BBC vs DVD Rip

The Beeb have played some good films this Christmas, thank goodness as I was singularly unimpressed with Christmas Carol and Dracula.

I thought I would compare the BBC offerings of ‘The Big Country’ (TBC), ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (TMS), two of my favourite Westerns, and ‘Raiders of the Lost Arc’ (ROTLA) to my DVD rips.

The BBC films are 720, whereas the DVD rips are SD.
The BBC films are AAC 48k stereo. DVD: TBC - DD Stereo, TMS - DD 5.1, ROTLA - DD 5.1.

The BBC picture quality is simply better. In the case of TBC and especially TMS the picture has been restored or sourced from a better master.

ROTLA is interesting in that while the picture quality is a tad better the DVD rip 5.1 soundtrack still makes it preferable to me, as the SD picture while slightly softer is still perfectly acceptable. I will be buying the Indiana Jones films on BR as and when I get round to it.

1 Like

I generally find terrestrial broadcasts to be pretty poor quality these days and far prefer BluRay or good quality streaming options.

Haevn’t watched much TV over Christmas, but funny how the family still watch things because they’re ‘on’ when I often have an iTunes or other digital copy available to play at any time.

It’s an interesting comparison to make.

As it happened, I switched from the terrestrial broadcast of Rogue One to Blu-ray and my daughter’s jaw dropped in amazement at how much better the disc was.



All the streaming services (or even Sky) seem to have woeful video quality by comparison to Bluray… netflix calls 4k - 15Mbps, its so compressed and the audio is like an optional extra , they just didn’t purchase it. When you put a Bluray on, the first thing I notice is the sound, it is jaw droppingly good.

Audio has been left behind by the likes of Sky not to mention HDR. And don’t get me started In how 2020, the BBC still broadcast in SD… we pay millions in the fees and even the little BBC regional news broadcasts are like something from the dark ages.

Dont get me wrong, BBC drama content is excellent but the company still employs so many contractors and is burning paper notes like fire logs. Reform is required.


Possibly that’s because not everybody has or wants HD. The BBC has to cater for all.

My missus uses a portable CRT TV with SD Freeview box in her room and loves it - she sees no reason why she needs to change.

Yes, BR is simply better.

I thought it was worth noting as with older none 5.1 films, or even those with little 5.1 use, I have found the video quality to be better than my DVD rips.

I guess they have to for those with non-HD sets, but the channel numbering annoys me as HD channels get listed at 101+ -surely the available HD channels should now start from 1.

The number of times however I’ve come into a room and told Mrs AC she’s watching a poor SD version when there’s an HD channel available surprises me - she can tell the difference immediately if I switch but just doesn’t seem to be too bothered by it either. The kids seem quite sensitive to video quality however.

Whether or not you like older films, some such as Cleopatra are simply stunningly detailed and sumptuous on BluRay.

Then we see modern movie BluRays which seem rushed and little better than DVD, perhaps poor source material or rushed transfers to cash in on the evolving BluRay market some few years ago.

Recorded the BBC’s War Of The Worlds and couldn’t believe the how the banding was in the dark/dimly lit scenes were. Have the BBC cut back on quality they send at? Maybe some of was down to how those scenes had been graded (daylit shot scenes being made to look darker in post) but it was almost unwatchable. I recorded to hopefully get the full 5.1 as IPlayer seems to just do plain stereo. I just wasn’t expecting such poor quality from the BBC.

Hi AC,

Yes, good source and mastering make a huge difference.


Remember the BBC is funded through licence money. Plus how many on here are old enough to get a free licence, There is a outcry because they want to stop the free licence. Why not charge say £50 a year then a least some income is coming in.
Then perhaps they can concentrate on picture quality.
Don’t get me started on ridiculous amounts that Sky, Bt sport etc pay for there rights to coverage of games. Plus unrealustic wages the playrs get.Which in turn puts the price us Joe public have to pay to watch a match.enough said or I’ll get my soapbox out!!!

TV Licensing needs to be scrapped - it’s a tax on TV owners who may never even watch BBC content.

When there were few competitors subsidising ‘quality’ nationalised TV made sense, and I had respect for the BBC.

These days I could take or leave most BBC content, and their output is politically biased to the left and PC/diversity topics.

The BBC main website seems to have become a trendy magazine for angst ridden snowflakes.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t pay a subscription if one were available, but the tactics of the TV Licensing Authority got my back up a few years ago when my property was vacant for some months, and there were incessant threatening letters. They’re as bad as the RSPCA who love to find suffering animals in order to euthanise rather than help them.

I have some sympathy with this. I have taken to Reuters and Bloomberg for general news. I used to happily pay for it as I continued to enjoy Dr Who, but this has now been comprehensively ruined.

The only arguement that holds weight for me now FOR the BBC is that it adds weight to British focussed jobs and training; both within the BBC but also more broadly, counterbalancing the foreign based media.

I couldn’t agree more.
Ok soap box out.
TV Licensing is archaic and leads to anti-competition and the exclusion of millions of potential viewers. Instead of offering full BBC access (at a premium price) to all those ex-pats in Europe and abroad who would quite happily pay for the privilege, they invest hundreds of thousands in playing cat and mouse with VPN providers who are providing a service the BBC can’t or won’t due to anti-competition restrictions arising from the national licensing monopoly. In most other industries it would be criminal.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.