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What do you want to see on BBC HD over Easter?

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Danielle Nagler Danielle Nagler | 11:10 UK time, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Being a (relatively) new kid on the channel block, we at the HD channel are keen to try things out and I wanted to let you know about one of them. We aim to broadcast the best of the BBC's programmes - and I'm very aware that each and every one of you will have a different view about what "our best" is.

So, over Easter weekend, we're proposing to hand over a number of those choices to you - our viewers.

At the BBC HD's website you will find a selection of 30 programmes we've broadcast over the last year, representing every kind of programme we show, from Life to Shaun The Sheep, from A History Of Christianity, via Psychoville, to Darwin's Dangerous Idea, and of course Doctor Who and Top Gear.

A History Of Christianity

We're asking you to select between them in our Easter Vote and at the end of the voting period we'll find schedule slots for those that you most want to see again. Of course I'm also interested in the thinking behind your choices - and in anything that you feel we've left out.

It's important for the channel team and I to understand the programmes you like to see in HD so that when we take decisions about new programmes - or the moves of existing programmes into HD - we're making the right calls on your behalf.

BBC HD is a youngster as TV channels go: We launched just over two years ago, at a time when very few homes had access to HD, and those who understood the letter combination were few and far between.

Today, HD is prominently available from every television supplier, available to take home with the groceries, and there are numerous channels to choose from. We're now providing programmes viewed by over three million people each month, and rising, but there is still a long way to go in terms of what the BBC is doing, and will do, in HD.


For those of you who have HD already, I hope that my posts on this blog can provide you with some interesting behind-the-scenes detail, and also news on the development of the service.

For those of you interested in HD but who don't yet have it, I hope I can give you an understanding of what we are doing in HD to inform your decision - and I'm sure you will also be able to learn from the others who comment here. There is more information about HD and an overview of the different routes to getting HD on the BBC HD website.

This is the first of what I intend to be regular postings about the BBC and high definition television. I've been writing on the BBC's Internet blog about HD since I took responsibility for BBC HD 18 months ago. As HD grows up, and becomes part of the television mainstream (we're not there yet, but hopefully on the way), this feels like a more appropriate home.

I look forward to sharing the continuing HD story here with you.

UPDATE: The Easter vote has now closed and we're now going through the results. A big thank you to everybody who voted and left feedback on here, and we'll be announcing the results of the vote on Wednesday on the BBC HD page.

Danielle Nagler is head of BBC HD


  • Comment number 1.

    With respect Danielle you said in your previous blogs that you would be a regular 'blogger' but these failed to materialise so I am not optimistic.

  • Comment number 2.

    Not sure there's anything from that list there that I'd want to see again on BBC HD. I've already got a couple on Blu-ray as it's the only way to see it properly in HD anyway.

    Can we have a choice of resolution and bitrate for the program too please? :)

  • Comment number 3.

    How about BBC HD looking like a HD channel over Easter and beyond please. What's the point in repeating these programmes if they are going to look as poor (or worse if they're pre-August) than they did before?

  • Comment number 4.

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

  • Comment number 5.

    I don't want any those programs repeated. If they were of interest to me I've either already seen them or have them of the hard disk. Anyway its not as though they have only been shown once already.

    What I want is films in HD as not everybody can afford Sky.

  • Comment number 6.

    I have to say I am very disappointed by the choice on offer.

    When I first saw the "What do you want to see on BBC HD over Easter?" I though oh, that's good there's a bunch of things I would like to see - new programming, and some repeats too.

    But when I look at that very dull list, I have to say well of that lot, nothing really. Most of it seems to be just a random selection of individual episodes out of series. Why would I want to select just episode 4 of series 3 of something? Strange.

    It just seems like this is stuff you had scheduled anyway - give or take a few items - and then you have some pretence of letting viewers make the "choice".

    Oh, and given viewers have been able to cast their votes for 10 days now, why are you only promoting it now, 2 days before it closes?

  • Comment number 7.

    The last thing I want to see are yet more repeats. Some of us live in the 21st century and have PVR to save things we want to see again. Sky has promissed 50 HD channels by Christmas so why would I want to watch repeats from the BBC with so much more high quality HD available.

  • Comment number 8.

    A re-run of The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard just before the election!

  • Comment number 9.

    Programs consistently in HD would be a start. Some have you checking that you are on the right channel, so mediocre is the picture. It had to be said. Otherwise why not put on high quality, visually impressive documentaries such as the recent Jim al-Khalili history of chemistry. This for some reason was restricted to BBC4. Simon Schaffer's Light Fantastic cried out to be in HD - a program about light itself in which the visuals excelled, again confined to BBC4!

  • Comment number 10.

    I'd like to see some NEW programming - not a load of repeats.

    What on earth prompts the BBC to think that repeating stuff is good use of the Easter schedule?

    Unless of course the repeats are going to be of programmmes ruined by the drop in picture quality since August - if they are being shown in 1920x1080 and at a decent bit-rate then maybe there is a point?

    Is the BBC going to up the bit-rate from Easter onwards then?

  • Comment number 11.

    Oh well most of the responses to your choice of easter programs are very negative. Will you actually find some new material to transmit or will you ignore the feedback as usual?

    Please can you tell us what the BBC is going to do with the extra Freeview HD channel you now have?

  • Comment number 12.

    Daniella Nagler

    If only i could watch something new on BBC HD that looks like HD.

    May be you could work some magic, and turn BBC HD into a high Quality
    HD channel again, Like before august 2009,

    Danielle, all you have to do is UP THE BIT RATE, AND RESOLUTION....

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi Danielle, found you in this new spot purely by chance. You asked what I'd like to see on the BBC HD cannel over Easter.

    Well for starters, the FORMULA 1 PETRONAS MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX (Kuala Lumpur). Then of course the very funny Flight of the Conchords, which I believe was made, but not shown, in HD (yet).

    The latest Wallander series too, which you only showed once and then said you didn't have enough time to repeat. Likewise the missing HD showing of Madmen, "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency", which you skipped because of an Olympic clash (with an unsceduled Curling match - if I remember rightly).

    I concur that a few HD films wouldn't go amiss either. I saw a great BBC Film recently called "An Education", how about giving that an airing? And perhaps half a dozen similar over the course of the period.

    Finally, instead of repeats of things already shown on the channel, I'd like to see all the other BBC programmes that have been made in HD but not yet shown on the channel. I think it's a long list.

  • Comment number 14.

    I could barely choose one of those, let alone three.

    Is DN actively trying to irritate the blog readership? Or is it just organic happenstance?

  • Comment number 15.

    @13 paul_geaton wrote:

    Hi Danielle, found you in this new spot purely by chance. You asked what I'd like to see on the BBC HD cannel over Easter. Well for starters, the FORMULA 1 PETRONAS MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX (Kuala Lumpur). Then of course the very funny Flight of the Conchords, which I believe was made, but not shown, in HD (yet).

    Just as a point of clarification if people didn't realise.
    This isn't meant to be a random list of anything people would like to see on BBC HD over easter - rather it is an opportunity to select just 3 items from a shortlist already pre-selected by the BBC at http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbchd/eastervote2010

    I think most posters realise that however, and are just demonstrating that what they actually want to see is nothing like what the BBC want us to see.

    The only things I would watch again from that list are still on my PVR from the first time they were broadcast. So why would I need them repeating again?

    The only things I want to see are new things, and like Paul suggests things you have made in HD but never got round to showing - like Rome Series 2.

  • Comment number 16.

    Now that ITV, Five, C4, E4 are all available or announced as full time HD channels, when is the BBC going to pull its finger out and give us a decent full time BBC HD service?

    That would be a nice easter present.

  • Comment number 17.

    Well with the news that ITV HD is becoming a 'full channel' I hope BBC HD will 'try harder' to improve the picture quality.

    Also with Tiger Woods saying he will take part in this year's golf - 'The Masters' I hope this will be shown in HD again.

    Cheers, daveac

  • Comment number 18.

    The one thing I would very much like to see repeated on BBC HD, but never has been AFAIK, would the the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony.

  • Comment number 19.

    How about simulcasting the same content as SD, making BBC HD a full channel? This would make watching easier as viewers know the schedule (their favourite programme times) and could just watch the channel. At least do this when there's nothing HD to transmit instead of churning out the Promo, even if this means up-scaled content as it will look a little better than in SD.

    If that is a step to far (I know not everyone will agree with it) then how about aligning the schedules better so more programmes are simulcasted?

  • Comment number 20.

    I'm relatively new to HD (Freesat) and think that the BBC HD channel hits the right note for a lot of my viewing -- cherry picking the best from numerous BBC channels is great. Long may it continue.

    I agree with some that BBC1 HD would be good as long as BBC HD continues its excellent mix of programmes.

    Pity a lot of the comments have immediately condemned the bit-rate/picture quality. I'm more than happy with the overall quality and suspect that most HD viewers are. Pity that there are a vocal (tiny?) minority who seem to hijack any balanced debate.

    As for the 'boring repeats' over Easter debate, well it's only three that will be shown (not all thirty) and I for one welcome the opportunity - I've been waiting to catch the Joanna Lumley/Northern Lights in HD.

  • Comment number 21.

    The penultimate epsisode of Nurse Jackie that went missing a la Mad Men would be nice.

    Don't you realise we, in the 21st century, use PVR's to timeshift our viewing to suit our personal circumstances. Simply opting to miss an episode in favour of the Olympics meant that, when my wife and I sat down to watch the show, we had no clue what was going on in the final episode. Thanks!

  • Comment number 22.

    @20 ChrisK wrote:

    Pity a lot of the comments have immediately condemned the bit-rate/picture quality. I'm more than happy with the overall quality and suspect that most HD viewers are. Pity that there are a vocal (tiny?) minority who seem to hijack any balanced debate.

    Not really a tiny minority. Thousands have signed the No 10 Petition asking for BBC HD PQ to be improved. Large numbers added their signature to the BBC Trust Appeal that is currently being considered.

    If thousands of people complained about the content of a BBC TV programme then it would be front page news, there would be profuse apologies and even heads might roll. Instead, because it is about a technical issue of picture quality, the BBC attempt to pass it off as a small minority of 'geeks'.

    Yes, 2000+ people may be a tiny minority in terms of the BBC's overal audience, but in terms of a complaint to the BBC, its reasonably high I imagine.

  • Comment number 23.

    Hi Danielle, I would like to see many programmes with better quality than August 2009 during easter and beyond.

  • Comment number 24.

    @20 citizenloz wrote: "Not really a tiny minority..."

    Considering the millions that watch BBC HD it is a miniscule minority and as this thread is about programming choice I don't see why that minority should hijack it. Surely you've all had your say elsewhere.

  • Comment number 25.

    It seems some clarification is needed: The choice of programmes seen before in HD is in addition to the new programming which we will be showing over Easter - not instead of. And yes - that will include the US Masters as in previous years.

    I am of course actively considering what the BBC does in relation to the developments on Freeview - and the potential for a service which is on air for longer than the current BBC HD channel. Thank you to trevorjharris (11) and citizenloz (16) for highlighting the options and opportunities. Of course I will let you know - via this blog - when there is concrete news.

  • Comment number 26.

    Well, I for one would have loved to have seen the MGM Proms programme again!

    Such a shame that's not on the list. Any chance of another showing? Yes, I know you repeated once..but never have too much of a good thing!. As for what is on offer on the list...none of them really make me wish to vote.

  • Comment number 27.

    #post 25 by Daniellenagler

    Thank you for posting a reply within your blog.

    Thank you for the clarification.

    I'm also pleased that The Masters will be on BBC HD again this year.

    As to the last section of your reply:-

    'I am of course actively considering what the BBC does in relation to the developments on Freeview - and the potential for a service which is on air for longer than the current BBC HD channel.'

    I do hope that the programming hours on FreesatHD are the same as the hours on FreeviewHD. If FreesatHD has had to suffer the restrictions of not being allowed to air at it's original quality because of starting up of a FreeviewHD service - then it should get at least the same time benefits.

    Indeed if FiveHD isn't going to arrive until 2012 and that vacancy allows for a bit-rate rethink or more lkely a second BBC HD channel - then hopefully the stream of null-packets on satellite can be likewize used.

    Cheers, daveac

  • Comment number 28.

    Hello - I'm the editor of the TV blog.

    Thanks everybody for your comments, it's good to see people taking part.

    To answer your fair point, citizenloz, about why this post went up with two days before the HD vote closed - Danielle did deliver this post to me at the end of last week. I'd have liked to publish it sooner and give it more time, but in these early days of the TV blog, it's been very busy indeed. We've had a flurry of posts this week and generally, I'll be aiming to space out the posts more so the blog stays varied and balanced. Hope that sounds good to you.


  • Comment number 29.

    my post #27

    This comment is awaiting moderation (as a new poster?)

    Strange as I've posted many times in the different blogs:-

    post #28 by FionaWickham

    'I'd have liked to publish it sooner and give it more time' AND 'I'll be aiming to space out the posts more'

    Those two comments seem to be at odds with one another.

    I take that 'time sensitive' blog posts won't be 'spaced out'?

    Cheers, daveac

  • Comment number 30.

    @24. At 5:09pm on 18 Mar 2010, ChrisK wrote:

    I don't see why that minority should hijack it. Surely you've all had your say elsewhere.

    Unfortunately, until it is resolved, I think the issue is going to follow Ms Nagler wherever she goes...

    That's the normal nature of such things, when the party concerned (BBC) seems to be ignoring its customers (viewers) complaints. They don't go away, they just start complaining more loudly, and in more places until there is a resolution.

    Blame the BBC for their stance, not the viewers.

  • Comment number 31.

    Are these blogs meant to be a two way thing? I cannot remember the last time Danielle replied to a single post on any blog. Can someone please clarify if BBC employees are meant to engage with the people, who go to the trouble of placing posts on these blogs.

  • Comment number 32.

    @24 Chrisk,

    Hi, I respect your point of view, and would never try to hijack another debate to make my point anout BBC HD PQ. However, since you've brought it up, those complaining about the PQ aren't in fact in the minority of Blog commenters; actually if you were to do a statistical analysis of all those making comments on the various BBC HD Blogs then you'd find that around 97.3% of all commenters have made at least one remark expressing some disatisfaction regarding the PQ of the channel. And, of course, since everyone is free to comment then, if we (the protesters) are in a minority, all those who are entirely satisfied ought to be stating their case and, thus, amending those stats.

    #25, Danielle,

    I thought you (of all people) would at least qualify for a Blue Box when making your comment, but then perhaps like me you have to go through a "moderation" period over here, and that even as a BBC high-up you need to earn that privelege over in this new space. Blue box, notwithstanding, thanks anyway for responding to a few of the other commenters. It's much appreciated getting a comment from you within the Blog and if you want to answer my comment #13 with a personal response then I'd be really touched!

    What chance too, of the BBC filling that spare HD channel on FREEVIEW/FREESAT (freed-up by FIVE's recent odd decision not to join-in) with an extra BBC HD channel? If you do, then my vote, flying in the face of Tory opinion, goes for the addition of a BBC 4 HD simulcast channel to supplement your own BBC HD one. And, would you like to comment on FIVE not going for the FREEVIEW/FREESAT place? Why ever would they want to get into bed with $KY, rather than be showcased on e.g. Emmma Scott's FREESAT channel? Being a little slow on the uptake, I need it explained to me.

  • Comment number 33.

    @31 Jeremy wrote:

    Are these blogs meant to be a two way thing? I cannot remember the last time Danielle replied to a single post on any blog.

    See post 25.

    Though I am not sure why Danielle posts in this way - like one of 'us' - and not with the highlighted box as in Fiona's post at 28. Presumably only mods posts are like that, and Danielle isn't a mod.

    I noticed earlier that her post was awaiting moderation as it was her first post in this blog, which made me chuckle :-)

    (that's assuming it is Danielle, which from her posts I have no reason to believe it is not)

  • Comment number 34.

    @ 32 paul_geaton wrote:

    And, would you like to comment on FIVE not going for the FREEVIEW/FREESAT place? Why ever would they want to get into bed with $KY, rather than be showcased on e.g. Emmma Scott's FREESAT channel? Being a little slow on the uptake, I need it explained to me.

    I think that is very simple. Money. They can't afford it without Sky's help.

    I believe the solution is simple. The transmission costs of all PSB channels across all platforms should be funded out of the TV licence, then these silly games of PSB channels being 'exclusive' to one platform or another would end. Funny enough though, I can see the BBC being the ones who object to that...

  • Comment number 35.

    I'd like to see both series of Rome in HD.

  • Comment number 36.

    @35, Shaun666 wrote:

    I'd like to see both series of Rome in HD.

    Seconded. (I asked for it earlier)

    Rome has never been repeated in HD has it? And Series 2 was never shown in HD in the first place.

    I really enjoyed it, and would love to see it again in HD.

    Presumably, even though it was a joint production, the BBC didn't secure the rights.

  • Comment number 37.

    Re: #20 ChrisK, Perhaps Chris has not had the chance to view Bluray material and witness the far superior resolution.


    Perhaps a visit to specksavers may be in order ;-)

  • Comment number 38.

    @32 paul_geaton wrote: "...around 97.3% of all commenters have made at least one remark expressing some disatisfaction..."

    97.3%! That's a comprehensive hi-jacking to me. But it's a bit of a spurious statistic. It's widely known that those with a grievance are more likely to make it known. The vast majority of BBC HD viewers are probably very satisfied with the PQ and simply sit back, chill-out and enjoy the programmes. Why shout about it?

    I would be interested to know if there are any viewer satisfaction figures for BBC HD that would put this entire debate into some balanced perspective.

    Getting back to the theme of this thread, I would like to see more opera, ballet, theatrical recordings and musical masterclasses of any genre, similar to Sky Arts. But then I might be in a tiny minority wanting that and if I were to get hot under the collar about it (surely it's in the BBC charter to satisfy a broad spectrum of tastes?) I could hi-jack any blog that mentions quality programming. Or I could pay Sky to view Sky Arts.

    But I won't do either of those things. I'll feel I've had my opportunity to express my view, hope it gets noted, and get back to enjoying my BBC HD viewing.

  • Comment number 39.

    @37 jonnie wrote: "Perhaps a visit to specksavers may be in order ;-)"

    Proves my point. Anyone who tries to put a different viewpoint is treated with rudeness (even though you do include a smiley). And yes I have viewed Blu-ray, it's very good, but if you want Blu-ray then buy Blu-ray. Simple.

    You might be justified in your grievance about PQ and I have no problem with constructive criticism. My concern is that if these threads are swamped with a single, narrow and persistently negative view and sometimes cheap and offensive comments (not me but the BBC staff who put themselves in the firing line), then a lot of the value is spoilt. These blogs are supposed to be about so many other issues. News, information, programming choices and developments from the horses mouth (not being rude there) and the opportunity for all participants to feedback.

    As I've said before. Let's keep it balanced.

  • Comment number 40.

    Chris K, I hope you're not offended but I do think that I have an affinity with you, certainly in as much as my supporting your plea for opera, ballet, theatrical recordings and musical masterclasses on BBC HD. To my mind, that's what HD is about - although maybe I'd be at odds by with you by adding that there should also be a place on the channel for HD films, sport and (Mad men, Wallander style) quality drama on the channel too.

    Trouble is that I get the impression that there are people at the BBC who don't seem to get the message that is coming out loud and clear from the customers through these Blogs (even if you prefer to label them as the vocal minority). That said, I do concede that there are some within the BBC who are apparently listening to us, and seemingly willing to meet us half-way. To them, I am very grateful - and although we may not aleways see eye to eye I'm pleased that they have given us the opportunity to freely exchange our points of view.

  • Comment number 41.

    And this of course is the problem that the BBC is creating for itself by having a single HD channel.

    If they broadcast more "opera, ballet, theatrical recordings and musical masterclasses", I would turn to another channel immediately. :-)

  • Comment number 42.

    Why don't you show many films on BBC HD ? Channel 4 and ITV show far more films in HD than you, why? You show films late at night on BBC 1, why not broadcast them on BBC HD at the same time. Are you frightend of offending sky, because they are pushing their subscription service? Why is freesat not being advertised more often. Most people think that the only way to recieve HD, is through a sky box. Please show more films in HD, you can put them on late at night so people can record them. How about showing the brilliant The Snapper in HD, this was a BBC film was it not. Channel 4 and ITV are trouncing you on film content in HD, and I think this is wrong. Please please pretty please with a cherry on top, show more HD films. Thankyou

  • Comment number 43.

    I welcome a diversity of programming on the HD channel, but the key to enjoying a program on this channel is the picture quality.
    If a program is shown on another BBC channel that I am looking forward to and is not availiable on the HD channel I will go to BBC1, 2, 3 or BBC4 and watch and enjoy it there.

    However if a program is shown on the HD channel which I want to see, and the picture quality is in my opinion -sub standard-when compared to pre August 09 or when compared to other HD channels then I feel agrieved and
    disappointed, a feeling which detracts from the enjoyment of a program.

    I would like to see the spare capacity 'now channel 5 have signed up elsewhere' to be used to improve PQ -
    With regard to the showing of repeats over Easter- Danielle does say the feedback will enable the BBC to determine the types of program people want to see in HD so is a valid thing to do.

    I should like to see more science and technology, more sport, more natural history- fims and documentaries, more music and drama. In an Ideal situation I'd like the BBC to simulcast it's output in HD.Plus a dedicated BBC Sport channel.
    Now that ITV have announced a simulcast on freesat it's time the BBC stepped up a gear and gave us a full time channel or two in High quality HD which can cope with fast moving scenes and challenging lighting.

    Looking forward to some announcements along these lines before the World Cup.

  • Comment number 44.

    @38 "Getting back to the theme of this thread, I would like to see more opera, ballet, theatrical recordings and musical masterclasses of any genre, similar to Sky Arts."

    The trouble is, we don't get much of that on the current BBC SD channels.

    I watched Madama Butterfly last week (the Minghella production in Italian form the Met in New York) in HD on Sky Arts with no commercial breaks.

    This is what the BBC used to do, now we're lucky if we get one opera per year at Christmas.

  • Comment number 45.

    Hello again Danielle. Can I make a request for Easter?? My Request is that the channel increases bandwith to an acceptable level that gives a great consistant HD picture and increases resolution of 1920*1080.

    You can hide away in non HD blog areas, but we will not go away Danielle until the channel increases the quality. The quality is still poor and still nothing has been done.

  • Comment number 46.

    @ ChrisK

    I think the person who said you should visit specsavers hade no intention of being 'rude' as you put it, they were just poking some light-hearted fun.

    In your original post you stated that you were new to HD and it is good that you are enjoying it. However, it could be SO much better!

    Before August it was just STUNNING. Now it's merely slightly better than SD, nothing to get excited about at all.

    I'm sorry that you feel the thread has been hijacked. I suppose it has really. But only because those of us who have seen the difference in quality, care enough to protest.

    If you and others tolerate the reduction in quality, what next? Will you be happy if the BBC reduces the quality of it's mainstream SD channels so as to regain the 'wow' factor on HD?

    Remember, the audience for BBC HD is still quite small. The number of people you see protesting is a small but significant number of it's customers (we pay for it, we are customers)and the service we are being given is vastly inferior to what we should be getting.

  • Comment number 47.

    Hi Danielle,

    If it's possible (although not in the list) I'd love to see Planet Earth Freshwater again.

    One of the reasons I and many others fell in love with BBC HD back in the early days :)

  • Comment number 48.

    @ 46 There has been bad HD and stunning HD on BBC HD. Both have occurred before and after the encoder/bitrate change.

    To say it's slightly better than SD is not true. We're currently watching three programmes per week on BBC HD. Lark Rise, Damages and Mad Men. All are excellent HD quality.

    However, if the original production is not very HD friendly there will be complaints.

    I saw a promo for Ashes to Ashes the other night and I'm expecting the bitrate/encoder complainers to fill these blogs.

  • Comment number 49.

    Though I am not have HD in my Smolensk butcher’s shop, I am watch and enjoy many things on British Broadcasting Collective’s excellent EYE PLAYER. Assistant Yuri is very big fan of Total Wipeout in which small man with messy hair poke much funs at silly people fall in water. I am like the Strictly Dancing, which is present by great 1970s legend Basil Brush.

    So for HD, what I suggest? Well, your policy of no Ukrainian films is very good. Films like "Stalin Ate My Grandmother", "They've Turned the Gas Off Again" and "What's with Putin's Socks?" We Russians hate with vengeance these malicious views of glorious Russian history.

    But a season of great Russian films is grace your HD, especially those inspired by West. Ed Wood is big influence on Mosfilms. "Capitalist Aliens Attack in Volga Region" owes much to "Plan Nine from Outer Space". Soviet remake of “Magnificent Seven” called “The Even More Magnificent Six” is Cold War parable of Russian productivity versus Western decadence. Also television influences. There is excellent re-run on Smollensky TV at moment of Soviet version of “Emmerdale Farm” called “Collective Farm”. It’s the season in which the inspector from Moscow is due and everyone is very excited as grain quota is being exceeded. You should have this on.

    We also have good reality TV models. “I’m a Small Businessman and I Don’t Want to Pay for Protection Anymore” is very exciting and quite scary, as is “Irkutsk Hospital”. Last week man have operation on knee without anesthetic – hospital is run out two weeks before – bad business!

    But I will be tune in watch great satire programme BBC News with Hugh Edwards, jolly man! The ironic distortions of Russian life we see on here is crack us up so much we are make small wee in pant.

  • Comment number 50.

    re 49 Konnolsky

    I think you should have saved that for April 1st :-)

  • Comment number 51.

    @ 48, Whist you may feel the programmes you watch are excellent, they are still far from stunning and still not as good as they could be.

    I accept that some shows are badly produced, but, as proven with the live football, Jonathan ross and the other many shows that were shown before the encoder change - the bit rate is simply far too low.

    Some shows still look ok, but nothing looks stunning anymore.

  • Comment number 52.

    @49, Priceless!!

  • Comment number 53.

    @41. Thanks, but I wasn't offended for myself. After reading other blogs (particularly the one that was closed) I was disgusted at the abuse and frankly low level of debate offered by some (not all) who had taken on a mob mentality. I wouldn't blame the BBC heads if they withdrew from the process, although in my view they answered the questions and criticisms. I was concerned about other equally important issues being lost in the noise.

    @48. I think you've summed up the major issue quite succinctly. It seems that whenever a poor programme goes out the PQ/bit-rate brigade go into overdrive. I think the debate should shift to production quality of individual programmes in a civilised way even if there are harsh criticisms and hopefully the theme of this blog allows for that.

    BTW I think this blog/thread has achieved a level of balance.

  • Comment number 54.

    Whoops, in my previous post @53 I should have referred to @40 paul_geaton's post and not @41. Sorry abou the typo.

  • Comment number 55.

    #53 chrisk you have to be careful that you dont fall into the trap of thinking a blog where more people agree with you is somehow more balanced..
    also much of the frustration on here is the lack of debate..but your position is clear ..and i guess you will win..the bbc have controlled and blandified their messageboards and their blogs to the point where less and less people can be bothered anymore...sad thing is its the people who care (but have been alienated by the bbc ) that the bbc might need when / if the tories get elected..
    but enjoy a world with no discent no enthusiasm no passion..the new bbc are giving you that in spades

  • Comment number 56.

    @53 joe, I don't expect more people to agree with me for it to be balanced and I don't expect to 'win', as you describe it. My post about more ballet, opera, etc., hardly had any support and at least one firmly voiced against. My comment is that people posting here are now civil, even if they have strong criticisms. I think the unrelenting mob mentality of other blogs (particularly the one closed for personal abuse) have alienated more people from contributing than the BBC. Don't get bitter just because your side of the argument hasn't prevailed, it's clearly a minority view of the BBC HD viewers overall.

    Keeping on theme, I would like more debate about the type of programming and as I said in @53 the focus should be on individual programme quality with as much dissent and passion as you like but not the personal abuse as before.

  • Comment number 57.

    Bad news at the moment for Moto GP fans.
    Despite nearly every Moto GP race being outside of current BBC HD hours the BBC hasn't yet confirmed it is showing Moto GP is HD despite many countries and broadcasters signing up.


  • Comment number 58.

    57. At 1:13pm on 29 Mar 2010, F1 wrote:

    Why doesnt that surpise me, the BBC dont care about MotoGP and its fans!

    They buy exclusive rights to take it away from Europsport then decide that childrens TV is more important than a championship decider.

    The BBC have annoyed thoudsands of MotoGP fans..... GIVE IT BACK TO EUROSPORT YOU SELFISH, GREEDY, USELESS FOOLS!

    Sorry rant over!

  • Comment number 59.

    See http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tv_and_radio/8590708.stm

    Seems to show that qualifying and the F1 GP will on BBC HD. Why has this not been advertised or commented on more widely? Surely, that's something that many of us wanted to see over Easter...

  • Comment number 60.

    Glad to see the Grand National will be covered in HD.

    The use of High Speed cameras also sound encouraging. Looking forward to seeing that.

  • Comment number 61.

    #59 Must be a typo. No mention of F1 in the BBC HD programme schedule. http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbchd/programmes/schedules/2010/04/04

  • Comment number 62.

    What I want to see on BBCHD over Easter is the same as what I want to see the rest of the time: programs that benefit from being in HD. WHy does the BBC show show much rubbish such as drama, cooking, competitions and reality? Why not nature, earth, science...? Tonight (30th Mar) for example, the Invisible Worlds program was shown in SD while you put some drama on in HD. Why?
    Please show fewer drama programs and more programs that really show off HD.

  • Comment number 63.

    Any chance of getting the f1 championship on hd?

  • Comment number 64.

    Easter has come and gone - so I suppose this thread is wasted now.


    Consider this.

    ITV HD.

    Don't all of you lot at the BBC feel like you are getting left behind? The beginning of April saw ITV launch HD and to me, that makes you, the BBC, the April Fools.

    Isn't it about time you took your heads out of your backsides and do what your great commercial rivals have done? Go Hi-Def. Or get left behind and keep taking our money, and us, for the proverbial ride.

  • Comment number 65.

    @64 Paul in Preston wrote:

    Consider this.
    ITV HD.
    Don't all of you lot at the BBC feel like you are getting left behind? The beginning of April saw ITV launch HD and to me, that makes you, the BBC, the April Fools.

    Or consider this instead.

    ITV HD didn't broadcast a single HD programme today...

  • Comment number 66.

    Was F1 on HD? can anyone answer this?

  • Comment number 67.

    Hi Danielle,

    This is the first time I've posted on here but I feel strongly enough to want to.

    Sky have announced that Sky News HD will launch nearer the end of April 2010 to coincide with the Election coverage and the leaders debates. However, I haven't heard any information on whether BBC HD will be broadcasting any of the Election coverage in HD?

    Also, are there any plans whatsoever to launch an HD version of BBC News?

    Thank you,

  • Comment number 68.

    Personally speaking, News is the last place for HD. The only facility that may have the HD capability is the studio... and I don't care two hoots if the anchormen prance around in HD - it is inconsequential. All other material is sourced from a variety of sources around the world and can be anything from 4:3 handycam to live links etc. None of this needs to be in HD. None of this can afford to be in HD. I certainly do not want my licence fee spent on upgrading formats in the studio and on location for no real benefit.

    HD needs to concentrate on content that we will see the benefit on screen and that is readily affordable for the hours on screen. That is why F1 and sport is a natural first choice, and high end drama is second. Ironically, with the hours on screen, Eastenders should be next, although I hope they scrap the corrosive tat as soon as they can.

  • Comment number 69.

    Danielle, this Blog is now obe'd. Time for a new one I think. How about one on the future of HD from the BBC?

  • Comment number 70.

    Moving Danielle Nagler onto the TV Blog was a brilliant move to hide all the previous negative comments about BBC HD on her previous blogs on the BBC Internet Blogs - now clicking-on DN just brings up this blog.

    George Orwell would be proud of you.

  • Comment number 71.


    All Sky News' studios have been upgraded to HD as have their UK reporters and some foreign correspondents/bureaux too.

    Don't confuse Sky HD with BBC HD!! When Sky do something in HD, they do it properly.

    As an example their latest 'talent show' Got to Dance' was 100% HD/DD5.1. That's the auditions, visiting contestants homes, live studio shows, everything. BBC HD only do half measures as it seems does ITV1 HD, with Britain's Got Talent only being in HD for the live shows.

    But never forget you have to pay Sky for the privilege. 'Believe in Better', doesn't come cheap.

  • Comment number 72.

    I would like to see the F1 racing on bbc hd, you get the 6 nations rugby why not the f1?

  • Comment number 73.

    (@69 - paul_geaton - I agree)

    I know this is a bit late, but I think that to answer your question the BBC needs to decide what it wants the future of HDTV in the BBC to be.
    I answered questions to the BBC Trust survey recently and in my opinion there doesn't appear to be a clear 'direction' that the HD service is heading in.

    ITV have now provided the permanent HD channel, which currently consists of mostly upscaled content. Sky have made a clear commitment to providing a wide range of True HD and upscaled HD services, albeit at a price premium to the customer.
    I understand and to a large degree admire the BBC commitment to only use the HD channel to broadcast high-quality HD programming (with the 25% SD content max caveat), but I think that a clear commitment should be made to providing a bigger HD service.

    Is the ITV route the correct one to follow? Well that's debatable.
    By having a dedicated HD-only channel the BBC can 'cherry-pick' the best content from across the channel range, rather than being forced to simply show a mix of HD and upscaled SD content because "that's what's on BBC1". However the upscales done at source are clearly of a better quality than 99.9% of the consumer equipment held by the general population, so perhaps there is value in providing that service. After all if I'm watching ITV I only watch the the ITV HD channel and why wouldn't I, as I've got a Humax Freesat box and don't have an expensive scaler.

    What would I like to see on the BBC HD Channel?
    - High quality sports broadcasting: The Grand National looked fantastic, but why were Badminton Horse Trials and the World Snooker Championships relegated to 'Red Button' coverage? I too would love to see the F1 on BBC HD, but my understanding is that the HD feed hasn't been released to broadcasters yet. Can you clarify that for everyone who's asked?
    - Continued commitment to good quality drama, comedy and nature programming: Something we've come to expect from the BBC HD channel. Long may it continue to grow.
    - More films: More, more, more! The source material is already there, lets see it exploited.
    - More live programming: Strictly always looks good but why not some of the news / magazine programmes too? When Paxman makes the politicians sweat, I want to see the pain on their faces!
    - Expand the core BBC HD hours and get rid of the pointless preview loop: Use the channel for content, not for snippets, especially when there is content available.

    I've finally answered the question now I guess!

    Before there's any replies about what constitutes high quality, this ISN'T a PQ post as that has been done to death in other blog posts. Whilst I appreciate the good work that Paul Eaton has done to highlight the perceived issues, frankly Danielle if I were in your shoes then I'd have switched off from reading any more of those posts. You and Andy made your points on those threads and responding to Paul's complaint IMHO and continually regurgitating that debate now won't change your stance or actions.

  • Comment number 74.

    Hello everyone, thanks for your comments here.

    Those of you that would like to get into detail about HD picture quality - please look at the new post on the BBC Internet blog. It's collectively written by a group of critics of BBC HD picture quality who were invited into the BBC by Andy Quested to discuss the subject in person.

    Makes very interesting reading! Please post any comments about picture quality on the Internet blog.

    Thanks all.

    Fiona, TV blog editor


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