EDITORIAL: Since the age of digital television, I thought Australia is just way behind. Let’s face it, only the ABC and SBS are allowed to multi channel. But now, I think I might change my mind.
Channel Ten and the Seven Network both announced that they will launch their High Definition (HD) multi channels. This comes after the Government lifted multi channelling restrictions. Current laws now state that channels are allowed to broadcast a separately channelled HD broadcast. In 2009, channels can do the same thing in Standard Definition (SD).
TEN HD will be like BBC HD, but broadcasts 24 hours a day; simulcasting mostly from the SD channel and also extended broadcasting and also time-shifted programming. TEN HD is expected to extend Ten’s reality programming like The Biggest Loser, Australian Idol and Big Brother.
The Seven Network has announced it, but haven’t given any details. We expect that it will be used for the Beijing Olympics, with sports being covered on both Seven, Seven HD and also on SBS’s two channels. Compared that with the USA’s NBC Universal’s channels… that’s a bit small, but it’s a start. When 2012, we will see that Channel Seven will launch a SD broadcast to complement the Olympics.
However, Channel Nine hasn’t announced anything yet. Most likely they never will, because of budget cuts.
One good thing of a separate HD channel is the fact that you are not stuck with local coverage of certain events. ABC has used HD as a national platform, allowing people to watch the national feed and not miss any shows. ABC2 provides a platform for the coverage. An example is the State Elections.
I may sound bias, but HD is actually better than SD; though your TV sets (the one that are like a CRT monitor, the old tube) may not work with it. This is usually due to a lack of pixels supporting it.
TEN HD and Seven HD are expected to launch in December. Stay tuned…