BBC HD: Hello TV blog, goodbye BBC Internet blog
This is a post of course to say hello - but also a sort of goodbye.
For the BBC - as for all of us - HD at the start was about technology. For that reason, engaging through the BBC Internet blog made absolute sense.
But in the nearly four years since we began HD broadcasts - this summer will see the second World Cup to be broadcast by the BBC in HD - the technology has matured to an extent, and the challenges for us have also expanded. You remind me frequently of the importance - and quite understandable frustrations - around scheduling, sign-posting HD content, and the choices we continue to make about the programmes that will and will not be in HD. I've continued to try to address these questions alongside those about the ways we use HD broadcast technology within this blog because I know that an interested community has assembled here. But increasingly HD - which in my view at the moment is primarily a television rather than an internet technology - has sat slightly oddly with the other topics covered here.
A BBC Television blog is now up and running and feels like a natural home for my postings. BBC HD is in the process of growing up, and it feels appropriate that its blogosphere life should take place alongside the BBC's other television channels. I hope that as many of you as would like to, will join me there to share in the continuing development of what we are doing in HD. I will of course keep across the discussions here - I will continue to comment where it feels appropriate, and Andy Quested (Head of Technology for BBC HD) will continue to publish here when there are more complex technical issues to deal with.
I believe firmly that HD is the future of television, the next stage on a journey which has progressively seen what television can offer become both more and more lifelike and "real", and also more and more creatively confident and inspiring through the development of television as "art". BBC HD may be the smallest BBC channel right now - but we're only available of course in those homes which currently have HD connections (around 12% on the last count) and we are probably the fastest growing. Thank you for your support here, and please do move with me on to TV cyberspace on the TV blog.
Danielle Nagler is Head of BBC HD.
The picture shows the BBC World Cup Commentators, 1966. From left to right: Ken Aston, Kenneth Wolstenholme, Wally Barnes, David Coleman, Frank Bough, Alec Weeks and Arthur Ellis.
And a final few post-scripts to respond to questions:
- No news on F1 is neither good news, nor a reflection of the BBC's desire to have F1 to give you in HD: The events are being filmed in HD (as far as we know) but they are not made available by F1 to broadcasters in HD
- I am very sorry about the frustration caused by the Winter Olympics' impact on our schedule - and in particular on Nurse Jackie and Mad Men. We have no scheduling flexibility around these programmes, and a choice to show the Olympics therefore inevitably meant that some episodes were not shown when expected, or in one case not shown at all in HD. We do work with the other channels - and with those from whom we get our content - to try to minimise the occasions when this happens, but with live sports events around - which are by their nature best seen at the time that they happen - there are limits to how far we can use one channel to showcase everything that you would like to see.
- I do have to warn those eagerly awaiting the World Cup that a focus on football will inevitably mean clashes with other programming in June, and with Wimbledon. Of course we will do our best to make sure that all interests are balanced, and there is no question of us not showing an England team match, but I'm already well aware that there will be a lot of juggling, resulting inevitably in some balls landing in places you would prefer them not to...