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Top Gear on BBC HD from November 15th

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Danielle Nagler Danielle Nagler | 13:54 UK time, Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Hello All,

I wanted to share with you at the earliest opportunity the news that from November 15th you will be able to see Top Gear in its true colours.

Yes, after several hundred emails from you as to why you feel Top Gear needs to make the journey from the SD to the HD world, I can confirm that the team is now working with HD cameras on the new series.

You've been very clear that this is a BBC programme that for you represents the best of what we do, and that you believe it is one of those series that can benefit most from HD. I agree with you, and I'm confident that the shift will ensure that the cars are glossier and faster than ever, and the presenters... well, probably will look even more like their reflections in the mirror but we'll all have to wait to judge.

I have said for some time now that what the BBC is aiming to do in HD is to extend the range of programming that is available, to showcase programmes that are loved in SD, and to explore the creative potential of the new technology. Top Gear helps us to do all of this, but it's not the end of the BBC HD story, just one further link in the transition chain that will over time see the vast majority of programmes made by the BBC shifting into HD.

Meantime, steady yourselves and tell your friends.

Danielle Nagler is Head of BBC HD, BBC Vision

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Good news at last after the disasters over the last month. Is there any reason why the football has been dropped from Saturdays schedual.

  • Comment number 2.

    Great news, thanks BBC. :)

  • Comment number 3.

    Fantasic news. Well done BBC HD.

    Building on from the previous blog lets see all promotional material include the fact the show will be on BBC HD and that any TV trailers and the website carry the BBC HD logo alongside the BBC 2 logo and that the announcer on the night tells viewers the show is avaliable on BBC HD as well.


    As trevorjharris points out why can't hole in the wall be shifted to allow the Sautrday football game to be broadcast?
    The BBC now time shifts Johnathon Ross and Jools Holland on Friday night to make room for Strictly and The Tudors.

    Will future football games be shown in HD?

  • Comment number 4.

    Along with promotional material perhaps now would be the time to get not only the Radio times to give the BBC HD channel a listing as a full channel online and in the magazine but get national magazines and newspapers to cover BBC HD rather than indicate a programme is in HD.

    Everyone should be able to see what the BBC HD channel is broadcasting rather than have to look at what is on BBC1 and try and find whether it says right at the end the programme is also in HD.

    With programmes like Top Gear and the rest of the Autumn schedule and future programming and major sporting events to come the BBC HD channel needs to be listed by itself.


    Programmes like Doctor Who this Autumn and Top Gear need clear BBC HD logos sat next to the BBC1 or BBC2 logo and the trailer or announcer before the show needs to mention BBC HD.

  • Comment number 5.

    Danielle, great news and I'm sure with further announcements imminent on F1 and other great sporting events, like the Autumn Rugby Internationals and the RWC, this is a major step forward. Well done and thanks for listening to us. With the considerable boost this is going to give your viewing figures (given the right marketing - see other's comments) it's all the more reason to keep pushing the boundaries on the issues under discussion in other Blogs. Cheers. Paul

  • Comment number 6.

    Finally, does the BBC HD story include a future blog post on the latest major issue being flagged up.

    That story being that major A-List sporting events are going to disrupt regular BBC HD programming while they are broadcast.

    Oviously it takes time for a second HD channel to get approved and if this would take too long perhaps the BBC Trust could allow a temporary 'red button HD channel' channel in the meantime to allow full coverage of these A-List sporting events while keeping regular programming on BBC HD.





  • Comment number 7.

    Is this the first official confirmation of the start date for the new series? Topgear.com is still just saying "mid-November". Anyway, excellent work HD boffins.

  • Comment number 8.

    "Hello All,

    I wanted to share with you at the earliest opportunity the news that from November 15th you will be able to see Top Gear in its true colours."


    You mean that it's going to get ever more of a rubbish programme, are the BBC bringing back Ms Rippon and the proper road test....oh hang on, you're talking about it being made/broadcast in HD...though it was to good to believe that the BBC might actually fulfil it's PSB remit and have a proper motoring programme! :-(

  • Comment number 9.

    Re my comment @ #8

    Sorry about that, I let my rant get the better of me and then accidentally pressed the "Post Comment" rather than the "Preview" button!

    What I meant was, before worrying about the format can the BBC get the content correct, like bringing back the proper road test, opposed to just how fast someone can drive around squealing the types and making the tyres smoke...

  • Comment number 10.

    Great news!

    Danielle, there's a 'rumour' going around that the final Formula 1 race of the season on November 1st will be in high definition - in the latest edition of F1 Racing magazine FOM president Bernie Ecclestone said it will be in HD.

    So, will BBC be picking up the HD feed for the Abu Dhabi race on the weekend of November 1st? ;)

  • Comment number 11.

    Good news, thanks!

  • Comment number 12.

    Thank you Danielle and thank you BBC. You guys have made my year

    Thank you thank you

  • Comment number 13.

    Unfortunately I was not surprised that at the end of last week's Country File there was no mention of the move to HD from next week!!
    However, thanks for continuing to maintain BBCHD as the No1 HD multi genre channel; Country File, Top Gear, Strictly, Lost Land of Volcano, Later, Beautiful People, Shooting Stars.......... the list goes on - STUNNING!! and all without an HD supplement on the TV Licence - MARVELLOUS!!

  • Comment number 14.

    Excellent news Danielle - thanks for litening.

    I am surprised you think Clarkson has a reflection if he looks in a mirror though... ;)

    Onwards and upwards - now get Bernie to realise F1 will be worthy of HD for the last race this year - and going forward all of them next year.

  • Comment number 15.

    The news that an F1 feed will be avaliable is promising and it would be great if BBC HD could carry this HD coverage at the end of this season and broadcast F1 in HD next year.

    Though the next blog in the story would be better to cover not only these sporting events that aren't in HD but how either a second channel or red button HD stream can be made to avoid the schedule issues that are going to happen.

  • Comment number 16.

    Fantastic News about Top Gear. Probably the biggest news in the channel's history.

  • Comment number 17.

    @Boilerplated re: #8 & 9 - You see, an edit button on these comments would come in useful!

    But as Nick said, elsewhere:

    "Boilerplated's reasons for why we don't allow people to edit comments after they've been published are good ones. Once it's published, it's published I'm afraid."

    So, there you go.

  • Comment number 18.

    WOW Thats cheered up a dull day. Well Done Danielle a blog post with lots of positive comments.

  • Comment number 19.

    Top Gear is what HD was made for, a program you want to watch, but will be even better in HD. I can't wait. Thanks

  • Comment number 20.

    Danielle,

    Excellent news! Thank you for listening to people like me who emailed you regarding this (and thank you for actually replying to the emails!)

    I, like most, realise this is only one show amongst hundreds the BBC broadcasts, yet it is by far at the top of the list in terms of quality. The length the production crew go to for those perfect shots and stunning camera angles means that this show deserves HD.

    Top Gear itself has had a major influence on motorist enthusiasts and car owners alike. I've literally just had delivered (Saturday just gone!) my new Ford Fiesta Titanium, bought soley on the review by Jezza himself. Needless to say, best £18,500 I've spent yet!

    The only dissapointing thing is, by reading your comment, it suggests that previous series were recorded in SD, and as such may never been seen in HD. A real shame, but at least this is, overall, a very posistive stop forward.

    Now... if we could just get FOM to get off their behinds and sort out an HD world feed for the F1 (besides testing it at the tracks) and I'd possibly be the happiest BBC HD viewer around!

  • Comment number 21.

    Fantastic news and not before time. This is one programme that was crying out to be shown in HD.

    huds601, ARE YOU SERIOUS?! YOU ACTUALLY PAID £18,500 FOR A FORD FIESTA?!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

  • Comment number 22.

    Fantastic - a genuine showcase for HD. I just hope there are as many great films to come as there have been already!!

  • Comment number 23.

    Its fantastic news. Well done BBC HD. I just hope its not like strictly where the studio is in HD but out of studios shots are all SD. most of top gear is out of the studio so surely all the non studio segments are HD???

    Well done anyway. Just a shame theres no HD football this weekend considering you only have 10 matches all season.

  • Comment number 24.

    Back in July it was stated in the blog that live Championship football would be in HD, but this week Ipswich V Newcastle is listed as BBC Two only. What's going on?

  • Comment number 25.

    Great. Top Gear currently broadcasts some of the worst quality SD images. Their report segments are currently broadcast in 288p (ie: badly "de-interlaced" half 576i).

  • Comment number 26.

    @ 24, It would appear (in my view) BBC HD have realised they have messed up with the unacceptable levels of bandwith and accepted the quality on 9mbps for football just will not be good enough so instead we have Strictly come dancing instead lol. Quite embarrassing for the channel really, but thats BBC HD. They could quite easily im sure show SCD after the football. Appearently theres a joke book been republished so they can add BBCHD to the list of jokes.

  • Comment number 27.

    Excellent news,

    Looking forward to seeing it!

  • Comment number 28.

    D_M_N (and others)... you beat me to it. I've just read this months F1 Racing and it seems that Bernie is going HD for Abu Dhabi, with the possibility of all races being broadcast in HD next season!

    Danielle, please can you let us know whether BBC HD will be showing this race!

    Good news on Top Gear, but I'm disappointed that this Saturday's football is not going to be shown in HD.

  • Comment number 29.

    I've never watched Top Gear in my life. I suppose I'll need to watch it now, so I will be able to comment on the PQ!!

  • Comment number 30.

    Will it have a DOG?

  • Comment number 31.

    If it does there will be lots of complaints...

    (Whatever happened to Top Gear dog - it was only in one series? Did seem to spend the whole time sleeping though)

  • Comment number 32.

    I read about this on the "Join Freesat" website. Great news. I saw the drive to the North Pole in HD and it brought the whole episode to life. Really looking forward to the 15th November now. Thanks Danielle and all the others who've made this happen. Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 33.

    Top Gear Dog = Captain slow :) well the hair is the same :P

    Great news about TGHD though, I hope it will be Dolby Digital 5.1 as well, crank up the system :)

    on a side note, I wonder if I will ever get my tickets to go to the studio.

  • Comment number 34.

    Fantastic! Thanks Danielle and the rest of BBCHD. It'll be a good test of PQ(!). Please don't put a DOG on it.

  • Comment number 35.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 36.

    Yes, just to agree with all those pleas. No DOG but certainly with 5.1 sound please on TGHD.

  • Comment number 37.

    For Top Gear HD it requires more bandwith and no dog. Neither will happen.

  • Comment number 38.

    "...that will over time see the vast majority of programmes made by the BBC shifting into HD.".

    This is of course very welcome, but PLEASE don't do what ITV have done with "The Bill" and shoot HD in 25p. The flicker, strobing and other nasty side effects introduced by 25p make the pictures unwatchable for many and negate the advantages of HD. 50i or nothing (unless it's 50p of course, but I guess we'll have to wait a while for that).

  • Comment number 39.

    Maybe the motivation to switch HD is mainly driven by the simple fact that standard definition looks terrible on a very large screen.

  • Comment number 40.

    #39. At 9:04pm on 23 Sep 2009, _marko wrote:

    "Maybe the motivation to switch HD is mainly driven by the simple fact that standard definition looks terrible on a very large screen."

    How big is big, CRT 32" and 36" sets can, correctly set up, look superb, on the other hand a badly designed or poorly set up HD (ready) 17+" flat screen TV can look rubbish!

  • Comment number 41.

    To Boilerplated #40:

    "How big is big"

    I'm happy with a 32" screen, which I feel looks great.

    I'd say SD on a 40" and above looks quite poor.

    I'm optimistic there will be a breakthrough with future video compression/encoder algorithms that means picture quality will potentially be of stunning quality.

  • Comment number 42.

    No DOG on Top Gear as well please.

    It would be great to see this F1 HD feed as mentioned by Dr_Bean.

  • Comment number 43.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 44.

    I'm pleased to hear it'll be broadcast in HD. Might have to sort out some way of receiving BBC HD now. In the mean time, luckily my Dad has Freesat HD, so I'll have to pop over to his place (7 miles away!).

    Rob

  • Comment number 45.

    Another plea for no DOG please (I don't mean Top Gear Dog, I liked him, where is he? :() I mean the irritating logo that you have on channels, e.g. BBC THREE - why do we need these? I can easily press a button on my remote if I forget which channel I'm watching and that situation has never arisen!

  • Comment number 46.

    Please stay on topic. This post is not about DOGs in general.

  • Comment number 47.

    Nick, as the topic comes up in just about every thread, perhaps the BBC should finally get the message that DOGS are not wanted by the people that pay for it's services?

    I sincerely hope that the beautifully constructed imagary that Top Gear is known for around the world is not blighted by any irritating station ident anywhere on the subject matter. I imagine the directors feel the same way.

    I'm really looking forwad to TG in HD. I hope it does not prove a backward step in enjoyment...

  • Comment number 48.

    #47, I guess Nick has a job to do, and he's doing it. So if you want HD TG to retain the wonderful camerawork and scenes, but be unadulterated by the addition of station logos then tell Danielle here:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2009/02/bbc_hd_update_dog_patrol.html#jump_more

    and not here in the TG Blog.

  • Comment number 49.

    Ok, so now we know that TG is going to be in HD, what DO we talk about until it's actually shown?

    People talking about what they do or do not want to see is all we can talk about!
    Screen clutter is something people do NOT want to see...
    There are also concerns about flicker...
    Until the programme airs all anyone can do is make pleas for certain standards to be maintained.

    I reiterate my thanks to Danielle for getting this incredibly popular programme on HD.

  • Comment number 50.

    That's fantastic but as others have said F1 really really should be in HD by now as the most advanced technological sport in the world that Britain is the best at...should be a showpiece......
    but even more for me....please please please please can we have MotoGP in HD.....that would be absolutely breathtaking....can you imagine Lorenzo & Rossi final corner at Catalunya again? .....i pray every night for this ... please consider it.....

  • Comment number 51.

    I don't think this is a good use of BBC HD - nature, quality drama and documentaries - these are the programmes which should be HD as the benefits are there for all to see in improved picture quality. It is really difficult to understand why Merlin as a quality drama and with wide appeal is not available in HD yet a magazine programme which appeals purely to adolescent males and doesn't benefit at all from HD is. These decisions should be taken on a whole range of reasons - not just a few letters from a vocal minority of special interest groups.

  • Comment number 52.

    #51 dave..., with the greatest respect I have to disagree with you. I concur that TG is for the most part purile nonsense, but you have to agree that some of the camerawork is as stunning as any wildlife prog, to that you can add great sound too (which will greatly benefit for 5.1 treatment on the hD channel).

    I fully support your desire to see nature, quality drama and documentaries; I agree entirely and think there should be far more! But to that should also be added more music, sport, opera and even news. Everyone has their own tastes, and to me all licence payers should get their own fair share of HD TV. Even things I personally can't stand should have a place, I concede, like Hole in the Wall, Totally Saturday and Strictly Come Dancing which have probably got a bit of a following amongst the viewing public.

    What the problem with all that is, it'll never all fit into the one channel. Which is why I think the BBC should be listening seriously to Alsone, and others, who're recommending that they take the problem up with the Trust and Ofsted ASAP. Between them, they're going to have to come up with a far better solution than just Freeview, and a hobbled Freesat, for providing the public with the HD TV that they'll all be expecting very soon. Especially if they've travelled to France, Japan or the States.

  • Comment number 53.

    #51 - What is your basis that TG appeals only to "adolescent males"? There is actually plenty of evidence to suggest that its appeal is equally male and female, and many families will sit down and watch it together. Do many families with teenage children sit down and watch wildlife documentaries together?

    I fully agree that HD should be showcasing the best in cinematography on the BBC (wildlife or whatever) and there are shows that don't benefit from being on HD (Jonathan Ross???) but TG is the wrong one to pick on.

  • Comment number 54.

    #53. At 1:50pm on 27 Sep 2009, halsteadk wrote:

    "#51 - What is your basis that TG appeals only to "adolescent males"? There is actually plenty of evidence to suggest that its appeal is equally male and female, and many families will sit down and watch it together. Do many families with teenage children sit down and watch wildlife documentaries together?"

    Perhaps not, but that says more about families and who the TG programme are appealing/pandering to! Must say though, whilst I agree with Dave's point I would not have used the phrase "adolescent males" myself, the word 'immature' would have featured though...

    Bring back Angela Rippon and the proper test drive!

  • Comment number 55.

    @ Boilerplated

    As Clarkson says Fifth Gear has been doing the consumer testing for some time, its been a long time since Top Gear did full tests.

    @halsteadk - Johnathon Ross is worth it as its filmed in the studio equiped for HD.

    What isn't worth it is hole in the wall.

    Danielle has already displayed the ability to cancel The Chelsea Flower Show but hole in the wall is far more deserving of being cancelled.



    The money would be better spent on making sure the Championship football is in HD and new content.



  • Comment number 56.

    #55. At 7:25pm on 28 Sep 2009, Andrew Knight wrote:

    "@ Boilerplated

    As Clarkson says Fifth Gear has been doing the consumer testing for some time, its been a long time since Top Gear did full tests."


    ...and your (and his [Clarkson]) point is what, exactly?

  • Comment number 57.

    This was a gud news from BBC

    Amarjit Singh Kullar

    http://amarjitsinghkullar.org

  • Comment number 58.

    Just want to say what a total embarrass ment your channel was on satuday. The BBC HD schedule showed what a total disgrace the channel is at the minute.

    Instead of Championship football in HD (Which should only be given to channels if HD is guarenteed) we had kids TV shows followed by Strictly. What was even more annoying was that there was only a 5 minute over lap between the end of the football and Strictly Starting.

    Just who the hell runs this channel. Serious changes have to be made at the top.

  • Comment number 59.

    Oh and theres no apology for the lack of HD football.

  • Comment number 60.

    @55

    So moving an in-house show from an already HD-equipped studio back to an SD-equipped one will somehow save enough money to switch some outside broadcasts to HD or produce some brand new shows?

    Now, if the "new content" is merely another studio-produced show then it's probably that easy. But I suspect that dramas are more what people are after.

    Now there's nothing at all wrong with dramas in HD. (I have Torchwood S1 and CoE on Blu-ray). But surely it's logical to start with studio shows. Slowly tip the scale, sarting with the easily converted shows. Then gain enough momentum (both in production experience and in people switching to swatch in HD) to justify the bigger changes.

    I just find it entertaining, if a little sad, that people are taking offence that studio shows are being produced in HD studios. If the studio is already there, surely it would be a bigger waste to withold its use because "this program isn't special enough for HD"?

  • Comment number 61.

    @TiggsPanther - If it is cancelled by the BBC it won't matter where it is produced, those cameras can then be used for something far better. That doesn't stop Danielle from having the right to boot it off BBC HD.

    The money spent on hole in the wall would have been better invested bringing Merlin in HD. Drama is already produced in HD for international sales.

    Another issue is that plenty of BBC HD shows are broadcast out of sync with the BBC channel they are on. The same could have been done with hole in the wall to allow the football to be broadcast. It could have been broadcast after Strictly or a day later like other programmes are.

    Studio shows aren't being shown in HD equiped studios all the time, afterall if that was right then why is Shooting Stars in HD but not Never Mind the Buzzcocks, QI, Would You Lie to Me, Have I Got News For You, Question Of Sport?



    @Boilerplated

    His point is Fifth Gear own the TV format rights to car testing. Similar to ITV owning the rights to Britains Got Talent which would prevent the BBC from copying that show directly.


    And Top Gear entertains far more viewers and generates large sums of money for the BBC that are invested back into the BBC.

  • Comment number 62.

    #61. At 12:22pm on 29 Sep 2009, Andrew Knight wrote:

    "His point is Fifth Gear own the TV format rights to car testing."

    ...and your citation for that comment is were, EXACTLY?

    "And Top Gear entertains far more viewers"

    Your point being what, "You've been Framed" entertains a lot of viewers but it's hardly quality programming...

    "and generates large sums of money for the BBC that are invested back into the BBC."

    In the grand scheme of things not it does not, and if the BBC spent the money on some otherwise worthwhile programme - such as period drama or natural history programmes, traditionally a BBC strong products in the world market - the BBC could well make even more money.

  • Comment number 63.

    Top Gear IS sold worldwide...

    I share your worry about HD Money being wasted on less worthwhile programmes - however people's taste and opinion of "worthwhile" can be so diverse.
    I like Top Gear - I wouldn't miss a show. However seeing a bunc of B or C-list celebrities prance around holds absolutely no attraction whatsoever for me.
    I wouldn't watch Football, but I want Formula 1 in HD.
    I might watch period drama, or not. I do watch Heroes, and Jools Holland.
    Am I a young adolescent male? No - I'm a 48 year old male apparently going on 25...

    What is worthwhile for some is trash for someone else.
    But wouldn't it be a terribly boring world if we all liked the same thing? We'd all be wearing the same clothes and driving the same model car. (I just hope it's a Porsche or Ferrari...)

  • Comment number 64.

    Hmmm - the above was supposed to say "Top Gear IS sold Worldwide"...
    Where did the spaces go?

  • Comment number 65.

    @Boilerplated
    Quoting you've been framed just shows how bad ITV has become today if that is the only programme outside of the ITV soaps to try and compare it with Top Gear.

    Top Gear generates huge revenues for the BBC and is very popular.

    The BBC including BBC HD has already shown Yellowstone,Land of the Lost Volcano, Last Chance to See, South Pacific and other great wildlife programmes.
    BBC HD is also increasing the amount of drama content is shown.

    So its great to know that Top Gear can now be made in HD along with all those nature and drama productions.



    Fifth gear own the TV format rights to testing cars like the Old Top Gear did,there is little they can do about that.

  • Comment number 66.

    #65. At 4:26pm on 29 Sep 2009, Andrew Knight wrote:

    "@Boilerplated
    Quoting you've been framed just shows how bad ITV has become today if that is the only programme outside of the ITV soaps to try and compare it with Top Gear."


    Whilst you have totally missed my point, I was commenting on your notion that some how TG is special because it makes money, in that respect TG and YBF are exactly the same...

    "Top Gear generates huge revenues for the BBC and is very popular."

    But so does YBF for ITV, (in the case of ITV, advertising revenue, they would NOT show the programme prime time otherwise), you simply don't seem to be able to 'Get it', many programmes make money, TG is nothing exceptional - period dramas and natural history could/do make the same returns I suspect.

    "Fifth gear own the TV format rights to testing cars like the Old Top Gear did,there is little they can do about that."

    Again, were is your citation for claiming that? As far as I'm aware you can't claim intellectual property rights on a genre, otherwise there would only by one cookery programme etc! But if you are correct then it really is a condemnation of the BBC and those connected with TG as TG used to be a programme that did proper road tests long before Ch5 was ever thought about never mind any programmes...

  • Comment number 67.

    @Boilerplated

    I disagree with your condemnation, people can find plenty of commericaly avaliable material to help them when they want to buy a car.
    Here is the citation for the claim.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/1657807.stm

    You can copyright a format , you don't see ready, steady, cook on other channels despite the fact there are lots of other cookery shows made.



    And Top Gear is far more sucessful than you've been framed.

    ITV has seen advertising rates fall for this old programme and others leading to lower profits.
    And ITV hasn't been investing those profits in anything good seeing as that is the best example outside of the ITV soaps to mention.

    The BBC not only sells the rights to Dave in the UK but to broadcasters all over the World and also sells the license rights for broadcasters to produce a version for the host country like Germany. They also go on tour and have good sales of merchandise like DVD's and CD's and other merchandise.

    All this money made is put back into the BBC to invest in new programming.

    HD is now a required standard for international sales so the investment should make more money for the BBC which means more HD programming for viewers.


    I think anyone would rather watch Top Gear in HD than you've been framed.

  • Comment number 68.

    "I think anyone would rather watch Top Gear in HD than you've been framed.", except for Boilerplated, of course, who I don't think would be seen dead watching TG.

  • Comment number 69.

    #67. At 11:49pm on 29 Sep 2009, Andrew Knight wrote:

    "I disagree with your condemnation, people can find plenty of commericaly avaliable material to help them when they want to buy a car."

    Yes, and there are many commercial 'Boy Racer' type magazines and DVDs etc. too, so the BBC should scrap Top Gear then, that is what you have implied!

    "Here is the citation for the claim.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/1657807.stm"


    That URL does NOT back up your claim one bit, either cite a reference to your claim that only Fifth Gear can 'road test' cars or withdraw.

    "You can copyright a format , you don't see ready, steady, cook on other channels despite the fact there are lots of other cookery shows made."

    You seem to be confusing programme Format and Genre (the two are not the same), for example, Rick Stein isn't the only TV chef nor the only one to cook fish, so why do you think that only the Fifth Gear programme can road test cars?

    "And Top Gear is far more sucessful than you've been framed."

    I was commenting on your "It makes money" comment, we were not comparing viewing figures per se, I'm sure a bit of research could suggest plenty of programmes that have generated as much or more income than TG and have/had the same or greater viewer share - again, TG is nothing exceptional.

    "They also go on tour and have good sales of merchandise like DVD's and CD's and other merchandise."

    As other programmes have and do, your point being what, exactly?

    "All this money made is put back into the BBC to invest in new programming."

    Are you 100% sure about that, isn't TG owned by an independent production company? Anyway, any programme sold or marketed by the BBC's commercial arm does the same, there have been many (period) drama and natural history programmes - for example - that have been sold to other broadcasters, on DVD or have magazine off-shoots that have made money in the same way as TG does - again, TG in nothing exceptional.

    "HD is now a required standard for international sales so the investment should make more money for the BBC which means more HD programming for viewers."

    Well yes, but that is a natural progression, just like colour took over from B&W, but any marketable programme made in HD would also 'make more money for the BBC which means more HD programming for viewers.', and who says that some other programme made in HD would not do better in this respect. Again, TG is nothing exceptional in being able to make money.

    "I think anyone would rather watch Top Gear in HD than you've been framed."

    That doesn't say much though, many otherwise rubbish programmes are better than YBF...

  • Comment number 70.

    68. At 00:31am on 30 Sep 2009, paul_geaton wrote:

    "except for Boilerplated, of course, who I don't think would be seen dead watching TG."

    I just don't see any point in watching TG, it's format and set are pure tat, it contains no worthwhile information whilst at the same time encourages very poor driving standards (if not outright irresponsible behaviour on or off the highway) - in short TG is nothing but the very worst of fast food for television, whilst it might fill a space it contains no (or very little) 'nutritional' value. Money could be better spent, especially on (currently) time/money limited HD productions/transmissions...

    If TG had proper road tests again, and real information for motorists and other road users, I would most certainly watch TG - again... The fact that Fifth Gear can make money out of doing so (even if it is just via advertising income) does prove that TG doesn't have to have the (in my opinion) gutter production values that it has, basically TG is NOT a motoring programme, just the television equivalent of a PG rated 'Lads Mag'.

  • Comment number 71.

    I don't have time to delve further into the differences between formats and genres, if you want a second option to confirm then the information is out there.

    It's one of the highest rated shows for BBC2 so it's not going anywhere, especially if they have just invested in new HD equipment.

    And the great thing about BBC HD is there is plenty to watch.

  • Comment number 72.

    #71. At 12:47pm on 30 Sep 2009, Andrew Knight wrote:

    "I don't have time to delve further into the differences between formats and genres, if you want a second option to confirm then the information is out there."

    More likely, you know that you can't find anything to back up your assertions...

    "It's one of the highest rated shows for BBC2 so it's not going"

    That doesn't actually mean anything as the viewing figures for BBC2 have been dropping. 'X' percent of nothing is still going to be nothing, sort of thing...

    "anywhere, especially if they have just invested in new HD equipment."

    If TG was cancelled the only money wasted would be on the set, the HD production and post production equipment would just get used elsewhere, quite probably on some other more worthwhile production(s), such a such as drama, natural history, the arts or even sports - content that really does do HD justice.

    "And the great thing about BBC HD is there is plenty to watch."

    That is not the impression given by contributions to the various other BBC blogs relating to the HD TV service.

  • Comment number 73.

    @Boilerplated
    Try and sell the idea of the format of who wants to be a millionaire to the BBC or sell the idea of a cookery show like ready steady cook to C4. I don't think ITV or the BBC or the format owners will be very happy.

    Hole in the wall needs to be cancelled first. The Top Gear North Pole broadcast shows it is worthy of HD. It covered ,wildlife and the scenery of the route to the magnetic North Pole along side the car vs dog sled challenge.

    HD production cost are falling all the time so more content will be avaliable in HD.
    Doctor Who will be back in HD soon,originally it couldn't be broadcast in HD because of the high cost of producing the graphics in HD but those costs have fallen to make it affordable.

    The Autumn blog post shows there is far more content in HD than last year avaliable.
    From a sports angle things are set to get even better with The Winter Olympics, World Cup and Commonwealth games. F1 maybe also be broadcast in HD. The Open Golf has already been confirmed as making the switch to join HD coverage of events like the 6 nations.



    There needs to be as much HD content avaliable so that everyone who buys freesat or other services to get HD feels they get good value for money.

  • Comment number 74.

    #73, Andrew I fully support your argument but I think the point's been made now. If Boilerplated comes back to you again then I fear he (or she?) is just out to wind up. Each to their own, he doesn't like TG but fortunately he's not the one who we needed to persuade. Danielle got the point and that's the main thing. I'm hoping to be glued to my screen for the better bits of TG in HD on 15 Nov and, during the puerile nonsense bits in the studio I'll probably be opening/drinking a bottle of wine.

  • Comment number 75.

    #73

    "73. At 1:43pm on 30 Sep 2009, Andrew Knight wrote:

    @Boilerplated
    Try and sell the idea of the format of who wants to be a millionaire to the BBC or sell the idea of a cookery show like ready steady cook to C4. I don't think ITV or the BBC or the format owners will be very happy."


    But road testing cars is like cooking or indeed a competition it's a Genre, not a programme Format, go away and work-out/find-out the difference, please...

    Think about what you imply in your comment above, "Who wants to be a Millionaire" is a competition, if you are correct no other programme could use the competition genre, that means that Ch4 would not be able to make "Deal or no Deal", ITV would not be able to make "Golden Balls" the BBC would not be able to make "The Weakest Link" and the list goes on.

  • Comment number 76.

    @Boilerplated

    Why would the BBC want to copy a show from Five? It was the BBC that rested the format of road testing and the BBC created something even better.

    I know there are people that don't like the fact Top Gear changed but Channel Five provide what they want.
    There is little reason to cancel Top Gear when it is so popular to provide a show made already by another channel.

    The BBC needs to make sure that those that watch get BBC HD get a wide variety of programmes. And Top Gear is one of those most requested shows on this blog and the BBC has listend which is great.

  • Comment number 77.

    In reply to comments @ #76

    You really don't ubnderstand what a Genre is and what a (programme)
    format is do you, and until you do it's utterly pointless trying to debate the issue [FX of a gust of wind over head]...

  • Comment number 78.

    For people who like Clarkson & Co, banter and amusing features, there's Top Gear. For people who want "serious car tests and reviews" there's Fifth Gear. What's wrong with both existing?
    This way, both interests are covered.

  • Comment number 79.

    @Boilerplated

    The BBC won't waste money reproducing a show made by Five, it would be a waste of license fee money.
    The Top gear format is more popular than the Fifth gear format in terms of viewers and popularity not just in the UK but in many other countries.

    Post 78 sums it up.

  • Comment number 80.

    #78. At 09:33am on 01 Oct 2009, TiggsPanther wrote:

    "For people who like Clarkson & Co, banter and amusing features, there's Top Gear. For people who want "serious car tests and reviews" there's Fifth Gear."

    Indeed, so those who want populist 'tat' can watch "Motors TV" even, so why does the BBC need to waste money on Top Gear then, the BBC should just cancel Top Gear and be done with it, if they are not going to 'Inform, educate and [only then] entertain' like Fifth Gear at least tries to do.

    Why can't both "Top Gear" and "Fifth Gear" have proper road tests, heck TG could still feature the same cars as now (I have no problems if TG was to carry out proper road test on quality and Super cars, it might actually increase the viewing figures as the well healed and lotto winners tune back in!... The shows format just lacks quality, never mind the fact that the shows ethics are totally wrong and irresponsible (to the vast majority of mature adults), a once great motoring programme has been turned into nothing but a 'Lads Mag' for TV.

    Also, suggesting that, because one programme (already) does proper road tests then others shouldn't is like suggesting that because the BBC does news (and has done since it's inception) no other UK broadcaster needs or should 'do news'!...

  • Comment number 81.

    79. At 11:46am on 01 Oct 2009, Andrew Knight wrote:

    "The BBC won't waste money reproducing a show made by Five, it would be a waste of license fee money."

    Best they scrap their news programmes then, all their games shows, in fact is there any point in having the BBC at all as every genre or programme format is being done by at least one other broadcaster!...

  • Comment number 82.

    Boilerplated,

    We get it - you don't like the show.

    Many others do. Get over it.

    You are affecting the gravitas of your other posts about picture quality etc. The more you bang-on about this pet hate of yours the less credible your other very valid points become.

  • Comment number 83.

    Should we just ban everything that is fun? I'm sure there are shows you like that other viewers of Top Gear don't but I don't think they would wish them to be cancelled.

    Top Gear do great reviews of caravans, although I wouldn't put a deposit down on the one they feature on the show as those piano removal people next door aren't very reliable.

  • Comment number 84.

    #82. At 1:49pm on 01 Oct 2009, mwbennett wrote:

    "You are affecting the gravitas of your other posts about picture quality etc. The more you bang-on about this pet hate of yours the less credible your other very valid points become."

    The same can be said about those who keep banging on about how great TG is!

    Remember, more people do NOT watch Top Gear than do, there are many far more worthy programmes that deserve the HD treatment long before TG ever will.

  • Comment number 85.

    Enough already! Heading off topic and getting nasty.

    Be nice, stay on topic.

  • Comment number 86.

    #83. At 1:52pm on 01 Oct 2009, Andrew Knight wrote:

    "Should we just ban everything that is fun? I'm sure there are shows you like that other viewers of Top Gear don't but I don't think they would wish them to be cancelled."

    The point that you can't seem to grasp is that TG is nothing other than irresponsible, driving is not just about having a good laugh or how fast one can drive.

    "Top Gear do great reviews of caravans, although I wouldn't put a deposit down on the one they feature on the show as those piano removal people next door aren't very reliable."

    You make my point, about TG being irresponsible, very nicely, perhaps the programme, it's presenters and those who watch it will one day mature...

  • Comment number 87.

    @Boilerplated

    Everything has fewer people watching than the total population, even the Olympics does but no one suggest stopping that.
    Top Gear follow all the safety rules.

    There must be something good about it as it was the most requested show for HD.

  • Comment number 88.

    #87. At 5:36pm on 01 Oct 2009, Andrew Knight wrote:

    "Everything has fewer people watching than the total population, even the Olympics does but no one suggest stopping that."

    But more people watch the Olympics than do Top Gear.

    "Top Gear follow all the safety rules."

    For the race (or stunt) track, but then that would be why Richard Hammond spent a few months in hospital after his crash...

    "There must be something good about it as it was the most requested show for HD."

    Not really, it just shows the typical demographics of those who have bought into the HD platform, not how popular the programme is - as the old agade goes, 100% of Zero is still a big fat Zero...

  • Comment number 89.

    Danielle, a great taster tonight of next month's TG show, with the repeat of the Polar Challenge. I think I've said it before here but it's worth reiterating, the DOG is a distraction from the great camerawork and the sound would really benefit from being in 5.1. Otherwise, at the risk of stirring Boilerplated from his slumber, I can only say my appetite is totally whetted.

  • Comment number 90.

    I watched the Polar edition, the first time I'd seen it in HD, and it looked absolutely stunning. Looking forward to the new series...

    Sorry to bring this up again, but can you tell us whether the F1 race in Abu Dhabi will be shown in HD. I've read that an HD feed will be available, but I'm still waiting to hear whether the BBC will be taking it. Please can you let us know Danielle! Please!

  • Comment number 91.

    I wouldnt expect F1 in HD from the BBC. They won the rights to just 10 (yes just TEN) championship football matches and after 1 match been HD they decide they cant be bothered to do it in HD and show Strictly come dancing instead. Sums up the BBC HD channel. Bid for big sport which people would assume will be HD then disrespect its fans by just showing SD. Pathetic.

  • Comment number 92.

    Dear wednesday83

    Thank you for your posts. Top Gear and SCD are very popular shows but can I just remind you of one of the Trusts points in the BBC HD Public Value Test:

    3.36 It was also put to us that there was an inconsistency in our draft service licence in stating that sport and films would be a minor component of the channel while allowing for up to 20 per cent of the programming to come from these categories. We agree that 20 per cent should not be described as a minor component of the channel and have revised the service licence accordingly. We consider though that 20 per cent is a reasonable volume of sport and film content. It allows the flexibility to provide what we view as an important part of the genre mix for the HD channel. We disagree with a submission that the exception to exceed the 20 per cent volume for major events is not clear. The service description that we published at the start of the process said: “In years when there are big, infrequently occurring international tournaments (including the Olympics or the World Cup but not annual events such as Wimbledon) the 20 per cent threshold may be breached. On average, this could be expected to happen every other year.”

    Long section I know. As the UK HD market matures we hope there is opportunity for HD sport.

    Andy

  • Comment number 93.

    @andyquested

    Is it 20% of 4pm-1am or 20% out of 24 hours/365 days? Events like F1 for most races take place outside of current BBC HD hours.

    Is there a HD must broadcast rule for events like The Winter Olympics?

    @Boilerplated

    Top Gear is one of the most viewed shows on BBC2. I don't think anyone would consider using ratings only to decide when a show should be stopped as most of BBC2 would go off air.
    Hole in the Wall in HD should be stopped though, the money could be spent elsewhere on a better HD production.

    Top Gear follows all the safety rules and they certainly don't won't to have accidents.

    Typical demographics certainly don't apply to BBC HD, Sunday will be the home for Top Gear, the same day that also sees The Antiques Roadshow, Countryfile and Gardeners World broadcast.



    Top Gear going HD has meant other BBC shows will be shown in HD as well as they share the same production company.

  • Comment number 94.

    #92, for anyone with an interest in further reading on this matter (Wednesday?) Andy is quoting from this document:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/consult/hdtv/pvt_final_conclusions.pdf

    and I notice there's a very recent update to the licence too, though not a lot's changed:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/regulatory_framework/service_licences/tv/2009/bbc_hd_aug09.pdf

  • Comment number 95.

    Im sorry Andy but theres only 10 championship game the BBC has. If they knew they wouldnt be covering them in HD then why did BBC bid for them???

    It seems strange that BBC HD will be spending hours and hours on the winter olympics yet a 90 min football match doesnt get shown.

    We have lots and lots of repeats yet no room for the most popular sport in the UK.

    If you cant do big sport in HD, simply dont bid for them.

  • Comment number 96.

    Dear wednesday83

    Thank you for the post but I'm not sure what you are getting at here - there is still a very large audience who cannot receive HD and a small but significant proportion who haven't got full access to digital terrestrial.

    These games are enjoyed by many who just don't have to digital services yet.

    Andy

  • Comment number 97.

    The point is Andy, The BBC only has TEN games. Instead of showing all the repeats and constant preview loopS im sure that BBC HD would have been allowed to go slightly over the 20%.

    10 games is not alot. If you cannott deliver in HD then let someone else who can bid.

  • Comment number 98.

    @andyquested
    That statement is akin to driving around in a circle. BBC HD won't provide the sport in HD because there aren't enough viewers but no one will invest in HD because there isn't the content they want.

    BBC HD is nearing 1 in 10 homes and events like The Winter Olympics, The 6 nations, The World Cup, The Commonwealth games and perhaps Formula One among other sports in HD on the BBC will mean take up will increase even more next year.

    The BBC needs to provide consistent content month in month out, it's getting there with some of the shows like Top Gear and major natural history shows and other popular shows being broadcast like Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow but regular sport is sadly lacking.

    Last year no sport was shown from the end of The Olympics to the start of the 6 nations.
    The BBC has a few football games that it can bring in HD, it has already shown one in HD.

    Why can't hole in the wall be delayed until Sunday to make way for Sat Derby County v Queens Park Rangers on October the 24th.

    And Cardiff City v Nottingham Forest at 5pm on Sunday the 1st of November won't be an issue for BBC HD as there is no vital must see programming on then.

    And Newcastle United v Middlesbrough on the 20th of December kicks of at 1pm so outside of scheduled programming so BBC HD can bring that game.



    Over the next few months sport will come no where near breaching the 20% barrier.

  • Comment number 99.

    #96, Andy, you didn't answer @Andrew when he asked whether the 20% for Sport and Films was 1/5 of the day, i.e. nearly 5 hours/day or 1/5 of your BBC HD broadcasting hours. Either way, even if you showed all the remaining Soccer games this year, and all of the Autumn Rugby Internationals in full, there's no way you'd even approach your limit. We're not exactly inundated with films on the BBC HD channel are we? And by simulcasting them in HD you're not depriving those who can't access Digital terrestrial from watching them in SD, so I don't understand the point you're making. Andrew's right, you're not going to get additional viewers until you give them something to watch. You've stated elsewhere that you want to reduce the repeat rate on BBC HD before you apply to the Trust for extra broadcasting hours. What better way to do that than by filling 1/5 of your "broadcast" day with sport and films?

  • Comment number 100.

    @ Andrew Knight post 98

    'And Cardiff City v Nottingham Forest at 5pm on Sunday the 1st of November won't be an issue for BBC HD as there is no vital must see programming on then.

    And Newcastle United v Middlesbrough on the 20th of December kicks of at 1pm so outside of scheduled programming so BBC HD can bring that game.'

    Come on Andy what will be the excuse for not showing the above games in HD. Cant be bothered probably,we still have had no explation why the other games were not shown in HD.

    Football in SD is so last century wake up and smell the coffee.


 

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