Why are BBC programmes on Netlflix UK shorter than broadcast?
January 8, 2015 2:27 PM   Subscribe

Why are BBC programmes on Netflix UK shorter than broadcast?

Example: Torchwood: Children of Earth is 58 mins on blu-ray but 53 mins on Netflix. Is this as simply as frame discrepancy 50hz/60hz? I can't see anything cut out. I don't want to watch some shows in case they're shorter US versions, for example when a different version of Spooks was prepared for the US.
posted by feelinglistless to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Presumably they're international versions which have been edited down so that they can be shown on commercial TV elsewhere in the world with inserted advertising. The international version is what's offered by Netflix, without advertising.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:57 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Can cutting for advertising explain it? In the US at least, an hour of programming averages around fifteen minutes of commercials, not five. Looking up international advertising restrictions, they vary quite a bit; would there be a single edited international version?
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 12:52 AM on January 9, 2015

Response by poster: Plus and I should have mentioned this above, the version of Emma on Netflix (with Romola Garai) is 53 mins and the only things left out between it and the broadcast version are the next time bumpers and previously on. Oh hold on, that might explain CofE too.
posted by feelinglistless at 12:59 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Possibly PAL/NTSC frame rate differences?
posted by brilliantmistake at 6:24 AM on January 9, 2015

Most places in the world don't pack as much advertising into their television as the US does. I think 53 minutes is probably a compromise.

The frame rate difference isn't the right answer. If you take a 50-fps video and show it as 60-fps, it's going to look strange because everything will seem too fast. Also, 58 minutes at 50 fps would take 48 minutes at 60 fps, not 53 minutes. And let's not talk about what it would do to the sound.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:27 PM on January 9, 2015

The frame rate wouldn't explain it. I'm not sure NTSC/PAL matters anymore with HDTV, but back in the day, it meant that PAL was 4% faster than NTSC and theatrical run times. But for a BBC DVD vs a UK Netflix stream? Shouldn't matter, and even if it did, 4% would only reduce a 58:00 minute program to 55:41 minutes.
posted by fings at 7:43 PM on January 9, 2015

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