What is the point of the 'Watch in HD' feature?

highdeftvfanhighdeftvfan Member Posts: 52
edited 17 October 2018, 9:13PM in Discussion
youview proudly announced the 'Watch in HD' feature a while back, however, so few programmes are tagged with the option to watch in HD that the feature is pretty pointless.

Just went to watch Taskmaster on Dave, hit info button and yep... NO watch in HD option, like so many of the SD channels that have a corresponding HD channel, @Sarah, seriously, what is the point of this feature, it's half implemented?
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Comments

  • TomWTomW Member Posts: 508 ✭✭

    Just my 2 cents but I really don’t think it matters. Those people, like myself, who always want to watch in HD where it’s available, and are aware of the HD channels that are available, will almost always watch HD by default. Those people who aren’t bothered about HD, or don’t know which channels are available in HD, or people like my parents who always watch SD because the SD channels are at the top of the guide (despite me explaining on numerous occasions where the HD channels are located and that they won’t get any benefit from their fancy new 4K TV if they continue to watch in SD) will not not even think to press i button to see if the programme they’re watching is available in HD. As such the HD option, if it is to be of any value, needs to be exposed as a pop up prompt when the user selects an SD channel or sets an SD recording where an HD equivalent is available. Either that or push the HD channels to the top of the guide so that they’re front and centre, but we know that’s probably never going to happen because of the politics around the ordering of channels in the guide.

  • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,522 ✭✭✭
    edited 18 October 2018, 9:38AM
    From the details of that BT TV software release:

    ”This software version currently supports these box models:
      • DTR- T1000”
      Though I do suspect there was an earlier release that brought this to the boxes most of us actually have.

      The bit you want to be highlighting though, perhaps, @highdeftvfan, is ‘Depending on the programme’, which reflects that the feature in question is driven off the metadata supplied by the broadcaster, and not by the YouView box making a hunt round the schedules. 

      So if you would like this feature to operate for Dave programmes, then your best course of action is to contact Dave, and ask if they will kindly start supplying this metadata with their SD broadcasts.
      ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
    • highdeftvfanhighdeftvfan Member Posts: 52
      edited 18 October 2018, 9:26AM
       I think it's the responsibility of youview to contact the Dave channel and not individual customers on their behalf.

      It is youvview that implemented the feature, therefore it is youview that requires the necessary metadata from the various channels, in the same way they need programme images from the various channels...

      Normally companies have contracts in place that specify their obligations to each other, as a carrier of the Dave channel on the youview platform, youview should be asking Dave to supply the necessary data, not me...
    • redchizredchiz Member, Super User Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭
      I don't know about contacting Dave directly, but what about BT who are the actual carrier, rather than YouView who are more the facilitator? There's the rub with the more disparate approach between partners we have now.
    • highdeftvfanhighdeftvfan Member Posts: 52
      redchiz said:
      I don't know about contacting Dave directly, but what about BT who are the actual carrier, rather than YouView who are more the facilitator? There's the rub with the more disparate approach between partners we have now.
      Good point, it's all very confusing... your point about youview being more the facilitator is a good one, I'm with BT, but what about youview retail customers... who is their carrier?
    • jimbjimb Member, Super User Posts: 1,412 ✭✭✭
      TomW said:

      Just my 2 cents but I really don’t think it matters. Those people, like myself, who always want to watch in HD where it’s available, and are aware of the HD channels that are available, will almost always watch HD by default. Those people who aren’t bothered about HD, or don’t know which channels are available in HD, or people like my parents who always watch SD because the SD channels are at the top of the guide (despite me explaining on numerous occasions where the HD channels are located and that they won’t get any benefit from their fancy new 4K TV if they continue to watch in SD) will not not even think to press i button to see if the programme they’re watching is available in HD. 

      Sorry @TomW, I don't agree with the above.
      When I access the guide I'm at the top among the SD channels.
      So that's where I start browsing for something to watch, and I often access the programme information and then think: yep that looks good - I'll watch it.
      But I'm looking at the SD channel, so it would be so much easier to be able to jump to the HD version with a couple of button pushes rather than exiting the information, typing the HD channel number (which is a bit fiddly), and then pressing Play.

      (And if the HD version is not in the 101-105 area then my addled old brain probably wouldn't even remember what the appropriate HD channel number is  :D)

      The rest of your post ("As such the HD option, if it is to be of any value, needs to be exposed as a pop up prompt when the user selects an SD channel or sets an SD recording where an HD equivalent is available...") is a good suggestion.
      But that is a new bit of programming for YouView to develop.
      The "Watch live in HD" functionality already exists - it just needs the correct data to work on all the right channels.
    • jimbjimb Member, Super User Posts: 1,412 ✭✭✭
      Roy said:
      ...The bit you want to be highlighting though, perhaps, @highdeftvfan, is ‘Depending on the programme’, which reflects that the feature in question is driven off the metadata supplied by the broadcaster, and not by the YouView box making a hunt round the schedules. 

      So if you would like this feature to operate for Dave programmes, then your best course of action is to contact Dave, and ask if they will kindly start supplying this metadata with their SD broadcasts.
      Well @Roy this is a rare event...
      With the greatest of respect I think you're wrong  :o

      Offering "Watch live in HD" is not something that needs programme metadata, it's a channel decision.
      The box is perfectly capable of determining if there is an HD channel available based on what channels it found during the tuning process.

      (But I suspect the box is in fact making the decision based on programme data because that would probably have been an easy bit of programming.)

      So I support @highdeftvfan's request for YouView (not the content suppliers) to correctly implement this function.
    • redchizredchiz Member, Super User Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭
      edited 18 October 2018, 2:33PM
      Good point, it's all very confusing... your point about youview being more the facilitator is a good one, I'm with BT, but what about youview retail customers... who is their carrier?
      Dave HD along with a number of HD channels are only available to BT TV/PlusNet customers, not retail or, presently, TalkTalk.

      And I might add for the avoidance of any confusion IP channels as opposed to Freeview, hence perhaps the difference in the way they handle metadata?
    • highdeftvfanhighdeftvfan Member Posts: 52
      I've just quickly checked my TV guide, and right now, itv,4, and BBC Four are not giving the Watch Live in HD option, so I assume the carrier in this case is Freeview?
    • redchizredchiz Member, Super User Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭
      @Sarah Can you shed any light, or give any pointers on this, please?
    • highdeftvfanhighdeftvfan Member Posts: 52
      Actually, thinking about this, the option to Watch Live in HD does really need to be done on the box, because with Freeview isn't it possible depending on where you live to receive SD versions of channels but not HD, so if a SD programme was tagged as "also available in HD", the user might not actually have the HD channel...
    • jimbjimb Member, Super User Posts: 1,412 ✭✭✭
      edited 18 October 2018, 3:07PM
      Actually, thinking about this, the option to Watch Live in HD does really need to be done on the box, because with Freeview isn't it possible depending on where you live to receive SD versions of channels but not HD, so if a SD programme was tagged as "also available in HD", the user might not actually have the HD channel...

      Yes. I don't receive BBC NEWS in HD here, but the box still offers me "Watch live in HD". 
      Just thought I'd mention that the YouView app always knows what's actually available on my box. 
    • SarahSarah Member Posts: 1,812 admin
      Hiya, 

      YouView supports the channels should they choose to implement the 'watch in HD' functionality. Currently BBC and Channel 5 have chosen to implement this on the relevant content on their channels so you should have the option to watch in HD for these when it's available. If other channels choose to implement this we will of course support them in doing so by having the Watch in HD feature appear in the action panel for their content. 

      Thanks,
      Sarah

    • jimbjimb Member, Super User Posts: 1,412 ✭✭✭
      Sarah said:
      Hiya, 

      YouView supports the channels should they choose to implement the 'watch in HD' functionality. Currently BBC and Channel 5 have chosen to implement this on the relevant content on their channels so you should have the option to watch in HD for these when it's available. If other channels choose to implement this we will of course support them in doing so by having the Watch in HD feature appear in the action panel for their content. 

      Thanks,
      Sarah


      Sorry @Sarah but that's a complete cop-out. 
      YouView is not constrained by what the broadcasters are providing. 
      You just choose to use their data to drive YouView's functionality, probably because (as I said above) this is an easier solution than writing some new software to do the job properly. 
    • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,522 ✭✭✭
      edited 18 October 2018, 4:37PM
      jimb said:
      Roy said:
      ...The bit you want to be highlighting though, perhaps, @highdeftvfan, is ‘Depending on the programme’, which reflects that the feature in question is driven off the metadata supplied by the broadcaster, and not by the YouView box making a hunt round the schedules. 

      So if you would like this feature to operate for Dave programmes, then your best course of action is to contact Dave, and ask if they will kindly start supplying this metadata with their SD broadcasts.
      Well @Roy this is a rare event...
      With the greatest of respect I think you're wrong  :o

      Offering "Watch live in HD" is not something that needs programme metadata, it's a channel decision.
      The box is perfectly capable of determining if there is an HD channel available based on what channels it found during the tuning process.

      (But I suspect the box is in fact making the decision based on programme data because that would probably have been an easy bit of programming.)

      So I support @highdeftvfan's request for YouView (not the content suppliers) to correctly implement this function.
      Thanks @jimb

      But would this not lead to false positives when, say, you were looking at a regional news programme on SD, if the box just said ‘Hey, I know there is an HD version of this channel’?

      Thats why I thought it would have to be programme by programme, not channel by channel.

      Or do you still think I am wrong here?
      ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
    • jimbjimb Member, Super User Posts: 1,412 ✭✭✭
      Roy said:

      But would this not lead to false positives when, say, you were looking at a regional news programme on SD, if the box just said ‘Hey, I know there is an HD version of this channel’?

      Thats why I thought it would have to be programme by programme, not channel by channel.

      Or do you still think I am wrong here?
      In a word yes  :D
      A perfect solution would be to factor in the programme metadata in addition to using what the box knows about which HD channels it can make available.
      But the regional optouts on SD are a very small part of the total content available to us. So the first important step to take (if YouView wanted to get this right), would be for the "Watch in HD" decision to be based on available channels not on individual programme data (IMHO  ;)).
    • TomWTomW Member Posts: 508 ✭✭
      jimb said:
      TomW said:

      Just my 2 cents but I really don’t think it matters. Those people, like myself, who always want to watch in HD where it’s available, and are aware of the HD channels that are available, will almost always watch HD by default. Those people who aren’t bothered about HD, or don’t know which channels are available in HD, or people like my parents who always watch SD because the SD channels are at the top of the guide (despite me explaining on numerous occasions where the HD channels are located and that they won’t get any benefit from their fancy new 4K TV if they continue to watch in SD) will not not even think to press i button to see if the programme they’re watching is available in HD. 

      Sorry @TomW, I don't agree with the above.
      When I access the guide I'm at the top among the SD channels.
      So that's where I start browsing for something to watch, and I often access the programme information and then think: yep that looks good - I'll watch it.
      But I'm looking at the SD channel, so it would be so much easier to be able to jump to the HD version with a couple of button pushes rather than exiting the information, typing the HD channel number (which is a bit fiddly), and then pressing Play.

      (And if the HD version is not in the 101-105 area then my addled old brain probably wouldn't even remember what the appropriate HD channel number is  :D)

      The rest of your post ("As such the HD option, if it is to be of any value, needs to be exposed as a pop up prompt when the user selects an SD channel or sets an SD recording where an HD equivalent is available...") is a good suggestion.
      But that is a new bit of programming for YouView to develop.
      The "Watch live in HD" functionality already exists - it just needs the correct data to work on all the right channels.
      I don’t think we’re in disagreement. If I understand your post correctly we both think that users should be offered an HD alternative where available. And that a more intuitive and foolproof way of offering the HD alternative could be developed e.g., a pop up message when changing channel or setting a recording.

      Where we perhaps disagree slightly is the usefulness of the of the current ‘watch in HD’ option, which is hidden away in the programme information. I agree that it’s better than nothing but I would love to see the user journey data since that feature was deployed. I’d bet my bottom dollar that its impact in terms of increasing HD viewership is negligible.
    • highdeftvfanhighdeftvfan Member Posts: 52
      Not wanting to take the thread of topic, but it's kind of related, I've just realised that I don't a have record in HD option any longer?

      Does the Retail box have one?

      It was there in the old gen, that's a pretty useful feature?


    • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,522 ✭✭✭
      jimb said:
      Roy said:

      But would this not lead to false positives when, say, you were looking at a regional news programme on SD, if the box just said ‘Hey, I know there is an HD version of this channel’?

      Thats why I thought it would have to be programme by programme, not channel by channel.

      Or do you still think I am wrong here?
      In a word yes  :D
      A perfect solution would be to factor in the programme metadata in addition to using what the box knows about which HD channels it can make available.
      But the regional optouts on SD are a very small part of the total content available to us. So the first important step to take (if YouView wanted to get this right), would be for the "Watch in HD" decision to be based on available channels not on individual programme data (IMHO  ;)).
      As long as YouView know where the HD analogues of the SD programmes are (which I still think is non-trivial in the case of BBC 1 SD where it isn’t just BBC 1 HD that might carry the programme, but in some cases BBC News HD, hence me thinking it has to be on a programme by programme basis if it is to work properly) then a simplistic and sometimes wrong, sometimes incomplete, solution could be provided by YouView saying ‘There is a corresponding HD channel nnn - would you like to go to that?’

      I don’t think that such a less than perfect solution is something that YouView would go for, though.
      ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
    • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 10,293 ✭✭✭
      Channel Vs programme metadata. I personally don't see how such metadata could be channel provided to YouView as not all a channels programmes are provided in HD. Only some are.

      Though the fact the information is provided (or not) by the channel is undoubted.
      I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
    • highdeftvfanhighdeftvfan Member Posts: 52
      I'm now realising some confusion around this matter, and I include myself in that, and what the current features does, and what various people want...

      It seems to me, if I have understood what is being said, is that in the current implementation we only get offered the "Watch Live in HD" if the channel has provided youview data indicating that there is a HD version of the programme, when I say HD, I mean, an HD version, not a SD version broadcast on the HD version of the channel.

      So if Dave was showing an old 4:3 SD episode of Red Dwarf it would not tag the programme as HD, and therefore youview would never offer me the option to "Watch Live in HD"...

      While this is probably the most comprehensive and sophisticated implementation of the feature, it requires all programmes to be correctly tagged as SD or HD, and given the speed at which channels are implementing metadata I don't think this will ever happen...

      All I want, and I believe others too, is the simple option to... "Switch to HD channel"... if I'm on a SD channel, so even if the programme I'm about to watch is SD, I still would like to quickly jump to the HD channel and watch the SD programme there, but in better quality with less compression... same for recording...

      I think the best solution would be this...

      1. When there is a HD flag present the user with "Watch Live in HD"
      2. When there is no HD flag, AND the user has corresponding HD channel, AND, the same programme is being shown... then present the user with "Watch Live on HD"

      This would offer the best of both worlds... and as metadata got better, the second "fall back option" would simply be used less and less...
    • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,522 ✭✭✭
      @highdeftvfan

      How do you propose that YouView would detect ‘same programme’?

      YouView detects programmes by CRIDs, not by title/episode/date etc., like us wetware, and I believe the CRIDs on the HD versions are different - have to be, in fact.

      Unless there is some universal standard for these CRIDs that makes the HD CRID software-deducible from the SD CRID, and vice versa?
      ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
    • SarahSarah Member Posts: 1,812 admin
      jimb said:
      Sarah said:
      Hiya, 

      YouView supports the channels should they choose to implement the 'watch in HD' functionality. Currently BBC and Channel 5 have chosen to implement this on the relevant content on their channels so you should have the option to watch in HD for these when it's available. If other channels choose to implement this we will of course support them in doing so by having the Watch in HD feature appear in the action panel for their content. 

      Thanks,
      Sarah


      Sorry @Sarah but that's a complete cop-out. 
      YouView is not constrained by what the broadcasters are providing. 
      You just choose to use their data to drive YouView's functionality, probably because (as I said above) this is an easier solution than writing some new software to do the job properly. 
      Hi Jim,

      I'm sorry that you feel that this is the case however my point mentioned previously is correct.

      Content providers we have contacted about this have various reasons behind choosing not to have this implemented at this point which we cannot disclose here but it is not due to the YV functionality. If the CP at this time does not want this implemented on their channels, we respect that decision however we will keep the topic of conversation open in case they change their mind. 

      Thanks,
      Sarah
    • highdeftvfanhighdeftvfan Member Posts: 52
      edited 19 October 2018, 10:28AM
      Roy said:
      @highdeftvfan

      How do you propose that YouView would detect ‘same programme’?

      YouView detects programmes by CRIDs, not by title/episode/date etc., like us wetware, and I believe the CRIDs on the HD versions are different - have to be, in fact.

      Unless there is some universal standard for these CRIDs that makes the HD CRID software-deducible from the SD CRID, and vice versa?
      I think it would be pretty easy to do... and could imagine a couple of ways... if I was given the task to solve, I would probably start with the EPG data, this almost certainly has to be parsed at some point on the youview backend servers, as part of that process I would simply do a string compassion and dump out a small channel/programme matrix metadata file... I would then reference that, regarding if the user has the corresponding HD channel, I can't believe that youview can't get this data from the box... it does a channel scan, and I'm sure, given all of the user data youview now collects, that it does not know that channels you have... trust me... this is not a complicated issue to resolve.
    • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,522 ✭✭✭
      Ah, just a SMOP, then  :p
      ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
    • jimbjimb Member, Super User Posts: 1,412 ✭✭✭
      Sarah said:

      Content providers we have contacted about this have various reasons behind choosing not to have this implemented at this point which we cannot disclose here but it is not due to the YV functionality. If the CP at this time does not want this implemented on their channels, we respect that decision however we will keep the topic of conversation open in case they change their mind. 

      So if I've understood this correctly, Sarah (on behalf of YouView) is saying that ITV have made a deliberate decision to not allow YouView to encourage people to watch ITV's programmes in HD.
      Sarah can't disclose the reason why.
      So can anybody else following this thread come up with any reason they can think of as to why ITV would make such a decision?
    • highdeftvfanhighdeftvfan Member Posts: 52
      edited 19 October 2018, 1:24PM
      So here we go... I can see this being a long and interesting thread...

      Here's my first suggestion... (Probably wrong...)

      Platforms such as SKY and Virgin have to pay ITV to carry their service, and I assume youview has to do the same... and I assume this is based upon user numbers...

      I am going to suggest that some channels have different pricing for SD and HD...

      The channels that charge platforms the same for SD and HD tag content as HD and youview are happy to inform users of the HD option.

      youview do not promote the HD option for channels that charge a premium for HD... as this will simply drive up the costs for youview...

      What youview seeks from channels like ITV, is comparity of rates for SD and HD...

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/11/06/boost-itv-government-backs-commercial-deal-80m-fees-row-virgin/

      ITV argues it is not fairly compensated by pay-TV operators that attract customers by retransmitting its main channel and undermine its advertising business with set-top box recorders that make it easy for viewers to fast forward breaks.

      It has demanded at least around £45m and up to £80m for high definition pictures, its “plus one” channel and the right to record its broadcasts.

    • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,522 ✭✭✭
      edited 19 October 2018, 1:33PM
      Still following the money, but from a slightly different direction, my guess is that advertisers pay more to go out on SD channels than they do on HD channels.

      And in order to justify that, and to maximise such revenue, ITV would rather you watched in SD, and so aren’t going to encourage you to watch in HD.
      ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
    • highdeftvfanhighdeftvfan Member Posts: 52
      Yep, we have all been approaching this from a technical viewpoint, CRID's, EPG data, youview's lack of willingness to implement the feature, however it's probably none of theses...

      It's a commercial issue... 
    • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,522 ✭✭✭
      edited 19 October 2018, 1:41PM
      So here we go... I can see this being a long and interesting thread...

      Here's my first suggestion... (Probably wrong...)

      Platforms such as SKY and Virgin have to pay ITV to carry their service, and I assume youview has to do the same... and I assume this is based upon user numbers...

      I am going to suggest that some channels have different pricing for SD and HD...

      The channels that charge platforms the same for SD and HD tag content as HD and youview are happy to inform users of the HD option.

      youview do not promote the HD option for channels that charge a premium for HD... as this will simply drive up the costs for youview...

      What youview seeks from channels like ITV, is comparity of rates for SD and HD...

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/11/06/boost-itv-government-backs-commercial-deal-80m-fees-row-virgin/

      ITV argues it is not fairly compensated by pay-TV operators that attract customers by retransmitting its main channel and undermine its advertising business with set-top box recorders that make it easy for viewers to fast forward breaks.

      It has demanded at least around £45m and up to £80m for high definition pictures, its “plus one” channel and the right to record its broadcasts.

      Trouble is, that might explain why YouView would rather you watched SD, but wouldn’t explain what Sarah has stated, which is that it is ITV who would apparently rather that.

      It is also worth remembering that unlike Sky and Virgin, YouView aren’t retransmitting ITV, or indeed any Freeview channels, just pulling them out of the ether for you, so the only commercial considerations for YouView are to do with feeding the YouView EPG.
      ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
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