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Updates and info on the DTT platform (October 2016)

DO
dosxuk Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Handled properly, interlaced formats don't blur anything. Many PC applications don't handle interlaced formats properly, and they will never look right in single frame captures, as you're seeing two separate moments in time.

An interlaced format at 50 fields per second will handle motion better than a progressive format (even of same resolution) at 25 frames per second.

Finally, the 720p streams won't look better than the 1080i ones, because they are being from the latter. The main reason for not delivering the interlaced versions is that PC's not handling them properly. It's better to have one good deinterlacer at the source end than trying to do it at the PC end.
Rkolsen and London Lite gave kudos
RE
Rex (previously MetalGearRex) London London
Looks like Rishtey Cineplex is likely to miss out on its proposed October launch at this point - the Ofcom licence looks as if it hasn't been granted yet onto the DTT licence system, and there has been no additional information other than hints that it will launch on LCN 90, and obviously on COM8, judging by the lack of capacity on every other COM mux.
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DA
davidhorman Channel Channel Islands
I remember reading a blog post not long back on the BBC website explaining the introduction of 50 frames per second streams, and it stated that they had considered switching to 1080 instead. However they found that viewers saw a greater jump in picture quality by changing from 25 to 50 fps compared to increasing the resolution, so that's what they went with.


I don't think it's so much a jump in quality . 25fps to 50fps is a much more... I'm not sure what the word is, but temporal resolution is a pretty different thing to spatial resolution when it comes to perception. 25fps doesn't meet the human "smoothness" threshold, while 50fps does. There isn't really an analogous threshold when it comes to spatial resolution.

As for 1080i, on any half-decent TV it should not be any more blurred than 720p. If it is, there's something wrong somewhere.

Interlacing is finally dying a death, it seems, perhaps not before time. It was introduced because of the slow scanning rates way back in the day, then stuck around as a sort of fait acompli - all the broadcast chains already handled it with high quality and expensive boxes existing to deal with it, flat panel TVs got better and better at handling it as CRTs were phased out, and so it just kept surviving, whereas if it had been brought up as a new idea in the digital age it would have probably been rightly laughed at as a silly idea.
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
Yes, interlacing is on the way out, UHD/4k is entirely progressive.

Another thing about higher refresh rates as well is that you don't need as much motion blur to make movement look acceptable (try looking at 24/25/30p with little to no motion blur- its very flickery and choppy), which means the picture on movement is also sharper and more defined. Though it seems along with the trend for sticking a film look on everything these days, is also to use as much motion blur as possible. God knows why, but it's very common.

12 days later

RE
Rex (previously MetalGearRex) London London
http://www.a516digital.com/2016/11/ofcom-announces-revised-technical-code.html?m=1

Ofcom's technical code on DTT has been published - the main fixture is that ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are allowed to lower their resolution to 544x576.

I'd imagine that offshoot channels like ITV2 and E4 will be affected by this, and other services including ITV3 can finally join PSB2.
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MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
http://www.a516digital.com/2016/11/ofcom-announces-revised-technical-code.html?m=1

Ofcom's technical code on DTT has been published - the main fixture is that ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are allowed to lower their resolution to 544x576.

.


SD quality is a lost cause, I don't watch anything now in SD except for the BBC regional news, I actually can't bear to watch SD only channels, unless the content is exceptionally compelling
RE
Rex (previously MetalGearRex) London London
http://www.a516digital.com/2016/11/ofcom-announces-revised-technical-code.html?m=1

Ofcom's technical code on DTT has been published - the main fixture is that ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are allowed to lower their resolution to 544x576.

.


SD quality is a lost cause, I don't watch anything now in SD except for the BBC regional news, I actually can't bear to watch SD only channels, unless the content is exceptionally compelling

It's an annoyance to see that the local news on BBC One is still SD only - the charter renewal covers regions and nations for BBC One and Two HD. Its taken them far longer than they did for digital versions, where BBC Two nations replaced that of BBC Choice nations, and BBC One not getting regions until 2003.
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DO
dosxuk Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
It's an annoyance to see that the local news on BBC One is still SD only - the charter renewal covers regions and nations for BBC One and Two HD. Its taken them far longer than they did for digital versions, where BBC Two nations replaced that of BBC Choice nations, and BBC One not getting regions until 2003.


A better picture quality is a very difficult thing to justify spending significant sums of money on when your budgets are being slashed.

The digital changeover had to be done in that timescale, or entire regions would no longer be broadcasting (service closures are even more difficult to justify), and even then the digital network doesn't have the same capabilities of the analogue network (particuarly English regions on BBC2). Switching to HD - when it can't bring in more revenue (which is the justification for the HD regional roll out over on ITV) - for no other reason than to reduce annoyance is a poor use of limited funds.
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today
It's an annoyance to see that the local news on BBC One is still SD only - the charter renewal covers regions and nations for BBC One and Two HD. Its taken them far longer than they did for digital versions, where BBC Two nations replaced that of BBC Choice nations, and BBC One not getting regions until 2003.


A better picture quality is a very difficult thing to justify spending significant sums of money on when your budgets are being slashed.

The digital changeover had to be done in that timescale, or entire regions would no longer be broadcasting (service closures are even more difficult to justify), and even then the digital network doesn't have the same capabilities of the analogue network (particuarly English regions on BBC2). Switching to HD - when it can't bring in more revenue (which is the justification for the HD regional roll out over on ITV) - for no other reason than to reduce annoyance is a poor use of limited funds.


That's a valid argument for commercial broadcasters, but not so much for the BBC

From 1936 until early this century picture quality has improved, now it's being compromised
Last edited by Markymark on 9 November 2016 7:47pm
DO
dosxuk Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
It's an annoyance to see that the local news on BBC One is still SD only - the charter renewal covers regions and nations for BBC One and Two HD. Its taken them far longer than they did for digital versions, where BBC Two nations replaced that of BBC Choice nations, and BBC One not getting regions until 2003.


A better picture quality is a very difficult thing to justify spending significant sums of money on when your budgets are being slashed.

The digital changeover had to be done in that timescale, or entire regions would no longer be broadcasting (service closures are even more difficult to justify), and even then the digital network doesn't have the same capabilities of the analogue network (particuarly English regions on BBC2). Switching to HD - when it can't bring in more revenue (which is the justification for the HD regional roll out over on ITV) - for no other reason than to reduce annoyance is a poor use of limited funds.


That's a valid argument for commercial broadcasters, but not so much for the BBC

From 1936 until early this century picture quality has improved, now it's being compromised


Over that time, did the BBC see anywhere near the budget cuts they are currently facing? Or have a Government / Public that are so actively hostile towards the BBC's spending?

(And you seem to have skipped over the several years when they completely turned off the television transmitters, that's got to be reduction in picture quality!)
MA
Markymark Meridian (Thames Valley) South Today

A better picture quality is a very difficult thing to justify spending significant sums of money on when your budgets are being slashed.

The digital changeover had to be done in that timescale, or entire regions would no longer be broadcasting (service closures are even more difficult to justify), and even then the digital network doesn't have the same capabilities of the analogue network (particuarly English regions on BBC2). Switching to HD - when it can't bring in more revenue (which is the justification for the HD regional roll out over on ITV) - for no other reason than to reduce annoyance is a poor use of limited funds.


That's a valid argument for commercial broadcasters, but not so much for the BBC

From 1936 until early this century picture quality has improved, now it's being compromised


Over that time, did the BBC see anywhere near the budget cuts they are currently facing? Or have a Government / Public that are so actively hostile towards the BBC's spending?


I don't dispute that, but there's been a recent ( last 15-20 years) midset of never mind the quality, feel the width. This was prevalent before the relatively recent assult on the Beeb.

(And you seem to have skipped over the several years when they completely turned off the television transmitters, that's got to be reduction in picture quality!)


Not really a valid argument, the point I'm making is we seem to be going backwards now, some channels are actually broadcast at a lower resolution than 405 line analogue.

That said, I watched Autumnwatch the other day on iplayer. Superb quality HD and 50i, I had to pinch myself that this was coming down Victorian technology phone line, though I'm lucky enough to have sufficient bandwidth available on that line.

What a shame that platforms that serve the entire population 'free' of charge are being compromised
Last edited by Markymark on 9 November 2016 8:52pm - 2 times in total
RE
Rex (previously MetalGearRex) London London
Now that the technical restrictions on PSB2 have been lifted, there's the possibility of adding more channels through reducing resolution.

Another example of cramming in more channels on a mux was the Local mux recently, where the bitrates of Kix and True Crime were cut to fit True Christmas in.
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