Feeds

BBC shifts some HD transmissions to 1080p...

...troubling some Sony TVs in the process

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Updated The BBC has quietly begun broadcasting HD content in 1080p, sort of.

Since April, some BBC HD transmissions over Freeview HD have combined 1080i and 1080p material, switching between the two on a GOP (Group of Pictures) by GOP basis.

A GOP is a batch of H.264 encoded frames combining an initial, reference picture followed by a sequence of partial pictures that store the changes that need to be made to the first frame to generate the remaining frames in the GOP video sequence.

The reason for the switch to mixed 1080i/1080p: that's the way many HD shows are produced, combining 1080p material shot on location, with transitions and credits recorded and rendered in 1080i so they run more smoothly. Studio material is shot in 1080i too.

Matching what's displayed with what's produced - rather than re-encoding everything at 1080i - makes for a better quality picture, say BBC engineers. Provided, of course, your set-top box outputs at 1080p.

All good stuff, but it's causing some viewers woes. Owners of recent Sony HD TVs, for example, have complained about audio drop-outs, presumably as the tellies' integrated tuner-fed decoders temporarily lose track of the audio while juggling the switch from 1080i to 1080p and vice versa.

Sony said yesterday that it's working on a solution, and promised more information on 7-10 days. The BBC likewise told What Hi-Fi that it will work with any vendor suffering from such problems to help sort them out.

Perhaps it should have done that at the start, running the new approach to transmission by TV makers first in order to prevent the problems Sony owners - and possibly those with other telly brands too - have experienced.

The BBC subsequently told us it "worked closely with receiver manufacturers ahead of these changes to investigate any interoperability issues". Even so, at least one vendor's customers are still suffering.

While the Freeview HD spec for set-top boxes mandates handling 1080p material at 50 frames per second, to cope with this kind of thing, that doesn't appear to be the case with tuner-equipped TVs which is why Sony's sets - among the first in the UK to ship with on-board Freeview HD tuners - are now being bitten by the BBC's change.

Don't forget that, depending on the size of your TV, 1080p transmission may not actually matter much. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.