D Day 21Nov for BBC HD

supermac

Novice Member
*I've read some time ago that the year long trail got extended to this date. A decision will then be announced on wether to carry on (gradually to extend the hours to 9 by the end of 2008) or to cancel this brilliant service.

Has anyone got any more details/comments/info?
 

WATTS

Active Member
I pretty much doubt they would cancell the service after they have put so much money into it. They are best to keep extending the hours as time goes on until they can show new HD content and then it should go fully live.
I would expect this sometime in 2008 possibly?

If they did cancell the service i would hicjack the BBC studios and demand them transmit their HD content!

You know, only now is the TV license worth paying due to this channel!! :D
 

supermac

Novice Member
I pretty much doubt they would cancell the service after they have put so much money into it. They are best to keep extending the hours as time goes on until they can show new HD content and then it should go fully live.
I would expect this sometime in 2008 possibly?

If they did cancell the service i would hicjack the BBC studios and demand them transmit their HD content!

You know, only now is the TV license worth paying due to this channel!! :D

Unfortunatly its not up to them. Its down to OFCOM and the BBC Trust

We live in hope
 

nigelbb

Distinguished Member
The Freeview Satellite project has been approved by the BBC Trust etc & is due to launch next spring. HDTV was specifically mentioned so it seems unlikely they would drop the current service.
 

jonoc

Active Member
I understood that it had already been decided the BBC HD channel would be
permanent from this Autumn.
 

KeanosMagicHat

Well-known Member
I understood that it had already been decided the BBC HD channel would be
permanent from this Autumn.

Where did you read this please?

This is the announcement on the extension to 21st November;

"The Trust expects its final decision will be published by 21 November.

At its meeting yesterday, the Trust gave permission for the BBC's HD trial to be extended until the end of the PVT process."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/news/press_releases/26_04_2007.html

I can't see anything else after May on the BBC Trust Press Releases section;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/news/press_releases/index.html
 

hurdy

Active Member
I'm sure this was posted sometime ago. As far as I can recall the service will go from trial to permanence in stages, ie two hours a day then four then six etc. Can't remember the exact details but it has definitely been posted on here before.
 

zarguio

Standard Member
BBC HD is a truely amazing service/trial which should be allowed to continue and to become permanent. It already provides a wealth of entertainment and information even in the limited hours per day that it broadcasts.

I can't see that BBC - the pioneers in the UK/Europe of High Definition broadcasting - would do a U-turn.

But if they did, and the pilot was scrapped - where would they go to next?!
 

KeanosMagicHat

Well-known Member

"Broadcasting hours

At launch in November this year, BBC HD would broadcast an initial schedule of three to four hours a day in primetime hours. The "launch" of BBC HD would be transparent to the viewer: essentially it would represent the conversion of the existing trial into an ongoing service.

Over the next year, BBC HD's transmission hours would gradually increase to a full schedule of nine hours per day - 3pm to midnight - by the end of 2008.

BBC HD would have "some flexibility" to air beyond its normal hours for the broadcast of live sport, music and national events."

____________________________

Yes that is the proposal put to the BBC Trust for review but it doesn't affect that fact that their decision / recommendations will still be made on November 21st.

The thread title linked is misleading. It should say, "subject to approval" at the end.


EDIT - I've found an link to the results of the public questionnaire on this subject that I, and others from the forum, filled in.

The most interesting response, which shows the high level of demand for BBC HD to become permanent was;

"Whether users would want to continue using BBC HD

There is a clear preference for continuing
the BBC HD trial. 57% of the sample gave
this 10 out of 10, with a mean score of 9.0
."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/consult/hdtv/quantitative_research.txt

So a massive 57% agreed as strongly as they could with this at 10 out of 10 and the average score was 9 !!!
 

p9ul

Distinguished Member
I hope that some members of the trust visit the site and realise that many of us see BBC HD as the best examples of HD programming currently available - even if it is only a few hours a night...
 

Oakwood

Active Member
Nothing can ever be certain these days in broadcasting, but it would be quite
astounding if the BBC Trust did not green-light a permanent BBC HD channel.
I understand that is pretty much a "done-deal", and the published plans do include a quick start-up of overnight tranmissions on Freeview, which increases the value of the project, as well as the BBC being one of the key driving forces behind "Freesat".
Also whatever you think about SKY(and I"m largely pretty pro on what they have done from being an embroynic Sky Movies subscriber on their analogue decoder in 1989), I would guess they would be VERY keen on having a top flight HD channel available on satellite, as barring FX next year, there are not too many other new guests coming to the HD party in the immediate future.
Even the HD preview show on Sky Anytime is now talking up shows on BBC HD!!
 

supermac

Novice Member
Ofcom today published its Market Impact Assessment (MIA) which examines the BBC’s plans to introduce a new High Definition channel.

It finds that the BBC's plans to introduce a new mixed genre digital TV channel in High Definition format is unlikely to have significant negative market impacts. It is likely to deliver consumer benefit through increased take-up of HD which is likely to spread across all the major TV platforms including digital terrestrial television, satellite and cable. However, the MIA made a few recommendations relating to certain aspects of the channel.

Ofcom has submitted its conclusions to the BBC Trust to be taken into account alongside the Public Value Assessment (PVA).
 

supermac

Novice Member
From what I've read from the Ofcom docuement of the other day on the subject I reckon C4's announcement today makes the BBC decision much more likely
 

mike7

Distinguished Member
Pleased to see that this service will be available on cable, although I have yet to see VirginMedias response to this.
 

supermac

Novice Member
Interesting bit from the Guardian on Monday on the whole subject of more HD channels

http://media.guardian.co.uk/mediaguardian/story/0,,2175441,00.html

or here it is

High-def hopes


Television may be going through a difficult time at the moment but at last broadcasters have a new piece of technology to feel optimistic about

Bobbie Johnson
Monday September 24, 2007
The Guardian


For those who work in broadcasting, it must feel as if the tide of change swells every day. If it is not somebody heralding the death of advertising, then it is the spectre of digital switchover; if it is not another trust-in-TV debacle, it is the inexorable rise of YouTube. The hype and paranoia swirling around the future of broadcasting is enough to turn even the most hardened TV executives into quivering wrecks.
But amid the turmoil, a few beacons of hope are emerging. One particular piece of technology that the networks are already busy staking their chips on is high definition television - the next generation of TV, able to deliver enormous, super-sharp images with a resolution four times higher than the one most of us are used to.

The HD revolution started last year with new services from Sky and Virgin, and now terrestrial broadcasters are getting in on the act, with the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 all looking to launch new channels in the coming months. But just as high-def is finally getting serious mainstream momentum, its future is looking more complicated.

The emerging problem is how broadcasters actually get HD pictures to viewers. Thanks to the increased picture and sound quality, high-def channels take substantially more broadcasting bandwidth than ordinary quality ones. Given the squeeze on space, this makes the prospect of launching on the best available platform - Freeview - highly unlikely in the near future.

Some broadcasters are sidestepping the issue by planning to bring their services first to satellite homes. But eventually all of Britain's major TV companies are keen to use new parts of the free-to-air spectrum - specifically, the so-called "digital dividend" parts that will become available when the analogue TV signal is switched off.

Regulators and ministers, however, appear unswayed by the lure of better images, and seem reticent to agree that bandwidth should be handed over for high definition. Just last week Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards reiterated that "we absolutely aren't in the business of promoting HD", while announcing that other parts of the spectrum would be reclaimed and resold in an auction.

Culture minister James Purnell, meanwhile, fired his own warning shot at broadcasters who want to launch HD services on digital television. "A sure way to freeze innovation would be to reserve new spectrum for existing users and incumbents," he said at the Royal Television Society convention this month. "That's why we have a clear policy of using market mechanisms to allocate spectrum - because that is the best way of identifying the most productive use to which it can be put."

The barely contained subtext is that television companies are not going to be handed back the old analogue spectrum easily - and will possibly have to fight their way through a public sale of the airwaves. That is not something they like the sound of.

"We would like it to be allocated automatically, rather than through an auction: we think there is an overwhelming public and policy good," says Rod Henwood, Channel 4's director of new business.

Purnell has conceded that there may be some reasons for using parts of the new spectrum, but it seems that the bar is set too high to include HDTV.

Henwood recognises that the argument being made by broadcasters is not yet compelling enough for the industry's overseers. "I think public service broadcasters have got to continue to press for their case. The government's got a whole series of objectives, between the Treasury's demands and the cultural aspects of a digital Britain. It's all known ground, and we know we're not going to get it without making a case."

There are several angles from which proponents of the technology are attacking. Seetha Kumar, the head of HDTV at the BBC, says that it is important to future-proof the substantial investments in Freeview by making sure that HD is widely available. "If HD is becoming - possibly - the standard, then should digital terrestrial remain an empty platform? That doesn't make sense," she says. In the long term - perhaps over the course of a generation - Kumar thinks that high definition may become the de facto standard for all television: in fact, she asserts that many parts of the BBC are already there. "It's a technology that's been developing for ages . . . the BBC's been making high definition programmes for about five years."

Aside from the news that the BBC's plans were not deemed by Ofcom to be damaging to the market, last week also saw the announcement of a new service from MTV - which is bringing a pan-European channel combining its music shows from MTV and VH1 with children's programming from Nickelodeon. Parents everywhere will goggle at the prospect of SpongeBob SquarePants in gigantic living technicolour.

And Channel 4 announced plans to simulcast an HD version of its flagship channel. While some of the staples of high-def television - such as live sports and wildlife documentaries - are not generally associated with C4, the network says that it has other benefits too.

"When you look at what we're strong in, you can recognise areas that are very HD-compatible," says Henwood. "We show more movies than any other terrestrial broadcaster, for example, and we've got a good, strong reputation for premium acquired US programming."

Indeed, the American connection could prove vitally important. High-def in the US is substantially more widespread than in Europe, and increasing the amount of British productions filmed in HD makes them more attractive to American buyers.

America is also uncovering some potential fringe benefits. A recent study undertaken by Discovery in the US has shown that viewers take much more notice of advertising delivered in high definition, making the format potentially lucrative in other, less expected, ways.

But ultimately, if the television industry is to convince Whitehall that the old analogue spectrum should be used to give high-def to the masses, then it may have to rely on the public themselves.

This may be easier than it seems: in a rare moment of synchronicity, viewers are also bracing themselves for the rise of HDTV. Driven by the increasing popularity of large, flat screen sets, gadget-heads are buying TVs capable of displaying high definition pictures. And despite the limited number of high-def services available today (between them Sky and Virgin count around 450,000 HD subscribers), analysts at the market research group GfK estimate that more than 5m high-def television sets are already in British homes.

Early-adopting viewers may start demanding the change before Ofcom makes its recommendations at the end of the year. But Kumar's optimism may not be enough: even where the regulator recognises support for high-def, its marketeer instincts still reign.

"We are enthusiasts for HD and see it as a very important innovation in broadcasting," Philip Rutnam, partner of spectrum policy at Ofcom, told analysts last week. "But that doesn't translate into thinking that the spectrum which becomes available should be reserved exclusively for HD."
 

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