The BBC is to widen the output of its BBC HD channel across an increasing number of genres. In a keynote speech to the HD Masters conference in London, Danielle Nagler Head of BBC HD, said that while documentaries such as Planet Earth allowed glimpses of animal behaviour that could not be physically achieved, viewers were demanding more.
“Our audiences are telling us clearly that we can’t box HD neatly into a limited number of genres. They instinctively recognise that HD can transform everything that we make for television,” said Nagler.
Over the past year BBC HD has broadened its schedule across children’s, sport, current affairs, entertainment and drama. However, there have been casualties, such as the Chelsea Flower Show that received no HD coverage this year.
Nagler said the transition towards HD meant the entire UK production base was being asked to make a transition towards a new suite of cameras and post production equipment. “We are asking them to do that at a time when the funding for television content is reducing, and we are asking production companies, resource providers, facilities owners, and freelancers to invest time, skill and money in a technology for which although it is growing, the audience and the immediate return to parts of the value chain remains limited.”
Looking forward to the launch of high definition services over terrestrial transmitters at the end of 2009, Nagler revealed the BBC received more questions on Freeview HD than on any other HD-related matter. There was she said a pent up demand among viewers for who Freeview HD was the platform of choice.