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BBC High Definition Content Sub-Par According To users

BBC HD has been recently panned by scores of users which have complained about the poor quality of picture which is being broadcast by the network.

However according to some affected users, instead of acknowledging the issue, the network conveniently directed them to a BBC HD executive who mentioned that there is no problem with quality of BBC’s HD service whatsoever.

Interestingly, in August this year, BBC had changed the encoder hardware that compresses the video for transmission via Freesat and Sky. The hardware change has resulted in a decrease in bitrate from 16mbps to 9.7mbps.

However, the head of BBC HD Danielle Nagler posted on her BBC blog that "There's no evidence that reducing the bitrate has an impact on picture quality". This vague declaration further agitated some of the affected viewers who then vented their dissatisfaction by posting angry comments on the blog.

Experts believe that the reason for tuning the bitrate down might be because BBC is planning another HD channel whereas some are of the opinion that BBC HD couldn’t be broadcasted on Freeview HD.

BBC HD viewers that use Virgin's TV service have not been affected by the channels poor quality that seems to have plagued Freesat and Sky. Virgin’s TV service incidentally transmits the channel by the old bitrate of 16mbps.

Our Comments

A 40 percent decrease in the bitrate cannot not result in a substantial degradation of the quality of the picture received. The fact that so many complained about it means that there must be an issue somewhere along the lines.

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BBC High Definition service draws complaints


Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.