back to article BBC One HD to launch this autumn

The BBC has just announced that a new BBC One HD channel will launch in the autumn, offering a simulcast of BBC One. The existing BBC HD channel will remain, and continue to showcase HD material from the Corporation’s other channels. It schedule will extend to 12 hours a day. Programmes including The One Show, Weakest Link, QI …

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its actually pretty good

my friend recently purchased a sony freeview HD set and i went round to look at the quality as i found the ones on display in the unholy trinity shops (currys, comet, pc world) looked dreadfull

my scepticism was ended the actual picture for terrestrial hd ws pretty damn good! the display confirmed it was recieving 1080i and the science program on it was a very good picture, not as good as a blu ray mind but still better than normal digital

itv hd was awful though but so it itv boom boom....

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Weakest Link HD

Another round of surgery for Anne Robinson, then

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The only thing that matters...

... do we get F1 in HD!!!

Feck all else worth watching.

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Not this year

No F1 in HD this year apparantly I'm afraid. From the BBC website:

We will not be able to provide F1 coverage in high definition this year. The BBC relies on Formula 1 Management (FOM) for the provision of all of its live pictures and as such the broadcasting of high definition pictures is dependent upon whether FOM uses HD cameras or not.

This may change I suppose, or may be available at a race or two, but doubt it somehow.

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DVB-T2 Dongles and PCI card availability?

This is crazy. I've funded all this ultimately crappy HD infrastructure upgrade. I've lost ceefax and a decent signal and now have very low quality transmissions but thank goodness what I've lost in quality I've gained in quantity (5 ITV channels anyone).

Now to rub salt in the wound, there are no DVB-T2 dongles or PCI cards available (which HD relies on) for the foreseeable future. wtf? One of the reasons I was reasonably onboard for the digital switchover was that because it was digital it should lead to nice integration with computers. Well to be fair it does, only for SD it seems. The lag on DVB-T2 receivers is something to do with BBC not agreeing on DRM standards to prevent unauthorised recording (what about authorised recording - I pay my license so what's the difference with SD).

Anybody have any good news for me about when DVB-T2 dongles and PCI cards will be available?

DVB-dont

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It's not surprising

I heard he was considering stumping up the cash for the new HD kit they need, but preferred instead to use the funds on his solid gold 1:1 replica of the great pyramid at Giza he's having constructed for his mausoleum.

In F1 fans come last (yes, even behind the HRTs)

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Anonymous Coward

No good news

Hauppauge said they were aiming to get their DVB-T2 dongle out in time for the world cup, but have recently changed their tune to "We don't have any details at the moment." Even that seems to be more than anyone else is willing to say on the subject.

I'm not too upset yet as Freeview HD won't appear here for another 11 months.

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Anonymous Coward

DRM - or not

The proposal is essentially the same as for Freesat HD. The only thing encoded is the 7 day EPG, and the huffman table for Freesat was reverse engineered rather quickly. MythTV has had full support for it for a long time.

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Indeed

It should be coming next year according to Jake Humphrey... along with some other cool stuff - no idea what that will be, but i just want HD. If any sport deserves HD, it's F1

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FAIL

Its not the tech, its Bernie!

All but 2 races a year (existing contracts) have been shot in HD since 2008, I heard its more about Bernie and more money than it is about technology!

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FAIL

HD Mux? Inefficiencies!!!

The idea of a HD mux is flawed if there's going to be simulcast HD/SD channels. Popping BBC1 HD on the same mux as BBC1 SD would allow them to broadcast shared audio and red-button data streams.

The promise of digital TV was greater flexibility and interactivity, and clever use of bandwidth. This fails to fulfill that.

There should be one BBC1 "channel" on a single mux, broadcasting "in HD (where available)" with non-HD sets receiving an SD stream.

The current state of affairs is a weak hack, nothing more.

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Anonymous Coward

Inefficiencies? Probably not.....

Shared audio and data streams would not be significant - they're v small compared to the video and there are other considerations:

Firstly, the HD stream will need 5.1 audio streams rather than stereo (and SD receivers are probably not set up to downmix 5.1 to stereo).

Secondly, Red Button data is not currently in HD so they both use the same

Thirdly, having two identical channels on the same mux reduces the opportunity to StatMux the streams as they would both need peak data rate at the same time.

I'm not sure if HD channels are statmuxed yet but it applies even if you're only statmuxing the SD channels on a mux.

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Bronze badge

What inefficiency?

Unfortunately, if you didn't have a separate mux, then you wouldn't be able to use the DVB-T2 modulations, which gives an additional 40% capacity. And, during some of HD tests over recent years, there were concerns that some existing receivers wouldn't be happy with mixed MPEG2 and H.264 on the same mux anyway.

On top of that, you'd probably end up having to use Dolby Digital for the surround sound, rather than any of the more efficient new codecs. And that in turn would mean that for Audio Description, you would either have to forgo it on the HD service, or broadcast an AD broadcaster mix, which wouldn't be terribly efficient.

Given that the HD service manages to provide audio (albeit with the current reservations regarding surround) with 320kbits of bandwidth, plus another 64 for AD, and the gain by using the HD mux is 40% extra capacity, I'd say that the use of a separate mux is far from inefficient.

The T2 mux gives, roughly, another 10Mbps of bandwidth. That far outweighs the potential saving of a few shared soundtracks, even if you could ensure that none of the installed base of boxes falls over when presented with a stream containing both types of video.

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Dissagree

I'd rather have a chance of receiving either BBC 1 SD or BBC 1 HD rather than all or nothing - stuff the red button stream, and audio on HD will be Dolby I'd guess as per the existing BBC HD, rather than the MPEG stream?

I don't even live in the sticks, but miss out on 2 of the MUX. I don't hold much faith in the problem going away when analogue is turned off. At the moment, if there is something on Channel 4 I want to watch, I have to wait for it to be shown on Channel 4 +1, using your solution I'd miss out all together.

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Bronze badge

HD is statmuxed

HD is stat-muxed at the moment, on the HD mux.

But I would imagine there are tremendous difficulties in stat-muxing together an HD service and an SD one, not least that both will be using different compression systems. If everything were in H.264 it might be straightforward, but on a mixed mux, it wouldn't be.

It's probably far easier to stat-mux SD services, and HD services, and then combine all into the transport stream to the transmitters - but that would then result in further inefficiencies, compared to having a separate T2 mux for HD only.

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But do we need it?

The only programmes I've really bothered to watch in HD are nature programmes and the like where the photography is part of the draw of the programme. QI could be broadcast in 400*300 black and white and it wouldn't make all that much difference -- as long as you can see who is saying what to whom.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Luddite, I just wonder if we should be using all this bandwidth for HD broadcasts of programmes which don't need it.

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FAIL

songs of praise in hd - can't wait!

i'll be able to see the hairs on the choirboys nu....forget it, we don't get hd in the southampton area until 2012. prob'ly wait then

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So this is what I get for my £145.50 a year?

The One Show, Weakest Link, QI and The Apprentice - all pretty shite to start with (maybe QI is worth £2 a show), and now I get to pay for broadcasting them twice, plus no doubt a huge hike in the production costs since cardboard sets held together with gaffer tape won't cut it in HD. Lovely.

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Nothing worth watching

I am amused that there is not a single program in the list quoted which actually benefits from the HD treatment. The Apprentice in HD - why? So that we can get a closer view of Alan Sugar's bad skin and stubble?

Resolutely SD !!

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Silver badge
Flame

ulterior motive

The One Show, Weakest Link, QI, The Apprentice, Songs of Praise, Question of Sport and Blue Peter?

The schedulers really want this to fail, don't they?

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No SD and HD on one channel

Think of people with DVRs. They have a limited number of tuners. It's much more likely they want to record something on BBC one and BBC two at the same time than on BBC one and BBC one HD. So putting the later two on a single mux most likely will not benefit the viewer.

For example my DVB-S setup only has 4 tuners. So since BBC 1-4 are on one mux, I only need to spend one tuner on that, leaving the other tuners free.

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Stop

Bitrate

Well I hope they don't skimp on the bitrate. Eurovision on BBC HD looked appalling the other night. All the fast moving pictures and flashing lights were causing terrible artefacting. A terrible advert for HD services.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't get this

I watched and it was fine, and believe me, I'm discerning. More to the point, so was the gf and she'd have noticed first.

I was watching on my trusty [and it is trusty] HTPC running Win 7 with a Freesat HD tuner. No problems at all. MCE has been the most reliable thing MS have made in yonks. I've said this since XP MCE in 2005.

I've since deleted the recording (12 gig or something like that*) so can't go back and look at specifics, but as I say, it was fine at the time.

*12 gigs out of my £80 1TB drive. That's why I do it this way, Sky-boys. Plus I can record BBC red button... F1 extras like on-board and forum I can watch at my leisure!

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