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Dragons' Den on HD

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Danielle Nagler Danielle Nagler | 14:28 UK time, Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Hello,

Thanks as ever for all your comments.

I just wanted to reflect on Dragons' Den, since I know that some of you took the view that this shouldn't be a priority programme for BBC HD, while others have written here about their enjoyment of it.

Thanks to my PVR I was able to catch up on the first HD episode last night. Watching it confirmed my view that HD brings real benefits to programming which is about people and their emotions, and where the viewing experience is about support and empathy.

The DenYes, at one level Dragons' Den is a business show, about projects, profts and margins. It's also of course a kind of poker game between the Dragons. But above all it is a blind dating show in which every blink and twitch and bead of sweat tells a story.

In SD of course you get the postures, the bravura, the studied casualness, the overall shape of each invention put forward. In HD I felt I got the sticking plaster on the flying machines, the slight tackiness of all that fake blood on the horror actors, every slight frown as the Dragons reviewed their position, the wild desperation that occasionally flickered through contestant's eyes, the blankness as they realised that they were cornered.

These are of course not the jaw dropping moments that natural history can offer, with thousands of birds filling a screen, or a tree slowly maturing before our eyes. But they do change my relationship to what is going on, they make me feel that I'm there in that slightly odd room with the polished floorboards and the distressed walls, the cheap polyester drapes and the expensive suits, and they make me care more about the people and the outcomes.

So I do still think that this kind of programming is an important part of the mix of what we make - of course it shouldn't be the only thing that we do, but I'm really glad that we decided to make the move into HD for this series on.

On another note, I do recommend Desperate Romantics which starts tonight on BBC HD, also simulcast with BBC Two. Yes it is costume drama, but trust me when I say it moves fast, is rich and funny in quite unexpected ways, and I really, really enjoyed it.

Lots of questions from you about other things - the Championship live matches will be in HD, starting from August 8th, although the round-up programme will not be. And Big Top will also be in HD when it broadcasts.

Not planning to resign just yet I'm afraid Wednesday83.

Danielle Nagler is Head of BBCHD, BBC Vision.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Thanks for the post. I know I give you guys at BBC HD some stick, but its only because I care about HD TV.

    dragons Den does look excellent in HD and shows why all your top shows such as Top gear should be HD. Well done for that.

    Also great to hear that the Championship games will be in HD. It was a must for HD and congrats on getting it right.

    All we need now is confirmation that the next series on Top gear will be HD.

  • Comment number 2.

    I was watching University Challenge last night, and trying to think what that would be like in HD. I'm guessing it wouldn't really add to the experience, but I thought the same about Dragon's Den. I'm guessing that University Challenge is not at the top of the HD priorty list however!

  • Comment number 3.

    Fantastic!

    You see the light! :-)

    Everything really is better in HD regardless of genre or content!

    Thanks Danielle

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi, Great to here that the Championship is going to be in HD would Match Of The Day ever move to HD? it would be great if it did, i also agree with wednesday83 regarding Top Gear we certainly need it in HD asap! there are a number of programmes i'd like to see in HD but i don't thing anyone has asked about Traffic Cops/Motorway Cops this is one off the BBC'S most watched shows and would look great in HD. Just one last question i read a review on the BBC website and it said that Air Medics was flimed in HD so way isn't it been shown on the HD channel i quote from the BBC review:
    Air Medics follows every gritty moment with camera directors on scene and multiple mini-cams on board, combined with air-to-air filming recorded in high definition.
    PS are we going to see the next Snooker tournament in HD?
    Thanks Danielle, keep up the great work!!

  • Comment number 5.

    Cheers Danielle great news on The Championship Games. Please make sure Newcastle dont play in that horrible yellow away strip that would be scary.

    Please can you confirm the statement from The Secretay of the R&A that The Open will be in HD next year ( Worth it for John Daly's trousers alone surely!!)

    I am also enjoying Dragons Den a good choice.

    Good to see BBCHD mentioned on the front of The Radio Times today promoting Rivers with Griff Rhys Jones.Why do promos always mention iPlayer yet not HD when it is to be shown in HD? Come on Danielle start shouting about how good HD is.

    Can anyone also confirm that Pontop Pike will be getting Freeview HD in April 2010 thanks.

    Finally what were you thinking of putting out Totally Saturday in HD!!!
    What a load of rubbish even Super High Def 3D could not make that look good.Must have been having a bad day that day Danielle.



  • Comment number 6.

    Have just seen a promo for Desperate Romantics and it mentioned shown in HD, wow that was quick work Danielle!! Keep it up.

  • Comment number 7.

    I don't watch Dragons Den, it just doesn't interest me, although I might do now it's in HD :-). You most certainly need it in HD though. It gives the BBC HD channel brand a boost. You need these programmes to make the brand punchier.

  • Comment number 8.

    This has been a very bad month for BBC HD.

    If the Open was so important to reschedual BBC 1 programming why was it not in HD. I have heared that at least one American HD channel was very annoyed to have to show upscaled pictures. I thinks it is about time rights owners took HD in consideration when selling rights.

    The thing that has realy annoyed me this month is the reschedualing of HD programes. Last Sunday Hope Springs on BBC HD was delayed at the last minute because the Open on BBC 1 overran. So I had to quickly set recording the rest of that evenings programs so I could see them delayed by 20 mins. I guess this is due to the stupid rule that a program cannot be shown first on the HD channel. What made it worst was there was no announcement saying what was happening on BBC HD and the EPG was update very late.

    The other problem was not showing "Who do you think you are?" at 9.00. I am sure that more people watch "Who do you think you are?" than "Dragons Den" and so it should have been given the 9.00 slot. I also seem to remeber Robin Hood was also reschedualed.

    Its about time that the BBC stopped treating HD as a channel when it realy is a technology. There should be BBC1 HD, BBC2 HD and a third HD channel to cover anything else.

    There is a real problem facing the BBC with regard to HD. The present plan is to limit the BBC to one HD channel on terestrial. This is a very severe restriction on the BBC. Does this mean the the BBC will not be able to have more than 1 HD channel or will the BBC be allowed to have satellite only HD channels. Can someone tell us what the BBC's long term plans are. At the moment they don't seem to have any.

    Ofcom plans to squeeze 5 HD channels onto multiplex B which will result in some very poor picture and sound quality. To provide this space they are moving the currect SD channels to other mutiplexes and so reducing SD picture quality as well. So I think alot of people are going to be very disappointed.

  • Comment number 9.

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  • Comment number 10.

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  • Comment number 11.

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  • Comment number 12.

    I LOVE Dragons Den in HD! It really adds something extra to the tension and makes the programme much more enjoyable.
    I can just imagine all the dragons in make-up before the recording fretting over if they have enough make-up on LOL!

  • Comment number 13.

    Sorry I forgot to add:

    In response to trevorjharris:

    Sir, all I can say is, you really have far too much time on your hands. I don't think you really grasp what BBC HD is all about. How many times must it be said that it is a dedicated channel showing the best the BBC has to offer. What would be the point in in a BBC1HD, BBC2HD etc...Compared to other HD channels out there the BBC is still miles ahead. You only have to take a look at ITV HD to realise that - Day after day of 'Currently not broadcasting'
    Stop the whining!

  • Comment number 14.

    @ HD-FAN Hi, Great to here that the Championship is going to be in HD would Match Of The Day ever move to HD?

    As has been pointed out before, until their new HD studios open in Salford, the BBC don't have facilities to do 'highlights' studio based shows in HD. All the BBC's HD sport can currently only be done as an outside broadcast. See post 77.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/sporteditors/2008/12/plenty_to_look_forward_to_in_2.html

  • Comment number 15.

    Can I ask you to reconsider showing as many films as possible in HD.

    I've already seen nearly all the films shown on the BBC, or I own the DVD's, so there is no point in watching them again unless you can bring something new to the viewing experience.

    A case in point were the three Terminator films shown a few weeks ago on BBC1, ITV HD & Five.

    Guess which of the three I watched - yes, T2 on ITV HD.

    As an added bonus it should be a very low cost option for you.

  • Comment number 16.

    I would much rather prefer The Apprentice to be on BBC HD as a business programme compared to Dragon's Den as it features many more emotions etc. I hope to see the programme on BBC HD next year!

  • Comment number 17.

    I totally disagree with 'hdblogger' as BBC HD is far inferior compared to many premium sky hd channels such as Sky1 and even Channel 4HD which shows HD broadcasts all day and upscaled broadcasts from C4 when the HD feed is not available to a certain programme. Channel 4 do not even receive tax payers money and they are able to provide a 24hr HD channel so I do believe that our money is not going where it is needed the most. Which is ofcourse in HD. Therefore, I think that BBC HD should broadcast 24/7. There is enough BBC content to show. E.g. repeats in the morning and simulcasts of BBC 1, 2, 3, 4 in the evening. It is as simple as that. At least try to increase HD on BBC HD before freeview HD arrives as then many more people will be complaining about the services they receive in the near future! Just something to think about!

  • Comment number 18.

    Wednesday 83 is not asking for you to resign as far as I'm aware, he's asking you to fix the picture quality.

    I thought the picture quality of Desparate Romantics last night was appalling (for HD that is). At one point there were artifacts on a still brick background (the greenhouse scene) The show itself was good though.

    I was suprised about the lack of Open coverage. I would have though USA would have paid for that in HD.

  • Comment number 19.

    I would love nothing better than for Danielle to stay in her Job and go on to be a huge hit. So far Danielle is failing in my view. So far Danielle has ignored the bandwith issue as the channel is still running at only 16.5 mbps and she has ignored the encoder issue.

    Im not a fan of Golf but such events as the Open should be a cert for HD yet we only got SD. Why???? Big snooker events are surely simple to produce in HD and would look great in HD, yet the BBC ignore this. At least produce in HD so Eurosport can show us HD footage.

    The BBCs top shows such as Top Gear, Eastenders and Casualty should have been HD ages ago, but look years away from HD. Why??????

    The BBC HD boss should be demanding the highest quality and that means increase the bandwith or new encoders. It means making sure the top shows are HD. So far Danielle has failed on the big issues.

  • Comment number 20.

    Wednesday83 - Danielle has not "ignored the encoder issue". I quote from her blog post in March:

    "...unfortunately going first down the path to HD does inevitably mean that later entrants can buy later generations of equipment, and it would not be best use of your licence fees to replace kit before it had served its useful life."

    You may disagree with her, but that doesn't mean she's ignored the matter.

  • Comment number 21.

    [I]"The BBC HD boss should be demanding the highest quality and that means increase the bandwith or new encoders. It means making sure the top shows are HD. So far Danielle has failed on the big issues."[/I]

    It also, I imagine, means not spending your entire yearly budget in a month and then transmitting blank screens for the rest of the year...

    Phazer

  • Comment number 22.

    In reply to hdblogger

    I agree with with high-deff999 the BBC HD is nowhere near the best HD channel. BBC HD has a very high proportion of repeats. Eurosport has been covering the whole Tour De France in HD. A large proportion of the audiance watch it for the fantastic helecopter views they get. They are also covering the world diving championships in Rome in HD. They have a fantatic dual camera system to replay the dives from 2 angles at the same time. Eurosport also covered the the French Open Tennis in HD but the BBC chose just to transmit it in SD.

    We have the world cup in 2010 and on some days there are 4 matches. If we have only the BBC and ITV HD channels half the games will have to be transmitted in SD. We don't have BBC's schedual yet but I hope that games which they can't transmit in HD will be available to other HD broadcasters.

    It is not only Sport which is an issue. Why don't the BBC transmit more of their films in HD. I would have thought this would be the cheapest source of HD material? Channel 4 seem to transmit most of their film in HD. They even transmit black and white films in HD and they look great.

  • Comment number 23.

    trevorjharris,

    You do have a point regarding not enough sport and movies. But logic dictates that if someone is so passionate about them, then they are more likely to be a Sky subscriber with access to the full package. So not having movies and sport on BBC HD doesn't really bother me. I just tune into Sky for them instead.

    I also wanted to say how much I am enjoying the new series of Wildest Dreams.Nine people with ordinary jobs see if they have what it takes to become a wildlife film-maker. Fantastic in HD! Although that presenter doesn't scrub up too well in HD LOL.

  • Comment number 24.

    NickReynolds, Danielles answer of trying to get the use out of existing encoders is the biggest fob off ive heard. I know it costs to invest is top newer encoders but if the BBC HD team have no intention of upping the bandwith then they must spend the money on new encoders.

    If Danielle wasnt ignoring the encoder / bandwith issue then the bandwith would have been upped ages ago. But no, this is the BBC. The BBC who like spending our money on other things.

    We have great news about championship football to be broadcast in HD but is the BBC going to increase the bandwith for the footy matches??? Probably not.

  • Comment number 25.

    [I]"I know it costs to invest is top newer encoders but if the BBC HD team have no intention of upping the bandwith then they must spend the money on new encoders."[/I]

    No, they "must" spend taxpayers money responsibly, and that wouldn't be.

    Phazer

  • Comment number 26.

    People can easily say that the BBC HD channel is the "worst HD channel" or that they prefer Sky One, but they really are overlooking the whole point of the channel - just because *you* watch a lot of US drama (or indeed a lot of sport or movies) doesn't mean that BBC HD should be providing that.

    The BBC's job here is not to present every sporting event in HD, or indeed show every drama in HD. A few years down the line, maybe (we have had Wimbledon and Six Nations, Football coming up, Open next year, that's a fairly good selection for starters).

    The BBC has the most diverse HD channel in this country, and indeed by a country mile! And this is it's job with respect to HD; to show a wide range of programs, so that *all* people can benefit from watching something they enjoy in HD. Not so that *some* people can watch *everything* that they enjoy in HD.

    The vocal minority that port on blogs like this (and forums like digitalspy etc) are generally biased towards sports/movies/us tv/etc (and are also more likely to have Sky to provide this). The BBC provide stuff in HD that other minorities (and indeed majorities) will watch. They need to encourage HD takeup outside the community that is already enjoying HD. Only when adoption is much more widespread will they be able to throw much more money at converting everything to HD.

    I would like to see a bit of an increase in broadcast quality of BBC HD (probably via new encoders) of course!

  • Comment number 27.

    @ lightsjp4 "The BBC has the most diverse HD channel in this country, and indeed by a country mile!"

    Of course it is. It's a multi genre channel so it can't be compared to Sky 1 or any individual channel on Sky HD.

    As for diversity, Sky are now showing things that used to be the BBC's territory. This week we've had live Showjumping from Hickstead, live opera from Glyndebourne, live drama, live FP Trophy Cricket from Lords. All of course in glorious HD.

    It's very sad that people always quote US imports on Sky 1, when there is so much more to Sky HD.


  • Comment number 28.

    One odd thing this week the World Swimming Championships are being shown by Eurosport in HD. Yet the BBC is is only showing SD. Does Eurosport have exclusive HD rights or is this another example of a missed opertunity from the BBC. On Sunday night we had 2.5 hours of swimming on BBC 2 and all that was on BBC HD were the usual repeats.

  • Comment number 29.

    @ trevorjharris I suppose it comes down to doing what's best for everybody with the limited resources.

    The majority of HD viewers watch via Sky HD and as Eurosport HD is not a premium channel all Sky HD viewers can receive it. Surely the BBC should be spending their HD budget on something that everyone with HD will benefit from, rather than duplicating HD coverage for a minority?

  • Comment number 30.

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  • Comment number 32.

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  • Comment number 33.

    The other problem was not showing "Who do you think you are?" at 9.00. I am sure that more people watch "Who do you think you are?" than "Dragons Den" and so it should have been given the 9.00 slot. I also seem to remeber Robin Hood was also reschedualed.

    Its about time that the BBC stopped treating HD as a channel when it realy is a technology. There should be BBC1 HD, BBC2 HD and a third HD channel to cover anything else. http://www.seslichatailesi.net/

 

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