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SD Channels

So it's 2020 and 1080p/i HD televisions have been out on the market for near enough 15 years with 720p starting to show in late 90's. So that's long enough for people to have switched from old analogue TVs. So why are TV providers and virgin still broadcasting in 480p SD definition.

 

Even 1080 has been superseded with 4k and eventually 8k. Isn't it time to join the 21st Century?

No wonder people ditch services like virgin and sky when so much of the stuff broadcast is low quality. 

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Re: SD Channels

SD is broadcast at 576i, HD at 1080i. Many channels are only SD because they are cheaper. You can get better quality SD and HD by having fewer channels but that's not what the market wants.

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Message 3 of 8
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Re: SD Channels

Out of interest, do you know of any broadcasters who provide channels in HD that VM or Sky don't carry?

I guess the point is, that I wouldn't necessarily disagree with you - but if anything VM are being quite proactive in HD/SD swaps (Channel 5 being a prime example), and if broadcasters don't want to provide HD versions of their channels (for whatever reason), then the pay-TV platforms can hardly be blamed for it.

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Re: SD Channels

I think that Sky broadcasts all eight Sports channels in HD but provides SD versions to VM, probably due to their agreement.

One other thing to consider is that a significant proportion of the population doesn't have an HD TV, and there's still over 7,000 black and white TV licence holders.

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Re: SD Channels

'One other thing to consider is that a significant proportion of the population doesn't have an HD TV, and there's still over 7,000 black and white TV licence holders'

yep. on here we have had people complaining that they don't want HD. One person said they had no intention of giving up their VHS recorder.

I know some people who still have the 'old' tv's. In one case a family friend is in his late 20's. So it isn't necessarily older people.

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Re: SD Channels

and for those of you who are watching in black and white, the pink is next to the green."

Classic Ted Lowe from Pot Black 

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Message 7 of 8
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Re: SD Channels

Can you even connect a Virgin box to a black and white TV? Or any kind of digital box for that matter?

I get that a very small amount of people are still using old TV's but surely that can't be the only reason to keep broadcasting SD versions of channels where a HD version is also available? 

When the switch over from analogue to digital happened there were a lot of TV's out there that simply didn't have the connections for a digital box. I remember, as my elderly father bought a box thinking he could just plug it into his existing (i.e. ancient) TV. Nobody then said "lets continue with analogue for that very small minority who don't want digital".

Could there be a more duplicitous reason?

When TV providers are selling packages they make a big deal about the number of channels you will get with 'X' package (and therefore charge you accordingly). However in this channel count SD versions of channels are often counted as separate from their HD counterparts thereby bumping up the numbers they claim. If I told you clearly that package X comes with 100 channels but 20 out of that 100 are just SD versions of HD channels you will also receive would you be as quick to sign up? I asked Virgin a few years ago on these forums if SD and +1 channels counted towards the overall channel count in your package and they confirmed it did (but to be fair I don't know if it's perhaps changed since then). 

I agree with OP though. Five million (+/-) TV licences in the UK and 7000 of them are for B&W TV's, that's less than 1% (unless my maths is wrong). There cannot be any logical reason to keep SD versions of HD channels going in 2020 just to appease that tiny amount of people who are still keeping their old black and white portable going (or, lets be frank, lying about it to get a cheaper TV licence)

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Message 8 of 8
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Re: SD Channels

The TV broadcasters are using the HD versions as extra income streams. For example, Free-To-Air channels outside the main 5 Public Service Broadcaster ones are usually only available on Pay TV e.g. ITV2/3/4, Dave, E4, etc.

They can use the excuse that there's no room on Freeview for HD versions and the need for the equivalent of another Switchover process to ensure the equipment and space on the airwaves is available. Not made any easier when the airwaves are being given over to 5G.

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