Monday, 23 July 2012

2 days to go and some test channel issues

Great, we're now less than 2 days away from the first Olympics sports being broadcast and the 24 BBC Olympics HD test channels have me a bit worried:
  • All the 24 test channels seem to be identical, which appears completely bonkers to me. Yep, not even the channel name is on the screen to identify you've tuned into the right channel (luckily, EIT info can be picked up to get the programme title, which is currently "This is BBC Olympics X HD" - where X=1-24 of course).
  • There is a new shockingly huge "BBC SPORT | Olympic_Rings_Image" onscreen logo in the top right now on every one of the 24 channels, which I'm hoping is just for the test channels. If that is broadcast on all (or even some) of the 24 channels when there's live sport on, it will be a national disgrace IMHO. The logo text is neither thin nor particularly transparent, it's all in capitals and, yes, "BBC" is in reverse video to make matters worse. I'm massively cringeing looking at it right now and it will seriously devalue the Olympics coverage on the 24 channels if it is used.
  • There are no speaking heads on any of the 24 channels, so you can't tell if the audio will be out of sync - that's 50% of their usefulness gone then.
  • The rotating timetable currently shown is a right hotpotch really. It again highlights that an obvious thing they should have done is air the timetable for the next set of events for this particular channel only, which would have been a hugely useful feature. Maybe they'll implement it properly when the first events take place, but the current timetable is simply rubbish (yes, it's a test, but it should really be a good test, which this isn't).
It's nice to see that (which I subscribed to recently) has got the Olympics EPG, but even their data looks a bit suspect (e.g. no actual mention of 27th July's archery session and the generic sessions they have on channels 1 and 2 don't even match the 09.00-15.00 time of when the archery takes place!).

Meanwhile, the Radio Times XML TV master feed (which I use with TVheadend to schedule recordings) is steadfastly ignoring the 24 Olympics channels, which means I may have to code something myself, but even that would probably mean producing a list of programmes to manually (sigh) set the timer recording for.

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