Picture fault hits BBC One HD in Northern England

Update: now resolved > see update click here

Freeview HD viewers in Northern England have been affected by an apparent picture fault affecting BBC One HD.

For almost a week, viewers have found that the channel on Freeview is grainy, despite recordings indicating that the bitrate used for BBC One HD has increased. The channel is also now displaying faint vertical lines. Users of AV Forum have described the look of the channel as imitating "brushed metal".

Adrian, a Freeview HD viewer in the Yorkshire TV region, contacted a516digital about the matter. He provided the site with evidence of the problem, which appears to only affect Freeview HD viewers in Northern England. The channel is using a higher bitrate, but looks worse:

BBC One HD picture fault - click or touch to enlarge.
He told a516digital "It seems when a show is on DVB-T2 [Freeview HD], it seems to be much higher and more of a constant bitrate versus the much more variable bit rate on DVB-S2 [satellite] and how DVB-T2 was before this happened."

On this screenshot, subtle vertical lines can be seen in the background, especially in the circled area.

BBC ONE HD looking grainy up North...

Various viewers have reported the problem to the BBC's Radio and Television Investigation Service, with confirmed reports of the problem affecting Winter Hill (North West), Pontop Pike (North East) and Emley Moor (Yorkshire) transmitter group viewers.

However, a string of posts on the recent BBC Internet Blog post on the close of BBC HD has resulted in a response within the past hour, with the BBC's Andy Quested promising to investigate the issue.

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  1. This problem also affects BBC One HD from Belmont TX.


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