Hi-def up and running in Australia

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by Bristol Pete, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    HI guys,

    Out of interest, thought I would post and let you know that I have discovered hi-def TV is well and truely up and running here in Oz, on freeview too!

    Loads of stuff broadcast in HD as all channels are required to show 1040 (?)hours per year. Mainly import TV such CSI, The Closer, Everybody loves Raymond etc though some Australian produced stuff like McLeods Daughters and Blue Heelers are in hi-def with 5.1 sound. All very impressive considering you only need a freeview box with the hi-def rec which cost around $500. dollars, roughly 200 quid.

    In fact was at a home theatre shop earlier today where they were playing the Oz v. West Indies test match in hi-def on a Sanyo Z4 which looked superb :eek:

    Roll on hi-def in the UK.... :thumbsup:

    Pete.
     
  2. nigelbb

    nigelbb
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    Compared to Freeview there are far fewer channels. Australia opted to go for quality rather than quantity which is why they have OTA HDTV right now.
     
  3. RecordablDVDfan

    RecordablDVDfan
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    That's what HD should be about - quality. Yes Oz have have had HD for almost 5 years now and it's all free as it should be. Varying HD standards though are used, I think Home and Away although flagged as HD is only 576i ?
     
  4. Adrenochrome

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    Rub it in why don't you :D
     
  5. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Yep - though some networks in Aus call 576/50p HDTV... In other areas this would be called EDTV.

    ABC have apparently stopped their 1080/50i broadcasts to allow them to launch ABC2 on DTT - effectively ditching HD for multiple channels (following the success of Freeview over here)
     
  6. RecordablDVDfan

    RecordablDVDfan
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    Yes not that they call it Freeview down under, not sure they give it a name. I saw a nice 37" HD demo from Seven last December myself in a local shop in Frankston, Melbourne.. tv make was something like Lowe ? (not Lowe though!)

    Australia have always poured money into TV. Almost forced to by the Govt I think, and they dont have a tv licence either, tried it once, did'nt work so they gave up!
     
  7. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Loewe? Quality European brand who also sell tubed HD sets in the US.
     
  8. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    Was reading a leaflet and yes, the signals do vary but most is in 1080i with 5.1, which is nice! As is the fact that it is free, which got me wondering what it may cost in the UK?

    Correct. The broadcasters here are contracted with the government to show 1040 hours every year, which equates to 20 hours per week. And yes, apparently some time ago the idea of a TV licence was discussed but quickly rejected when civil unrest became a distinct possibilty!

    That said, does this mean that in the UK we are the only country to effectively pay to simply turn a television on? Irrespective of the choice of SKY etc?

    Criminal really......rip off Britain :mad:

    And for reference, petrol is just 45p here compared to what? A quid back home! Cheap as chips. What a shame I have to head home at some point :(

    Pete.
     
  9. 10bii

    10bii
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    The problem is in Australia much of the HD (what the government and some channels consider HD) is in 576P.

    Oops. Sorry, already covered in a previous post. :)
     
  10. 10bii

    10bii
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    Under what brand Stephen as I've never seen them?
     
  11. 10bii

    10bii
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    Hey Pete. Are you sure most is 1080 as I have gotten the strong impression that most is actually 576P or in many cases upscalled standard definition. There's an Australian digital TV forum that you may know about that I have read through recently and complaints related to what I have stated appear to be the norm. Overall HD in Australia doesn't appear to be doing well from what i have gathered

    http://www.dtvforum.info/
     
  12. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Loewe - though they may no longer be marketing in the US. Along with RCA they had a very large CRT model on sale that was the subject of much debate on the AVSForum site a year or three ago. It was deemed significantly better than the RCA ISTR.
     
  13. 10bii

    10bii
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    Nope, no Loewe TVs on sale that I've seen nor do you see very many RCA models on sale. It must not have been successful.
     
  14. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Loewe stuff is quite pricy - it is a bit like B&O (but usually better picture quality...) I think the problem RCA (Thomson) and Loewe had with the large HD CRTs was that they were huge, heavy, and the tubes were expensive. I think they discontinued them as soon as HD capable flat-panels arrived. The Loewe was deemed superior to the RCA and had quite a few fans in the Home Theater community.

    I think there were significant geometry issues with them though - as you'd expect on a large tube.
     
  15. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    Interesting. I picked up a leaflet from a local home cinema specialist and it listed all of channels available in hi-def of which some where definately in 1080 with 5.1. That said, some where definately listed as 576p.

    Pete.
     
  16. 10bii

    10bii
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    The Sony 34 inch HD XBR crt weighs in at just over 200lbs so I can see that being a problem. The larger one often shows geometry issues but the 30" one is usually quite good.

    I believe they are being discontinued as they have been on "clearance" for a while now. That usually means a product line is either no longer going to be carried by the particular store or the manufacturer is discontinuing them.
     
  17. 10bii

    10bii
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    Yeah that site I posted is interesting because you get much more complaints than praise for the way HD is being handled in Australia. Recognizing 576P as HD is certainly a big problem. In a way things should be fairly straight forward in Australia if they just stick to the one true HD standard, 1080, that they have since they don't do 720P. One standard should make it even easier.

    I'd also like to see ABC and FOX go to the one dominant standard of 1080i, at least until 1080P becomes practical. In either case 1080 programming whether P or i will look outstanding on 1080P TVs and monitors so its not like people would need to upgrade their TVs and monitors.
     
  18. RecordablDVDfan

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    Yes actually it was Loewe, I forgot I picked up an brochure while I was in there, just dug it out
     
  19. MELso76

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    The biggest problem with HD in Australia is not that 576P is a minimum standard (a big problem for sure), but that it is a bandwidth hog chosen as much to keep new competitors out of the market as to provide Australians the best TV experience (if you think Tony Blair runs scared of Rupert Murdoch, you should see our governments with Kerry Packer). This in turn has hobbled uptake by preventing the extra content that's been so successful in driving uptake in the UK.

    Three of Australia's five FTA channels now only broadcast at 576p (the other two are at 1080i). Due to bandwidth restrictions, macroblocking is much in evidence and the 576p material is usually just upconverted 576i SD (which generally looks worse due to the aforementioned lack of bandwidth and upconversion artefacts). Finally, 5.1 on HD is almost non-existent (don't believe the bumf). Yes there's HD, but it's been shoddily implemented and it's killed off the one proven driver of digital TV takeup: extra content.

    http://www.widescreentv.com.au/program.html is a list of what's available in HD (and 5.1 where indicated). As you can see, it's slim pickings if you don't like Law and Order or CSI.

    HD should've been the icing on the cake of a successful digital TV transition, not the centrepiece of a failed one.

    Me? I've gone for an SD PVR. It offers far more flexibility, and not owning a 42"+ display, does not diminish my enjoyment of the limited FTA I now watch (Channel BT is now the preferred method of obtaining series, primarily because Australia's FTA networks treat their viewers with contempt).

    (Incidentally, there was a TV licence once upon a time, but it was a hassle to collect and the money was just paid into consolidated revenue anyway; it was abolished about 30 years ago.)
     
  20. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    Surely that means people will have to upgrade to 1080p capable machines again however as most are 1080i are they not. (unsure on this)...

    Thanks for a conclusive opinion. I was unsure myself as only on an extended break in Oz but still reporting my leyman findings back to the forums.

    Welcome aboard by the way :)

    Finally, I am appalled by the fact that Bananas in pyjamas is not in hi-def. :suicide: :rotfl:

    Pete.
     
  21. 10bii

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    Not clear on your question but a switch to 1080P doesn't have to happen overnight. If you mean to say that people would have to upgrade their screens to watch 1080i then no they would not. The majority of programming is already 1080i.

    The trend in displays is for a continuing increase in screen resolution towards 1080P. CRT is on its last days, certainly within the HD sector. As it is to be able to view 1080i at its best you still need a 1080 capable screen. FOX and ABC are the tiny minority for not using 1080i.

    I'm sure sometime in the not to distant future you'll see a 1080P channel broadcasting, possibly a dedicated sports channel for which it would be well suited. Then it would go from there.
     
  22. anotherdavid

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    HD is on very shaky ground in Australia and our federal government, and some broadcasters, look like they'd like to bail out

    Our Communications Minister set up a review earlier this year "to consider issues such as whether HDTV quotas are still necessary and, if so, whether any changes should be made to the quota levels, obligations and reporting
    requirements.”

    http://www.dcita.gov.au/broad/policy_reviews/digital_broadcasting_policy_reviews/hdtv_quota_review

    Personally I am very disappointed with the HD experience here, and after investing a lot of money into HD-capable equipment I find I only watch the occasional Sunday Night movie. The 2 channels that do screen material in 1080i have very little that I actually want to watch....(the novelty of watching HD material for the sake of it has worn off!)
     
  23. No-One

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    Are broadcasters choosing 567p to keep costs down? Make space on multiplexes for additional services? Sounds suspiciously like DAB in the UK.
     
  24. anotherdavid

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    576p was "offered" as an HD standard to allow bandwidth for broadcasters to offer additional channels or datacasting



    Channel 7 has taken the **** and used this as their standard without offering anything additional other than a program guide.
     

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