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No HDTV from the BBC. Probably ever.

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by IanPM, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. IanPM

    IanPM
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    Speaking to people, it really doesn't look like the BBC will be supporting HDTV. I think this is a huge problem, because it will turn out that analogue will get switched off and the space used for some other rubbish.

    Once we loose the analogue switch off, we prety much condem ourselves to using only SDTV for the foreseable future. Sky are unlikely to back HDTV as there is not much money to be made out of it. It used to be the case that the BBC were champions of quality, not anymore it seems. The innovating is done by the Americans these days.

    Personally I think the BBC should get 1 HDTV channel once analogue switch off takes place, they could use this to show HDTV programmes. This would mean they wouldn't need to simulcast.

    P.S. The BBC has also just decided to step up its production in DV format. This basically means that not only will we not be getting HDTV, we won't even really be getting SDTV.

    Its a sorry state of affairs.
     
  2. Bernard Barnett

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    I think you're being over-pessimistic. I'd say broadcast HDTV is certainly some years away, but once HD-DVD arrives there will be pressure on the BBC - from inside as well as outside - to try to match that quality. By that time, too, there will be a lot of HiDef material available. We may all be a lot older, but I do think it will come eventually.
     
  3. richard plumb

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    they could quite easily do trials using the existing freeview infrastructure. 1 test HD channel showing selected BBC programming would be a good way to put a toe in the market, and possibly drive adoption of freeview (obviously need a HD box though). It might also put (a little ) pressure on Sky, who might try HD sky sports or Premiership PPV?


    If they were planning anything HD related after the analogue switchoff, they'd need to be testing a lot way before that.
     
  4. pj

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    was i dreaming or was one of the clips on the euro1080 test a scene from blue peter? do they shoot it in HD for other territories or was it just a test? i saw the bbc showing HDTV at a cbbc show at the nec in the mid 90's i think it was a ballet being shown on a widescreen set(rear projection iirc which was stunning in itself as the type of tv wasnt available back then, it wasnt the run of the mill type!) i remember thinking OH MY GOD! THIS IS AMAZING! then hearing nothing from it for years! maybe if we all put a bit of money together we can launch our own sattelite that can nick all the USA feeds ; )
     
  5. camtheman

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    Yes, a lot of the stuff the BBC shoots is recorded in Hi-def. That's the irony of it all - they have the content available but it'll only ever been shown in countries apart from their own.
     
  6. IanPM

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    I think the Government need to be more involved. We can't keep 625 PAL forever. Someone, somewhere must be thinking about what to do in the future. The problem is money will guide the decision. If mobile phone operators or Wi-Fi providers are prepared to bid high for the licence on the current analogue spectrum you can bet they will get it.

    This will leave us with a sub-standard TV system that has no potential for future upgrades. The BBC could transmit HD over just Sat and Cable, but I beleive this would be a breach of the strict charter stipulations that all services need to be available on all platforms.

    I would love to see and MPEG-4 over satellite pilot, possibly as a "freeview" style service on satellite, where the user gets a cheap dish and decoder and can access multiple, free channels in HDTV.

    Can't see it happening though. Sky would stifle a system like that, and it would be hard to get other broadcasters on board.
     
  7. richard plumb

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    MPEG-4, or WMVHD would be even better as a trial - broadcast 1080i overnight when they have MUX space, via DVB-T, to users with PCs with decoders.

    Then you could record the programs for later viewing.
     
  8. Mr.D

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    I'm betting HD will initially be streamed over the net from the british boadcasters.
     
  9. IanPM

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    My idea would be for the BBC to rent some overnight space on a Sky transponder and send it to my PC over the air that way. It would work VERY well for the sort of people who are interested in seeing this content.

    Of course using MPEG-4 has some rights issues, I'm not sure how easy it is to copy protect content in MPEG-4. WMV of course allows full rights managment, and could also be locked so only UK people have access to it...

    Still, the BBC say "no plans".

    I have some video of this that I plan to pop up somwhere, i'll post a link when I do ;)
     
  10. RecordablDVDfan

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    Perhaps an email to the sky backchat prog may generate some interest if they read out / answer it even if the response is negative...
     
  11. digitalsafari

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    Remember people said the following will never happen:
    TV
    Colour
    Teletext
    Stereo Sound
    Direct to home satellite
    Widescreen
    DVD
    Digital Satellite
    Dolby Digital
    PVRs

    HD is for real just give it some time.
     
  12. joys_R_us

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    Yeah, but I am already 49....:(
     
  13. Rimmer

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    In my view the only thing that will drive the introduction of HDTV broadcasts here is the availability of cheap HDTV sets for under £1000.

    Sky won't take an interest until there are enough people out there who can afford the technology; and the BBC, if it still exists in a few years, won't want to be accused of wasting money on a service few people can afford. Intel's LCOS chips may be the technology that brings HDTV to our homes. It's going to be cheaper than than plasma or LCD, and have higher resolution - most plasmas and LCDs are not really HD. Still, the first generation of Intel-Inside LCOS tv sets will probably retail at around £2000 - not cheap.

    One crucial issue has yet to be resolved: the lack of an European HDTV standard. Until one is agreed upon I don't think there will be any HDTV here other than demo satellite channels such as Euro1080.
     
  14. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    Tandberg are a major supplier of broadcast TV infrastructure equipment (I have 1 of their System 300 19" rack STBs).
    Here's their latest PR statement :
    Tandberg Television expects to play a key role as the high-definition TV (HDTV) market takes shape in Europe. While the market in the United States for high-definition (HD) continues to show promise, the story is not the same in Europe.

    Tandberg, a company that creates products and systems for the delivery of high quality live video and on demand content across all platforms, expects the market in Europe to pick-up. Eric Cooney, CEO of Tandberg Television, told SATELLITE NEWS in an exclusive interview: "In terms of the European market for HD, last year's IBC [conference] was interesting and enlightening. We were approached by a number of European broadcasters with questions about HDTV and wanting to look at our HD encoders/professional receivers, etc. In discussions with these broadcasters, it became clear that their interest in HD was driven by a demand for HD content from markets outside of Europe, in particular the Americas. Clearly the demand for premium HD content in one region is creating a demand for the production and transmission of that content around the world."

    But, while Europe may be behind the United States, Cooney believes all the factors are in place for HDTV to be a success in Europe. "We are clearly at least 2-3 years behind the American market as far as a consumer HD proposition in Europe. However, I do believe it is just a question of timing. The same market forces - availability of low-price consumer receive devices and compelling HD content - that are driving HD in the Americas will eventually drive the demand for HD in the European and Asia Pacific markets as well."

    While European broadcasters are looking at opportunities to export content, they will also be encouraged as to how HDTV is developing in the United States. Cooney believes HD is close to reaching critical mass. "It is clear North America has reached its tipping point, or its critical mass to coin a few phrases, with an estimated 9 million HDTV sets in the U.S. market today. Clearly, the price point for the receive devices has come down enough, such that they are seen as affordable by a significant number of people. On the content side, we have reached a point where there is compelling HD content available from popular channels including HBO, Showtime, ESPN and Discovery. These channels are available today and, in most cases, via either the local cable operator or a satellite service provider. Further, the provision of HD services has rapidly become a competitive differentiator for the satellite and cable operators."Satellite Business

    Tandberg TV provides solutions to cablecos, satellite operators and telcos. In terms of its satellite business, replacing existing systems in 2004 will be one of the key drivers of revenues. "In the DTH [direct-to-home] segment for 2004, the primary business driver is a replacement or an upgrade of some early generation MPEG 2 systems, in some cases installed as many as seven to 10 years ago. From a regional perspective, we see a number of these type of replacement systems being evaluated in both the Asia Pacific and the EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] regions driving revenues in 2004. For the American market, the drive is really for increased channel offerings, in particular HD," Cooney said.

    Many satellite pay-TV operators are looking to implement changes in terms of their set-top box (STB) strategy going forward. "If we look at the DTH segment slightly beyond 2004, the story gets very interesting when you consider the implications of both HD and AVC [advanced video coding]. When I say 'AVC,' I am referring to both Microsoft's [Nasdaq: MSFT] Windows Media 9 and the MPEG- 4.10 compression schemes. Professional AVC offers about a 50 percent compression efficiency gain over existing MPEG-2 systems," Cooney said.

    He continued: "Given the very significant installed base of MPEG-2 set- top boxes, and the need to replace those boxes with a move to an AVC solution, there must be a compelling driver to make this change. A compression system that offered the combination of HD and AVC would be the ideal solution to really drive the replacement of the installed STBs. That technology will be available for deployment in 2005."

    Tandberg's most recent deal in the satellite sector was an agreement with Intelsat to provide the satellite operator a turnkey video solution, including the latest digital compression and control and monitoring equipment plus integration services, for a hybrid satellite and fiber network connecting seven sites between the United States and Europe. "Intelsat, as a traditional satellite operator, is extending their services to their customers with a goal of providing 'any content anywhere'. They are implementing a combination of fiber and satellite links around the world to effectively enable this 'any content anywhere' offering for their customers. Tandberg Television's ability to provide the turnkey system, including HD compression, control and monitoring software and complete integration/commissioning services, for this complex fiber and satellite network truly differentiates us," Cooney said. Double-Digit Growth

    Chris Muriel, Manchester.
     

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