At the beginning of Dec 2009 I wrote to ITV asking them if they could confirm that the bit rate on ITV4 was less than other digitalchannels during football matches as I had noticed that the picure quality on this channel was very poor. After a number of follow-up e-mails asking for a reply, I eventually after over a month received this very poor response today ...
".... Thank you for your further enquiry regarding ITV Digital channels. I stressed that I would only be in touch again if our Engineering team was able to supply further information and I'm sorry for any confusion. Unfortunately, this has not been possible but I can confirm that we would not make such detailed information about 'bit rates' available to the general public. Occasionally, all digital broadcasters experience slight degradation of vision especially during "fast action" events which put specific pressure on the compression systems in use. As you'll appreciate, bandwidth capacity can be limited on some occasions. However, our engineering team is doing all they can with equipment suppliers to improve the overall picture quality of our services.
I'm sorry that I'm unable to be of further assistance with this matter but would like to thank you, once again, for taking the trouble to contact ITV.
Regards, Derek Savage
Technical Manager, ITV Viewer Services ..."
So reading between the lines "YES we do have a lower bit rate". So why not just keep the football on higher bit rate channels then. It just makes HD look better than it should.