BBC HD: DOGs Update
I entirely agree with all of you who have found the scheduling of epsiode one of the new Heroes frustrating and bemusing - you just have to believe me when I say that the purchase arrangements around these kinds of series mean that the choices open to us on BBC HD around where we can put out the programme are virtually non-existent. So, I'm sorry - but I hope that the PVRs worked, and that you're enjoying the storylines.
As some of you remind me - regularly - I promised to come back on the DOG issue. I had been told before taking this job and starting to get to know you that HD was something that people get passionate about.
I hadn't anticipated that all the emotion we try to concentrate through the HD production process to give you, our audience, the most intense viewing experience we can would however coalesce around the on-screen channel marker(!).
I took on board the fact that this mattered to a very large number of you, and that you found it monumentally irritating, and that that irritation was exacerbated by the fact that HD is supposed to celebrate great picture quality.
I also said - as I'm sure many of you have heard before - that there are reasons why the vast majority of digital channels put DOGs on screen - they help to tell you where you are as you flick through channels and play an important role for channels in helping to establish their brands through the content they go alongside.
But don't worry - that is not a prelude towards telling you that I've looked at it all very seriously and decided to do nothing. I just want to be clear that I have to balance a number of things in making a decision about how we go forward.
I've decided to go for a halfway house.
I can hear you all reaching for the keyboard to tell me that that is a coward's (or a politician's) response. I can assure you that I'm both and neither, but also ask you to bear with me as I explain what I am going to do.
From this weekend, assuming no technical glitches in the areas responsible for implementing this, the BBC HD DOG will be removed from all films shown on the channel and the majority of the drama content. For other programming, we are turning down the DOG to the lowest level that we can while allowing it to remain visible.
In doing this, I'm aiming to make sure that at least some of the programming which really showcases HD quality and experience is DOG-free. Hopefully, the irritation factor on the rest is reduced, while retaining the channel branding across much of the output for the benefit of those who may not blog but who do find it valuable. I am not sure that this is the final position on the subject, but I do want to give this arrangement a reasonable period of time to bed down before taking a view on whether there is any further adjustment to be made.
Whatever you feel, I know that I can trust you to tell me clearly - please do. I really value this conversation with you and it is absolutely the case that I would not have been aware of the strength of feeling around this issue if you hadn't told me.
Danielle Nagler is Head of HDTV, BBC Vision.