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Old 09-02-2013, 14:26
kingdave
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Manchester
Posts: 1,259

A few weeks ago I sent emails to ITV and Channel 4 regarding their on demand services after trying to watch ITV Player on my Samsung TV and 4OD on my Xbox, and the quality on both (especially ITV Player) was pretty poor.

Thought you might be interested in the responses I got back:

CHANNEL 4

Thank you for your email regarding 4oD.
We did have full res (720x576) assets online before in the original 4oD, as they were the download files.

Unfortunately, the new 4oD on Channel4.com is not currently capable of supporting the download process.

Therefore to stream online we need to reduce the video frame and res to suit the webpage. This is currently 512/384 x288. The material is rarely truly progressive (the reference to 576'p'), as television is made using interlaced source material. We do software de-interlace, but it's mainly shot as Interlaced. The main exception to this rule would be features.

So the short answer is, unfortunately, no, we don't have any plans to offer standard definition or HD on the current platform.

Nevertheless, we thank you for your comments. We at Channel 4 are always looking to improve our service and your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Your comments have been logged and will be passed on to the 4oD team.
And from ITV:

Thank you for contacting ITV.



At present we do not have any plans to offer HD streaming on the ITV Player.



Keep checking the website for any updates.
My question to both was basically along the lines of "your competitors (namely BBC, Netflix, LoveFilm, Sky etc) all offer HD streaming/download content. Do you have any plans to catch up with the competition and improve the quality on your OD services for HD streaming?"

Fair play to C4 for a more indepth response than ITV, but still disappointing. I get the reason when you are trying to watch on a PC with a small monitor, but as more and more of these services are available on smart TVs or devices connected to TVs where you would want the best possible picture, I don't understand why (ITV especially on their awful Samsung app) these broadcasters insist on streaming mobile phone quality footage from the first batch of camera phones available.

We can only hope there is enough pressure from users for them to up their game.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:35
ovbg
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 896
I agree with you, it is quite poor of them. ITV is especially of sub-standard definition. I also wrote to ITV and they told me that their rental videos are also at the same poor quality of their free material.

This quite frankly is amazing, as they are charging pretty much the same price as you would find on iTunes, but instead of HD, they offer sub-SD.

At least 4oD's quality is better, though in all fairness, outside of fast moving objects they are not too far off from SD - for their latest material. At least, on my 27" monitor it is difficult to tell it apart when sitting back. But SD itself should always be the absolute minimum.

Thanks for posting the information.
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