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e.z

Freeview Australia

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When are the clowns who design these web pages realize that there are other web browsers out there other than internet explorer.. This page will not format correctly in Opera, Firefox and Safari..

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What is this "VCR" they speak of on the setting up page?

Its a device which enabled the general public to be freed from the tyranny of having to actually watch a programme whilst it was broadcast. Quite a ground breaker!

I will certainly be replacing mine when the time comes because I do not intend to spend hundreds of hours burning my hundreds of occasionally watched videos onto DVD.

Not as cool as a PVR or DVD Recorder but still worthwhile for my personal circumstances!

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"With over 10 great channels including 3 in High Definition, Freeview already provides a wide choice of TV viewing and superior picture and sound quality – and there's still more to come – with another channels 5 channels commencing in 2009."

"3 in High Definition" - so even they admit that ABC and SBS don't meet the real expectation of HD.

Noddy

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Here is an excerpt from the website which bemuses me

The requirements for a TV or Set-Top Box to be approved by Freeview are as follows:

It must have an HD receiver which allows the device to receive all HD and SD digital channels

It must include an Electronic Program Guide ("EPG")

The EPG must not discriminate between broadcasters. It should provide equal prominence to the programs of all broadcasters

If the device contains a PVR, it must not contain an ad skip button or enable fast–forward to occur at more than 30x normal speed.

The No-Ad skip button clause means that the majority of PVR's will not be approved by Freeview!

What will that mean in practical terms? Will that mean that Mr and Mrs John Citizen will be even more confused than they are now?

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Here is an excerpt from the website which bemuses me

The requirements for a TV or Set-Top Box to be approved by Freeview are as follows:

It must have an HD receiver which allows the device to receive all HD and SD digital channels

It must include an Electronic Program Guide ("EPG")

The EPG must not discriminate between broadcasters. It should provide equal prominence to the programs of all broadcasters

If the device contains a PVR, it must not contain an ad skip button or enable fast–forward to occur at more than 30x normal speed.

The No-Ad skip button clause means that the majority of PVR's will not be approved by Freeview!

What will that mean in practical terms? Will that mean that Mr and Mrs John Citizen will be even more confused than they are now?

whether it's approved by freeview or not, it can still receive the signals from the stations lol

so i don't see the point why they make these "requirements" in order to be approved

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"With over 10 great channels including 3 in High Definition, Freeview already provides a wide choice of TV viewing and superior picture and sound quality – and there's still more to come – with another channels 5 channels commencing in 2009."

So that's 15 Channels then...

Yes, at the moment every FTA channel (ABC/SBS/7/9/10) has an SD and a HD channel that can have separate shows. That's 10 channels. Although ABC & SBS have 2 SD channels, I think they still simulcast their HD channel - so that's still a total of 10.

Next year every FTA channel should have 2 x SD channels and 1 x HD channel - that's 15 possible channels. Simple as that.

whether it's approved by freeview or not, it can still receive the signals from the stations lol

so i don't see the point why they make these "requirements" in order to be approved

True - but the point of Freeview is to make it simple for viewers who don't understand the nuances of digital TV, and it also sets a minimum standard (HD & one week EPG?). Boxes will want Freeview approval - since with an advertising blitz most viewers will go to a shop and say "I want a Freeview box".

For us, we can get a box that does everything Freeview does and more (ie ad skipping). For others, if they buy a box that doesn't have "Freeview" on the front they might not be able to watch HD channels (for example).

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Okay, so what do we actually know about the Freeview program?

1) Freeview will be approving certain boxes which look almost identical to existing digital boxes, but

a: will receive both SD & HD programs

b: will not allow ad skipping

c: will give equal prominence to EPG data from all channels

2) There will be an advertising blitz which gives a common identity to free digital TV offerings and points to approved set top boxes and tvs.

3) No matter your TV - a freeview box will give you 10 channels now (exactly the same channels as available now) and 15 channels next year

4) Foxtel has said they won't show the 15 Freeview channels (on cable they show 7 FTA channels now)

What we don't know

a] will freeview boxes be allowed to combine with internet boxes (for FREE content OR PAID subscription channels, PPV movies etc)

b] are there any other minimum standards on the boxes (eg: mpeg4 decoding?)

c] is there a good/hidden reason that some reporters think this will this stop TiVo?

d] When will this all happen?

Any corrections or additions to the above?

Edited by GregA

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Okay, so what do we actually know about the Freeview program?

1) Freeview will be approving certain boxes which look almost identical to existing digital boxes, but

What we don't know

a] will freeview boxes be allowed to combine with internet boxes (for FREE content OR PAID subscription channels, PPV movies etc)

b] are there any other minimum standards on the boxes (eg: mpeg4 decoding?)

I dont think its that the boxes will look almost identical to current ones, they will be current ones just that they will be approved.

I guess its like the heart foundation sticker or any other approval - you can put a "freeview approved" on it and just rely on that being something that reassures the consumer.

As for the "dont knows" -

a - cant see why it cant have other features.

b - min requirement is set at HD. Whats the point of mpeg4 if we dont use it here!

I think the issue will be the "ad skip" and what that is defined as.

My strong box has a "jump 10 seconds" but I think that could be argued to NOT be an ad skip as the jump is too small. So I think that they might need to spec the max jump time as well as the max ffwd rate.

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they will be current ones just that they will be approved.

I guess its like the heart foundation sticker or any other approval - you can put a "freeview approved" on it and just rely on that being something that reassures the consumer.

That's what I meant by "look like the current ones". Bad wording.

Of course, what percentage of current sales are of boxes with HD reception? 25%?

What percentage of DVRs have HD reception AND don't allow ad skipping? 10-20%?

As for the "dont knows" -

a - cant see why it cant have other features.

b - min requirement is set at HD. Whats the point of mpeg4 if we dont use it here!

I wondered about restrictions since some articles describe TiVo as an alternative to Freeview, rather than saying a TiVo will be "Freeview approved" - I thought perhaps if a "Freeview" box did stuff that wasn't free it wouldn't fit the model.

I'd like mpeg4 (for future expandability) if the chips have come down in price enough to be less than $20 extra. Yes we dont use it here but that's a chicken/egg problem (in 3 years time the FTAs might say we can't broadcast in mpeg4 because every set top box would have to be replaced, but today there's no point putting mpeg4 in every set top box because no-one broadcasts mpeg4)

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I'd like mpeg4 (for future expandability) if the chips have come down in price enough to be less than $20 extra. Yes we dont use it here but that's a chicken/egg problem (in 3 years time the FTAs might say we can't broadcast in mpeg4 because every set top box would have to be replaced, but today there's no point putting mpeg4 in every set top box because no-one broadcasts mpeg4)

Well I dont think they would go mpeg4 without quite a bit of notice. Otherwise a lot of people with digital tvs, stb and pvr would be a bit upset.

While it will take a long while for them to be as entrenched as analog gear, the analog is getting 8 years before turning off (and a couple of years warning of the format of digital that was coming)

If they do go mpeg4 then its probably not going to be for quite a few years. Possibly (probably?) never!

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