The BBC’s Freeview HD trial may well be being carried out under strict Ofcom guidelines, which prevent the corporation from showing the test transmissions (pictured above, complete with HD DOG) to anyone outside of its 550 strong test group, but that hasn’t stopped enthusiasts from hacking the feed.
It’s not that difficult. I have received the broadcast well outside of its London catchment area, using a PC installed with a Hauppauge Nova-t DVB-T tuner card and the TSreader software. With this rig I was able to capture the BBC’s HD transport stream to the PC’s hard drive. To play back the material I used a ‘trialware’ Elecard player, which has an H.264 video decoder ‘plug-in’.Unfortunately, the results weren’t that great. Both vision and sound stuttered, even on a PC running a dual-core 3.2GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor. But what I did see was an eye opener. The full story will appear in an upcoming edition of What Video and high definition TV magazine, so look out for it. By Martin Pipe