Posted Tuesday 4th November 2014 at 03:29pm
As of the 1st January 2009 the government legislation allowed the commercial free-to-air networks to broadcast an additional standard definition (SD) channel each, in addition to their primary SD channels, and their high definition (HD) channels. The total compliment of commercial, ABC and SBS channels are to be marketed under the Freeview brand name. They have been named so to complete against increasing market share of Pay TV operators in Australia like Austar and Foxtel.
With the old analogue TV transmissions due to be switched off at by the end of 2013, eveyone wishing to watch free-to-air TV will have to have a set-top-box or digital ready TV.
How many digital TV channels will we be able to watch?
Depending on your TV reception, there will be 15 independent TV channels being broadcast simultaneously. Each having it's own TV shows, documentaries and/or news bulletins. Regional areas like the Sunshine Coast, Queensland have will have access to more than the 15 available channels that is currently being advertised. The reason is, here we have local commercial TV networks for channels 7,9 & 10 as well as the metropolitan networks from the capital cities.
What programmes will be showing on these new Freeview channels?
ABC 2 has re-scheduled ABC 1 programmes and childrens TV shows, whilst ABC 3 is dedicated to childrens TV and only broadcast during daylight hours. SBS 2 has a massive section of their schedule dedicated to international news, however still has some original programming. 7 TWO and GO! are lifestyle channels with some original programming and some old TV shows from the 60's 70's and 80's.
What equipment will I need to pickup these new Freeview channels?
To receive all the Freeview channels, consumers will need an HD digital-set-top box, digital video recorder or an integrated digital television. The government recently adopted terminology designed to simplify the selection process for the general public purchasing TVs.
Most new TV sets, less than one year old, have a digital tuner built in. This means when the time comes for us to tune in to these new channels, you'll simply just have to re-tune your existing TV or box to to pickup the new transmissions.
** To find out if you have a HD or an SD tuner in your TV or set-top-box, see if you can receive ABC TV HD on channel number 20. If you get a message indicating that the service is not available, then it's most likely to be a SD box and you'll need to upgrade the box in order to see HD channels. If you can see ABC TV with a ABCTV HD logo in the bottom right corner then you have a HD tuner and your set to receive all the channels currently being broadcast in your area.