I’ve been using the iplayer since the very day it launched. When they introduced higher quality streams, I was non-plussed. At the end of the day, the increased bit-rate makes very little difference visually, I thought, even though the audio is hugely improved.
Well, imagine my surprise when watching a nicely shot doco on swarms in the animal world (called ‘Swarm’, funnily enough) just now. A million swarming bats, and, apparently, a billion swarming flies, are pretty hard to observe in standard quality, appearing more like a wave of muddy water. Maybe thats’s the idea. It does actually look bit better in the proto-HD they’ve got going, I have to admit for once. But I won’t be getting too excited until I see workmen digging up the streets of South London to rip our archaic phonelines out, and we can all ahppily gauge ourselves with true HD. For now I’ll just sit here and watch the muddy water.