Those are terrestrial OTA broadcasts in Britain. That has nothing to do with BBCA here in the States. BBCA is owned by Discovery. It actually has very little other than rebroadcasting SOME but not all of the content from BBC in England.
Yeah, the article is about the domestic BBC service in the UK, not BBC America or BBC World. However, it is still interesting because the UK is just starting HD service and this is a good example of the growing pains. In fact, the one BBC HD channel doesn't have much HD material to transmit. Most of the content was shot for wide screen, but in SD, unless the BBC goes back and make new HD transfers. I think Beautiful People is one of the few shows that was shot for HD from the beginning and airs on the HD service.
That lady speaking for the BBC sure is full of it. The BBC made some sort of mistake and are now doing the bureaucratic mode of pretending a problem doesn't exist. Typical of any government corporation. Otherwise they would have to explain the degradation in quality to MP's, Ministers, and perhaps even forcing criticism or pressure from the PM's office. I hope they fix this to the satisfaction of UK viewers whose money pays for domestic BBC.
For what it is worth, I thought I would add that at Amazon dot com UK, the vast majority of Blu-Ray discs are for US TV shows and movies, hardly any UK content on Blu-ray, right now, as HDTV is still comparatively new to the UK market. I would love some of my favorite, and fairly recently produced, BBC comedies to be available on Blu-Ray.
Until VERY recently (not that anyone has the DVB-T2 equipment to receive it), it was on satellite and cable only. There is a bit of a ruckus going on because of the shambles that is HD terrestrial. The BBC had a multiplex taken away from it (carries ~8 SD channels, so now their SD picture quality has gone downhill too) for this new service that is incompatible with every digital TV released to date, and most of the country won't receive for a couple of years.
The main reason people are complaining is because the space that has been freed on the transponder it is carried on (which, for some reason, carries a second version of the same channel) is now carrying null packets. It should also be said that unlike Dish or DirecTV, the broadcasters lease transponders directly from the satellite operator, so have complete control over what is transmitted.
The other reason is because the BBC is displaying its typical arrogance toward the issue - "we're right, we're not listening to you, shut it". Not the attitude you expect from a broadcaster that you have to pay a licence fee for. Unfortunately, the BBC as of the last few years doesn't want anyone who has an engineering qualification anywhere near the corporation (except for the R&D department - and even then that'll probably disappear in years to come). Standards have definitely slipped.