Documentary HD channels. degrading quality

Has anyone else noticed the quality of the documentary HD channels is getting worse? I dont mean the bit rate or codec, just the production values.

Its obvious some of the programmes are shot with non broadcast quality consumer level HD camcorders. I was watching a programmes the other day about Egypt and the picture was out of focus at the edges and had a rainbow effect and fisheye distortion, like the first mobile phone cameras. It was not a deliberate effect either, just cheapness. Most other programmes also have smearing, washed out colour (generally beige cast) and grain.

Its really not good enough, some of the outut is almost unwatchable.
 

Uridium

Distinguished Member
Has anyone else noticed the quality of the documentary HD channels is getting worse? I dont mean the bit rate or codec, just the production values.

Its obvious some of the programmes are shot with non broadcast quality consumer level HD camcorders. I was watching a programmes the other day about Egypt and the picture was out of focus at the edges and had a rainbow effect and fisheye distortion, like the first mobile phone cameras. It was not a deliberate effect either, just cheapness. Most other programmes also have smearing, washed out colour (generally beige cast) and grain.

Its really not good enough, some of the outut is almost unwatchable.


I think almost unwatchable is going a bit far. Too be honest all the stuff i've caught of late has bene cracking quality. especially on CrimeHD]

Now i know it's not HD so not really relevant but both ITV1 and Watch really is shocking quality.
 
Im watch Treasure Seekers right now On Nat Geo HD, its appalling!!

Massive judder, smearing is so bad that peoples faces look like they are 'boiling', not one good colour in the whole programme, just awful.

Not seen Crime HD, not my thing, but ill look to see if its evident. It seems to be Discovery, History and Nat Geo that are the bad ones.

The programme on Nat Geo has changed now, its much much better, although i still think the colours are weak, over pink and beige.
 

Starburst

Novice Member
I watch quite a bit of the docHD channels and certainly there are a number of shows that use domestic handheld as opposed to industry spec but it's in context with the show. Not seen anything that even remotely comes close to making me consider watching the SD version or via RF on the CRT:)



A minute later after catching Treasure Seekers (China) on at the mo that does look pretty bad, very soft and yes some frame rate conversion issues but for a 2001 production probably shot on film maybe not so surprising as we've seen many TV shows converted from Film to HD masters fall way short in PQ terms.
The style is so stilted it makes me wonder if parts were done deliberately but it is not good so forget the second line of the my first paragraph:)
 
Its pretty obvious that the channels are struggling to fill their time with HD programmes. They seem to be knocking out ultra cheap rubbish and passing it off as HD quality documentary footage when it clearly isn't. Its nothing more than a guy with a camcorder wondering around somewhere.

What really doesnt help is when they use non HD library footage to fill it in, its extremely ugly. SciFi are also guilty of it in their 'original features' (cheap nasty TV movies).
 

Martin J.

Active Member
One of the shorts on Discovery HD has the worst frame-rate conversion artefacts I have ever seen on TV. It's about football in Brazil and is horrific. It certainly isn't new though.
 

BName

Banned
I watch alot of the nature channels in hd and this kind of thing winds me up cause your can tell what you watching isn't hd. The instudio footage seems to be hd but when they go on location/reconstructions it is so obviously done with camcorders.
 
The problem is the term high definition is false, it need not be high definition, it only need be high resolution at point of broadcast. Technically if the whole show was shot on a mobile phone camera it could claim HD if it was upscaled to HD for broadcast. Its a bit of a con really.
 

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