The craft of making Being Human and Later With Jools Holland in High Definition TV

Monday 21 June 2010, 12:44

Danielle Nagler Danielle Nagler Controller, BBC HD

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As any of you who has bought a High Definition (HD) television - or just read the claims about them - will know, HD can give you five times more detail in your television picture.

Most of us don't watch standard definition TV and notice the absence of all that detail, but it is true that watching HD pictures can show you things on television you have never seen before (and may not want to).

When HD television first started, ripples of terror ran through the communities of people who help make the television illusion real for us - the make up artists, set designers, costume designers, props people, and so on.

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But they are, of course, highly skilled craftspeople, and have learnt to understand HD and to adapt the ways they work to suit.

We wanted to show you a little more of what HD involves and to share with you the talents of some of those who make it all possible. So we've made a series of short films to give you some insight into how programmes are made in high definition.

They'll be shown on TV in some of the gaps between programmes on BBC HD - and available on the BBC website - but I wanted to share the first two with you here.

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They take you to visit the model makers at Aardman in Bristol who care for CBBC's Shaun The Sheep (I'll update this post with a link to this video when it becomes available) and the make-up artists who spend hours creating werewolf wounds on BBC Three's Being Human, as well as the sound engineers responsible for the full (5.1) musical experience on Later with Jools.

I hope they help you to appreciate the often unsung heroes who make HD TV work for the BBC, and for you.

Danielle Nagler is controller of BBC HD

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  • Comment number 1.

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

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    Comment number 2.

    Quote

    "HD can give you five times more detail in your television picture."

    Oh dear Danielle you have done it again. I think that comes of believing your own properganda.

    An SD picture is 720x576 = 414720 pixels. The BBC HD picture is 1440x1080 = 1555200 pixels. That means the BBC HD picture is only 3.75 times more detail than SD. Most HD channels including some ITV HD channels transmit 1920x1080 pixels giving 5 times the picture detail.

    I have not taken into account the extreamly low bit rates the BBC use which reduces the definition even further. In short the BBC HD channel is not HD. I notice that the BBC does not make this claim on any outside advertising as the Advertising Standards Authority would come down on it like a ton of bricks.

    @derek500

    I don't think BARB takes into account PVR viewing either. The BBC HD channel has always had very low viewing figures. One reason is that a simulcast channel is not available yet. It is not easy to keep track of which programs are available in HD. The poor picture quality on BBC HD also means that it is not worth the effort to turn over. BBC 1 HD will help but with 42 HD channels available in the UK they have got alot of competition.

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    Comment number 3.

    It seems rather strange that the BBC is trying to promote Surround Sound when in fact most of thier home produced programes are in stereo.

    Freeview HD viewers should also be warned that the surround signal transmitted by the BBC is not compatable with most Surround Sound systems in use today. Freeview HD does not use Dolby but uses AAC and so you will need to get an amplifier compatable with AAC.

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    Comment number 4.

    2. trevorjharrris i have to completely disagree with you . If you cant see the diffrence between BBC and BBC HD you must be blind. Football looks alot better on HD. I recently watched the 'life' series on HD and it looks excellent , far better than standard definition.

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    Comment number 5.

    @biily

    Some programs are better than others. Garrows Law and Ashes to Ashes are examples of some programes which were not distinguishable.

 

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