High-def time lag a killer for live events


The BBC's Martin Shankleman has started to fall out of love with high-definition TV, and here's why: there's a small but noticeable time delay between what standard-definition (over the aerial) viewers are watching, and what high-def viewers are watching.

It's about a second - and that's long enough to hear the result of a Beckham-induced goal from the pub down the road before you've seen it.

Kind of kills the drama, doesn't it?

The delay is caused because it takes longer to encode the complex HD information at all stages of the process: capture, broadcast and set-top box.

The BBC's helpful advice?: close the windows.

OK, so maybe it's not a major issue, but it could be enough to put you off watching live events on HD until everyone has it. I've noticed the delay even between terrestrial analogue and Freeview coverage, so can imagine its worse when handling high-bandwidth content.


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