Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

BBC HD Begins Broadcasting in 1080p

By - Source: (via Engadget) | B 5 comments

The BBC has quietly begun broadcasting some transmissions in 1080p.

A couple of months back, the BBC began taking advantage of a feature of the Freeview HD spec that allows the broadcaster to dynamically select between 1080p / 25fps and 1080i / 25fps transmission. These settop boxes are mandated to be able to output 1080p / 50fps and a recent software update means that Freeview HD STBs can now automatically detect 1080p material and change encoding appropriately.

"The Freeview HD platform has always been specified to provide a 1080p25 capability. This is why STBs are mandated to have a 1080p50 output to enable seamless up-conversion to a mode which is guaranteed to be present in all display devices," Phil Layton explained via the BBC’s R&D blog, adding that though a great deal of material is shot natively at 1080p25, "within a single programme, [1080i] may be used for moving credits, cross-fades and studio shots whereas  progressive may be used for location shot material."

While the ability to switch back and forth between 1080p and 1080i is definitely good news, it seems not all viewers are having a good experience with the new, high definition transmissions. The whole reason the Beeb's new approach came to light was because owners of Sony HD TVs are complaining about audio drop-outs. This is said to be occurring as the TVs' integrated tuner-fed decoders struggle with the change in format. Beleaguered Sony says it's working on a fix and will provide more information in the next week or so.

"Sony is testing a fix to this problem, and we will have more information within the next seven to 10 days, as there are other countries with HD broadcasts, we are checking to ensure that they are not affected by any changes made," the company told What Hi-Fi in a statement.

"This fix will improve the transition from 1080i to 1080p and back, to ensure the audio, picture and data information are not interrupted."

Further Reading

What Hi-Fi

BBC R&D Blog

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the UK News comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
  • 1 Hide
    silverblue , 23 May 2011 22:18
    Quote:
    "The Freeview HD platform has always been specified to provide a 1080p25 capability. This is why STBs are mandated to have a 1080p50 output to enable seamless up-conversion to a mode which is guaranteed to be present in all display devices," Phil Layton explained via the BBC’s R&D blog, adding that though a great deal of material is shot natively at 1080p25, "within a single programme, [1080i] may be used for moving credits, cross-fades and studio shots whereas progressive may be used for location shot material."


    Yes, but not on the initial batch of receivers which can only deal with 1080p30. I was under the impression that was still the case.
  • 0 Hide
    LePhuronn , 24 May 2011 06:15
    Time to step up your game Sky and make this £10 a month fee for HD (which is unnecessary) worth it
  • -1 Hide
    wild9 , 24 May 2011 09:07
    Would one actually want to watch the BBC at 1080p, or are they happy with propaganda at lesser resolutions?
  • Display all 5 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    david__t , 24 May 2011 18:30
    They should conccentrate on getting all of their content filmed in HD first before they tinker with their pre-existing stuff.
  • 0 Hide
    bennyboyreynolds , 27 May 2011 05:36
    I think this can only be a positive step - keep it coming beeb