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BBC World TV: Based on UK forign policy, HDTV switch could..

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Anonymous
October 29, 2004 12:40:12 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv,alt.video.digital-tv,sci.engr.television.advanced (More info?)

BBC World TV: Based on UK foreign policy, HDTV switch could be sooner rather
than later...

From my understanding, until the 1980s BBC1's Crystal Palace a high power
Marconi transmitter (c. 193x) was in full use for 50 years. Domestic UK TV
transmitters have fared better, but rural viewers are still underserved --
even by the now mandatory NICAM Stereo. BBC domestic TV and Radio
transmitters don't get quite the money per transmitter unit for upgrading
and futureproofing, as VT Merlin's (former BBC World transmitter network).

Transmitters used for foreign service broadcasting are a different entity in
their own right, run under different rules. In any case, I would expect BBC
World TV to be available in HDTV to Australia and NZ soonish (2 years). USA
+ Canada (3 years). Expect to see BBC World in 720p (widescreen) on a
selective basis in Canada -- so as to allow ASTC streams to be debugged ...
Mixing 50hz and 60hz streams is an excellent test for ASTC debugging. I hope
Newsworld is included in the Canadian Multiplex.

== concerning ==

Yep - BBC World News is produced in 16:9 SDTV studios (as are all BBC News
shows made by the BBC in London)

The Beeb have no HDTV studios at all yet - not even for general production.

I would suspect that BBC World, being a global channel, will be one of the
BBC services least likely to move to HDTV - especially as it is funded by
advertising, hotel subscription (I think) and sponsorship - and not a huge
commercial cash generator for the BBC.

I suspect that the BBC's domestic services, aimed at and paid for by the UK
viewers via the licence fee, are likely to go HD first.

The Beeb have said that they aim for most production to be HD by 2010 - but
whether this includes non-domestic operations (BBC World, BBC America, BBC
Prime, BBC Food etc.) who knows.


== end snip =
October 29, 2004 6:27:08 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv,alt.video.digital-tv,sci.engr.television.advanced (More info?)

"HireMe.geek.nz" <mikehack@u.washington.edu> wrote in message
news:clt2q8$f1t$1@gnus01.u.washington.edu...
> BBC World TV: Based on UK foreign policy, HDTV switch could be sooner rather
> than later...

I'd say much later, given the general performance of BBC World & Prime, and the
sullying of the BBC brand with commercial dross, these channels would sooner
face the axe than go HDTV.

The only sort of success these channels can speak of is their ability to
consistently lose money each and every year since their launch, switching to HD
production would only help matters in this regard.

BSkyB and HD-DVD will trump any HD provision from the BBC even for domestic
services, if the Beeb starts to produce significant quantities of HD material it
will not be for domestic consumption or the above channels but for international
sales to feed the commercial beast.


Az.
Anonymous
October 30, 2004 5:51:25 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv,alt.video.digital-tv,sci.engr.television.advanced (More info?)

"HireMe.geek.nz" <mikehack@u.washington.edu> wrote in message
news:clt2q8$f1t$1@gnus01.u.washington.edu...
> BBC World TV: Based on UK foreign policy, HDTV switch could be sooner
> rather than later...
>
> From my understanding, until the 1980s BBC1's Crystal Palace a high power
> Marconi transmitter (c. 193x) was in full use for 50 years.

I'm no transmitter expert - but this must have been a radio transmitter
rather than TV. The BBC originally broadcast 405 line TV in VHF from
Alexandra Palace not Crystal Palace. 405 line VHF TV was closed down in
1985 - with 625 line UHF stuff introduced with BBC Two launching in the
early 60s, and the move of BBC One and ITV to UHF 625 from VHF 405 happening
in the later 60s, as colour PAL broadcasting was also introduced.

> Domestic UK TV transmitters have fared better, but rural viewers are still
> underserved -- even by the now mandatory NICAM Stereo.

AIUI all BBC transmitters now carry NICAM stereo. Jersey on the Channel
Islands was one of the last transmitters to get it - but this was because
until recently it relied on an off-air rebroadcast system which was not of
the highest quality, whereas now the transmitters are fed via digital
satellite. A few other UK transmitters were delayed in converting because
they were almost brand new when NICAM was introduced - but weren't
upgradeable - so it wasn't deemed cost-effective to replace them with NICAM
capable units just after they had been installed.

> BBC domestic TV and Radio transmitters don't get quite the money per
> transmitter unit for upgrading and futureproofing, as VT Merlin's (former
> BBC World transmitter network).

No idea - but the BBC don't own their domestic transmitters either - the
domestic network of transmitters was also sold off - this time to Crown
Castle, who also run the BBC's digital terrestrial network, and are also
partners with the BBC in the Freeview consortium.

Given that the BBC are operating half of the UK's digital terrestrial
transmission system - which is, I believe, the world's most successful
terrestrial digital scheme (certainly in terms of take-up scaled to national
population) I think it isn't quite so bad as you suggest. After all there
isn't much point in continuing to upgrade analogue transmitters for much
longer when they are going to be switched off by 2010-2012.

>
> Transmitters used for foreign service broadcasting are a different entity
> in their own right, run under different rules.

And BBC World TV is run and funded completely differently to BBC World
Service Radio.

BBC World Service Radio is funded by the UK Government, with transmitter
priorities also decided in association with govt.

BBC World TV is not funded by the UK Govt, and neither is it funded by the
UK TV licence fee, instead it is a commercial operation funded by
advertising, sponsorship etc. (I believe that editorially it is
co-ordinated with BBC World Service Radio via the BBC International
operation - but I think BBC Worldwide are still involved in the money side?)

Given that BBC World still doesn't operate in profit, I think it extremely
unlikely that it will receive investment ahead of the BBC domestic services
(which are funded from the bulk of the BBC's core income, the licence fee -
about £2.5bn a year?)

> In any case, I would expect BBC World TV to be available in HDTV to
> Australia and NZ soonish (2 years).

!!!!! Maybe it will be in 16:9 SD by then... Given that the BBC News
operation is due to re-locate from BBC TV Centre in West London to BBC
Broadcasting House in Central London in 2007/2008 - I can't see them
upgrading the news production facilities for any of their news outlets to HD
before then - they are still relatively new (built / re-equipped in
1997/1998) The only exception might possibly be for programmes that come
from the studio(s) that News buy in from the main BBC Resources operation at
TV Centre, rather than owned directly by News

> USA + Canada (3 years). Expect to see BBC World in 720p (widescreen) on a
> selective basis in Canada -- so as to allow ASTC streams to be debugged
> ... Mixing 50hz and 60hz streams is an excellent test for ASTC debugging.
> I hope Newsworld is included in the Canadian Multiplex.

Hmmm... I think you are going to have to wait longer than that - and I
suspect that all US broadcasts will remain 60Hz as very few HD CRT sets sold
in N. America seem to like 50Hz signals. (Also how many ATSC compatible
receivers in the North American market are likely to support 50i/50p
broadcasts - I believe the ATSC added them as an option only to try and
persuade Australia to go ATSC rather than DVB. I don't think any 50Hz
territories have gone ATSC have they ? So there may actually be no 50Hz
ATSC kit available for domestic purchase?)

>
> == concerning ==
>
> Yep - BBC World News is produced in 16:9 SDTV studios (as are all BBC News
> shows made by the BBC in London)
>
> The Beeb have no HDTV studios at all yet - not even for general
> production.
>
> I would suspect that BBC World, being a global channel, will be one of the
> BBC services least likely to move to HDTV - especially as it is funded by
> advertising, hotel subscription (I think) and sponsorship - and not a huge
> commercial cash generator for the BBC.
>
> I suspect that the BBC's domestic services, aimed at and paid for by the
> UK viewers via the licence fee, are likely to go HD first.
>
> The Beeb have said that they aim for most production to be HD by 2010 -
> but whether this includes non-domestic operations (BBC World, BBC America,
> BBC Prime, BBC Food etc.) who knows.
>
>
> == end snip =
>

Steve
Anonymous
October 30, 2004 5:54:00 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv,alt.video.digital-tv,sci.engr.television.advanced (More info?)

"Aztech" <az@tech.com> wrote in message
news:0rsgd.3552696$ic1.362993@news.easynews.com...
> "HireMe.geek.nz" <mikehack@u.washington.edu> wrote in message
> news:clt2q8$f1t$1@gnus01.u.washington.edu...
[snip]
> BSkyB and HD-DVD will trump any HD provision from the BBC even for
> domestic services, if the Beeb starts to produce significant quantities of
> HD material it will not be for domestic consumption or the above channels
> but for international sales to feed the commercial beast.
>

I suspect BBC HD stuff will be drama and high-end documentaries initially -
as you say stuff with international sales and/or co-pro potential. I can
see stuff like Spooks, and The Blue Planet, being shot in HD in the future.
There might be an argument that moving a soap to HD - say Casualty or
EastEnders - would be a cost-effective way of producing a lot of domestic,
and highly-viewed, HD stuff (and as a by product also improving the SD
quality of the shows)

On the other hand - the Beeb's first 16:9 service was BBC News 24...

Steve
!