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Coonan Reviews HDTV

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As the ABC said in its submission: they only uses 576p to meet HD obligations and bandwith requirements. I'm sure if given the chance they'd stop the 576p broadcast altogether.

Any half decent display or software achieves better deinterlacing results and 576p is pointless for film content.

We dont need ABC's Fuzzovision® or SEVEN's Blockovision®

Let ABC and SBS deal with 576i only and make SEVEN lift their game.

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All network channels to HD 1080i ,with downconversion to SD by HDSTB for users who like that kind of thing.

Future SD channels to be assigned to local independent broadcasters or citizen broadcasting etc.

* All networks should be HD 1080i. *

That's what I meant to say in my previous post.

C.M

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From the ACCC submission,

"The Background Discussion Paper to that Inquiry notes that on current sales predictions, it is anticipated that terrestrial digital television will be taken up by less than 5 per cent of Australian households by 2008."

also from the ABC submission

"The ABC believes that there are potential advantages to be gained from replacing MPEG-2, the video encoding standard used in DVB, with alternatives that allow greater compression and thus have the potential to relieve some of the current bandwidth constraints on broadcasting at 1080i resolution. In particular, the MPEG-4 Part 10 HDTV encoding standard, which was recently introduced to the International Telecommunications Union, is of interest, as it is reported to deliver bit-rate savings in the order of 40% over MPEG-2."

Based on the above, I believe that H.264 and 8Mbit HD only channels are well on the cards for Aus over the next 10 years. (that's if the Fed Gov listens to the views expressed. Yes, a BIG if, given all the vested interests involved).

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Somehow I think there may be a change of government (Federal) before any changes take place.

By that time (2007) it may be too late.

C.M

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it is anticipated that terrestrial digital television will be taken up by less than 5 per cent of Australian households by 2008

If that's true - then there is NO WAY they could switch off analogue in 2008 - the backlash on the government would be to huge to ignore. So freeing up analogue frequencies won't be an option I'm afraid - replace them with HD channels will prolly happen (if at all) in 2012 or thereabouts.

Maybe the government of the day will leave the shut-off early to "scare" people into buying them and when enough have them, the government will then extend the shut-off date to help the rest and make themselves look good as "we were the ones who cared about the people and acted in the right way...".

I'm sure the stations are not happy having spent so much money on Digital and only 5% in Australia are utilising it!

Bring out HD-DVD quickly and that will help a little more and maybe by 2008 we will have 10% into Digital... :blink: Oh what a failure!!! Still we can't turn back.

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If that's true - then there is NO WAY they could switch off analogue in 2008 - the backlash on the government would be to huge to ignore.  So freeing up analogue frequencies won't be an option I'm afraid - replace them with HD channels will prolly happen (if at all) in 2012 or thereabouts.

Maybe the government of the day will leave the shut-off early to "scare" people into buying them and when enough have them, the government will then extend the shut-off date to help the rest and make themselves look good as "we were the ones who cared about the people and acted in the right way...".

I'm sure the stations are not happy having spent so much money on Digital and only 5% in Australia are utilising it! 

Bring out HD-DVD quickly and that will help a little more and maybe by 2008 we will have 10% into Digital...  :blink:  Oh what a failure!!!  Still we can't turn back.

The only way to get people into digital is let all channels run extra channels and take away the HD laws and when they do shut of analogue then you can bring back HD

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To begin with all TV's VCR's DVD-RW STB's - basically anything with a FTA tuner must be mandated by the government to be Australian Digital compliant from Now! ... Well realistically from tomorrow :P But seriously in the very near future - say by the middle of next year this much happen or we are just going to continue to have a run-away train with analogue FTA broadcasts till....

Is the government really serious about DTV? IMHO i think not - they are certainly not doing a great deal to encourage consumers to move it DTV - believe it or not a great number of consumers don't even know Australia has DTV! The government needs to start to market DTV and the benefits. Also allow commercial networks to add more content on new channels. Further at least provide the same content as Sydney gets to all areas currently able to receive DTV and fast-track regional DTV deployment.

Just my phonecard worth - need a recharge now :blink:

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I wouldn't be too sure about the short to medium term viability of HD.

http://theage.com.au/articles/2005/07/03/1120329323936.html suggests that a deal to allow multichanneling as a tradeoff for cross-media liberalisation seems to be in the wings.

Also in the article, a revealing quote from the ex-boss of channel 10, John McAlpine:

"I'm not convinced that the consumer needs any more choice," said John McAlpine, who retired as chief executive of Ten last week. "What's another channel going to do? Just put some more crap on."

A revelation that even the industry thinks that what they serve up is "crap"? Possibly...

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Isn't Ten the forerunner in the land of C**P ?

"I'm not convinced that the consumer needs any more choice," said John McAlpine,...........

Are they kidding, the stuff they dish up as entertainment is !@#$%^&*()

Inexpressible junk,they are peeing in their own bathwater with regards to veiwers of their channel.

C.M

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I guess I should have done my research prior to purchase, and I might have stuck with my SD STB...

having just purchased (at big $$$) an HD capable display & STB, I am disappointed to realise the lack of HD programming available - partly with programs what I would actually want actually to watch, but more so with the concept that 576p Channel 70 (and ABC HD & SBS HD to a lesser extent) is considered HD at all - what a joke.

As others have said here 576p is a waste of space...How did this format ever get the nod? in the US it is equivalent of enhanced definition... Channel 70 must be laughing

I was hoping to see HD AFL one day, but if channel 7 win the rights back I guess that hope goes out the window.

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Channel 7, SBS, and ABC are trying everything they can to **** over HDTV.

THEY DO NOT WANT TO SUPPORT 720p, or 1080i.

I fear for the future of HDTV in Australia.

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Channel 7, SBS, and ABC are trying everything they can to **** over HDTV.

THEY DO NOT WANT TO SUPPORT 720p, or 1080i.

I fear for the future of HDTV in Australia.

I wrote to Senator Coonan about this issue & got a very detailed reply. In summary the tv stations are exploiting the rules to their advantage & the rules are too loose.I doubt if any Government will mandate the best HD standard .The ABC though should be a pace setter & sort out their priorities . They could put all the replays/dig radio & ABC 2 digital on ADSL broadband tv .Freeing up the 5 sub channels & doing a 1080 i or p service in prime time.To save money in the long term the ABC should use direct satellite coverage of Australia instead of individual transmitters in every town . Even giving away dishes in remote areas .The possibilities are then limitless in providing many streams of programs.Especially educational programs.

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I wrote to Senator Coonan about this issue & got a very detailed reply. In summary the tv stations are exploiting the rules to their advantage & the rules are too loose.I doubt if any Government will mandate the best HD standard .The ABC though should be a pace setter & sort out their priorities . They could put all the replays/dig radio & ABC 2 digital on ADSL broadband tv .Freeing up the 5 sub channels & doing a 1080 i or p service in prime time.To save money in the long term the ABC should use direct satellite coverage of Australia instead of individual transmitters in every town . Even giving away dishes in remote areas .The possibilities are then limitless in providing many streams of programs.Especially educational programs.

Yes the only problem is that the government will say we don't have any $$$$ but we know that is all crap based on the budget surplus :blink:

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To begin with all TV's VCR's DVD-RW STB's - basically anything with a FTA tuner must be mandated by the government to be Australian Digital compliant from Now! ...  Well realistically from tomorrow :P  But seriously in the very near future - say by the middle of next year this much happen or we are just going to continue to have a run-away train with analogue FTA broadcasts till....

Hello Senator Coonan,

Is there a REASON we only have 5% penetration ? Maybe because there is no NEED for SD/HD tuners ???

Listen to Felix, Make HD/SD tuners mandatory, and tell everyone that the analogue **IS** going to be turned off.

You haven't got a SD/HD tuner, well, you're gonna have to pony up $50* for a STB.

Oh.....Sorry, that would actually involve making a decision :P !!

Austen.

*$50 based on them being sub-$80 now, and Cheap-As-Chips / Strathfield etc... realising that that 95% of the population is gonna want one :blink: !!!

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As suggested in another thread.... providing another channel frequency where commercial SD channels 7,9,10 are multiplexed as sub- channels would allow the bit rate of HD channels 7,9,10 to be raised to acceptable levels.

Channel 7 being compelled to do 1080i..

Channels 2 and SBS to be SD multicasting,.

C.M

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23Mbps MPEG4 AVC...oh how I can dream :blink:

I like either idea of mpeg4 or another frequency..but I doubt either will ever happen.

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MPEG 4 will never happen but the addition of an extra channel is a brilliant idea.

Let's expand upon this idea ........

Think about it for a moment,if all SD transmissions ....ABC,ABC2,SBS,SBS (foreign),7,9,10,NBN,Prime .......could all be accommodated as subchannels on 3 frequencies then maybe a 'spare' channel could be allocated for EPG's and other services.

HD would then be free to use the available full bandwidth channels for high definition signals.

If 7 wants to multicast then it would have do it at 1080i.

No doubt 9 and 10 would go 1080i which would allow them also to multicast.

So those that have bought SD STB's would still have SD access to all SD channels and those that have bought into HD STB's will have full bandwidth HD MPEG 2.

HD STB users would also have available to them the SD channels,so there would be an incentive to go for a HD STB (if HD had exclusive programming in additional to that of SD).

Income from advertising revenues would barely be affected as transmission costs are contained by maximum use of transmission power.

The Federal Government will save face from a complete shambles of the communications policy.

Winners all round.

C.M

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People seem to be forgetting (again) Santa Plan V ... and that was without an extra channel, from memory.

Might have to break out Santa Plan VI :P:blink:

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MPEG 4 will never happen but the addition of an extra channel is a brilliant idea.

Let's expand upon this idea ........

Think about it for a moment,if all SD transmissions ....ABC,ABC2,SBS,SBS (foreign),7,9,10,NBN,Prime .......could all be accommodated as subchannels on 3 frequencies then maybe a 'spare' channel could be allocated for EPG's and other services.

The Federal Government will save face from a complete shambles of  the communications policy.

Winners all round.

C.M

CM, please let me repeat parts of my post from July 6th.

(http://www.dtvforum.info/index.php?act=ST&f=15&t=20214&hl=&view=findpost&p=224796)

The whole idea is that the TV networks "get" a 7 MHz bandwidth for analogue TV. They have been "lent" the extra 7 MHz for digital simulcasts until everyone has migrated to digital and then the analogue transmissions are switched off and the spectrum space reverts to the government. The networks don't get that spectrum freed up from the analogue switch off. .....All the arguments about extra space for HD or other use ignores the simple fact that the spectrum is licensed. You want extra space, you've got to buy(rent) it, and have a broadcast license to use it. It ain't gonna be simply made available to suit someone's cute logical reasoning on what would be a better way to allocate digital spectrum.

There will be no "space" for better HD bandwidths, and moving SD multi-views to other mutliplexes unless there is a substantial change in the licensing regime and/or the broadcasters "buy" extra spectrum.

I don't take issue with your good ideas, or previous good ideas on how best to make use of the spectrum for digital TV. The problem is that the whole licensing regime cannot accomodate this without major changes and "giving away" more spectrum.

There could also be some technical issues with different (commercial) broadcasters sharing a common multiplex for SD transmission. More of a problem in regional areas probably.

Running multiple services from one broadcaster across different multiplex frequencies (and probably transmission towers as well) may also have major technical issues needing to be to overcome.

Cheers

JB

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Thankyou John for your comments, I am not at odds with what you are saying,in fact I am in agreement with you in that the Federal Government needs to make a definite decision in how to accommodate the needs of SD TV today and the future prospects of HD TV.

It does come down policy making and that not tempered by invested interests, which has gotten us into the dispondancy we face now.

Of course, I offered that 'idea' as an optimistic solution without giving any consideration to the real issues of politics,invested interests and technical difficulties involved and sadly I don't think anything will change as this Government's 'patch it if it leaks' policy making is one that offers little confidence in future infrastructure.

C.M

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Thankyou John for your comments, I am not at odds with what you are saying,in fact I am in agreement with you in that the Federal Government needs to make a definite decision in how to accommodate the needs of SD TV today and the future prospects of HD TV.

It does come down policy making and that not tempered by invested interests, which has gotten us into the dispondancy we face now.

Of course, I offered that 'idea' as an optimistic solution without giving any consideration to the real issues of politics,invested interests and technical difficulties involved and sadly I don't think anything will change as this Government's 'patch it if it leaks' policy making is one that offers little confidence in future infrastructure.

C.M

What do you mean about the government!?! :P

I'll have you know that today the (your? :P ) Queensland (not Federal) Nationals presented their list of demands to the Government regarding the mandatory (under Howard) Pork Barrelling required to privatise Telstra... I, for one, have full confidence in the Government that brought us Dick Alston... :blink:

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Somehow, I think this country is completely' STUFFED' by the politics that drives it,constipated by the invested interests that maintain the status quo .

Digital TV and Telstra are simply symptoms of it.

C.M

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Article in today's Australian. Seems they are exploring the MPEG 4 route!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Print this page

Coonan weighs pay-TV options

Jane Schulze

11aug05

TWO media companies have approached the federal Government wanting to provide new pay-television services through digital TV sets.

This has prompted Communications, Information Technology and Arts Minister Helen Coonan to consider a "beauty parade" of potential new media TV services.

Senator Coonan yesterday revealed the pay-TV interest, saying it came from an international and a domestic company that were unrelated, but she would not reveal their identities.

"There has been significant interest in a new pay-TV platform ... [they] are interested in providing more services and also services in rural and regional Australia," she said.

"It could potentially be something very good for consumers and something new."

Network Ten has said it may be interested in starting a pay-TV service, but foreign interest has so far been limited.

Senator Coonan has held high-level talks with media groups on the possible removal of cross-media and foreign ownership restrictions. She said they had been "constructively engaged", but warned change was coming whether they liked it or not because crucial parts of the Government's digital TV legislation - such as the ban on a fourth TV network - were about to expire.

"We have in the digital space some self-executing things that happen anyway, and if we don't do anything there could be some quite interesting and possibly unintended consequences," she said.

For example, the ban on a fourth free-to-air network expires in 2007 and responsibilityfor issuing a new TV licence now rests with the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

The Government has said it will assume that role and does not want a fourth TV network, so it must then decide what else it wants to do with the spare TV spectrum. "It's a matter of what kind of creative and innovative things could be done with this space," Senator Coonan said.

She admitted it would "take quite a bit" to establish a new pay-TV service so she did not want to overstate its potential.

"But from the interest in it, I think there would be opportunities for the Government to have a beauty parade or a tender process to look at what innovative things could be done with this spectrum," she said. "And I also haven't ruled out an auction [of spectrum]."

From next year the free-to-air TV networks will be prevented from bidding for the extra spectrum when datacasting content restrictions expire. Senator Coonan believes the free-to-airs should also be able to compete in any tender process or auction, so wants that law changed.

Apart from pay-TV services, she said companies may buy spectrum to provide narrowcast services to specific communities or unrestricted data services.

"They [free-to-air networks] are locked into their model and can't do much more, so I'm just as interested in trying to make sure you get all the people with scale and scope to do innovative TV things," she said.

Senator Coonan believes new services are needed to lift sales of digital TV sets.

"The opportunities are there and we would really be very backward if we didn't explore what we could do to effectively use this space," she said, adding she believed there was "quite a bit of work being done" on the business cases for new services.

Senator Coonan also revealed the Government had formed a group of spectrum engineers to investigate a new spectrum compression technology known as MPEG-4.

If it were introduced, the free-TV networks could be able to push more services, such as extra TV multi-channels, to digital sets as well as high-definition or cinema-quality TV signals. That would be highly contentious as the TV networks were given the digital TV channels for the sole purpose of showing high-definition signals.

Senator Coonan has yet to make any decision on MPEG-4 but said it was one of the technical issues involved in the multi-channelling debate.

The pay-TV industry has said it would not object to the Seven, Nine and Ten networks multi-channelling if the anti-siphoning rules, which keep most sport on free TV, were relaxed. Senator Coonan said the list could do with some pruning, but there was "no plan to remove icon sporting events".

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