When Will HD Become More Mainstream ?

Dirty Harry

Active Member
Is there anywhere you can find out when certain channels will add an HD version ? BBC HD is superb but thats all i get through the Panasonic G10 at the mo, a very limited service it seems but hopefully not for too long :thumbsup:
 

Starburst

Novice Member
Well when you think about it the bulk of the free mainstream channels comes from 3 main broadcasters all of which for various reasons don't have the cash to invest heavily in HD especially when it does not generate any significant new revenue.

The only real thing we know is that DTT HD should be with us within a year if Freeview HD doesn't stumble then we should see a more recognisable HD offering from the BBC, ITV and CH4 with Five if they get win the license, these channels you would assume would be then mirrored on Dsat.

You should get ITVHD as well and be able to manually add LuxeHD to a Freesat tuner equipped telly.
 

Dirty Harry

Active Member
Well when you think about it the bulk of the free mainstream channels comes from 3 main broadcasters all of which for various reasons don't have the cash to invest heavily in HD especially when it does not generate any significant new revenue.

The only real thing we know is that DTT HD should be with us within a year if Freeview HD doesn't stumble then we should see a more recognisable HD offering from the BBC, ITV and CH4 with Five if they get win the license, these channels you would assume would be then mirrored on Dsat.

You should get ITVHD as well and be able to manually add LuxeHD to a Freesat tuner equipped telly.

Is ITV HD through the red button mate ?
 

nwhitfield

Well-known Member
A recent article I was reading (I'm afraid I can't remember the source) was suggesting that the additional costs of HD production are around 10%, though that obviously depends on the type of show, and it can be much higher in some cases.

So, in one way, the question boils down to "When will major broadcasters think its worth adding 10% or more on to the cost of every programme?"

And that's not likely until there's an upturn in advertising, for the commercial channels at least.
 
A recent article I was reading (I'm afraid I can't remember the source) was suggesting that the additional costs of HD production are around 10%, though that obviously depends on the type of show, and it can be much higher in some cases.

So, in one way, the question boils down to "When will major broadcasters think its worth adding 10% or more on to the cost of every programme?"

And that's not likely until there's an upturn in advertising, for the commercial channels at least.

That may well be true BUT only after the whole transmission chain has been upgraded to HD and that is a major investment from cameras, studios, mixing studios etc. It will most likely be a slow process as old equipment is replaced as it breaks down.
 

nwhitfield

Well-known Member
Yes; the studio upgrades and other capital costs are a massive chunk too - but general programme acquisition costs are apparently running at 10-20% more than SD.

Many of the channels that people are hoping to see aren't ones that make huge amounts of their own material - in the case of C4, for instance, everything is bought in.

The costs of re-equipping for HD are, as you point out, pretty huge; given the pressure on funding that the likes of the BBC have, I think it's amazing we get as much HD out of them as we do. We'd all like to see more HD, but in the present climate I think waiting for natural equipment replacement is the most sensible thing for many broadcasters, including the BBC, rather than investing heavily for what's still only a minority of the viewing population.
 

asibley

Active Member
given the pressure on funding that the likes of the BBC have, I think it's amazing we get as much HD out of them as we do. We'd all like to see more HD, but in the present climate I think waiting for natural equipment replacement is the most sensible thing for many broadcasters, including the BBC, rather than investing heavily for what's still only a minority of the viewing population.

The BBC sell a huge amount of it programme worldwide especially in the states where HD has been in homes for along time and therefore the investment in HD for them makes financial sense as they can sell there HD programming for the qouted 10-20% increase on top of their regular programming.

I think once people start to seeing HD channels alongside SD it will be the push it needs and there will be pressure from the public for more. The introduction of Freeview HD will obviously be a driving force for this and people will expect to see their regular programs presented in HD. Personally, I think by 2012 I think BBC/ITV/C4/C5 will all have their mainstream programming broadcast in HD on all platforms.
 
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nwhitfield

Well-known Member
It makes sense for some things, but not for all - where there's not much international resale value, then they won't rush in, and nor I think should they, especially in the present climate. Don't forget, too, that with many programmes made by independents, the BBC doesn't reap the whole reward of international sales anymore.

While early adopters may want to see every channel suddenly upgraded to HD, it's not going to be a very cost effective use of license payers' money, is it? As well as content acquisition costs, there would be those transmission costs Dave mentioned.

When digital first came along, there were plenty grumbling about not being able to get everything, even though they pay the same fee; there's still some of that. And it would be even worse now if they were to create HD versions of the main channels, I think.

With public bodies being expected to tighten their belts, and many people economising, to create versions of the existing channels that could only be received by many people after either spending hundreds on new kit, or paying for a subscription service, wouldn't go down well at all. It would renew those calls for either an additional digital/HD licence, or for a reduction for those who couldn't get the service.

Politically, it would be a nightmare, as well as leaving the Corporation strapped for cash in other areas. Definitely a no-go in a recession, it seems to me.

When you consider that they're one of the broadcasters that's immune from the advertising downturn and the consequent effect on income, as well as the only one with significant income from sales of their own productions, you can see how hard it's going to be for any other broadcasters to make launch free HD channels.

Much as those of us with appropriate kit would like more free HD to watch, I think we have to be realistic, and remember that for the time being at least, we're very much in the minority, and the economic circumstances aren't really right for a big push from the PSBs to encourage people to spend more money on seeing the same programmes, but with more pixels.
 

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