UKTV Play to go HD

(23-08-2023, 01:21 PM)IanJRedman Wrote:  With UKTV Play being HD now, is it likely that the HD channels will come out from behind the satellite paywall soon?

I am not sure yet. It is primarily a business decision from the owners to allow their HD channels to go on FTA satellite. With lots of discussion going on about these set of channels potentially going HD on various online forums over the last few months. I feel it is still an ongoing debate that still won't get anywhere soon at this time.
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(23-08-2023, 06:09 PM)James2001 Wrote:  On a related note, it's frustrating that the issue with newly acquired BBC content on UKTV Channels (especially Drama) is still going out filmised, and has been since the start of the year. It's affecting an increasing amount of content now, and whenever anyone's contacted UKTV about it, they're insistent there isn't an issue, so trying to get it sorted is proving near on impossible.

It seems to only be affecting BBC content (and I think only SD content, not HD), not UKTV's own or content from elsewhere, so possibly the issue's originating with the BBC rather than UKTV (though it's not affecting BBC content on other channels like That's TV). Either way, I really can't see how it's gone on for so long without being picked up on and fixed regardless of where the issue originates, as it's a very obvious issue when you're techically aware and know what the programmes in question are supposed to look like, so the fact this has been going on for 8 or 9 months with an increasing amount of their programming affected really speaks volumes for the technical and quality control standards.

Just looked at their new repeats of The Upper Hand, which are also going out with this problem- that makes it the first non-BBC programme I've seen, which does suggest the problem lies with UKTV themselves, not the BBC, which is what I'd assumed before.

I had assumed it was only affecting BBC content, because other non-BBC shows are going out fine (though that's because they were all HD, and it's clear now it's only SD content affected) and so are their repeats of The Bill despite being new copies, but I guess it's possible that these copies of The Bill were acquired and loaded into the systems a while back, likely when they acquired the pre-1998 episodes for UKTV Play in 2020 and 2021. Apart from The Bill, The Upper Hand may be the first non-BBC SD acqusition since this problem started, which is likely why it's not appeared on any non-BBC shows until now.

So, it does seem like it's an issue that's affecting newly acquired SD content, not just BBC content, which means the issue could be down to how UKTV are handling SD (presumably it's upscaled when loading it on their systems, and the upscaler is de-interlacing?). I'm struggling to understand how they don't seem to be noticing this is happening though, especially as it's been going on for so long.

UKTV have been denying there's an issue when anyone's tried to contact them about this, so it's like trying to bang your head against a brick wall hoping it will get fixed.
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I've just dug out my UKTV Play details and found this show.

Bearing in mind I'm using the Fire Stick 4k, which will show everything at 60Hz until you tell it otherwise (never mind what the "match original frame rate" option is supposed to do), so I've forced it at 50Hz.

I'm assuming its the same files (give or take) for Play that it is for channel playout.

So... I have to say I'm not seeing a full filmic effect, I'm seeing a slight one but it's mostly smooth to my eyes. I'd have thought it would have affected camera movements (like the entire opening sequence for example which is full of panning shots) but seems only to affect somebody moving their arms/hands around. Credits were fine.

I'll have a look at the broadcast on Freeview tomorrow as I've set a reminder.

Does UKTV Play run at 25p or 50p?

UKTV Play runs at 25p (so everything's like it on there regardless of how it goes out on air), unless you're downloading on a Sky box (where it's 50i), but I'm talking about the actual broadcast channels, not UKTV play (sorry if that wasn't clarified!).

Several shows have been affected by this, off the top of my head, in addition to The Upper Hand there's EastEnders (which was the first show to be affected, back in November/December), Casualty, Some Mothers Do 'Ave Em, Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads, Howard's Way and When The Boat Comes In. Possibly on other shows I haven't noticed (or ones shot on film or with a film look where it would only really be noticable if the show has quickly scrolling end credits).

Looking on UKTV Play I notice every episode of The Bill from mid-2001 until the last episode in 2010 is on there, I'm guessing they've been there for a while, ingested into their systems before this problem arose, and that's likely why the Drama screenings aren't being affected even though they're "new" copies (previous repeats were in 4:3 with the 2003 Fremantle ident at the end, this is the first time UKTV's shown them in 16:9, with the 2018 Fremantle ident at the end).

If you're going to check out how it looks on TV, best to be sure you don't have any sort of motion interpolation turned on on your TV, as that will affect things.
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It's a right messy sight on screen. The only thing I can think of is there are deinterlaced versions for UKTV streaming are going on the actual channel playout by mistake. Why this hasn't been flagged after so long I really can't fathom.

(25-08-2023, 02:15 AM)stusoldvideo Wrote:  It's a right messy sight on screen. The only thing I can think of is there are deinterlaced versions for UKTV streaming are going on the actual channel playout by mistake. Why this hasn't been flagged after so long I really can't fathom.

Several people have tried to contact UKTV about this, and all they get is a reponse that their technical people have looked at it, everything's fine, they can't see any problems. It's frustrating. It's the sort of thing that anyone with even a smattering of technical knowledge of video should be able to spot right off the bat, so how it's been going on for 8 or 9 months and affecting hundreds of episodes of several different shows and their technical people are claiming they can't see an issue is baffling.

Material being improperly deinterlaced is something that happens quite a lot on small channels, but it really shouldn't be happening with a major long standing broadcaster like UKTV, apart from the occasional hiccup, not going on for months seemingly unnoticed and unfixed.
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Yes I can see what the complaint is now, I've found what it was called on my TV, turned it off and you're right Mr James2001, there is a problem.

How is that not noticeable?  Seriously?  You'd have to be blind not to see that!

I suspect the monitoring/playback hides the issue on the system so unless they look what actually goes out on a TV instead of the mandatory recording they have to do for Ofcom which is probably played on a computer monitor...
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Yes, I'm really not sure how this is not being spotted at all, it really is an obvious problem, and it speaks volumes of the technical standards and quality control they have that this has been going on for 8 or 9 months and they still say they can't see anything when viewers try to contact them. Surely whoever's doing to the transfers can see that the content's coming out looking different to how it goes in? Surely there must be someone at UKTV who knows what these programmes are supposed to look like and that there's a fault somewhere, or has all proper technical expertise gone out the window? It's as if they have work experience kids who only watch TikTok videos checking for "quality" and that's why they think it's fine.

When contacting them just gets reponses like "we can't see anything wrong" or "it's because it's an old programme" or similar, it's clear it's not going to be properly investigated, or elevated to someone who might actually realise there's a problem and know how to fix it. I'm banging my head against the wall that plenty of viewers at home have spotted there's an issue, keep trying to let them know, but are getting abolsutely nowhere because the supposed proffessionals working there can't see it.

Is there anyone on this forum who has some sort of contact at UKTV who might actually be able to get something done rather than us having to tear our hair out with whoever answers viewer emails?
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I think the "its an old programme" will probably wash for 90% of the enquiries on the matter, but I think those people would be in for a shock if they had access to another source (DVDs or whatever) and saw how different that looked compared to the airings on Drama.

But of course most people will say they saw it like that back in the 90s, which is an obvious memory failure, because Central just wouldn't have let The Upper Hand go out like that... If you wanted the filmic look you'd make the show on film in the first place, but then we wouldn't be having this conversation....
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