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Round up: Monday 28th December 2009

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Nick Reynolds Nick Reynolds | 20:24 UK time, Monday, 28 December 2009

Some delicious extra portions and left overs from the back of the fridge:

BBC Research and Development blog presents three videos:

1.Navigating Audio - An Experimental Spiral

2.Making things Vanish -The Truematte Technology

Quentin Cooper ... is introduced to the incredible retro reflective cloth invented at BBC R&D which has transformed the use of Chroma-Key on set and on location.

3.BBC Trust visit to R&D - 3D Demo

If you've been following the BBC HD picture quality conversation you may be interested in this: "BBC HD 'in the clear', says Which? Labs"

Michael Briggs, Which? TV expert said: 'Even with the change in picture quality between programmes we assert that all BBC HD broadcasts are all of an HD quality. If there is any difference between the new HD broadcasts and the old HD broadcasts, then it is tiny, and smaller than the existing differences between any two HD programmes filmed in a studio or on location.'

And finally Tech Radar provides a handy list: 8 reasons the BBC Trust approved Project Canvas

Happy New Year!

Nick Reynolds is Social Media Executive, BBC Online

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.

    The "Which?" article is merely the *opinion* of the "experts" at that publication. Before any credence can be given to it, they must first provide details of:
    a) The source(s) of the material used for comparison.
    b) The programme titles used for comparison.
    c) What playback facilities were used.
    d) The type of displays used.
    e) The viewing conditions.
    f) Why they decided to perform the "tests".
    g) Why they didn't compare the technical quality of BBC HD against the technical quality of other broadcasters HD channels.

  • Comment number 3.

    What a joke....

    Nick, I am amazed you have the guile to mention the which statement...

    talk about scraping the barrel, the way it's written and used smack of them being asked to say it.....

  • Comment number 4.

    That Which? article is nothing but spin - there's is no evidence, or substance to the article at all!

  • Comment number 5.

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

  • Comment number 6.

    Am I surprised Nick you posted the Which report? No! Are you going to post the petition to the Prime Minister link or do an article on that? That is the next stage of the HD 'Conversation' so keep up!

  • Comment number 7.

    I thought Which Magazine didn't allow advertising?

  • Comment number 8.

    Nick Reynolds, you are obviously a company man. I was astounded by the Which Report, which was so obviously flawed; if Michael Briggs, the so-called expert could not see the recent degradation in picture quality (had he seen Gavin & Stacey and Ray Mears?), to recall just two so-called HD programmes, I give up. And you seem to endorse this, in the face of literally hundred of complaints about the BBCHD picture quality.
    Can you not see this degradation with your own eyes? Did you see the recent football smearing? Sorry Nick, you need a visit to Specsavers, along with Michael Briggs.

  • Comment number 9.

    8 dpgs, to be fair, maybe it's just that Nick hasn't got an HD TV at home. He might be taking Danielle Nagler and Michael Brigg's word for it that we're all the ones who should be going to Specsavers. And I'm sure that in the spirit of fairness he will be posting a link to the No.10 HD PQ Petition site on these Blogs in due course.

  • Comment number 10.

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

  • Comment number 11.

    The article from Which Labs has already been linked to in a comment on this blog. I also notice that Paul Gaton has linked to it from the Twitter he's set up.

    This blog has linked to many different aspects of the HD PQ conversation including critical ones and will continue to do so. People are also free to put links in their comments as long as those links do not break the house rules.

    No more abuse of the host (i.e. me) please.

  • Comment number 12.

    Sorry should be Paul Geaton.

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.

    Nick,

    sorry if you feel it's a personal attack on you, however, you cannot honestly believe nobody would pick you up on this?

    Now, if you wanted to gain some credibility with this Which item, then posting up the background to it would be a good start, as from what we have seen so far, it has all the hall marks of a paid-for report.

  • Comment number 15.

    Now, if you wanted to gain some credibility with this Which item, then posting up the background to it would be a good start, as from what we have seen so far, it has all the hall marks of a paid-for report.

    Which don't do paid for reports. Are you libellously suggesting they took a bribe? Maybe you should state it explicitly so they can sue you.

    Phazer

  • Comment number 16.

    LOL!

    I am not suggesting anything, read what I said again.

  • Comment number 17.

    Simon Scuffham - background is provided by the link to Danielle's most recent blog post.

  • Comment number 18.

    Nick,

    Respectfully, the "background" being asked for is that listed in Post 2.

    Otherwise the Which report is just unsubstantiated spin (or at least - that's what it looks like).

    So for some credibility, some hard facts as listed in post 2 are needed.

  • Comment number 19.

    Questions about Which's metholodolgy should be addressed to Which. But they have a good reputation in the field of consumer journalism and so are worth linking to.

  • Comment number 20.

    My spelling is terrible - should be "methodology".

  • Comment number 21.

    "they have a good reputation in the field of consumer journalism"

    You sure?

    They once recommended a certain model of vaccuum cleaner that I wouldn't have in my home for free!

  • Comment number 22.

    Nick @ 19 and 20
    The difficulty I, and probably others, have with the "Which?" article is that is not an end-user comparison of BBC HD with the HD channels of other broadcasters, it is a defence of the technical changes made by the BBC. If "Which?" defended design changes made by a TV manufacturer, readers could justifiably complain that the magazine was being biased.
    Unless the detail of their "tests" is published their *opinion* is this matter only carries the same weight as anyone else's opinion.

    In any case, the EBU have recommended that the transmission bitrate for the BBC's HD encoders should be >12Mb/s. Personally, I have more faith in the EBU's opinion than that of Which? magazine.

  • Comment number 23.

    OK, whist we are on the subject...

    What provoked which into doing these 'tests'?

    as in, where they 'asked' to conduct them?

    as already said, seems a little odd when you consider what the staple diet of which is to compare different products from different vendors etc etc etc.

    also, they usually publish a fully detailed report on the tests, the criteria, the results, etc etc. whereas here we are presented with a one-liner that seems very supportive of the official BBC line on the PQ front...

    now, call me cynical, but this all smacks of favours etc...

    by all means, tell me I am wrong, however, looking at it from my perspective... "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it might just be a duck."

  • Comment number 24.

    Nick you talk rubbish I am afraid - the Which report is a subjective review from one person - however the EBU report comes from experts in the field.

    The guy who did the report Michael Briggs is more than likely testing irons and microwave ovens in the next edition of Which yet the BBC have taken his word as major step in their defence.



  • Comment number 25.

    Sigh ... would now be a good time to put fights over the BBC-HD bitrate to one side and simply say "Happy new year one and all"?

    Great item about BBC R&D's work on Chromakey by the way. This sort of stuff is one of the many reasons I think our licence fee is great value.

  • Comment number 26.

    #19. At 5:13pm on 30 Dec 2009, Nick Reynolds wrote:

    "Questions about Which's metholodolgy should be addressed to Which. But they have a good reputation in the field of consumer journalism and so are worth linking to."

    That is a matter of opinion! I think what people were doing Nick was question the BBC's opinion on this matter, and as such that is on-topic as the URL link is in this blog - many people do not consider that "WHICH" has anything like a good reputation and thus the BBC is wrong in citing any test that "WHICH" carries out. Sorry but "WHICH" might have been good once upon a time but now they are nothing more than the what "Readers Digest" is to publishing...

  • Comment number 27.

    Nick,

    None of the R&D videos work outside the UK.

    It's a bit depressing if the BBC thinks this is acceptable for an Internet posting.

    I disagree with programme content being blocked - but accept that there is a discussion to be had.

    But these videos are in-house content.

    Surely there must be a way of tagging videos in the embedded video system to indicate it's worldwide/proper Internet cleared?

  • Comment number 28.

    "...the BBC have taken his word as major step in their defence."

    By linking to this article I am simply doing my job as blog owner i.e. linking to a selection of information around the HD PQ conversation - just as there are links currently on the right hand side of this blog to other aspects of the conversation (e.g. AV Forums).

    I am surprised that people here are criticising me for simply linking to something. Particularly as this link has already been posted in a comment by someone else and Paul Geaton is linking to it via his Twitter.

    Should Paul not be linking to it? Does the fact that he is linking to it make him a "company man"?

    As I said before questions about the methodology of the Which report should be addressed to Which.

  • Comment number 29.

    28. At 3:38pm on 01 Jan 2010, Nick Reynolds wrote:

    "By linking to this article I am simply doing my job as blog owner i.e. linking to a selection of information around the HD PQ conversation [..//..]"

    Nick, had "WHICH" said that BBC HD was "utter cr*p" would the same URL have been posted or is this linking a marriage of convenience?

    Test methodology is irrelevant to the the real questions being asked, from what I see, why is the BBC linking to "WHICH" in the first place, especially when there appears to be other more technical web sites available, such as the EBU.

  • Comment number 30.

    Boilerplated - as I've already explained this blog links to lots of different websites, some critical of the BBC some not. This includes links that commenters have put in their comments. I'm linking to the Which report because it is interesting, just as the links currently on the right hand side of the blog to Engadget and AV Forums are interesting. If the Which site had been critical I would have linked to it.

  • Comment number 31.

    'If the Which site had been critical I would have linked to it'

    Sorry Nick, I very much doubt it.
    And the reason I called you a 'company man' is your (and Danielle Nagler and AndyQ's) seemingly complete refusal to believe that there is any problem with BBCHD picture quality. All of you are toeing what seems to be an 'official line'. We (the so-called) geeks can see the degradation with our own eyes. Can you not see it?

  • Comment number 32.

    dpgs400 - by linking to the Which website I am not following any "company line". I am doing my job as host/person in charge of this blog i.e. linking to information which people who read this blog might find interesting.

    As I have already said there are many links from this blog to material critical of the BBC.

  • Comment number 33.

    I would have been amazed had this Which article not been linked to. Like it or not, it's a fairly significant event in the BBC HD War. As has been mentioned, Paul Geaton has been linking to it himself.

    Time to lay off Nick for doing his job and focus efforts elsewhere.

  • Comment number 34.

    As Nick said, address the bad report directly with Which? I have sent a complaint about the article, if you dont agree with their opinion then do the same. And personally I wouldn't buy a lot things which claim to recommend

  • Comment number 35.

    All well and good BUT!

    way I see it, there is no way Which? can have done these tests without the support of the BBC HD guys, else where would they have got the source programme streams from for the 'old' encoder at the old bitrates?

    there are a few people that have the orriginal streams stored on their SKY+ boxes and the like, but for Which? to have this would imply they had planned to do this test some 6+ months ago - and I find that un-likley?

  • Comment number 36.

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

  • Comment number 37.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

 

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