aws910 writes "According to an article on the BBC website, BBC HD lowered the bitrate of their broadcasts by almost 50% and are surprised that users noticed. From the article: 'The replacement encoders work at a bitrate of 9.7Mbps (megabits per second), while their predecessors worked at 16Mbps, the standard for other broadcasters.' The BBC claims 'We did extensive testing on the new encoders which showed that they could produce pictures at the same or even better quality than the old encoders ...' I got a good laugh off of this, but is it really possible to get better quality from a lower bitrate?"
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