Shooting on SD video does not necessarily mean 'no sale' to countries requesting HD. The BBC has upconverted some of its back catalogue to HD using the latest Snell & Wilcox kit, and the results have been very favourable.

One problem that does not go away with HD is the frame rate conversion problem. Rockface, for example, shot on HDCAM at 25fps was actually slowed down to 24fps (or possibly 23.98) for export to the US, in order to avoid standards conversion that would degrade the video quality. I sometimes wonder if there will ever be a universal frame rate. I suppose it could only happen if Europe agrees to gradually phase in 60Hz broadcasts in HD.
 

(GTV)Chris

Active Member
Is it the The snell and wilcox alchemist? I think this is the best unit for helping out with both film and video based material. It uses single step up converting.
The worst thing I witnessed is the material shot at 60p and played back at anything less...horrible motion artifacts.
 
K

krlock

Guest
lets put it this way... if a set top box was available for hdtv and something like sky was available in hdtv, i would buy it in seconds!!!!

projectors are getting cheaper and most of them would make a great job of hdtv

krlock
 
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chilpillphil3

Guest
Can i ask, im not learning about HDTV but is my 32" Panasonic IDTV compatible?
 

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