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Open Post 27 January 2010

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Paul Murphy Paul Murphy | 22:00 UK time, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Less Stick, more carrotI'd like to invite your comments and questions on the work of the Internet blog and the topics and areas that we cover. We've run Open Posts before and they've always been interesting. It's an opportunity for you to help steer the direction of the blog with your suggestions and ideas.

Nick answered the question "What is an Open Post?" very succinctly in a previous post so I've lifted his words:

This post is for comments and questions about anything to do with BBC Online, BBC iPlayer, BBC HD, and the BBC's digital and mobile services.
But as it's an open post you can leave a comment about whatever you like.
I can't guarantee that every single comment or question will get a response. But I'll try.

There's already a post about BBC HD Picture: BBC HD Picture Quality: some myths laid to rest and I'd like to keep related comments there. Similarly there's some lively stuff on Graham Plumb's post on Freeview HD content management and comments on this topic should go there.


Paul Murphy is the Editor of the Internet blog. The picture is of a post-it note in Internet blog Towers from bring a slogan to work day.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    a. Please ask Danielle to reply to comments made on her HD channel posts, it's frustrating to see points made and then not responded to.

    b. Could the Corp look at replicating the Satellite Red Button service online, maybe within the iPlayer, in a decent quality, it's several months since DTT viewers were deprived of most of the services offered and I for one am missing them considerably?

    c. Please also look at the 'from other news sites' algorithm online as frequently the stories do not reflect the main news item content.

    d. Eurovision Song Contest UK Preselect. Please open access beyond the UK as it's frustrating for other ESC followers abroad to not be able to see it. It's infair to the UK entry not to get the publicity. Virtually all other selections can be viewed directly as I've been doing recently.

    any more and I'll add later, that'll do for starters.

  • Comment number 2.

    Do you know where I can get more information about /programmes/people? For example, which alternate serialisations are available for which pages and what their urls are.
    All I can find is a note that says that all the urls are changing by the end of 2009 and people should wait till then to use them.

  • Comment number 3.

    I think the BBC iplayer should be updated to support interlaced content and 50p content including 1080p50 as well as more bitrate options and 3D. Also BBC HD should have more content shot at 50hz not half that since that is what we've had for ages in SD. Since BBC research has done research on high frame rate television, the BBC iplayer could be changed to be one of the first players to be made to support even higher frame rates (eg. 100hz - 120hz native content).

    Also allow BBC make iplayer content not time out after a certain time period - make it viewable at any time forever.

    Also, re: point "d." in the first post - allow UK viewers access to past and future contests and pre-selections in HD through iplayer and/or Blu-ray, since the BBC is part of the EBU and is involved in meetings it should have a say in their decisions.

  • Comment number 4.

    Another call for higher frame-rates here (temporal resolution?). Anything less than i50 results in a jerky, poorly resolved image whenever the camera pans. A high frame-rate progressive broadcast is the preference.

  • Comment number 5.

    Is there any chance of BBC News multi-screens being available on the Virgin Media? The BBCi (text) service in general on Virgin Media seems rather limited compared to the Freeview version, it would be nice if there was some consistency between the different platforms.

  • Comment number 6.

    Time it took me to find out the footy scores last night:

    Ceefax: 5 seconds.
    BBC red button: 45 seconds.

    I know that TVs all have Ceefax \ Teletext caches in them which gives Ceefax the advantage, but from a consumer perspective it's a bit daft to replace something with something better, which is, based on the main criteria (speed), actually considerably worse. The end of the day, it's just information... I don't care about the bells and whistles... I just want to know what the score is.

    can the Red Button boffins not form a working group with other broadcasters to get the TV manufacturers to cache digital text in the set? Or can you not look at introducing an alternative, "Red Button Lite" which is a heavily compressed stream of raw text (no video, graphics, etc?)?

    I think you'll find when you finally turn off Ceefax... there'll be a lot of unhappy people.

  • Comment number 7.

    BBC HD Audio Quality.

    I know there have been threads in the past on this, but they are getting a bit long in the tooth now - Audio quality and levels on BBC HD are my pet peeve. I listen through a Virgin Media V+ optical feed to my Dolby Digital decoder and hi-fi seperate amp blocks and speakers.

    1. There is very little 5.1 sound on BBC HD in general. Most seems to be 2.0 which brings up the second problem.

    2. The decoder sees the stereo from normal SD channels and performs a pro-logic decode to make the center and rear speakers. Switch to BBC HD and the 2.0 then takes away the centre speaker making centre placed commentaries and voiceover speech too low. Up has to go the volume to compensate for the loss. This leads to the next issue.

    3. On comes the BBC HD channel idents between programs at this new level - but now in 5.1 through all speakers and it nearly blows your bl**dy head off!!

    Any chance we could get things better balanced or is it just my set-up causing this??

  • Comment number 8.

    #3. At 01:01am on 28 Jan 2010, HD1080 wrote:

    "Also, re: point "d." in the first post - allow UK viewers access to past and future contests and pre-selections in HD through iplayer and/or Blu-ray, since the BBC is part of the EBU and is involved in meetings it should have a say in their decisions."

    HD, that issues was done to death in a previous open post, the same answers then apply now.

  • Comment number 9.

    #6. At 08:52am on 28 Jan 2010, digital_elysium wrote:

    "I think you'll find when you finally turn off Ceefax... there'll be a lot of unhappy people."

    When has the BBC worried about such things?!

    As it is, I think that digital text/red button will be sort lived (relative to Teletext services), it's already easier to just look up the same content via the web and as more people receive acceptable broadband services the less people will need much of the "Press Red" content.

  • Comment number 10.

    Okay, my personal annoyance. Please either publish the true program schedule, or run programs to the correct time, your choice. What's the point of PVR's accurate to the second when starting at 7.00pm actually means starting somewhere from 6.57 to 7.03?

    BBC Radio manages it, satellite channels manage it, why is it so hard for the BBC? All this fancy technology, and we still miss the start from programs!

  • Comment number 11.

    Paul, some issues I would like to raise;

    1/. Has there been any progress on the ability to report a user account for review/moderation rather than being only able to report individual comments, this would be useful when comment-spammers or Shock-Jock (trolling) accounts are created etc.

    2/. Was an answer ever forthcoming as to why our own user names get changed to "you" in our own browsers, this was commented on in a previous blog at the time the software change was made. It's actually making it far more difficult to follow the conversation in some instances (or indeed find our own comments or others citations of our own comments later), most peoples user name only crops up in relation to ones own comments but the word "you" can crop up in just about any comment refer to anybody or no one! Could the BBC please seriously think about reversing this ill-thought out change at the earliest opportunity. I suspect that it was an attempt to make 'the user experience more personal', style over function again... :-(

    3/. Can the BBC please give consideration to transposing the info-boxes "BBC on blogs" with the "Topical posts in this blog", the latter is far more important to those who are accessing the blogs other than by RSS or a mobile device etc. It just seems totally daft that one has to scroll to all but the bottom of the page to find out in which blogs have recent comments added. What is more, because of the disproportionate length if the "Categories" box the keyboards own End button isn't much use either as one ends up having to scroll back up, this must also be causing accessibility issues.

    Also, on a related issue to the above, would it be possible for the comment count in the 'Topical posts' box to disregard removed comments, it's very frustrating to check back on a previous blog only to find the most recent comment(s) have been removed.

    4/. Multiple accounts being used by the same person (and in some instances the same blog(s) to bolster their own POV), what is the BBC stance on this, does it break the house rules, if so how can such 'abuse' be reported.

  • Comment number 12.

    Now that Sky have announced their 3D TV service will start in April, what are the BBC's plans in this area?

  • Comment number 13.

    Paul, another matter, could you get someone to answer my questions, raised on Seetha Kumar recent "Science on BBC Online" blog, about the security of our personal data given to the BBC/Lab UK online tests please.

  • Comment number 14.

    Re: #3/HD1080: +1 for fixing the interlace problem on iPlayer. While getting the full 1080i would be super, it may be difficult from a bandwidth perspective.

    A decent compromise or interim step would be to do the deinterlacing properly. Right now, motion on iPlayer isn't great.

    It looks like it's just doing a simple blend. Couldn't someone flip the bob+weave switch, please? Pretty-please?

  • Comment number 15.

    #14. At 5:42pm on 28 Jan 2010, Richi Jennings wrote:

    "Re: #3/HD1080: +1 for fixing the interlace problem on iPlayer. While getting the full 1080i would be super, it may be difficult from a bandwidth perspective.

    A decent compromise or interim step would be to do the deinterlacing properly. Right now, motion on iPlayer isn't great."


    But it is acceptable, as the CATCH-UP service that it is meant to be. As you say, higher PQ = a greater bandwidth demand = larger data payloads, this will have serious consistences for the BBC, the ISP's and the end user.

  • Comment number 16.

    I would like to acknowledge the effort of the BBC team in maintaining active and relatively fast websites. However, some of the sites and links like the BBC iplayer take a long time to complete buffering. So, If the team can work on the speed of the iplayer that would be nice.

  • Comment number 17.

    @15/Boilerplated: Not sure what axe you have to grind, but I respectfully disagree.

    Firstly, iPlayer is the only way for many to watch BBC HD. With a few exceptions, one needs to be in a DSO region, serviced by Virgin Media cable, or be able to erect a satellite dish to receive broadcast BBC HD.

    Second, blend deinterlacing reduces the quality of the picture. Bob+weave is usually the best way to deinterlace. You seem to be under the impression that it would require a higher bitrate. Not sure where you got that idea.

  • Comment number 18.

    You are asking for general feedback here but you already have a good feedback mechanism in the shape of your own Points Of View TV Forums. As a member there, the most frustrating thing is that the same points come up again and again yet the BBC does not seem to address them. A few examples:

    Over loud and inappropriate background music.

    "Creative" camerawork. The over-use of handheld cameras makes many programmes unwatchable.

    25p - This looks awful and I'm amazed that those who assess picture quality before broadcast consider it acceptable. Several programmes, such as "Countryfile" have moved to 25p as part of the move to HD. Whilst the increase in resolution is welcome, the reduction in frame rate with its consequent strobing and unnatural look on movement is not.

    Use of the "filmic" effect on many TV programmes. This introduces flicker and strobing on fast moving scenes in the same way as 25p. On the last series of POV, Ben Stephenson denied that the BBC add this effect, but the reply I got when I complained about the use of it in "Casualty" some time ago indicated that it was added in PP. Additionally, when viewing "raw" footage from programmes like Casualty in Out-Take compilation programmes, it can be clearly seen to be "clean" video.

    BBC HD Picture Quality - This has been done to death but Danielle Nagler's seemingly self imposed silence is extremely frustrating. We can see the problems. Why can't she? If the BBC will only ever offer an "HD Lite" service, then please say so and don't insult our intelligence by telling us that the quality reduction is all in our imagination.

    "Celebrities" - The over use of celebs in just about every type of programme.

    There are many more. Check out your own forums for examples.

  • Comment number 19.

    #17. At 10:10pm on 28 Jan 2010, Richi Jennings wrote:

    "@15/Boilerplated: Not sure what axe you have to grind, but I respectfully disagree.

    Firstly, iPlayer is the only way for many to watch BBC HD. With a few exceptions, one needs to be in a DSO region, serviced by Virgin Media cable, or be able to erect a satellite dish to receive broadcast BBC HD."


    Your point being what? The only way I can watch BBC Scotland (for example), living as I do in the south of England, is either via iPlayer or DVB-S, if I want high PQ I just have to accept that I really need to use the latter - if I could not erect a dish then that is tough luck...

    "Second, blend deinterlacing reduces the quality of the picture. Bob+weave is usually the best way to deinterlace. You seem to be under the impression that it would require a higher bitrate. Not sure where you got that idea."

    Which would equate to a TOTAL higher bandwidth requirement (for ISPs and the BBC) as people then opt to use iPlayer as their first preference rather than second or third - 1/. Watch at the time of TX 2/. Record at the time of TX to 'PVR' device and watch later 3/. Watch via iPlayer.

  • Comment number 20.

    re: 14

    The iplayer is still limited to 25hz (yes half of what we've had for years with SD PAL TV) that's the reason for the bad motion.

    That's why I asked for it to be updated to support 50hz (and more) content (50i, 50p etc.).

  • Comment number 21.

    Does this new Open Post Blog thingy supercede the older one?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2009/04/open_post_20092404.html

    Is this the place to ask about the Hosting on the POV boards?

  • Comment number 22.

    As the BBC is now running all these digital radio stations wouldn't an easy way of getting more listeners to offer web streams that are accessible on most portable devices, e.g. phones, instead if building an entire new iPlayer application for each new IS that cones out?

  • Comment number 23.

    That should be OS and comes, sorry.

  • Comment number 24.

    I won't talk about HD PQ as that's been done to death in other Blog posts.

    I think that there's a key question here as to where the BBC is pitching its HD service? Having seen and heard several presenters talking about the Australian Open tennis over the last couple of days, none have mentioned that there are matches being shown on the BBC HD channel.
    This seems to be a common theme.
    The BBC HD channel is mentioned rarely on BBC One / BBC Two and if mentioned at all, it seems to be almost as an afterthought.

    Whilst I understand that the BBC HD channel doesn't have a full channel line-up, surely where a popular programme is being shown in HD the BBC should be shouting it from the rooftops.
    I actively look for HD broadcasts, but I certainly know that many people who own HD-capable satellite equipment often aren't aware that a programme that they are enjoying is being broadcast on the BBC HD Channel.
    The reaction when they're shown is universally positive:
    "Wow, I didn't know it was on in HD."
    "That looks loads better!"

    I believe now that $ky now quote the HD channel first when promoting a programme, followed by the SD simulcast. Obviously $ky have a commercial interest in getting as many HD customers as possible, but I'd guess that the BBC viewing figures for the HD Channel will be taken into account by the BBC Trust when they review the future of the BBC's HD services?

    Back the question asked in #12 completely.
    I think we all understand that perhaps $ky have a -slightly- bigger budget when it comes to these things and will certainly sting all their customers for the additional revenue stream. It would however be interesting to understand what work the BBC is doing in this area and whether this is something that we can ever expect to see coming from a broadcaster with a public service remit?

  • Comment number 25.

    24. At 09:00am on 31 Jan 2010, BananamanUK wrote:

    The reaction when they're shown is universally positive:
    "Wow, I didn't know it was on in HD."
    "That looks loads better!"


    Does it, or is it "Wow, 'I'm looking at the Kings new cloths', it must be better"...

    Considering how many people do not have their SD TV's set up correctly (colour balance wise etc.), what is the betting that many HD sets are not set up correctly either?

    "I believe now that $ky now quote the HD channel first when promoting a programme, followed by the SD simulcast. Obviously $ky have a commercial interest in getting as many HD customers as possible,"

    Wow, how long did that it take to work out!...

    "but I'd guess that the BBC viewing figures for the HD Channel will be taken into account by the BBC Trust when they review the future of the BBC's HD services?"

    I would hope that they totally disregard viewing figures (such figures should be irrelevant to Public Service Broadcasters were 'Required' and 'Needed' should be placed before 'Wanted' content), the questions that should be asked is "What is the PSB need for broadcasting HD TV", "What purpose does such a channel serve".

    "Back the question asked in #12 completely.
    I think we all understand that perhaps $ky have a -slightly- bigger budget when it comes to these things and will certainly sting all their customers for the additional revenue stream."


    Yes, any commercial company has to keep offering new products, if they don't they eventually starve, Gerald Ratner summed this need up, it doesn't matter what you sell as long as you persuade the (gullible) public to buy it... As for 3D TV, it's even more of a gimmick than HD is, utterly pointless, even the new iPad has more point, and that's saying something...!

  • Comment number 26.

    25. At 11:05am on 31 Jan 2010, Boilerplated wrote:

    "Does it, or is it "Wow, 'I'm looking at the Kings new cloths', it must be better"...

    Considering how many people do not have their SD TV's set up correctly (colour balance wise etc.), what is the betting that many HD sets are not set up correctly either?"


    No I understand that completely and like I said at the beginning of my post, this wasn't trying to revive the PQ debate. Even on the poorest of Factory Default TVs you can (usually) see a difference with an HD broadcast.
    Is there such a thing as a 'correct' TV setup anyhow? Yes you can try to set any TV as close to the D65 and Rec.709 standards as you like, but ultimately the viewer has to like the picture. I like my TV to be as close a reproduction of the source material as possible, but others prefer a little more colour saturation, edge enhancement etc. Personal choice isn't it? I wouldn't choose to dictate to anyone.

    "Wow, how long did that it take to work out!..."

    I'm simply making the point that the BBC don't seem (to me) to be promoting the HD channel as much as they could. If the viewing figures aren't there, then what's the incentive for anyone to invest further time and effort improving the programming or any of the technical aspects of the channel? Who would they be improving it for, a minority of the public who understand and appreciate HD broadcasts? It would seem an expensive exercise to carry out if it doesn't become more mainstream and hence visible in the public eye.

    "I would hope that they (The BBC Trust) totally disregard viewing figures (such figures should be irrelevant to Public Service Broadcasters were 'Required' and 'Needed' should be placed before 'Wanted' content), the questions that should be asked is "What is the PSB need for broadcasting HD TV", "What purpose does such a channel serve"."

    I agree with the principle of what you're saying, but I disagree that viewing figures should be ignored. They're still an important indicator of public opinion. Obviously the commercial PSBs are quite keen to ensure that they keep theirs high. ;)

    "As for 3D TV, it's even more of a gimmick than HD is, utterly pointless, even the new iPad has more point, and that's saying something...!"

    Well yes, I agree with you there. I thought even Avatar was massively overrated. The iPad? It's a iPod touch for people who can only use their fists isn't it... ;)

  • Comment number 27.

    #26. At 7:50pm on 31 Jan 2010, BananamanUK wrote:

    "Even on the poorest of Factory Default TVs you can (usually) see a difference with an HD broadcast."

    Out of all the HD TV's I've seen in action (and most likely on their Factory Default settings), an as good or better picture is available from my SD 50Hz Panasonic CRT set...

    "Is there such a thing as a 'correct' TV setup anyhow? Yes you can try to set any TV as close to the D65 and Rec.709 standards as you like, but ultimately the viewer has to like the picture."

    Utter tosh, a picture is either 'legal' (technically correct) or it's not, if the viewer doesn't like it then the viewer needs to be educated, not the settings changed! Black is at 0 (unless you're in American NTSC land, were it's 7.5) and white is at 100 IRE, no one in their right minds would suggest anything otherwise, if you see what I mean.

    I would most certainly like to see both a SD and HD testcard broadcast - the extra digital payload will be very small - probably accessed via the "Red Button" services or perhaps (for SD) it could replace the shut-down 'captions' on the two digital children's channels and BBC3 and 4, the existing captions are totally pointless anyway, they are just repeating information that is or should be in the channels EPG.

    But I digress...

    "It would seem an expensive exercise to carry out if it doesn't become more mainstream and hence visible in the public eye."

    HD will (eventually) become mainstream, just as Colour, Wide Screen and Flat Panel TVs have, unless another new television system overtakes it, with the exception of 4:3 TVs try buying either a B&W or CRT set...

    HD is in the public eye, in just about every retail store that sells TV's, it doesn't need a publicly funded broadcaster to promote it. Anyway, were would such promotion stop, not only would there have to be a "Also available in HD" would/should there have to be "Also available via Freesat" and "Also available via the internet" announcements too...

    As I said, most people are aware of HD, those that want it have it, those that have it know were to find the BBC's HD schedule, such as on the BBC listings website etc.

    "I agree with the principle of what you're saying [scope of the PSB sector], but I disagree that viewing figures should be ignored."

    No, 'ratings figures' are irrelevant to PSB, or should be. Since the BBC was told that it had to 'compete' for ratings figures (as some form of justification for being funded by the TVL fee) the quality and scope of the BBC's programmes have fallen through the floor.

    "They're still an important indicator of public opinion. Obviously the commercial PSBs are quite keen to ensure that they keep theirs high"

    Hmm, Ch4 is about the only commercial PSBs left in the UK, not sure if they take that much notice of ratings figures, they are still providing minority programming...

    "Well yes, I agree with you there. I thought even Avatar was massively overrated. The iPad? It's a iPod touch for people who can only use their fists isn't it... ;)"

    Digressing again, if Paul and Nick will allow, anything the iPad can do (or indeed those other 'e-gimmicks', the e-book) a Notepad or Notebook 'PC' already does besides a lot more, whilst I can foresee a few specialist uses for the iPad, for most though it will be a domestic/business gimmick - now if Apple were to offer a Fridge door mountable version of the iPad...

  • Comment number 28.

    The homepage should allow selecting more new content.
    For example, The blogs sections still shows the older blogs.
    There should be more choice as well. At present only a few select blogs can be chosen.

  • Comment number 29.

    #28. At 02:47am on 01 Feb 2010, Shravan wrote:

    "The homepage should allow selecting more new content."

    What's a "Homepage"...

    I think I might have asked this question before but here goes anyway - Is there any figures to show how many people bother with the BBC's website "Homepage" against how many dive straight into their required content, how many prefer to use the "Explore the BBC" button found in the masthead on most pages?

  • Comment number 30.

    #1 ChrisCornwall said:
    "Please also look at the 'from other news sites' algorithm online as frequently the stories do not reflect the main news item content."

    Hi Chris, you may have seen this page already but for others who are interested there's a fairly substantial account on how stories are selected (along with a feedback form):
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/help/3676692.stm
    I will see if I can find out more.

  • Comment number 31.

    digital_elysium - I'll pop out here with my red button hat on.

    Most Freeview and Freesat devices do cache indeed the data used in red button services. The amount of cache available depends on the manufacturer, however most devices made in the last five years or so should have more than the 1Meg needed to cache BBC Red Button. We've seen some very good service speeds on both these platforms, and many devices will provide a similar speed to Ceefax in my experience.

    There's no caching for red button application within Sky and Virgin Media set top boxes - and I'm presuming from the speeds you've quoted that you have one of those.

    We do work hard to try and make the service as efficient as possible - for example, in the six years I've worked for BBC Red Button we've roughly halved the time it takes from pressing red to the BBC Red Button homepage appearing on Sky boxes, and for news and sport we use a relatively simple design in order to help us provide data as quickly as possible to the user. Speed is something we take very seriously.

    If you don't know already, then you can also use page number 316 to take you to the scores page without having to go through the menus. This works on BBC Red Button on Sky, Freeview and Freesat, and is the same page number that Ceefax users. There's a full list of the page numbers over on the Press Red Blog.

  • Comment number 32.

    # 3 HD1080 wrote:

    "Also allow BBC make iplayer content not time out after a certain time period - make it viewable at any time forever."

    Hi HD1080,
    The seven day window is partly a rights issue. There's some background on iPlayer and rights here:
    http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/help/about_iplayer/online_rights.

    You should also look at the BBC Trust website, specifically Trust decision on on-demand services, as this discusses market impact and how the BBC Trust came to their decisions on the BBC's proposals.

  • Comment number 33.

    #1 ChrisCornwall wrote:
    "Eurovision Song Contest UK Preselect. Please open access beyond the UK as it's frustrating for other ESC followers abroad to not be able to see it. It's infair to the UK entry not to get the publicity. Virtually all other selections can be viewed directly as I've been doing recently."

    Hi Chris
    I asked around and this is the reply I got from Paul Condon, Senior Content Producer, Eurovision Website:
    "It's a great idea to open up our national final, Your Country Needs You to viewers overseas. We wanted to do it for 2009's show, but ran out of time to investigate the feasibility.
    We're currently trying to find out whether it's possible (both technically and financially) to do it for 2010's show, and for the other video content that we'll have on the Eurovision website. Thanks for asking!"

  • Comment number 34.

    @lucas42 For /programmes/people, only RDF representations are available (working on the other ones now though). The main issue with these feeds is that they are likely to change URLs soon, as we gradually move towards a new tagging scheme. When this move is over, our URLs will use the Wikipedia URL slugs. For example, you'll have URLs like /programmes/people/tim_berners-lee. I hope that helps!

  • Comment number 35.

    Also re Eurovision: please make Ken Bruce's commentary an option on the Red Button for the final. In the days of analogue-only broadcasting I was able to have Radio 2 on the radio whilst watching the TV pictures: it just won't sync up with DTV/DAB/FM radio.

  • Comment number 36.

    I seem to have asked some difficult question (comments 11 & 13) it would appear, still searching for answers or are they 'difficult' questions that are best ignored?...

  • Comment number 37.

    Do the BBC own the rights to the ESC National Finals shows or do the EBU? Who owns the rights to the songs that win the national finals - the BBC or the EBU? Do the BBC own the rights to all past ESC National finals shows including all songs or just the ones that didn't win?

  • Comment number 38.

    #36 Boilerplated wrote:
    "I seem to have asked some difficult question (comments 11 & 13) it would appear, still searching for answers or are they 'difficult' questions that are best ignored?..."

    Hi Boilerplated,
    I have been sent something re your Science questions which I will endeavour to publish tomorrow. Nick, I believe, is answering the moderation questions you asked. We've both been very busy the last few days - I have been endeavouring to deal with the comments in order as far as possible,
    best wishes
    Paul

  • Comment number 39.

    re #38:

    Thanks Paul, and on reflection may I apologise for sounding so grumpy in #36, didn't mean to.

    Also, could someone get the Research and development URL sorted in the "BBC Blogs and Boards" side box please, not only does it appear to include a stray ' > ' html mark-up tag but also seems to be made up of two different URLs rolled onto one!

  • Comment number 40.

    #31 - Andrew Bowden

    Thanks for the feedback regarding caching of BBC red button. As you correctly suspect, I have a Sky+ HD box. It's a shame that there is no caching on this platform, particularly as it has a very large capacity hard-drive in it! Is the reason for the lack of caching technical or political? Given that box ITV and Sky's own digital text are hardly blistering speed either, is it not worth ganging together and pressuring sky to allocate some client disk space for digital text caching?

    Good to know that you are striving for speed reductions though.

  • Comment number 41.

    Boilerplated - comment 11.

    1. I'm not that keen on allowing users to ban other users. Sounds like a recipe for more flame wars. The BBC is not a private social network and it's better (in my personal opinion) for these decisions to be made by hosts who may be able to step back and make a more considered judgement based on the bigger picture.

    2. I have passed your comment on to the relevant product owner.

    3. I think the BBC on Blogs box is useful enough to stay on the right hand nav. I half agree with you about the position of the "Topical posts" box but this is a BBC wide design that applies to all BBC blogs so is difficult to change. I've toyed with putting a variation of "recent comments" on the right hand side of the blog. Also it's not that hard to click on the link "Jump to more content on this blog" which takes you straight there.

    4. I'll double check this one.

  • Comment number 42.

    #41. At 10:35am on 02 Feb 2010, Nick Reynolds wrote:

    "Boilerplated - comment 11.

    1. I'm not that keen on allowing users to ban other users"


    When did I ever suggest such a thing?!

    What I asked was about the ability of reporting a user account (that is believed of being used persistently in breach of the house rules) so that the host can review and decide if the account is being used in such a way, rather than the long winded and work-load intensive referral method based on individual messages. What is the difference in someone reporting (for example) 10 individual cases of comment-spam from the same account or reporting an account that has been used to send the comment-spam. Surely in the first up to ten moderators are needed, or a single moderator needs to take ten individual interventions, if the second the moderator would be able to take one action, editing or removing the ten comments in one action.

    Regarding your reply to item 3/. Could you pass my comment on to who ever is responsible for the over all page design of the blogs then, the "More content" link isn't intuitive as it could be, after all I'm not looking for more content, just the most recent replies, never mind that it's still another "click-though" that has accessibility issues. I suspect that the real issues here is that the right hand side of the page is being kept largely clear of required navigational content should the BBC wish to place adverts there on the international version, or am I being far to cynical again...

    Anyway, thanks for the feed-back.

  • Comment number 43.

    #1 Thanks for the partial reply, any news on points a and b?

  • Comment number 44.

    @Yves Raimond Thanks for your response. Wikipedia URL slugs would make things easier. But will that mean only people Wikipedia thinks are "notable" can be included?

  • Comment number 45.

    Boilerplated - comment 11 question 4 - Having multiple logins isn't reason enought for banning, as you can have multiple log ins and behave perfectly acceptably. But abusing them (eg impersonation, avoiding premod or banning) is a breach of the BBC's T&Cs.

  • Comment number 46.

    Why does the BBC pay hundreds of thousands of BBC license fee payers money every year (and more for EBU membership) for the production of a TV programme in HD (ESC) which the BBC will later own no rights at all to?

  • Comment number 47.

    Is there any news on the outcome of the H2G2 review/future? I seem to recall towards the end of the year someone saying (in a blog response) that they hoped to be able to make an announcement soon.

  • Comment number 48.

    #45. At 2:14pm on 02 Feb 2010, Nick Reynolds wrote:

    "Boilerplated - comment 11 question 4 - Having multiple logins isn't reason enought for banning, as you can have multiple log ins and behave perfectly acceptably. But abusing them (eg impersonation, avoiding premod or banning) is a breach of the BBC's T&Cs."

    So it would seem that user "A" could set up two or three accounts, then argue the t*ss against user "X", for example empathetically stating that the UK is actually in the southern hemisphere whilst getting his other two 'friends' to back up his assertions (or worse still, argue against himself), thus disrupting the blog/conversation!

    Perhaps the word "Disruptive" needs to be added to the House Rules: "is racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise offensive"...? This won't stop people having multiple accounts but will restrict what they can do with the accounts.

  • Comment number 49.

    46. At 3:26pm on 02 Feb 2010, HD1080 wrote:

    "Why does the BBC pay hundreds of thousands of BBC license fee payers money every year (and more for EBU membership) for the production of a TV programme in HD (ESC) which the BBC will later own no rights at all to?"

    Well I for one wish that they would not pay a single penny to the EBU for anything what so ever to do with ESC but I suspect that they are actually paying this money because they are members of the EBU rather than anything explicitly what so ever to do with a rather silly, tacky and life expired 'song' contest!

    Enough money is wasted as it is on this annual fiasco, to think that the BBC might be expected to waste even more broadcasting it on HD when they can't/won't relay the the annual New Years Day concert from Vienna.

    If only, to the BBC, "ESC" had the same meaning as that button on the top left of computer keyboards, an escape button from a crippled process...

  • Comment number 50.

    re: 49, I wanted a response from the BBC.

    The BBC paid £9,193,129.65 in total to the EBU in 200707/08, and around £221,000 in 2008 to be part of the contest.

    The EBU have done nothing to try to make back money paid by license fee payers for producing this programme in HD. It has never released it on Blu-ray in HD or offered it on other paid formats to consumers like digital downloads.

    The difference with the New Years Day concert is that that is available on Blu-ray. They are making money by releasing it in high def to consumers.

    If the EBU is supposed to handle the rights and commercial stuff on behalf of it's members (like the BBC - one of it's founding members) and if it has done absolutely nothing to make money from the rights of the HD recorded event on behalf of it's members after years of paying for it to be recorded in HD then the BBC or someone else who is capable of releasing it on Blu-ray in the best quality should be given the rights to release it.

    The BBC/BBC Worldwide has released lots of Blu-ray releases, of programmes with budgets much lower than ESC. The EBU, who, with BBC license fee payers money, with a programme with a budget of millions have released absolutely none, even though we, the license fee payers have paid for it to be made in HD since 2006 or 2007.

  • Comment number 51.

    #50. At 5:37pm on 02 Feb 2010, HD1080 wrote:

    "The difference with the New Years Day concert is that that is available on Blu-ray. They are making money by releasing it in high def to consumers."

    Not on the day it isn't, and in any case it's irrelevant, I thought you said that you wanted the ESC to be broadcast in HD, that is what I was replying to.

    "The BBC/BBC Worldwide has released lots of Blu-ray releases, of programmes with budgets much lower than ESC"

    But there is a market for them...

    Anyway, it's a SONG contest, you only need the audio, a CD will do!

    I want to know when the BBC will stop wasting our money on such tat as the ESC, if that means coming out of the EBU then fine, perhaps the BBC affiliate themselves with NAB, after all the BBC does do a lot of business with broadcasters on the other side of the 'pond'...

  • Comment number 52.

    Small request, to who ever, is there any reason why (non BBC?) users submitted comments couldn't be allowed to use the HTML tags [1], sometimes being able to underline something might be better than using either italics or bold, especially as some blogs use blog text within URL's.

    [1] the tags work in preview-mode but the last time I tried using them, some months ago, they got stripped out of the published comment - so this is also a bit of a test post too... :-)

  • Comment number 53.

    When do you finally plan to make BBC local radio near cd quality like Radio 2 & other national stations?

    BBC radio 2 128aac

    BBC London 80k MP3 on listen again..unacceptable when you provide so much bandwidth for TV

  • Comment number 54.

    Does the BBC have any plans to support playback of streaming video on the iplayer website using without requiring a Flash plugin in cases where the user's browser is able to support HTML5 and an appropriate codec for protecting the content?

    Thank you!

  • Comment number 55.

    "Not on the day it isn't, and in any case it's irrelevant, I thought you said that you wanted the ESC to be broadcast in HD, that is what I was replying to."

    No I never said that. I'm sure they'll show the actual contest in HD though they didn't show the semis last year. I hope they show all 3 programmes in HD this year but that wasn't what I asked.

  • Comment number 56.

    Keith (comment 47) - regarding the h2g2 refresh, sorry I haven't been back to you with an update. As always it takes longer than I expect to do things, but we're still committed to a design refresh for h2g2. Myself and the h2g2 editors are now doing lots of work behind the scenes to achieve this and the mood is very positive. The next key point is an important meeting which is currently scheduled for towards the end of March. Hopefully after that we'll be able to give you a bit more detail about our plans.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 57.

    I can't watch the embedded videos on this website (and many others) in my iphone browser. Are there any plans for the BBC to provide this content in another format which is compatible? (Or are there any plans for a flash plug-in for the iphone which will let me play the videos?)

  • Comment number 58.

    #1 and #43 ChrisCornwall wrote:

    a. Please ask Danielle to reply to comments made on her HD channel posts, it's frustrating to see points made and then not responded to.
    b. Could the Corp look at replicating the Satellite Red Button service online, maybe within the iPlayer, in a decent quality, it's several months since DTT viewers were deprived of most of the services offered and I for one am missing them considerably?

    Hi ChrisCornwall
    I've asked about b. and am waiting to hear back from people. I will chase it up today. On point a. This is what Danielle wrote previously in her post BBC HD Picture Quality: some myths laid to rest:

    "I feel that it is now time to draw a line under my further contribution here to the debate here. I'll be focusing on - and blogging about as appropriate - other issues relating to the development of BBC HD. And I will of course be keeping picture quality along every part of the HD production and broadcast chain under surveillance."

  • Comment number 59.

    Pleae would it be possible to have Ceefax page 100 refreshed to highlight the Winter Olympica and Paralympics when thery begin?

  • Comment number 60.

    digital_elysium - you really need RAM caching to make any real difference, as opposed to hard drive caching which probably wouldn't give a particularly big improvement.

    I don't really know how the boxes work in that level of detail, however my suspicion is that it would be quite a major exercise for Sky to undertake unfortunately.

  • Comment number 61.

    38. At 5:31pm on 01 Feb 2010, Paul Murphy wrote:

    "Hi Boilerplated,
    I have been sent something re your Science questions which I will endeavour to publish tomorrow."


    Paul, could you make who-ever aware of my follow-up to the above reply posted to the Science on BBC online blog please, thanks.

  • Comment number 62.

    no reply so i post again


    When do you finally plan to make BBC local radio near cd quality like Radio 2 & other national stations?

    BBC radio 2 128aac

    BBC London 80k MP3 on listen again..unacceptable when you provide so much bandwidth for TV

  • Comment number 63.

    #28 Shravan said:
    “The [homepage] blogs sections still shows the older blogs. There should be more choice as well. At present only a few select blogs can be chosen.”

    Hi Shravan. I’m editor of the homepage and accept your point. When we launched the current homepage in March 2008, I hoped users would soon be able to choose *any* BBC blog rather than merely a few pre-selected ones. However, resources to make such tweaks were needed elsewhere - in part to work on an upgraded version of the homepage, which is due to emerge in the next few weeks. The bad news for you is that this new version loses the blog widget altogether. This decision was prompted by low usage. The better news is that we are already working ahead on more substantial changes. We haven’t worked out the details, but you can be sure social media and user-generated items will be more closely woven into the page.

  • Comment number 64.

    # 62 Anti 80k used by BBC wrote:
    When do you finally plan to make BBC local radio near cd quality like Radio 2 & other national stations?
    BBC radio 2 128aac
    BBC London 80k MP3 on listen again..unacceptable when you provide so much bandwidth for TV


    Hello,
    I had a chat with Ian Myatt about your questions and he said that there wasn't an update on the situation at at the moment. For those of you who may have missed it this is what Ian said in an earlier comment to a similar query:

    "Regarding the quality of AAC streams for BBC Local radio; as mentioned previously we are restricted to the quality of the source feeds available at the location of our encoding infrastructure. We are working to resolve this and will improve the public facing streams as soon as it is possible to do so. The nations stations (e.g. Radio Scotland) are already streamed at 128kbps but the vast majority of local radio will unfortunately remain at 80kbps until the source distribution is improved. In the meantime we have been trying to increase the quality of streams at existing bitrates by tweaking the way in which they are processed."

    Paul

  • Comment number 65.

    yep i remember that, There needs to be some more dedication to speeding this up ,I am sick of reading about everything else the BBC are putting money into. This is why I begrudge the licence fee.

  • Comment number 66.

    #58 Thanks for that, my point re BBC HD is answering the content questions raised by her last blog, many like me lamented the EBU's flagship HD New Years' Day concert from Vienna being ignored by the BBC HD channel, no explanation has been received on that and other content issues. I am aware of the 'impasse' on HD quality and wish to confirm that my comment 1 b. had no relevance whatsoever to this.

  • Comment number 67.

    #66 1.a. not 1.b. Typo!

  • Comment number 68.

    65. At 5:33pm on 04 Feb 2010, Anti 80k used by BBC wrote:

    [re BBC local radio ]

    "yep i remember that, There needs to be some more dedication to speeding this up ,I am sick of reading about everything else the BBC are putting money into. This is why I begrudge the licence fee."

    Err, when was the last time the law required a licence required to be held before the use of a radio receiver in the UK, must have been in the 1970s, duh!...

  • Comment number 69.

    Paul Murphy, Editor of the Internet blog, wrote:
    "There's already a post about BBC HD Picture: BBC HD Picture Quality: some myths laid to rest and I'd like to keep related comments there"
    ____________________________________________

    Sadly, although probably predictably, that blog has itself now been 'laid to rest', albeit possibly only temporarily. Thankfully, Andy Quested, Principal Technologist, HD, BBC Future Media and Technology, does have a forum for discussing that which Ms Nagler finds so tiresome at his blog here:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2009/12/the_hitchhikers_guide_to_encod_5.html

    Talking of links, within the BBC Internet Blog, I feel it could benefit from a reorganisation and presentation to better aid the user to find topics which may interest them.

    On the Red Button, I would personally prefer its use to decease altogether, however given that is unlikely I would like to see an option to opt-out of the red button, for those, like me who dislike unnecessary screen clutter. I am not talking about "Removing Press Red Icons" as detailed here:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pressred/2009/02/pressred.shtml

    At post 11, Boilerplated wrote:
    "Was an answer ever forthcoming as to why our own user names get changed to "you" in our own browsers"

    May I additionally suggest it would be helpful if, our comments had a shading on our own computers, similar, but not identical, to BBC staff.



  • Comment number 70.

    Forgot to add, better edit on blogs for users, similar to what we are used to on other Internet forums would be most welcome.

  • Comment number 71.

    #70. At 8:56pm on 04 Feb 2010, jtemplar wrote:

    "Forgot to add, better edit on blogs for users, similar to what we are used to on other Internet forums would be most welcome."

    Are you talking about composition tools or editing tools for already published comments, if the latter, don't hold your breath, the BBC has already rejected such an idea - for, in my opinion, quite justifiable reasons. Whilst it might work on reactively moderated blogs it would just increase the moderation work-load as already checked comments need to be rechecked again after user-editing.

  • Comment number 72.

    Composition tools is what I mean.

  • Comment number 73.

    I see Teletext Ltd has had its Public Teltetext Licence revoked. so please would it be posssible for any bandwisdth Tletext has been using in PSB to be taken up by Red Button on DTTR?

  • Comment number 74.

    #73. At 09:28am on 05 Feb 2010, Sue_Aitch wrote:

    "I see Teletext Ltd has had its Public Teltetext Licence revoked. so please would it be posssible for any bandwisdth Tletext has been using in PSB to be taken up by Red Button on DTTR?"

    Best ask Ofcom...

  • Comment number 75.

    iPlayer support for Windows Media Center please!

    It has been requested many times since the original app in XP MCE 2005 was dropped, but we are still waiting. There is real demand out here, but until an official release appears, we are all reliant on Martin Milliesoft's excellent private effort with TunerFreeMCE. A look at his release history shows what a challenge this has been since the iPlayer feeds are constantly changing...

    Maybe the BBC could partner with Microsoft to make the Freesat version work in Media Center (as Sky have done?).

    From the occassional responses I have seen, it may be that a Media Center app falls between the different groups in the BBC and hence nobody "owns it" - the team developing the Freesat app seem to think it is the job of the internet team - the iPlayer team do not seem to see it as theirs and I guess the Internet team think it must be part of the iPlayer / platform team's remit. Maybe through this request we could get a positive reponse on whose department this falls into and get a statement on when or if it may happen.

    Here's hoping for a positive response!

  • Comment number 76.

    Just to bump this blog up the list a bit, any chance of having feed back on the outstanding or followed-up comments?

  • Comment number 77.

    Oh, and could the BBC consider a specific HD blog space, so many otherwise - 'not really HD TV' - blogs are getting taken over...

  • Comment number 78.

    Re 74.

    Well I have done so. Will post back here when I get a reply.

  • Comment number 79.

    Please would you put the date of the Film Chart under Entertainment Extra on Red Button just a you put the date of the Top 10 Album and Top 40 Singles Charts?

  • Comment number 80.

    The "BBC Internet Blog" default page is becoming far to heavy in terms of graphics or other media files, the default page (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/%29 must be all but impossible to load for someone on dial-up (of which 1 in 4 in the UK are still using, never mind those in other countries), also one or two of the new blogs highlighted on that default page have been far to long, a short extract of a couple of paragraphs should have been published on that page with an invitation to read the rest of the article linking to the full entry.

  • Comment number 81.

    Please would Red Button publish new updated lists from those published at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pressred/2009/05/pagenumberlist.shtml
    following changes made to the Freeview service on 27 October 2009 and Ceefax refresh Ceefax page 199 to remove duplicate entries (e.g. Newsround page 570 is the correct title for news for children.)

  • Comment number 82.

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

  • Comment number 83.

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

  • Comment number 84.

    Just a quick question: Does anybody know the name of the tune/song being used for the BBC Election Coverage?

  • Comment number 85.

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

  • Comment number 86.

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

  • Comment number 87.

    i'm a new blogger. still i donno anything about it, how to post, how to add pictures. i hope i'll be expert very soon. thank you.

  • Comment number 88.

    Why doesn't the BBC offer websites for over 25 people to get involved in. Eg, BBC Blast is 13-25, as soon as you are over 25 your creative spark and worthyness must die according to this narrow view!
    Maybe I've missed it, but I have yet to find a BBC website where over 25's, creative and artistic contributions can be made online.Everybody loves to be creative and get involved online, so why are we not catered for by the BBC?.

    Lets have a new website where everyone can get involved, not just a minority.

  • Comment number 89.

    whovisions - The BBC does have a site where adults can make creative and artistic contributions.

    It's called h2g2 and you can find it here.

  • Comment number 90.

    I sat down this afternoon with my daughter to watch the horrible histories show on the CBBC for the first time.
    The show was absolutely brilliant and I was compelled to log on and contact the BBC to commend the show.
    although somewhat gruesome, my daughter and I found in hilarious and very educational.
    We will undoubtedly be watching from now on.....

 

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