« Previous | Main | Next »

BBC HD: "Creeping" DOGs Update

Post categories:

Danielle Nagler Danielle Nagler | 16:59 UK time, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Hi everyone,

I'm sorry for "going quiet" (as jtemplar has commented this week).

I had hoped that I could come back and tell you that the creeping DOGs which I also noticed watching the channel at home over the holidays were just a temporary seasonal aberration, caused as a result of staff less familiar with the channel or more stretched because of the holidays, making mistakes.

The system for taking the DOG off certain content is not effectively automated, and therefore changes like adjustments to junctions between programmes can cause it to reappear.

However, while that may have been a factor it does not explain - as a number of you have noted - why it was on Anne Frank or Larkrise (which like you I don't expect to see it on). As far as I can tell, a number of human errors, at different points of the chain, are responsible.

And it is not good enough.

So what I propose to do is the following:

To reiterate to everyone involved the decision taken around when the DOG should be used;

to ask the managers of the areas involved to monitor the DOG's removal;

and to ask you to highlight to me anything that you spot that seems to you like a programme that shouldn't have a DOG but does.

There is a lag in getting these things to happen, but I hope that this will fix the problems within the next week or so. My aim is to ensure that you enjoy the channel rather than being infuriated by it, and I'd like there to be as few distractions from the content as possible. Our viewing figures for the Christmas period do suggest that a lot of you found things you liked within the mix - let me know what - and I hope that there will be more in the coming weeks (particularly once the top left of screen is a little clearer).

Danielle Nagler is Head of BBC HDTV, BBC Vision


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Why not just do what the vast majority of viewers want and remove the thing completely? Then there won't be any opportunities for mistakes. and it will save your managers' time.

    My standard procedure is now to check if the DOG is displayed on the HD channel and, if it is, to switch to BBC1/2 if they are showing the same programme. I would much rather watch an un-DOGged SD programme than the DOGged HD version.

  • Comment number 2.

    Ditch the DOGs they have absolutely no use and just distract from what you really want to see.

    Anyone knows how to check what channel they're watching as their digital boxes will happily tell them so you don't have to :)

    The BBC should set the example and lead the way on this.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Danielle,
    Sorry to be critical but......I would have thought that there was a lot more for you to comment on in response to comments made by HD viewers and readers of your blog.
    Just to cover the DOG issue seems a bit of a token gesture to me.

  • Comment number 4.

    KevinW63 - I'm sure that Danielle will respond to comments about other things in time.

    But as the editor of this blog I encouraged her to respond specifically to the DOGs issue as it is something that some BBC HD viewers care passionately about.

  • Comment number 5.

    Nick - I reckon you would find that many HD viewers 'care passionately' about the DOGs issue but they don't happen to know about this method of making their views known. As I and many others have said already, the simplest approach is to remove it altogether. There are other digital channels that don't seem to need it, e.g. FilmFour, Film24 and a charming satellite music channel 'OMusic' formerly ClassicFMTV. They are much better to watch than BBCHD as the picture is presented in all its proper glory. I also tend to watch something on the main BBC channels in SD if the HD version has a DOG on it. If others are doing likewise you seem to be cutting yourself off from a lot of potential viewers. Remember you need to make your friends on the way up as you will certainly need them on the way down!

  • Comment number 6.

    Could this manual process be reversed?

    So by default the DOG isn't shown unless somebody deliberately says it needs to be shown. At least if it is this way round and something goes wrong the viewer doesn't suffer.

  • Comment number 7.

    A bit off topic but will Obama's inauguration be broadcast in HD as Engadget HD say it will be broadcast in HD and available to Europe??

    Thanks Johnny

  • Comment number 8.

    Many thanks for taking action to get that DOG removed from dramas - it's good to know you are still listening.

    But, as others have mentioned, why not just get rid of it for good?

    Does it serve ANY useful purpose other than (presumably) keeping someone in your marketing department happy (at the expense of us licence fee payers)??

  • Comment number 9.

    "A bit off topic but will Obama's inauguration be broadcast in HD as Engadget HD say it will be broadcast in HD and available to Europe??"

    Why don't you just check the listings at bbc.co.uk/hd and you will see that it is, rathing than posting on a blog???

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi Danielle,

    I would question the need for the DOG.

    I would pose the question to your managers if they feel the DOG brings anything to the presentation of the content they oversee? And whether it brings any benefit to the viewer or promotion of the BBC HD service compared to other methods of promotion?Especially when EPG and PVR provide information as to what channel you are viewing.
    And do they think a static image put over a broadcast of a programme in HD when the SD version on BBC1 or 2 is a wise move when it effectivly means the higher quality image is being offset by a logo which can sometimes get in the way or just stand out from the HD broadcast itself?
    The replies to the questions and your views to those questions should form a good idea of whether the BBC HD logo should be removed or not.

    Considering the exposure of the EPG on cable and satellite HD viewers are already aware of where BBC HD is and when a programme is recorded to a PVR the BBC HD channel name is stored along with the programme name.

    Rather than a DOG in order to improve the exposure of BBC HD more effective on air trailers and annoucements on BBC1,2,3 and 4 for viewers to switch over to BBC HD when a HD simulcast is avaliable would raise the profile of the BBC HD channel. As would including BBC HD when the BBC tells viewers in the evenings what is on over its services.
    BBCi is already looking at linking and promoting HD via its interactive service.

    As for the current HD trailer if possible it should be modified to include upcoming content on a regular basis to show the range of programming avaliable as well as pushing the benefits of HD.

    On a side note is there any news for what sporting events will be shown in HD over the next several months?

  • Comment number 11.

    Are you all autistic? What's the big fuss? I thought everyone knew the tag exists as an attempt to retain some ownership if and when content is pirated.

  • Comment number 12.


    A far simpler soulution is available.

    Just get rid of the dog completely!

    Mitsakes will therefore not be made!

  • Comment number 13.


    if that were the case the BBC would insist the dog be present on dramas and films.

  • Comment number 14.

    "At 09:55am on 15 Jan 2009, hmsberlin wrote:

    Are you all autistic? What's the big fuss? I thought everyone knew the tag exists as an attempt to retain some ownership if and when content is pirated."

    No it doesn't. There's plenty of software available to perfectly remove the DOG once you've got the content onto a PC. DOG-free pirated content is trivial to produce. It's only the poor live viewers that suffer.

    The DOG exists for branding - plain and simple.

    Here's an example, straight from the horse's mouth...


    "New Media Resolutions #6: Anthony Rose, Controller, Vision & Online, BBC

    What will really happen next year?: “Within a few months you’ll start regularly seeing people in the tube watching video on portable media players, with the white BBC and pink BBC iPlayer logos just visible.”"

    These BBC folks can't bare to think of you "consuming BBC content" without a logo so big that's it's readable off an iPod-sized screen by someone standing behind you!

    The idea that someone can be watching the BBC, and someone standing next to them might not realise it's the BBC, absolutely terrifies them. This, apparently, is far more important than the viewer getting a picture without on-screen graffiti.

    Danielle, bless her, is a breath of fresh air - but I wonder how long she'll get away with this? Once the BBC branding police realise what she's done, I fear she'll be in trouble.


  • Comment number 15.

    Thank you for the HD content over Christmas. The family, of all ages 7-70, got around the big screen (100" front projector) and we watched the brilliant "A Matter of Loaf and Death" on HD and it looked stunning, everybody thoroughly enjoyed it! ...and there was no distracting DOG on the screen!

    I'd love to watch more BBCHD content on the big screen but the DOG completely ruins it. I simply don't understand why DOGs are used any more, they were useful in analogue days, but now on digital the TV can tell us what channel it is. I bet the BBC don't get complaints about the missing DOG!

  • Comment number 16.

    Can someone from the Beeb please clarify if it is a marketing exercise rather than an anti-piracy measure or whether it is both.

    Such clarification might help to focus the debate, although I suspect whatever you come back with some people just won't let creeping DOGS lie.

  • Comment number 17.

    I have to agree with those asking for DOGs to be removed completely from all BBC content.

    IMHO, DOGs (on ANY channel) are essentially evidence that the channel in question thinks it's viewers are a bunch of idiots, unable to determine which channel they are watching despite the clear fact that they have an ability to navigate to that channel.

    I don't randomly surf channels and take note of DOGs from a positive point of view - mostly I'm deeply irritated by them, and have been known to turn over to avoid them.

    If I want to know what channel I'm on (because I'm an idiot viewer with the memory of a goldfish), I can pull up the EPG or on saved content access the program info to tell me.

    So come on BBC - stop following the lesser channels, and lead by example - treat your viewers with some respect.

  • Comment number 18.

    I agree with everybody else just get rid of the dogs. They are more trouble than they are worth. The BBC has more important issues to deal with. The time and licence payers money spent on this issue is rediculous.

    Surley the big HD news is no HD for F1. I understand that the races are filmed in HD it is just that the F1 authorities are not providing the feed for broadcasters. So please can the BBC and the other broadcasters get together and start talking with them. Some have sujested transmitting upscaled pictures on HD. I know this goes against the grain for the BBC at least it would give us the best possible pictures.

  • Comment number 19.

    Danielle: Thanks for the information. If the DOG has to stay please make the default No DOG so some human action is required to set the DOG active and what transparency level is required.

    I would like the decision maker to make it clear to us why the DOG is needed and what the implications of not having the DOG are.

    Please continue to fight for DOG removal and get justification as to why it is needed for each programme/ series.

    It would be nice for the Senior BBC Managers who have ruled DOGs are necessary are called to explain themselves!

  • Comment number 20.

    Please remove the DOG totally from all BBC HD programmes, as the idea of HD is to look better than the SD alternative on BBC1 or 2, not worse. This decision should have been made from the start, and just removing it from SOME dramas and all films isn't good enough, although it is an improvement.

  • Comment number 21.


    On a different subject, we are all very impatient for more HD content.

    What are the BBCs long term plans for HD?

    We know that BBChd is going up to 9hrs a day this year, which is great so long as it doesn't include even more childrens programming, but what is happening beyond that?

  • Comment number 22.

    Christmas on BBC HD was good. However, I would again like to complain about two very high profile films being pulled from the schedules - The Santa Clause and Finding Nemo. This isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened (or on your competitors channels for that matter). I am so glad that some of the new series are being shot in HD - Jim Al Khalili's, the one on the elephants, Nicholas Crane and various other documentaries. This is really positive that both you and channel 4 are shooting new documentaries in HD.

    The other thing is Ofcom came out with the massive news that they would like a 4th channel on freeview. Putting aside my complaints with your ancient codecs for a while (and how feesible it is getting a 4th channel megasquashed on there) I wondered whether this was an opportunity for the BBC to jump at in putting up a proper simulcast of BBC1 or BBC2?

    I was also interested as to whether your predecessors promise of getting to the full 9hrs by April was still on the cards?

  • Comment number 23.

    After having to switch away from BBC HD several times because of the too distracting DOG, I sent a formal complaint via the web form.

    The response from the Complaints Unit was identical to that on their FAQ on DOGs which showed a certain degree of ignorance of Daniel's 'experiment'.

    When I complained again with links to Danielle's October blog comment and Andy's public comment elsewhere I was ignored. Ditto a third so I assume I am blacklisted

    The people contradicting the Head of HDTV's instruction should be given the same lecture as the managers who ignore it and ruin the enjoyment of countless viewers.

    The few DOGless programmes I have seen since Christmas have however been very much enjoyed. Thanks for those but things could have been so much better.

  • Comment number 24.

    I want to start by saying thanks for starting to put some films on. Its a nice change. Snowflake was a great choice.

    On a less positive note, I am just bored with this debate about the DOGS. I know a lot of people are passionate about it, but I for one am not. The idea that this is occupying a lot of senior management's time ,eg enough to blog on here several times on the same topic, is getting out of proportion to the issue, when there's lots of other problems that could do with attention.

    For me the priorities should be:
    - Get more mainstream programmes into HD to get the audience up
    - Scheduling
    - Sort out the encoding that can't cope with any level of complexity in the picture (eg swimming, other sports, action, moving landscapes) without loss of quality even on a plasma set up like mine. Or just up the bandwidth to what it was previously.

    I await the return of Johathon Ross with interest. Will be ever get decent HD out of the TV centre?

  • Comment number 25.


    Aren't you being a little selfish and illogical?

    I cannot watch the HD channel because my eye is constantly drawn to the top left corner (and then read it!) and you can't stop noticing the motion artefacts which I don't see even on my 60" plasma, possibly because I don't sit within just a few feet of it.

    Your three wishes will likely be supported by the majority, but if many viewers are forced back to BBC1/2 or a DVD they all become irrelevant.

    I agree that the (DOG free) films have been great. Does a DOG actually improve your viewing experience?

  • Comment number 26.

    "I cannot watch the HD channel because my eye is constantly drawn to the top left corner (and then read it!)"

    The BBC HD DOG is one of the better ones and much fainter than it used to be. I would NEVER watch the SD equivalent because of its presence.

    That's just silly!!

    I don't really think 'many' viewers are forced back to watch SD versions because of a DOG, although there's bound to be a 'few'.

  • Comment number 27.

    Just to add I'm in the No Dog camp, I would question whether you would get more complaints from people if you took it away...?

    So in the words of Mrs Doyle:

    Go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on... etc

  • Comment number 28.

    I'm willing to bet that no TV company has ever received a single complaint about the lack of a DOG, but that every TV company has received complaints about their existence.

    When are TV companies (BBC included) going to listen to their customers ?

  • Comment number 29.

    DOGs on TV, whatever the 'definition' of the channe,l are an eyesore and spoil the 'viewing experience'. Danielle, please employ the influence that your important position at the BBC allows you, to get rid of the wretched things completely - on your channel and the other channels that are blighted by this crass piece of marketing.

  • Comment number 30.

    There is a very simple solution to the problem of managing the 'creeping DOG' - kill it off.

    Whilst I try desperately to enjoy the BBC-HD channel, it is often completely spoiled by the DOG, even in its translucent incarnation.

    Imagine how much time and effort could be saved by the BBC staff if it were simply abandoned - you would be able to achieve much more beneficial things in the time made available by no longer having to feed and train the DOG, and no longer having to defend the DOG from its hungry predators.

    There are absolutely no benefits to the DOG whatsoever for the viewers - it is an eyesore, and quite frankly, pretty much bordering on grafitti.

    If you really still do need to mark the BBC-HD channel's content, just mark it in a sensitive way over the title and credit sequences - we won't mind (too much).

    It is a pity that the good work done by the BBC-HD team is marred by the presence of an unwelcome DOG.

  • Comment number 31.


    No I don't think I am being selfish.

    I'm just being genuine - it really doesn't bother me personally that much. I actually don't notice the DOG that much. And sometimes I need it to remember which is meant to be the HD channel!

    I guess once people have become bothered by something , like the DOG, or in my case the picture quality, they notice the problem more.

    It's not just BBC HD - DOGS on any channel don't bother me.

    But even though it doesn't bother me that much, I do accept it clearly bothers a lot of people.

    My point was we are spending too much time on this, we should sort it as best we can, then move on and fix something else

  • Comment number 32.


    You may be ambivilant towards the dog but as you admit many people are bothered by it.

    I for one will not stop complaining until it's gone for good.

    I absolutely agree we desperately need more mainstream HD programming and better scheduling but that costs money so will only come over a period of time.

    Getting rid of the dog is easy and costs nothing.

    What is really annoying are the reasons that the BBC give for the presence of dogs are totally false, i.e. a viewer aid.

    We ALL know what we are watching.

    It's branding, pure and simple. Insisted upon by the marketing department.

    My opinion is that the BBC as a PSB does not need to, and should not be marketed in this way.

  • Comment number 33.


    As I have said before, branding does not create audiences, increase viewing figures or make me watch more BBC.

    I watch programs not channels.

    So if you want me to watch more BBC, put on more great quality programming!

    ....and don't annoy me with dogs!

  • Comment number 34.


    I think it quite clear what the customers think about this and what needs to be done.

  • Comment number 35.

    Wow - Sin City in HD - absolutely fantastic - and no Dog!

  • Comment number 36.


    Firstly, let me say that I don't like DOG's. I still believe that television is an art form and as such the picture should not contain any branding. As an example, if I visit the National Gallery, the painting's won't have a National Gallery logo plastered into one corner

    So how about this for an idea - apart from the preview loop tape, remove the on-screen logo from every programme for a period of 6 months. Publicise this decision widely, in press releases to specialist magazines etc. and sit back and see what happens

    If the audience for the HD station drops, and/or a large number of complaints are received about its removal, then re-introduce the logo and the point has been proved that the public like it

    But if the audience level remains static or even increases, then obviously the answer is to remove the logo permanantly

    That would be a way of solving the DOG question on the BBC HD channel, once and for all

    What do other bloggers think?


  • Comment number 37.

    A seemingly good idea Dave. It does require the BBC's Marketing people to want such proof however and I doubt that they do. If they did do it, I also doubt there would be much effort put into publicising it. There isn't any evidence of such publicity for the current stance on HD after all. Again that might mean their stance is disproved. It also involves cost of course - another negative from their point of view.

    Having said that - and being aware to be careful what you wish for- perhaps the BBC could put DOGs on the main BBC1 and BBC2 transmissions for a similar period and we could see what level of complaint that produces.

  • Comment number 38.


    Good points

    But DOG's were put on BBC1 and BBC2 when they came to Dsat and if I remember rightly there was a lot of complaints and later they came off


  • Comment number 39.

    I don't get how the people at the BBC haven't learnt their lesson with DOGs - as ^dave1956 wrote, DOGs on BBC1 and 2 weren't suitable, so why is a DOG suitable for BBC HD?

  • Comment number 40.

    To amplify smithac's comment, Sin City looked fantastic, and so did Four Last Songs. A solid evening of stopped-in-your-tracks entertainment. Well done BBC!

    None of this would have happened if there had been a DOG...

  • Comment number 41.

    Danielle: DOGs again. I am enjoying Sky Arts HD coverage of the Obama Inaugural Celebration, even with its HBO DOG. The reason. The DOG only appears briefly in the bottom right cornor. NOT ON ALL OF THE TIME.

    Watch it an please consider this for the BBC HD DOG, unless you can get it retired full time!

  • Comment number 42.

    The Dog should be removed totally. Its pointless.

    How ever moving on to more important matters - PICTURE QUALITY.

    Still the BBC have not upped the bandwith to 19/20 mbps and still the channel is struggling with dark scenes, fast moving scenes and many studio shots.

    Either get new encoders or up the bandwith.

    Some of us are actually bothered by picture quality.

    Also can we please have the Snooker World championships in HD??? Maybe you could use the welsh open as a practise run????

  • Comment number 43.

    Sorry wednesday83 - can I refer you back to the test card blog for the bit rate discussion?


  • Comment number 44.

    Oh dear. Back down to earth!

    The DOG was on Lark Rise again. Does somebody have it in for Danielle?

    Meanwhile, ITV showed Wild At Heart (which seems to be a children's programme, but never mind) DOG free. A sad contrast.

    PS I'm all for a return to an increased bit rate!

  • Comment number 45.

    I have particularly enjoyed (and am enjoying):

    Lark Rise
    Wainwrights Walks
    Wallace and Gromit
    Natural World
    Antiques Roadshow
    Three Men in More Than One Boat (part 2 only??)

    Of course the ones that have it would be much better without the dreaded DOG. At least there's somewhere to express an opinion about it which is being listened to.

    BTW if you've got SkyHD you can watch some HD programmes using their Anytime facility from various channels with no DOG (but none from BBCHD as far as I know).

  • Comment number 46.

    @ sipasblog

    "Three Men in More Than One Boat (part 2 only??)"

    Get yourself Digiguide. You would have known then that part 1 and 2 were being shown in the correct order in HD the following week (last week).

  • Comment number 47.

    The Red Button logo is becoming just as irriating and intrusive on many programmes as the branding DOG. Please just remove all such grafitti from the screen. If anyone out there really wants these logos, give them a button to make them appear. Otherwise, give us an plain clutter free picture.

    I wonder if I can sue the BBC for RSI for the number of times I have had to press the green button to kill the Red Button logo!

  • Comment number 48.


    It's interesting that Sky are, quite rightly, promoting their HD coverage of Obama's inauguration, as often as possible, across all channels.

    However, I saw a BBC trailer and it wasn't even mentioned that you're doing it in HD too.

    Why are there so many promos on the BBC that DON'T mention that the programme is being shown in HD?

  • Comment number 49.

    derek500 - I can't answer your question but we are mentioning it on the blog.

  • Comment number 50.

    you are all possibly right?

  • Comment number 51.

    Danielle ,Just saying it's not good enough and 'human error', new people on shift etc are the reasons for the Dogs creeping back in, is not good enough!
    You are the Boss and have said what is to be done. If they don't get it right then demote or sack them!
    Bet the rest don't forget again.

    Totally agree make NO DOGS the default and have a named responsible shift Manager the only person who can change the rule within the policy that has been set out, posted on the notice board and communicated (via this blog) to the Customers.

  • Comment number 52.

    DogFree @ 47 You don't have to press anything on most STB to get rid of the "Press RED" prompt. On Sky boxes you can go into the preferences and set it to disappear automatically (can't remember where, I don't have Sky anymore).

    On my Freesat+ PVR the prompt just disappears on its own without having to set it in the preferences. I assume other Freesat boxes do likewise?

    I can't speak for Freeview.

    Oh, and while I'm at, one more vote to remove the DOG totally from all BBC channels. I feel it'll take one of the major broadcasters to do it in order to force the others to do likewise.

  • Comment number 53.

    What a surprise! No DOG on the US Presidential Inauguration and so much more relaxing for it. I assume it is not yet another mistake so many thanks to all concerned.

    If you can do the same for Larkrise too I would be even more appreciative.

  • Comment number 54.

    "What a surprise! No DOG on the US Presidential Inauguration and so much more relaxing for it. I assume it is not yet another mistake so many thanks to all concerned."

    Hear Hear!

  • Comment number 55.

    Yes well done BBC HD no DOG to spoil the pictures from the USA

    And what great pictures they were I remember the 1st pictures from the USA via Telstar in 1962 no compaison

    Keep up the good work and loose the DOG for good

  • Comment number 56.

    My simple question is how many complaints did the BBC receive from viewers that were unhappy that the DOG was not on the screen during this recent broadcast?

    This will demonstrate the true value of DOGs and the disbenefit (if any) of removing them completely.

  • Comment number 57.

    I just want to add another plea for it's permanent removal.

    Even the marketing people must know that it is impossible to receive the HD Channel unless you have invested a fairly large sum of money to enable you to do so, and that it has to be selected deliberately before it can be viewed.

    It is crass stupidity to claim that it is there to help you if you come across it by chance and wonder what it is you may be watching.

    Whoever it is that is choosing to ignore the solution instigated by Dannielle, should have their knuckles wrapped severely. Their actions have angered and frustrated many people.

    There are still people on here claiming that the DOG issue is not very important. I wish to say, maybe it isn't to them, but they don't speak for the majority. Just look at how many on here are complaining, and we are only the very few who have actually found this blog and made the effort. Try to imagine how many more there would be if they knew of the existence of this site.

    Nick may I ask you how do we contact Danielle direct as she suggested we do if we find any programmes which don't meet her criteria. I truly do not know how.

  • Comment number 58.

    Sax Man wrote:

    DogFree @ 47 You don't have to press anything on most STB to get rid of the "Press RED" prompt.

    I can't speak for Freeview.

    Sax Man, DogFree _was_ talking about Freeview.

    I wonder how many people even know about the green button to kill the Red Button logo.

    Ditch the DOG!

  • Comment number 59.

    danielle made this post then ran LOL!

    she hasn't posted once to try and defend the DOG. There has not been a SINGLE post saying we like the dog please keep it and put it back on dramas and films. This is a license fee funded channel please do what your customs want and remove the blog.

    Maybe we should contact Ricky Gervais and get him to complain about it in his blog as millions view that and would send 1000's of emails of complaint to the BBC about it and then the newspapers would print about it too.

    Just remove the dog already, we've complained about it for countless months, we DONT want it!

    I feel embarrased that my license fee is being spent to try and advertise the bbc to the world, why not put a nike logo in its place, i'm sure you'd get quite a bit of money from that, would help with your cashflow problems which are stopping me from watching the australian open live on bbc 1/2/red button/bbchd. Cant believe murray's matches arent on BBCHD, thats a joke!

  • Comment number 60.

    I would like to add my voice to the chorus of viewers that would like the Dogs to be removed. The current situation is an improvement, but I find it disturbing to thing that dramas and films are somehow more worthy of a distraction-free presentation than are the other excellent BBC programs. The cinematography in the nature programs should never be marred by the blotch up in the corner of the screen. The decision to elevate drama over comedy, music and news is an insult to all of the very clever and talented people who produce these other types of programming. As many have already said, without any justifiable reason for it's use, the dog should just be dropped from all HD programming, as it is from BBC 1 and 2. Imagine the goodwill that will be created with so little effort. And also imagine the potential for the BBC to tout its own horn, but publicizing the fact that it's programming is presented with a "clean screen," devoid of distractions.

  • Comment number 61.

    Sorry about the typos. Next time I'll proof what I write before posting.

  • Comment number 62.

    Of course, the real reason DOG's exist is to disuade a few people from recording what is after all copyright material. That's why they tend to disappear on material that is of no interest to pirates etc (ie news, links, trailers).

    You would have to be terminally stupid to argue that DOGs in some way enlivened your viewing experience....

  • Comment number 63.

    No-one has ever said it's a deterrent to piracy AFAIK. Indeed, that very question was put earlier (post 16, and rudely in post 11) but with no reply. (Though I wonder why not.)

    I have seen a bought pirated video in action (no, it wasn't mine, I am *really* against it) and the presence of a logo didn't seem to bother either the pirate or the punter. I think it's probably irrelevant to the practice.

  • Comment number 64.


    The brilliant Mad Men is back on BBC4 on February 10 at 10pm.

    In the same slot on BBC HD, is a Hustle repeat.

    Are we going to get the second season in HD?

  • Comment number 65.

    If piracy was an issue then DOGS would appear on all channels including BBC1 & 2 and the commercial channels.

    Many programmes appear on ITV (Dog Free) and are then repeated on ITV 2 (Dogged).

    Piracy has never been the reason for DOGS, it is branding pure and simple. Just the same as supermarkets putting their brand on all their bags. Even the long life ones that you pay for. I just love the fact that we are paying for the privilege of advertising for them

    There are loads of channels that remove DOGS during advertising breaks and loads that don't. The ones that do are some of the worst offenders who claim that they are there to identify the channel whilst channel hopping, let's hope that we dont come across their channel during a programme break, we would be totally lost not knowing which channel we were skipping over.

    I really hate DOGS with a passion. I hate being treated as someone who is so stupid that I couldn't possibly know what I'm watching unless there is a Logo to tell me. They lose me as a viewer though because I won't watch them, and I just love letting them know I won't watch.

  • Comment number 66.

    I find the initial response of removing the DOG from certain programs somewhat pointless. This is just my personal opinion but Later with Jools Holland is a lot better without a DOG, there are some great performances that are spoilt by a distracting logo (often over the band you're trying to watch).
    This can be argued for the vast majority of shows, in fact, the only situation I can think of where I wouldn't mind having DOGs is a news channel, because they have a purpose. I hope you can see how much myself and the other people here despise these DOGs and that hopefully they are removed permanently.

    trevorjharris wrote:
    >Surley the big HD news is no HD for F1.

    I hope this statement isn't true. I saw the BBC advert for F1 the other day and was hoping it would be in HD, is this not the case, and if so then why?

  • Comment number 67.

    f1 WONT be on BBCHD:( something to do with bernie eckleston not allowing hd camera at some of the races or something. They could atleast do HD for the races that are already kitted out with HD cameras tho!

  • Comment number 68.

    derek500 wrote:
    The brilliant Mad Men is back on BBC4 on February 10 at 10pm. Are we going to get the second season in HD?
    Oh yes please! I love Mad Men! No, really - I do!

    Oh! and pleeezze... no DOG on Don's face.


  • Comment number 69.

    According to BBCFour about 1 in 5 viewers hate DOGs, presumably the others either tolerate them or couldn't care less. I think the data was collected in 2006. My guess is that with the arrival of HD TV discerning viewers will find DOGs more and more unacceptable. Sky have already removed their DOGs from the Sky Arts channels. I note that software is now being written to detect and remove DOGs from digital TV images (see for example http://forum.doom9.org/archive/index.php/t-133682.html%29 so it may be not too long before our remotes, for probably more expensive TVs, will have a 'DOG-remove on/off' button. The sooner the better!

  • Comment number 70.

    It is revealing which bit of statistics organisations decide to release...maybe the BBC are being economic with their interpretation of the research...perhaps it actually said this:

    1 in 5 hate Dogs
    3 in 5 don't like them
    1 in 5 are ambivalent.
    0 in 5 like them
    0 in 5 love them

  • Comment number 71.


    Well done!! I've just checked Digiguide and I see you've removed repeats from the schedule and you are now simulcasting both the BBC4 and BBC2 showings of Mad Men.

    Thanks again.

  • Comment number 72.

    hope you air the australian open final in hd tomorrow or atleast broadcast it at a later date, its federer vs nadal, will be an amazing match and would look incredible in hd.

  • Comment number 73.

    no tennis final in HD and no superbowl in HD, what are you playing at BBC???

  • Comment number 74.

    @ samuel1984

    Both the Australian Open and the Superbowl are in HD via Sky HD, which of course the vast majority of HD viewers receive.

    HD is expensive. BBCHD has a very limited HD budget.

    I for one, would rather they spend it on general day to day BBC programmes.

  • Comment number 75.

    Danielle, you wrote "why it was on Anne Frank ... (which like you I don't expect to see it on)".

    Well last weeks Anne Frank repeat was DOG free, thank you, but on yesterdays episode it was back!!!

    Please remove the infernal thing from everything, that way there will be no more mistakes.

  • Comment number 76.

    Hi Danielle, I just watched a super Super bowl on BBC1, having checked your site at 1/2 time to see if you'd given a reason for not simulcasting it in HD. Unfortunately not; but I did notice the DOG debate raging here and couldn't go to bed without adding my vote for its removal. I needn't say more to explain why I hate it as everyone else has said enough already. One other thing I spotted in the Blog comments, though, was derek500's observation that you've recently changed your mind and will now be showing Mad Men in HD, in place of yet another repeat. Thank you - at last a moment of sanity in your scheduling! Just please make sure it's DOG free.

  • Comment number 77.

    @ paul_geaton

    "I just watched a super Super bowl on BBC1, having checked your site at 1/2 time to see if you'd given a reason for not simulcasting it in HD. Unfortunately not;"

    Roger Mosey's blog states:-

    "we'd love to be broadcasting the game in HD for example, but financially it was never a realistic option".


  • Comment number 78.

    Near the top of this list of comments, KevinW63 suggested that that there was a lot more for Danielle to respond to than just the DOG issue. NickReynolds, as Editor of the Blog, quickly retorted that she would get round to doing that in time. Well, I've been waiting a long time now for any response to the valid points and queries made by Blog readers. I've even posed a few questions myself, but the only person who ever seems to get a response is wednesday83, usually by Andy Quested after a particularly bitter and personal post. Nobody else's sensible suggestions or interesting enquiries ever seem to be answered. So, in the hope that your are actually reading these comments, could I make a suggestion of my own? Firstly, I think you should start to take some interest in what's being said and dedicate some time to responding to the questions and comments raised here. If you did this, we could all learn something from it and it might help to make BBC HD a resounding success. Once you've started giving feedback via these Blogs you could take things a stage further by advertising their existence on the HD channel itself, between programmes, with the URL clearly shown on screen. You could invite all your viewers to read the blogs so that they can understand your position on the hot issues, and perhaps raise some new ones for your comment. You must be aware that the Blog site isn't easy to find from the BBC homepage and that the majority of BBC HD's viewers would welcome being given a steer towards a site where they could voice their opinions, concerns, or even praise and then see a speedy response from you.

  • Comment number 79.

    Mad Men in HD without a DOG - thank you, fantastic!

  • Comment number 80.

    Yes, Mad Men--excellent! I hope (and expect, tbh) that it will be the same with Damages. This always looked good in SD to start with, and the HD trail is...promising!

    And yet...Nature's Great Events is on as I'm typing this. The picture is outstanding, but the DOG sits there, dumbly and insistently, and is impossible not to notice. I have to consciously avoid looking at the top l/h quadrant and even that doesn't always work. Switching to SD makes the image much more immersive even though what it lacks in terms of detail is painfully obvious. This is a desperately ironic situation.

    Given the leap in picture quality in HD, which is obviously the whole point of it, the setting of policy by analogy to poor old SD BBC4 such that documentaries get DOGged needs to be reviewed urgently!

  • Comment number 81.

    I don't think I can add any other reasons to not having a DOG that haven't already been given. I just want to make my voice heard that I, too, want the DOG removed - permanently. Thanks.

  • Comment number 82.

    It's great not having the DOG on dramas and movies, but is there any chance you can remove it from nature programmes too?

    When so much effort goes into producing outstanding, visually stunning images on programmes like Planet Earth and last night's Nature's Great Events, why would anyone want a graphic slapped permanently over them?

    Without wanting to sound like a hippy, surely nothing lends itself to HD better than the world's natural beauty, so please don't spoil it with a DOG.

    I can cope with DOGs on some programming such as music or light entertainment where the primary source of enjoyment comes from the audio - essentially the visuals are secondary to the music or speech. However, in programmes like Nature's Great Events, the visuals are very much the focus, so please, please leave them unspoilt.

  • Comment number 83.

    They're not listening.

  • Comment number 84.

    @paul_geaton - did you see Danielle's comment here?

  • Comment number 85.

    NIck now we seem to have attracted an answer from you to one of the questions asked on here, do you think you could please answer mine about how we contact Danielle, as she asked us to, about when things appear to have gone wrong.

  • Comment number 86.

    LogoHater - If you leave comments on her blog entries that's a good start as she tells me she does read them all.

  • Comment number 87.

    Many thanks for that Nick. I now know what to do.

  • Comment number 88.

    Danielle, you must by now have understood the depth of feeling about DOGS, and how despised they are. There are a few on here who say that they don't bother them very much, but by far the majority are asking for their complete removal forever.

    I have yet to come across any posting anywhere asking for their retention, be it on here or on the Points of View pages. They are universally hated by anyone who wants to watch television as it should be. Please in the name of sanity remove it for ever from the HD channel, you will be praised forever by us all.

  • Comment number 89.

    Other than the Kennel Club and the BBC marketing department, is there anyone who wants to see DOGS on the screen ?

    I pay my licence fee to enjoy the content, not to be reminded that someone thinks I'm so stupid I can't remember which channel I'm watching.

  • Comment number 90.

    Just wanted to say a big 'Thank-you' BBC, and Danielle, for the excellent Mad Men in HD minus DOG.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the first series and just love the detail of the production. Matthew Weiner is genius.


  • Comment number 91.

    Well done BBC for thr victorians hosted by Jeramy Paxman

    Wonderfull paintings so much detail via HD

    But was it really necessary to put a DOG on the screen some of the painting had BBC HD over the faces in the paintings

    I am sure the painters would not have been pleased to see it

    Please Please get rid of the HD DOG on all programes


  • Comment number 92.

    We thought the HD pictures on Madmen were wonderful last night but the superb 5.1 soundtrack was just as enjoyable. Please let's have lots more programmes of this quality on BBC HD. Thanks.

  • Comment number 93.

    Danielle said "and to ask you to highlight to me anything that you spot that seems to you like a programme that shouldn't have a DOG but does"

    10 days to war, 20 Feb, DOGGED

  • Comment number 94.

    At 2:29pm on 12 Feb 2009, NickReynolds wrote:
    @paul_geaton - did you see Danielle's comment here?

    Yes; in 2009, 160 HD comments (more than 50 deserve an individual response), dozens of questions and just 2 answers from Danielle. I rest my case!

  • Comment number 95.

    paul_geaton - I don't think more than 50 deserve an individual response. But I'll ask Danielle if she has another post in her mind.

  • Comment number 96.

    Hi Nick. Thanks for your offer to prompt Danielle. I look forward to her answers. Perhaps you could suggest that she gets one of her staff to print-out all the posts and then to highlight the sensible comments and questions. Thus Danielle could tick them off as she addresses them. Maybe there won't be 50 but I don't think my estimate will be far off. While I'm here, I'd just like to add that I've just finished watching the Nature's Great Events programme on BBC HD and, although I'm not a nature lover, I thought it was outstanding entertainment. The photography and 5.1 sound were just stunning. While I'm in the DOGs blog though I must comment about the DOG on that programme, I'm not sure if it's one of those which Danielle puts in the category that shouldn't have a DOG - but I certainly would. I couldn't help thinking of the poor cameramen who must have spent weeks getting those pictures so perfect. What must they think about a Logo slapped over their creation? The one consolation was that it was so transparent that it occasionally slipped out of view. Why, then, is it needed at all?

  • Comment number 97.

    There is one question I would love Danielle to answer and that is. Who is it that insists on there being a logo on any of the HD programmes.

    Why are they so insistent on this totally unnecessary branding, on a channel supposedly dedicated to providing the best picture quality possible. It is such a nonsensical notion, I find it difficult to understand how anyone who cares about TV could contemplate such a silly idea.

  • Comment number 98.

    Where is Danielle? Her article at the top is dated St. Valentine's Day, has she been massacred? Her views on DOGs don't comply with the BBC dictat.......

  • Comment number 99.

    TVheveanorhell - Danielle has been on "dog patrol" and has returned with her
    latest thoughts here.

  • Comment number 100.

    Wouldn't it be great if, just for once, instead of slavishly following what Sky does by using on-screen logos, squeezing up and talking over end credits etc the BBC decided to scrap all on-screen logos which do nothing but mar any programme they are on ?
    Be an instigator rather than a follower for a change !


Page 1 of 2

More from this blog...

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.