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BBC HD: DOGs Update

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Danielle Nagler Danielle Nagler | 09:10 UK time, Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Hi, everyone.

Having predicted as much, I'm delighted to know that you all think that the decisions we made about Heroes and Silent Witness were the wrong ones.

silent_witness_hd.jpg

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.

heroes_hd.jpg

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.

read all our HDTV postsOn past experience, I'll probably have satisfied no one, but I do hope that you at least can accept that I have given this a lot of consideration, and shifted the channel in the light of it.

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.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Although I do not have access to the HD channel, I do watch a fair few channels with DOGs and think that the compromise you are making is a good one.
    Would that other channels (even BBC ones) drop the DOG during drama shows.

    However, there is one comment I would like to respond to:
    "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"

    When flicking through content, the majority of set-top boxes or media-center computer programs actually have an info box on-screen whilst you're channel-hopping. These give the channel number, full channel name and often the now-next program details each time you navigate to a new channel.
    This makes the DOG not only unnecessary, but actually inferior to the information that is already present.

    Then once a few seconds have passed, the box disappears. Anybody who really wants to know where they are can bring it back up. Anybody who already knows what they're watching only wants to see one thing: the actual content. No channel ident. Just the show.

    I don't want to detract from the fact that I genuinely think that the "halfway house" approach would be a vast improvement. (Please pass on the idea to other BBC digital channels...)
    But I also think that, when the information can be called up at the press of a button, DOGs are totally unnecessary these days. From a viewer's perspective, anyway.

  • Comment number 2.

    Danielle: Thanks very much.

    I'm really pleased you have listened and come up with what sounds like a very workable compromise.



  • Comment number 3.

    Excellent News...

    Although may I make a suggestion? Part of the problem I have with the DOG is not so much the translucency level as the position at the top of the screen. Shows tend to be framed so that the eye is drawn to the top of the screen and so the DOG sticks out like a sore thumb since it is constantly in your eyeline.

    Is it possible that you could follow the US model and move the DOG to the bottom-right? Here it would still perform the same channel branding solution, but would be a lot less distracting in the bottom-right, and wouldn't have to be moved when there was sport on!

    Steven
    (PS. PVR worked, both Heroes and Silent Witness great!)

  • Comment number 4.

    Interesting, one place which the HD DOG is useful is in TV stores like Currys, where it's a great bit of branding and an advert for HD, as ALL the tv screens seem to be tuned to BBC HD...

  • Comment number 5.

    FrankieRoberto: What, and make sure that any HD plasma's they sell ex-display are ruined?

    Danielle: It *is* a politician's response, but not a bad one. I'll take it as a step in the right direction and say 'thank you'. What I'd love to see (and I believe many comments on DOGs have said this before) is the research that shows that people want these things, as opposed to the marketing department who thinks they 'must' have them because everyone else does.

    And I'd echo the comments about putting the DOG in the bottom right hand corner if its absolutely *got* to stay. I've seen quite a bit of HD material from the states and it's significantly less distracting.

    But thanks again for your level of visibility.

  • Comment number 6.

    Good news about the DOG (or at least it's a step in the right direction).
    I have a question. Since the olympics and paralympics there has been no HD sport. This weekend BBC are showing US football but not in HD. It is also being show by Sky in HD.
    Why don't the BBC show it in HD and what plans do you have for sport for the rest of this year?

  • Comment number 7.

    Its not perfect as my preference has always been to get rid of DOGs entirely.

    However, this is a step in the right direction so I thank the BBC for listening and taking action.

  • Comment number 8.

    On the subject of dog placement, because of the way we read - top left to bottom right - putting the dog in the top left is the most obtrusive. Bottom right is the least intrusive because that's the last thing the eye looks at.
    So if there has to be one, bottom right please.

  • Comment number 9.

    I agree with TiggsPanther on this. Channel hopping is the only reason you have given to justify DOGS and therefore the info box makes the DOG totally redundent.

    Another program that seems to have suffered is 'After you've gone'. It is usually shown on Sundays but last week was on Friday and not on HD.

    The decision about not transmitting Sundays 'Strictly Come Dancing' in HD seem,s rediculous to me. There does not appear to be anything in the program to justify it not being done in HD.

    I understand that all of the Premiereship Football matches are shot in HD. So why can't we have match of the day in HD.

    Sorry this post has been a bit of a rant. The BBC do put out some very good HD we just want more.

    I notice that the film companies are begining to put out blu-ray discs in 3D. I understand that a significant number of films are being produced in 3D. I wondered what plans the BBC have for 3D. John Logie Baird demonstrated 3D in the 1940's. The BBC did produce this years England vs Scotland rugby match in 3D. In the age of the PVR you could put out some 3D in the early hours of the morning.

  • Comment number 10.

    For the programmes that will still have the DOG can we as mentioned by another poster have the DOG moved to the bottom of the screen. Thanks.

  • Comment number 11.

    The comment I was about to write has been covered in post 1, its pretty simple to see the channel name when flicking through the channels, in fact the branding in the top left has little significance when changing channels, as you look at the guide at the bottom of the page, or the content on the screen.

    Looking at the top left is not useful as its not consistant across all the channels anyway.

  • Comment number 12.

    I'm echoing what others have said before. Since the advent of digital TV a decade ago, there is no real point to DOGs, except as branding for the channel. It serves no use to the viewer.

    There IS a way to have your DOG and eat it (so to speak) however. Instead of having it as it is now do it as a digital overlay just like the 'Press the red button' now type things that often pop up during sport or phone-in shows.

    Anyone who wants to get rid of it can just press the 'back-up' button or set their set-top box to only display them briefly (both of which are possible on Sky Digital at least) and then they're gone. The people who don't like them can have a DOG free picture and those who don't mind or like them (is there anyone who does?) can keep them.

    Every reasonable viewer will be happy and it's not a halfway house solution. The viewer decides whether the DOG is there or not to their own taste.

    Everybody wins.

    Can anyone explain why this can't be done?

  • Comment number 13.

    Danielle: Thanks for the response. I am pleased that you have decided to meet us halfway.

    It would be interesting to note the response of the producers of HD content, on the intrusive nature of DOGs into what they have spent so much of their time to achieve.

    Could you please look into the irritation caused by continuity announcers crashing into the end of an intense programme, thereby bringing to an unwelcome end the atmosphere the programme creators have achieved.

    What evidence do you have that viewers welcome the use of DOGs on your only HD channel where picture quality is of prime importance and they have spent considerable time and money to be able to view (and hear) it.

    Thanks for listening and the action you are taking.

  • Comment number 14.

    Thanks Danielle,

    Whichever corner the DOG ends up in - can it be 'the corner.'

    Modern TVs that can display BBC HD have little or no overscan and all content is 'widescreen' so please can the DOG really move into the corner.

    Many thanks for listenning, replying and doing!

    Cheers, daveac

  • Comment number 15.

    I haven't seen the previous comments so I'm sorry if this has been mentioned before.

    The aspect of DOG's that I find most annoying (apart, perhaps, from the extrmely noticable type of DOG used by ITV2 at the moment) is the fact that they are placed well away from the edge of the screen purely so that anyone watching on a 4:3 TV doesn't loose them (I don't have HD at the moment so this may not be relevant to BBC HD).

    If the DOG was at the extreme top left and reasonably translucent it really would not be much of an issue.

    I definitely do NOT go along with those who want it moved to the bottom right. The Americans did research to determine where to position a DOG so that it would be least likely to be missed and that is why they have it where it is. After all, most action takes place on the ground rather than in the Sky.

  • Comment number 16.

    A great big thank you from me. This seems to be an excellent compramise.

  • Comment number 17.

    Thank-you so much for listening.

    For me personally it's drama/films where I find the DOGs to be most irritating (to the point I won't watch the channel) as, for me, they provide a constant distraction which destroys the 'suspension of disbelief' so important for my enjoyment.

    So on the face of it this sounds like excellent news.

    I still do have some concerns, however:

    - why only the 'the majority of the drama content' - who's going to decide what drama merits being shown DOG free - and how will I know in advance so I can decide whether to regard DOG free SD rather than DOG'd HD?

    - how are you defining drama? I'm hoping it's anything that's not sports/current affairs/documentary - ie that it includes comedies, and hopefully stretches to the likes of Strictly Come Dancing (lots of drama there!)

    - BBC Four had much the same policy for a short period of time - so until you're prepared to guarantee this policy will continue forever I'll be worried that BBC HD will go the same way as BBC four, not only reinstating the DOG on all programmes but making it a lot more distracting in the process. Any ideas why the BBC Four policy was abandoned? was it technical issues, being overruled from on high, some mad marketeer getting put in charge of the channel or some other reason?

    By the way, I don't think reducing the intensity or moving the DOG to a different location will do anything to reduce my irritation (though I accept that others will feel differently), as it's the mere presence of it that I find a continual distraction.

  • Comment number 18.

    Great news about the DOG being removed for all films. Now all we need are some films on BBC HD so we can enjoy them DOG free!

  • Comment number 19.

    Thanks for your comments and action regaarding the HD DOG Danielle - its great to know that some people at the BBC really do listen to what their viewers tell them.
    But can I make one thing absolutely crystal clear.
    Whatever you people in TVland may get told by 'advisors' about DOGs, we 100% do not need a DOG on BBC HD to tell us that this is the channel we are watching - we already know this!

  • Comment number 20.

    Thanks for this change, and for responding to viewers' comments. It's nice to know someone's listening.

    I wonder also if there's any chance that where it remains, the BBC HD DOG can be made a bit smaller? With the higher resolution of HD, surely the DOG can be made considerably smaller and still remain legible.

    I'd also echo those who've questioned its position. Could you not move it nearer to the corner of the screen? I see no reason why the DOG sits in the 4:3 safe area, meaning it's offset from the left hand side of the screen. Surely there's no reason to accommodate viewers with 4:3 TVs when it's an HD channel, and can only be viewed on 16:9 sets!?!

    So smaller, and further out of the way would be great... Either way, thanks for removing it from movies / dramas - certainly a step in the right direction.

  • Comment number 21.

    I think this is a great step in the right direction and a good sign that the BBC really do listen to its viewers!

    It might be worth considering taking the DOG out of nature programs like Planet Earth as well as taking it out of films and dramas.

    The only other thing I'd ask is (if you're not going to get rid of the DOG completely) that you consider moving the DOG to the very corner of the screen. There's no need for it to be a little to the right as just about everyone watching BBC HD will be able to see the whole picture and won't be having any overscan. Also, in my opinion top left is the most sensible place to put it since that's what every other station does, I imagine if the BBC HD DOG was on the bottom then it would prove to be more - not less - distracting.

    Now all we need is some movies!

  • Comment number 22.

    I can understand (partially) the need for a DOG in the days of old days of analogue Sky etc - when you could skip through stations and had no real idea what channel you where viewing. You had to know from memory that channel 32 was Sky 1 for example, but now, the banner comes up when you change channel, so you know where you are.

    Why would you want a reminder of what channel you where on when you watch a show? Even if you did, press the button on the remote and up pops the banner.

    This is for for both the Sky and Freeview platforms.

    In HD any DOG is all the more distracting

  • Comment number 23.

    Danielle,

    I think this is a great first step and thanks for listening and responding to some genuine concerns. BBC4 did a similar thing some time ago but now most (not all) programmes are back with the DOG. Even though I've invested in HD I find myself watching the same programme on BBC1 rather than BBCHD because I find the DOG so annoying. We are so lucky in this country to have the BBC and to be able to watch top quality programming without any adverts and it will be the icing on the cake to watch without an annoying DOG :-)

    I agree with other people's comments about the size and location of the DOG if we MUST have it - smaller and tucked away in the corner, like National Geographic HD's perhaps.

  • Comment number 24.

    I would add weight to the smaller more into the corner DOG if we have to keep it.

    I would think your average HDTV is about 37-40" this makes the DOG quite big and quite far from the edge.

    And water it down as far as it will go.

  • Comment number 25.

    What a poor excuse for using the DOG, putting it mildly!

    BBC 1 and BBC2 haven't got one!

    Does this mean that BBC 1 and BBC 2 will get a DOG when they go digital only?

  • Comment number 26.

    BBC 1 and 2 did have DOGs when digital satellite broadcasts first began. Public outcry got them, thankfully, removed.

    If the BBC wants DOGs why not have digital ones that the viewer can remove, just like the various red dot buttons that pop up all the time?

  • Comment number 27.

    "...they help to tell you where you are as you flick through channels"

    We don't need help, thanks very much. Everyone else has already explained why: we use the EPG.

    "... and play an important role for channels in helping to establish their brands through the content they go alongside."

    Are you seriously telling us that after 86 years the BBC needs help in establishing its brand? No, so the BBC does not need to follow in the footsteps of other, lesser broadcasters.

    If we're not careful there will soon be a generation of broadcasters and viewers who don't think that a broadcast picture is complete without some sort of graffiti on it.

    Thank you for making this compromise. It is, for once, a step in the right direction.
    Please don't give in to corporate dogma and back-pedal later.

    What's particularly welcome is the change from the attitude, from broadcasters, that the public doesn't have a clue about broadcasting. Well, we may not know much about the politics of broadcasting management, but we know what we like! :-)

  • Comment number 28.

    Please, not Sky brainwashing, it wasn't 'analogue Sky', it was analogue satellite. With satellite, Sky is not the limit.

    As for a loose DOG, maybe it needs putting on a lead, or was that meant to be lose the DOG?

    I agree, if it has to be on the screen for some programmes, then forget it being 4:3 safe or 14:9 safe, just stick right in the lower right hand corner, smaller and less intense.

  • Comment number 29.

    I don't mind the decision at all, but I hope we can move on from this DOG issue and discuss my main focus - poor picture quality.

  • Comment number 30.

    Thanks for posting, Danielle - this seems like a reasonable compromise.

    I'd prefer it to stay at the top left for when it is there - if anything I think I'd notice it more at the bottom right as it would be different to all the other UK channels that have DOGs!

    Agree with the comments re. scheduling problems (esp. shows moving on and off of HD), lack of clarity regarding which shows will be on HD and lack of film content!

    Cheers

  • Comment number 31.

    I am not (yet) an HD viewer, but I very much welcome your efforts in the right direction, even if they cannot go the whole way (yet).

    Reading between the lines, I imagine that you probably had to present this compromise as an argument to the BBC's marketing executives in order to get your way at all, and I imagine that most of them have probably worked in marketing most of their careers and have little interest in the technical aspects of broadcasting quality, so this compromise is quite impressive.

  • Comment number 32.

    It's a start. Don't mean to be churlish but I for one won't be happy until the DOG is gone for good.
    As for those people saying move it to another corner all I can say is "No, No, No !"
    It's still distracting wherever it's put. As other posters have commented BBC1 and BBC2 don't have dogs so why should BBC HD have one ?
    I'm also keen to see more films on BBC HD. I can't remember the last time there was a film on BBC HD so it's hardly a huge concession to remove it from films when you screen so few.
    Finally I would also like to know what constitutes drama. Is Heroes drama and will the DOG be removed from that ?

  • Comment number 33.

    It seems to me that the only people that are passionate about the DOGs are the people that work for the channel in question.

    They have a real pride in their branding (and rightly so), but you must be objective and see it from the viewers perspective where, as many have pointed out to you, they are simply redundant on a digital platform.

    If you want to make a brand of yourself, come up with some imaginative intros and trailers. Ah... remember those lovely BBC1 balloons......

  • Comment number 34.

    I note that the BBC News Channel's DOG is at the bottom left, so if Lambie-Nairn can put one at the bottom, so you BBC HD!

  • Comment number 35.

    digitalscoobiedoo: "discuss my main focus - poor picture quality"

    Watching on Virgin Media by any chance? Some areas have a MPEG2 HD service and it is a bit ropey.

    Lovely on Freesat though. Can't wait to get a Freesat+ box.

  • Comment number 36.

    Thanks Danielle. A good compromise. I think we are a bit harsh on you in some respects as the new DOGs for Sky1,2,3 and G.O.L.D. are scarily bad and garish. I would like to say that like Andy Quested was saying in his blog that some of the live stuff has improved and sorted out issues :-).

    Briantist, virgin have MPEG2 because it's in their license and V+ cannot do MPEG-4 anyway. You know this. Please stop peddling this myth about it looking worse as it is unhelpful. I'd love it to be MPEG-4 as it'd save a lot of space on my V+. BBC HD looks just as good/bad on Sky HD as it does on V+. We most certainly do need to get onto talking about picture quality though.

  • Comment number 37.

    Danielle - May I congratulate you on what seems a very sensible compromise. I have been one of the most vehement critics of the BBC Four and BBC HD dog for drama and films and music.
    -
    On BBC Four, they have been very inconsistent and particularly for drama and films, could not be relied on to always turn it off. To be fair BBC Four did remember for all their Proms 2008 broadcasts this year.
    -
    For BBC HD, I’m afraid that although your quality is suburb, I was one of the one that watched your Proms broadcast on BBC Two/One and the same for your dramas like the Tudors and Cranford. When I think of all the money that go into making drams authentic, to spoil it with a LOGO was sacrilege. I have never watched BBC Three since they permanently introduced their garish pink LOGO for everything.
    -
    For other programs like news and documentaries, your compromise seems a good one and you have my respect for not spouting the previous nonsense. At one time BBC Four justified theirs because a viewer had complained there was not enough music on the channel.
    -
    Thank you again as it seems a breath of fresh air is going into your thinking and not the usual BBC culture that 'we know best'.

    Regards

  • Comment number 38.

    Hi

    Well, I am sorry but I am not going to praise Danielle for making this compromise regarding the DOG.

    As several people have already pointed out ALL set top boxes put a large banner up telling you what channel you have tuned to as you "flick through"

    So that argument makes no sense.

    The DOGs presence in any form will still be, to use your words, "monumentally irritating".

    If Dogs are required to market the BBC then why are they not shown on BBC1 and 2?

    We know why, because of the avalanche of complaints it would create.
    No one wants or needs the DOG and it is about time the BBC marketing department were told to desist!

    I find this following comment very interesting:-

    "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."

    What about the people who do not blog and also find the DOG both useless and irritating.

    Who are these people who find the DOG branding valuable? I belive they are a minority who primarily reside in the BBC marketing department.

    If you have marketing research that shows so, can you publish it?

    Also if branding is not required on a lot of programming, why is it required at all? Don't you want to associate bbchd branding with films a quality drama?

    Again, not making much sense.

    As I have said before, differentiate yourself from the rest of the channels by high quality programming. Thats what actually gets high audience figures, not daft on screen logos! I watch programs not channels.

    So, I would encourage everyone not to be appeased by this decision and keep complaining until the dog is gone for good.

    Danielle, how about a brave experiment where the dog is removed completely for 6 months and see if BBChd audience share and growth is damaged by it's absence?

    regards

  • Comment number 39.

    "Danielle, how about a brave experiment where the dog is removed completely for 6 months and see if BBChd audience share and growth is damaged by it's absence?"

    But how would this previously unsilent minority of people who like/need the DOG know who to complain to about its absence then? ;-)

    I agree with the above poster. Danielle, it's a pretty poor argument to say that some viewers find the DOG useful but that you have no evidence of this because they don't post on a blog to say so.

    As others have said, viewers can easily use their TVs or satellite boxes to find out what channel they are watching. TV companies should stop treating us like muppets. There aren't DOGs on BBC1 or BBC2 so we don't need them elsewhere. Not even in a corner. Not even in a tiny, transparent form.

    Yes, you're bringing us an HD channel and you should be proud - but we'd be prouder of you if you stopped ruining it with graphics that cover up what you're broadcasting.

    I am now urging anyone who likes DOGs to comment on this thread. The rest of us will try not to bite. Anyone?

  • Comment number 40.

    When Sky Digital first started several of the main channels had DOGs. My rubbish claim to fame is that I almost got on Channel 4's Right to Reply about this issue. But neither the BBC or Channel 4 would talk to me so the piece wasn't filmed.

    The main point of the piece would have been how the DOG is their purely for branding. It's no benefit for the viewer with their EPG and pop-up banners. It is there for the broadcaster to enforce a brand identity.

    As I've said before it is perfectly possible for the BBC and anyone else on Sky Digital (and maybe the other digital platforms as well) to create DOGs that the viewer can remove at will. Surely that's the idea solution. Those of us who actively hate DOGs can remove them and those that don't care and those (perhaps mythical) people who like them can keep them.

    And it's good for those broadcasters who want the DOG for branding, because annoying your viewers who don't like DOGs with yours is going to lower the viewer's opinion of your brand.

  • Comment number 41.

    DOGs aren't really needed anymore, definately not for BBC channels. BBC HD even more so, as the sort of people getting HD are in it for the quality of the picture (and sound) so plastering a logo across that pretty picture is ruining it.

    If there is no way it's going to be removed (i don't see why not though) then please move it right to the edge at the top left. The bottom would be a bad place as its far more distracting as that is where most of the action takes place (comparatively). I regularly watch shows from the US and i can't stand their logos (but they are usually brightly coloured and animated).

    If you could reduce its opacity and move it right up to the top left (people aren't watching this channel on 4:3 screens, it's not possible), then that may be an ok compromise. But please seriously consider removing it altogether, at least from actualy shows (might be ok for trails and idents).

    Oh and the BBC News DOG is at the bottom left because it fits in with the clock and ticker, that goes along the bottom.

  • Comment number 42.

    David,

    Others have suggested what you describe but I think you've explained it perfectly, particularly in your final comment.

    I would welcome the use of an easily removable DOG as a proper compromise.

    That way, viewers can choose whether they want it or not - and remember, it is viewers (licence-fee payers) that the BBC exists to serve.

    I urge Danielle to consider this option.

  • Comment number 43.

    Please replace DOGs with Digital Interactive Graphics on all BBC channels.

    Subtitles on the Freesat version of BBC HD and Red Button interactive services have still not been implemented. Any news on this would be appreciated.

  • Comment number 44.

    This is welcome news. I now watch most of my TV on DVD as it's the only way I can enjoy programmes without intrusive screen graphics, continuity voiceovers, credit squeezes, etc. So marketing people take note: such devices drive viewers away rather than attract them.

    As has been mentioned before, the argument for retaining DOGs is specious and patronising. Viewers are more than capable of working out for themselves which channel they are watching; even if they aren't the EPG will do it for them.

    The BBC would be fulfilling its remit to be "distinctive" if it removed DOGs from all its content: the channels would stand out from the rest by being pollutant-free.

  • Comment number 45.

    i have been very disappointed with the scheduling of timewatch on bbc hd it should be on at the same time or same day or even the same week as the broadcast on bbc 2 as it is i do not know when it is going to be shown in hd so i have been watching it in sd on bbc 2.

    such a shame to waste money on hd production costs when peaple like myself end up watching the program in sd for the above reasons.

    the scheduling for timewatch (a first run program) should not be such a problem with so many repeats filling up the scheduling.

    thank you danielle for taking the time to at least talk to us about the evolution of bbc hd.

  • Comment number 46.

    I would agree with all of the constructive posts above and I welcome the improvements and the acknowledgement that DOGs do have an "irritation factor". My 2p worth is as follows:

    Viewers look for PROGRAMMES, not channels. I neither know nor care which channel some of the programmes I watch are on. If I want to see a programme, I will find it wherever it is. Branding the channel by means of a DOG is only likely to make me watch a given channel less, not more. Like others, I would rather watch a programme in SD without a DOG than in HD with a DOG.

    Also, how about repeating DOGged programmes during the night without the DOG? Even the Marketing types who don't want to go DOGless surely couldn't object to that as the viewing figures would be tiny. Those who want their viewing DOG free could then record programmes to watch at their convenience. Obviously this would only work with Sky at the moment, but Freesat HD PVRs are on the way.

  • Comment number 47.

    Please get rid of dogs completely from BBC HD, BBC 3 and BBC 4. They really are very annoying!

  • Comment number 48.

    I have both a HD satellite receiver and a V+ box. yes, the picture is a lot better on satellite, however it is fairly good on cable.

  • Comment number 49.

    Get rid. Just another nasty infection caused by creeping murdochitis. I'd be happy never to see one again, and if the BBC rid itself of them, I wouldn't.

  • Comment number 50.

    I can well imagine BBC internal politics being a nightmare, and making progress on something like this is no small feat. In that respect, I congratulate you Danielle on a fair compromise (for now!).

    Losing the DOG on HD movies and drama will make a big difference. Please don't underestimate how positive a move this is.

    For what it's worth, I don't think anyone is that bothered about the DOG being displayed on trailers, the demo-reel, etc.

    I don't believe marketers and branders are daft people. If they believe that a DOG is necesaary for the channel to thrive, then I strongly suspect they must have access to research that indicates as such. They must surely understand that when simulcasting programmes, viewers are more likely to chose the least "spoilt" version, therefore in the case of BBC HD the DOG may actually be counterproductive.
    I suggest this is your line of attack for when you next meet them. Ask them to produce this research. If they come back with an independent study that shows 90% of people are in favour of a DOG (or something like that), then for what it's worth, I will drop it.

    I suppose another question would be "why are the BBC pushing channel brands anyway?". What would you rather have? A smaller, happier audience, or a larger audience who are indifferent? I suggest as you gain no revenue from advertising, it should be the former rather than the latter.

  • Comment number 51.

    I suppose another question would be "why are the BBC pushing channel brands anyway?".

    Indeed, by pretending the DOG is a "viewer aid" this question is neatly skirted around.

    Anyway the DOG doesn't actually acheive the objective, distinctive create and original quality programming does!

  • Comment number 52.

    Just to add a further point to my comment above, and again echoing others' sentiments, if there's a programme on HD that I'm interested in, I too would rather see it DOG-free on BBCs One or Two in SD rather than have it spoilt.

  • Comment number 53.

    I can't believe there are people on here claiming they'd rather watch a show in SD when it's shown in HD. Are you people mad?

    Why would any right-thinking person rather watch an inferior version of a programme?

    The DOG is barely noticeable on the Beeb. But then, the only DOGs I ever notice are the ones on music channels which at times can take up almost the whole screen with their flashy animations and extendable bits.

    Sure, it would be better if all DOGs were gotten rid of, but I for one couldn't care less if The Beeb and Sky decide they have to stay - just so long as they remain static and small.

  • Comment number 54.

    The previous poster says the DOG is hardly noticeable on the BBC. If that were the case why would nearly everyone who has posted have asked for it's removal ?
    Perhaps the poster has poor peripheral vision or a very small tv but on mine the BBC HD banner is too big, too bright and, most importantly of all, completely unnecessary, utterly pointless and distracting. It adds nothing to the programme, it only takes away and for that reason alone it should removed.

  • Comment number 55.

    Yes I had missed the BBC HD Boss's 'compromise' decision on Dogs (when you log in, you don't get taken to the latest contribution) And due to long delay have not bothered to log in for a while.

    Having now read it and all the recent comments on it, I still say the Licence fee paying Public, who the BBC are there to serve, have clearly and overwhelmingly said; they don't want Dogs but seems will have to put up with them some times.Why?

    Someone has suggested that the Dog's could be made 'optional' what a great idea,so the BBC gets it's way and tells us what we already know ie, that we have tuned to a certain channel; we the paying customer get to press a button to get rid of it, simple. Bet they don't do it though!
    Finally, still no subtitles on freesat HD. Is it really that hard to sort out?

  • Comment number 56.

    I believe that your response was unfortunately political im afraid Danielle...

    Those watching BBCHD are either using a sky box or a virgin box or a freesat box, all those have good EPG which say the channel name and also program information and runtimes therefore the BBCHD logo is redundant.

    IF a logo was necessary it should be in the bottom right as not to draw attention. It should be FAR smaller too, its HUGE!

    I think the real reason is that the bbc wants people to see the logo in currys/dixons to fuel hd set and box purchases to speed up the digital changeover.

    Why is the SOLID diamond shaped HD parts of logo like that, why not just have BBCHD as a single word with no big solid shape.

    It really does ruin watching shows due to its opaquness, position in top left, size and unnessary diamond shape for the HD part (which is hard to read anyway as the HD is very thin which makes it even more pointless. Surely the HD letters should be opaque and not the diamond block.

    Really hope you do take my comments onboard, can't believe the logo actually made it off of the drawing board tbh, very little thought must have gone into it.

    The ITV HD logo has no opaque blocks, they saw sense: http://www.dixons-online.org/store_doc/08/editorials/freesat/images/logo_HomePage_ITVHD.gif

    however, they should have added the rectangular non-filled block at the end, just the letters would have been fine.



    My last 2 points... Stephen Fry - In America was not broadcast on BBCHD, yet it is out on bluray in 3 weeks, when now broadcast it on bbchd when you have the footage in hd? I'd rather see that than repeats and kids tv shows from 7-8pm.

    Please dont show Later Live with Jools Holland, just show the full 1hr show instead and air in on tuesday like you did this week, the previous weeks we had to wait till fridays to see the full show but people go out on friday nights.

    Regards.

  • Comment number 57.

    we dont have an option to edit posts btw, i couldn't edit the following in my above post:

    "when now broadcast it on bbchd when you have the footage in hd?"

    to:

    "why not broadcast it on bbchd when you have the footage in hd?".



    I thought of some more constructive things, will you be moving BBCHD from mpeg2 17.6mbps to 16mbps mpeg4 or higher bitrate on cable? Mpeg4 compresses better and is far better quality, not sure if virgin boxes would need a software update or not.

    There's been no sports on BBCHD since paralympics, surely you can Shoot MOTD (Match of the day) in HD, you do it for cup finals and things, stationary studio cameras you already have, yeah, you might need to buy a few more cameras for other stadiums to be able to show highlights of each of the games but sport in HD really showcases HD and we've not had anything since olympics/paralympics.

    Can you not have re-airs of FA Cup Final or Euro 2008 Final on BBCHD on saturday afternoons or something would be great to watch exciting events like those again. We never got to see all of the Euro 2008 semifinal as there was a NEAR-global loss of signal, the HD Suisse feed in switzerland didnt die though, swedish people got to see the whole match, maybe you could re-air the semifinal with no missing footage?

    Will there be a BBCHD2 coming anytime soon as there is often several good shows on bbc1/2/3 on at the same time and BBCHD can only pick 1 multicast at a time which means seeing the show you want in HD hours later or days later in some cases.

    The BBCHD programme listings online often say (repeat) on shows that arent a repeat for BBCHD and often not a repeat for the normal bbc1/2 that they air on, please can you fix this and say bbc1, bb2 repeat etc or BBCHD repeat as often i dont know if i've seen the episode before or not. Please add series and episode number on there for all shows too as episode titles arent very helpful usually, would be easier to read it like that than to have to click on each show to read all the details about it like ep number, runtime etc. Add runtime to the last show too please as shows that air at say 11.45pm leave us wondering when it finishes, we have to click on the link to find out the runtime to work out the finish time.

    My FINAL and i promise final point. It would be great to see BBC 6 o'clock News in HD, even if its only the studio camera's and a handful of cameras for outside news footage, even an unscale of outside news cameras would be satisfactory.

  • Comment number 58.

    Why not display the DOG during promos and trailers but not during the broadcast of programmes.

    EPG information now tells you at the click of a button what channel you are watching.
    Even now with hard disc recorders it will store the channel information so you know where it came from.

    A DOG is the equivalent of a continuity announcer breaking into Eastenders just to remind you that you are watching BBC1 throughout the whole episode.

  • Comment number 59.

    "54. At 2:33pm on 24 Oct 2008, ShaunRowland wrote:

    The previous poster says the DOG is hardly noticeable on the BBC. If that were the case why would nearly everyone who has posted have asked for it's removal ?
    Perhaps the poster has poor peripheral vision or a very small tv but on mine the BBC HD banner is too big, too bright and, most importantly of all, completely unnecessary, utterly pointless and distracting. It adds nothing to the programme, it only takes away and for that reason alone it should removed."

    Why, you ask, has nearly everyone who posted asked for it's removal? It's because, as with every issue, there is a very vocal minority who will never be satisfied until they get their own way. Nothing will ever be good enough for these people.

    Get rid of the DOG, they'll complain about picture quality. Improve that and they'll complain about sound quality. Improve that and they'll complain about the lack of programmes. Add more and they'll complain that their License Fee/Subscription has to go up.

    And because they do all this online - bombarding blogs and notice boards with calls for this, that and the other - it looks to others as if the majority of people feel this way when in fact, hardly anyone gives a toss.

    I stand by what I posted yesterday. Sure it would be nice not to have it, but the DOG is not as big, as bad or as noticeable as people on here are making out. There are many much more annoying DOGs out there. Just be grateful the Beeb don't feel the need to have big shiny animated ones like the music channels do.

    Oh, and I watch on a 42" TV and my eyesight is perfectly adequate.

  • Comment number 60.

    i think you may be the only person who isnt bothered about the DOG mate, every other poster wants it gone. I have a 32" lcd and it is massive. The fact that other channels have worse DOG's doesnt matter the BBCHD dog right, same with fox hunting, just because it has been tradition doesnt mean its right.

    Things need to change in order to improve and the DOG needs removing.

    Btw BBCHD has been messing up alot recently, during the electric proms - the streets it was out of sync throughout, video glitches, audio noises, crackles, hisses. start of jonathon ross last night had the intro video stuck for 13secs or so and then the end of the video/music intro finished.

    Dont see why there are so many mistakes, especially as Jonathon ross isn't even live. Surely the out of sync on electric proms could have been correctly during the broadcast? Will there be a re-air of the broadcast without the issues, it ruined it for me:(

  • Comment number 61.

    @Briantist

    No I'm watching on Freesat not Virgin Media.
    From what I can see lots of people find the quality of BBC HD poor at times. There is a massive thread on avforums for instance.

    I watched the Coldplay preview this afternoon Sat 25th Oct, and its far worse than it was originally.

  • Comment number 62.

    The way I look at it is this; How many people have access to satellite and cable TV? Quite a lot, yes? Now how many of them complain on blogs & forums or write to the channels complaining about DOGs? Maybe 0.25% tops.

    Just because this tiny minority keep banging on about it, it doesn't make it a major issue. Most people , as I already said, couldn't give a toss one way or the other.

    The only channels that don't have a DOG are the 5 terrestrial channels. They are the minority. You all need to just get used to the fact that from now on all channels, whether HD or not, will have a DOG.

    You're right though about BBCHD not being up to par recently. There seems to have been a lot of noise, grain and blocking on some shows. Most notably darker studio based shows such as Later and Electric Proms.

    I've recorded all the EP shows to watch today and so far the best looking one was Burt Bacharach and judging by the message onscreen, it wasn't even proper HD, just upscaled... but it looked beautiful.

    Let's just hope they get things back on track and get back to being the 3rd best-looking HD channel on air (after Rush and Sky1).

  • Comment number 63.

    the_davie, if people were asked face to face whether they want the DOG removed i bet 90% of people would say yes.

    People who have a burnt crisp dont write to Walkers to complain about it, still doesnt mean they like burnt crisps, just means not many people go through the effort of writing a letter to do something like that.

    Same with late trains, they REALLY annoy people, but very few people write in to complain about their train being late.

    more4 has a really bad logo too, wish channel4 would remove that, if there was a way i could get them to remove it i would.

  • Comment number 64.

    Just had a thought about.....yes that's right 'Dogs'
    Is this an issue that OFCOM should/could look at?
    They are responsible for standards and broadcasting in general, if I see a programme that causes offence etc I can complain to them, so why not ask them to require all broadcasters to remove or at least make it possible for the viewer (paying public) to have the option to use their remote to take it off, their screen?

  • Comment number 65.

    Firstly, that's great news that the DOG is being dropped for films and a lot of drama, BUT, as has been mentioned earlier, I also have a point about the marketing blurb that is "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."

    Without a DOG, how would you tell that you're on BBC HD? Well, apart from the fact that your digibox tells you (which negates the need for them at all), it'll be the one channel from the BBC that's showing the programmes in a lot more detail, so you just use your eyes!

    The fact that a DOG is sometimes dropped for shows/films totally contradicts any broadcasters statement that DOGs are necessary for flicking through channels because it simply won't be there for some of the time.

    Also, the only people who find these "useful" are the people who run TV channels, and they are also the same people who do not watch a lot of TV. They're basically interested in selling a product and that's it.

    The marketing people are also the only ones interested in branding.

    The people who matter are the viewers. They don't care about branding. For example, I watched Sunshine because I enjoyed the programme, the acting, writing, etc. It wouldn't have mattered whether it was broadcast on BBC1, ITV3 or Sky Vegas (logos permitting!)

    The point is that content is the important thing. People don't watch channels in the same way that teenagers buy certain brands of trainers, for example. This is where broadcasters fall down in the understanding of their viewers.

  • Comment number 66.

    Danielle: Thanks!

    Just finished watching Strictly... The reduced DOG is much less intrusive.

    I still do not understand why BBC HD needs one!

  • Comment number 67.

    "63. At 6:46pm on 25 Oct 2008, samuel1984 wrote:

    the_davie, if people were asked face to face whether they want the DOG removed i bet 90% of people would say yes."


    Hahaha! That made me genuinely laugh out loud. Seriously, you give The General Public way too much credit.

    If you did indeed ask The General Public if they 'wanted the DOGs removed from their screens' 99.99% wouldn't have a clue what you were talking about.

    If you mention "DOGs" to them they'll think you're talking about Crufts. Even if you reworded it to "Digital Onscreen Graphic" (or whatever DOG stands for. That's my best guess) they wouldn't know. Most people would think you were talking about CGI.

    You'd have to explain to them what it was and I assure you most people don't notice them.

  • Comment number 68.

    yes, i didnt mean ask your average joe, i meant ask bbchd viewers if they like the BBCHD logo thats in the top corner im sure
    90% would say no.

  • Comment number 69.

    "You'd have to explain to them what it was and I assure you most people don't notice them."

    If that is the case then they are obviously not effective, so why have them at all?

  • Comment number 70.

    ...."The way I look at it is this; How many people have access to satellite and cable TV? Quite a lot, yes? Now how many of them complain on blogs & forums or write to the channels complaining about DOGs? Maybe 0.25% tops.

    Just because this tiny minority keep banging on about it, it doesn't make it a major issue. Most people , as I already said, couldn't give a toss one way or the other."....

    Yes you may be correct that a minority of the general public complain in blogs and forums about DOGs but that only means one thing, that a minority know how and where to discuss the issue.

    How many viewers are even aware that Danielle posts a blog? 0.01% ?

    I am absolutely confident if you gave the people the choice, the majority would prefer to view programs without DOGs

  • Comment number 71.

    its a shame the american football match on bbc2 later isnt on bbchd, no motogp either. There's alot of sport that could easily be on bbchd, especially as NFL matches are filmed in hd for america, all you would need is hd cameras for the studio talk pre and post game and half time. Seems a shame that bbchd only starts at 4pm+ on weekends and sooo many repeats on. I'd rather have some live sport on than watch repeats of last of the summer wine, robin hood and planet earth. Those shows are repeated WAY too much, yet you dont repeat something like strictly come dancing and dont air the results show on bbchd.

    Just seems like you pick what shows to air and when to air them out of a hat with no thought gone into it.

  • Comment number 72.

    samuel1984 - Danielle has explained some of the thinking behind what is shown on the BBC HD channel here.

    Nick Reynolds (editor, BBC Internet blog)

  • Comment number 73.

    [62. At 6:08pm on 25 Oct 2008, the_davie wrote:
    ...
    You all need to just get used to the fact that from now on all channels, whether HD or not, will have a DOG.
    ...]


    One question - Why?

  • Comment number 74.

    Why? Because TV stations are not run as a democracy, so if the Powers That Be feel the need to have station branding they'll go ahead and do it.

    Even if they were run as a democracy, those who are vocal about DOGs are a minority of those who have access to HD, who are in turn a minority of those with access to Sky, Virgin, Freesat or Freeview, who are in turn (for the moment at least) a minority of the public as a whole. So you are in a minority of a minority of a minority.

    And minorities that small mean nothing.



    "69. At 1:57pm on 26 Oct 2008, tagmclaren wrote:

    "You'd have to explain to them what it was and I assure you most people don't notice them."

    If that is the case then they are obviously not effective, so why have them at all?"

    See, now THAT'S a good argument.

    Moaning about the fact that they're 'too big' , 'not see-through enough', 'in the wrong part of the screen', 'too obtrusive' etc will not change the mind of those in marketing.

    If The General Public were polled and, as I suspect they might, say they don't even notice the things, then marketers will do something; either give up on them and write them off as a lost cause or make them bigger and brighter.

  • Comment number 75.

    @ nickreynolds...

    I had already read that blog but it doesnt really justify not have a repeat of what is likely bbchd's most watched show (strictly come dancing). And not airing the results show in hd is even crazier.

    in the 7.15-8pm slot tonight we could have had strictly come dancing results show, instead we have a repeat of robin hood. You cant tell me that isnt the bbchd trying to save on money, its not like another show is clashing with it, its a repeat of a show that aired months ago, not even a repeat of a show that originally aired this week.

    And the planet earth repeats of a show thats around 3yrs old really need to stop, if people want to see how good bbchd is then they can watch the bbchd trailers that are on all day till 7pm, we've all seen the planet earth eps im sure, i have them on bluray. Enough of the old repeats, fill those with repeats of shows that aired this week or show new content.

    I cant see spooks in the schedule for next week, doesnt it air on bbc3 or bbc1 on monday? I'll be really annoyed if that isnt on bbchd as its 1 of my favourite shows. If you can broadcast the crappy spin off show spooks9 then surely you can air the real show in hd.

  • Comment number 76.

    ...."Why? Because TV stations are not run as a democracy, so if the Powers That Be feel the need to have station branding they'll go ahead and do it.".....

    The BBC may not be a democracy but it is a public service broadcaster funded by the viewers. This means that actually they serve the viewer and do have an obligation to listen and an accountabilty to said viewers.

    ......"Even if they were run as a democracy, those who are vocal about DOGs are a minority of those who have access to HD, who are in turn a minority of those with access to Sky, Virgin, Freesat or Freeview, who are in turn (for the moment at least) a minority of the public as a whole. So you are in a minority of a minority of a minority.
    "........

    I see no basis for this statement. Just because people are not actively vocal about the dogs doesn't mean they like them, however they view the BBC, on HD or analogue.

    Why do you presume that the only people to dislike dogs are the ones posting in this blog?

  • Comment number 77.

    Woderfull!

    Currently enjoying some high quality drama in HD without a DOG!

    I know it's probably a BBC HD because.......wait for it .......it hasn't got a dog!

    No thats great channel branding.

  • Comment number 78.

    I've taken the unusual step of signing up on a website to post a compliment, not a complaint.

    I've not followed the DOG thread on here.

    But I noticed tonight that BBC-HD wes DOG -free. I can't begin to describe what an improvement this is.

    I see the commercial broadcasters all following each other with increasingly bold DOGS, and other on-screen graphics, and credit-squeeze.

    You are the BBC.

    You do not have to follow the crowd.

    Stand up for quality.

    I'm so happy that you have gone a fair way to do the right thing on BBC-HD that I have gone through the hassle of creating an account here just to tell you this.

    Just go the rest of the way and drop DOGS totally ( at least to domestic license-paying viewers ). It will mark you out as a a unique broadcaster better than any DOG will.

    You may quote me as you see fit.

    Regards,
    Ron Lowe



  • Comment number 79.

    [74. At 5:14pm on 26 Oct 2008, the_davie wrote:
    Why? Because TV stations are not run as a democracy, so if the Powers That Be feel the need to have station branding they'll go ahead and do it.

    Even if they were run as a democracy, those who are vocal about DOGs are a minority of those who have access to HD, who are in turn a minority of those with access to Sky, Virgin, Freesat or Freeview, who are in turn (for the moment at least) a minority of the public as a whole. So you are in a minority of a minority of a minority.

    And minorities that small mean nothing.]

    On that basis why on earth were the BBC wasting prime-time television on "Points of View" a few years ago?
    A whole programme catering for the minorities that can be bothered to write in.

    If people complain about DOGS (or "Channel Logos" for those who just watch...) enough then the channels might begin to takenotice and get rid of them.
    After all, for years Sky said "Our research indicates people like the red dot and there are no plans to remove it" when people complained, but a couple years ago they introduced a menu option that does exactly that.

    There's no need to accept something because you think things will not change. You could stop watching instead as many have done with BBC3. The message might just get through to marketing that a loud "branding logo" is not the way to go after all...

  • Comment number 80.

    Ditto on BBC3.

    I missed Hereos in HD and recorded on freeview BBC3 last week.

    I was horrified to see it emblazened with a bright bbc3 pink logo and to add insult to injury "new" was written beneath it.

    This really is treating the viewing public with contempt. I think I can figure out if I have seen a program before.

    As there are few programs that I watch on 3 anyway, I will just vote with my feet and stop watching it completely.

  • Comment number 81.

    Just wanted to say how nice it was to watch Little Dorrit on BBC HD without the DOG.
    Long may it continue and let's hope it spreads to BBC3 and that pink abomination is removed. If any execs at BBC3 are interested I never watch the channel and that hideous pink logo is the reason.

  • Comment number 82.

    Wonderful being able to watch Little Dorrit on BBC HD last night without the usual graffiti.

    Thanks Danielle !!!

  • Comment number 83.

    Good to hear that there are no longer going to be dogs on drama- - -pity I missed this responce sooner or I would not still be watching them on beeb 2!!
    Also, as mentioned by others- - can the dog corner truly be the corner as it sits quite a way into the screen on widescreen tv`s
    Thanks.

  • Comment number 84.

    I am relieved that Danielle has recognised the strength of feeling here regarding DOGs.

    I have to say I was amazed whem browsing info on BBC HD when I first found out it had one of these DOG things- it had never occurred to me that the HD channel would have one- as it seems so contradictory when you're looking for a perfect (and often large screen) picture. We may now consider at some point upgrading to HD- it would have been out of the question to go from a clear SD picture to a HD picture with one of those things!

    I really would much prefer writing about some of the excellent BBC programmes than writing about "DOGs". But so long as they have "DOGs" on BBC channels showing drama and other programmes where the picture is really the art form (as opposed to a game show or politics programme for instance where it's more incidental) this will really nark a significant number of people, that is clear. I really hope that the BBC4 policy reverts also to the same arrangement it had before and which is now in place for HD. And BBC1 and 2 must NEVER have these things.

    As far as I can tell no-one wants DOGs. There are those that don't care and are channel flickers, or just see tv as a light entertainment form; and a significant number who are very annoyed when they have no choice over seeing them or not.

    Can we really have some sensible research which asks whether people are bothered by them, and if so in what circumstances and how strongly do they feel. And if there really are some people who think that DOGs are helpful, please can the other alternatives be explained, so such people can get what they want (ie an on/off switch like the red/green button), and the many more that don't want them can have that too.

    Basically, the BBC should not be in the business of "branding" for core activities funded by licence payers. By all means advertise between programmes and in print and other media but not during programmes under any circumstances.

    And finally, just sack Jonathan Ross please. I find him and his salary obscene.





  • Comment number 85.

    I too would echo most of the comments about DOGs. At best they are unnecessary and at worst highly irritating, particularly during camera panning. I am so fed up with them I have mothballed my freeview box and am sticking to analogue for as long as possible.

    IIRC channel 5 originally abandoned their DOG owing to its unpopularity. I can't understand why they reinstated it.

    My message to the BBC is to be different and remove DOGs from all programmes. You don't have the please any advertisers so why keep them?

  • Comment number 86.

    Thanks Danielle and the BBC for listening. A bunch of virtual flowers on it's way to you.
    The BBC HD Dog is now a huge improvment.

  • Comment number 87.

    There's not much more to say that hasn't already been said above, but since the weight of opinion seems to get results, I would like to add my voice.

    I believe there are two sorts of viewers: those who don't even notice DOGs (like my mum); and those who find them intensely annoying (like me). The marketing types who defend these things always cite a mythical third type of person, namely the one who "finds them useful". I honestly don't believe such a person exists.

    Since they either annoy the viewer (in the case of me) or have zero effect (my mum), they should be removed from a public-service, public-funded broadcaster like the BBC. They may well have some branding benefit makes good business sense, so I suppose we can hardly insist the commercial channels remove them. But this is of no benefit to the viewer. The BBC exists solely for its viewers' benefit, and, as DOGs don't benefit viewers, they must go.

  • Comment number 88.

    Sorry to post twice, but I really wanted to add just *one* more little thing...

    DOG-proponents often claim that DOGs "help to tell you where you are as you flick through channels". Danielle says it herself: those are her words, quoted from her blog above. Well then, if that's true (rather than their being a purely marketing/branding device that serve no benefit to the viewer) why is there a DOG on the BBC's iPlayer content? Watching on the iPlayer doesn't involve flicking through any channels!

    So can someone tell me the true, not-made-up reason why there is a DOG on the iPlayer? There isn't one on 4oD -- well done, Channel 4!

  • Comment number 89.

    Thanks Danielle for getting rid of the DOG on all the programs I watch except one or two.

    Any chance of killing it on your flagship light entertainment program SCD?

  • Comment number 90.

    I would like to ask what was going on with the Dolby Digital sound on the episodes broadcast on the 29th & 30th October? Apart from being really quiet all the speech was coming out from the left and right speakers and had to switch to normal sound to enjoy the program.

  • Comment number 91.

    Dear hobwell

    What was the programme?

    Andy

  • Comment number 92.

    Ooops sorry meant to say Silent Witness ;-0

  • Comment number 93.

    Ah

    It's stereo

  • Comment number 94.

    Did we "miss flag" I didn't see them go out

  • Comment number 95.

    Another very large bunch of virtual flowers on the way for Danielle and something of an apology.

    I feel very sad, even guilty, about always complaining about DOGs and never having anything constructive (or otherwise) to say about programming.

    Unfortunately the constant presence of on-screen text tends to spoil the viewing experience so much for me that subsequent to that nothing else seems very important

    So full marks for making a serious effort to lessen the impact of DOGs on BBC HD, it's much appreciated.


    John

  • Comment number 96.

    Andy,

    FYI, the first episode of Little Doritt last Sunday was broadcast with a 2.0 flag, which I could mix to pro-logic to get the speech from the centre.

    However, last night's was back to the bad old days, with a stereo signal being broadcast with a DD 5.1 flag.

  • Comment number 97.

    I will check our status as soon as we go on air. If it's wrong there may be some shouting!

  • Comment number 98.

    Confirmed - the switching seems to have stopped. I have asked for it to be checked and hope to see a change soon. Thanks for spotting it - my only excuse is being out last night at a rehearsal for my daughter (the one who is mentioned in various blogs) is in the Marlow Music Festival!!

    Andy

  • Comment number 99.

    andy, will be getting fixed re-airs of electric proms. As the streets broadcast was completely and utterly messed up, another electric proms airing was out of sync throughout too, very disappointed.

  • Comment number 100.

    Switching has been corrected now but there may have been a bump when it went over.

    Samuel1984 the recordings of the Electric Proms are OK so the repeats should be fine. We had a link problem that caused a few issues on the first two programmes. The first programme problems were tracked to the truck and we had to remove the surround to get the HD pictures to work. Unfortunately that hid the second problem with the Dolby signal passing through the link encoder. This was a video/audio sync timing error that caused a re-frame about once every 4 minutes. I said in "The Scourge of the SCART" when a Dolby E frame looses any information some devices treat the encoded signal as PCM audio - to protect your ears (and more importantly, your speakers) the automation system switched to the stereo signal and that's what your heard on day two.

    As for the sync issue - only the presenters were out of sync and I have asked for a full explanation as it was not corrected. The Electric Proms were pushing the limits of technology in SD let alone HD but the performance sections where excellent.

    That's no excuse though for a single microphone/camera link to be so wrong.

    Andy

 

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