The BBC’s Head of HD, Danielle Nagler, appeared on BBC1′s Points of View this afternoon to address viewers concerns about the recent changes in quality on the BBC’s HD channel.
Ms Nagler confirmed that there has been a 40% reduction in the bitrate used on the BBC HD channel, as a result of new BBC HD encoders that were introduced at the start of August 2009 to reduce bandwidth.
Viewers complaints featured in the show talk about a major reduction in picture quality, making it little better than standard definition.
In response to criticism, Ms Nagler responded that there is “No evidence that reducing the bitrate has an impact on picture quality or that there’s an absolute relationship between bitrate and picture quality” – implying that the complainers are just imagining the deterioration of HD picture quality shown by the BBC.
There’s also discussion of the Beeb’s commitment to offer 75% of the content on BBC HD in HD, delays in transmission of HD shows, and display of DOGs (the digital on-screen graphic logo).
From looking at comments on today’s Points of View, many seem pretty unimpressed with Ms Nagler’s defense of the changes to the HD encoding, with accusations of “denial and spin” being posted in threads on the BBC’s Internet Blog.
If you’re one of the BBC HD viewers that appear to be imagining the quality drop after this 40% reduction, we’d welcome your comments…