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BBC Agrees to Improve HD Broadcast Quality

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Enjoying the World Cup in glorious HD? No, I didn't think so either (just focus on the French), but at least from a technical standpoint the outlook is good...

Proving that pressure groups can indeed make a difference this week is news the BBC HD Campaign has successfully lobbied the Beeb to improve the quality of its High Definition signal following a successful face-to-face meeting. Primary changes include VBR (variable bit rate encoding), picture noise reduction and a number of fixes for glitches the station has encountered in recent months.
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"We are pleased to see that after nearly a year of campaigning, BBC HD has taken these measures and, as we expected all along, the results have been a significant improvement in picture quality. "We feel these improvements vindicate our campaign, which will now continue with attempts to move the BBC to a Full HD service with a resolution of 1920x1080."

This last request is somewhat fanciful given the massive bandwidth required to send Full HD broadcasts, but the group did have a point regarding the current BBC HD channel which had dropped encoding from 16Mbit/sec to just 9.7Mbit/sec in August. This fell below both Sky's HD broadcasts and even the HD footage provided by BBC Worldwide to other European broadcasters. In response the Beeb simply released this super short stagement:

"The BBC is pleased that viewers feel that this set of changes has enhanced their experience of HD."

We await specifics on the changes and an official date for when these changes will be sent down to our magical moving picture boxes, but until then we'll be keeping our eyes locked to BBC HD - starting with Portugal v North Korea this afternoon...

Source: What satellite & Digital TV

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