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Acma Establishes A Digital Television Branch


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#1 alanh

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 02:07 PM

All,
ACMA Media Release

AlanH

#2 dax

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 04:05 PM

Also important that they specifically mention EPG as something that they consider as an essential service.

The chairman of ACMA is Chris Chapman who at one stage was the station manager of Seven Sydney (and a pretty good one at that!)

I think this is all very good news.

#3 Darth

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 09:13 AM

All,
ACMA Media Release

AlanH


Good news indeed, but why wasn't this established in 2000? If it was then Australian DTV wouldnt be in the mess that it is in today

#4 alanh

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 09:45 AM

All,
The previous Minister did not understand Broadcasting Technology. The present minister by his actions obviously understands.
As an example look at the broadband roll out. The previous Minister was prepared to roll out a wireless broadband system which will just keep getting slower as the usage increases because of the lack of RF frequencies. The fibre to the home means that once the fibre optic is laid in the ground, the speed is controlled by the equipment at each end! Now, he is specified to the land developers that they must lay the fibre optics to each house within a development so that the cables do not have to be replaced in a few years.

As far as DTV goes there was no knowledge of the consequences of the switch off for example all MATV systems would need to be upgraded or the total number of DTV transmitters required along with the methods of supplying these transmitters with digital programs. Now there is a timetable which has passed parliament so that a progressive switch off allows an ordered roll out to most non high powered transmitters. There is also action on MATV.

AlanH

#5 CWulf

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 08:26 PM

All,
The previous Minister did not understand Broadcasting Technology. The present minister by his actions obviously understands.
As an example look at the broadband roll out. The previous Minister was prepared to roll out a wireless broadband system which will just keep getting slower as the usage increases because of the lack of RF frequencies. The fibre to the home means that once the fibre optic is laid in the ground, the speed is controlled by the equipment at each end! Now, he is specified to the land developers that they must lay the fibre optics to each house within a development so that the cables do not have to be replaced in a few years.

As far as DTV goes there was no knowledge of the consequences of the switch off for example all MATV systems would need to be upgraded or the total number of DTV transmitters required along with the methods of supplying these transmitters with digital programs. Now there is a timetable which has passed parliament so that a progressive switch off allows an ordered roll out to most non high powered transmitters. There is also action on MATV.

AlanH



what makes you so sure all the time Alan? Are you the confidante of politicians and bureaucrats? Are you clairvoyant or are you guessing?

#6 alanh

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:48 PM

CWulf,
I am only comparing the actions which has been published on the various department websitesalong with the ministers news releases . Actions speak louder than works. I have been watching these sites for a long time.
The transcripts of senate estimates committees on communications on the www.aph.gov.au.

AlanH

#7 Darth

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 09:23 AM

All,
The previous Minister did not understand Broadcasting Technology. The present minister by his actions obviously understands.
As an example look at the broadband roll out. The previous Minister was prepared to roll out a wireless broadband system which will just keep getting slower as the usage increases because of the lack of RF frequencies. The fibre to the home means that once the fibre optic is laid in the ground, the speed is controlled by the equipment at each end! Now, he is specified to the land developers that they must lay the fibre optics to each house within a development so that the cables do not have to be replaced in a few years.

As far as DTV goes there was no knowledge of the consequences of the switch off for example all MATV systems would need to be upgraded or the total number of DTV transmitters required along with the methods of supplying these transmitters with digital programs. Now there is a timetable which has passed parliament so that a progressive switch off allows an ordered roll out to most non high powered transmitters. There is also action on MATV.

AlanH


Helen Coonan did understand the technology. If I remember correctly Rupert Murdoch wanted to start a 5 FTA channel on digital. Had the capacity and the money to do so and was blocked by Coonan because the other channels feared fragmentation. If a "proper" DTV branch was established in 2000 then this problem would not happen.

Today the debate continues with the 3 existing commercial networks. More channels, more fragmentation. Extra channels and services could of been established to promote digital television. The DTV switch off could of happened in 2008 if things were done properly

#8 alanh

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 10:31 AM

Darth,
If the technology was understood, then why did we get this rediculous HD & SD simulcast? In the receivers the only difference is more memory and a faster processor. These were available then. They did not understand that the STB could output SD signals and that the display did not have to be HD. The high cost difference was because you could charge a higher price for a prestige product even when nearly all HD signals were upconverted!

Because of these decisions we have to persist with duplicate programming on HD & SD. Fortunately the light has now been seen and MPEG4 has been mandated in "Freeview" approved products and the new draft version of the Australian DTV receiver standard is recommending all new receivers be able to decode it. This will mean that in say 2013 the MPEG2 SD channel can be replaced with HD MPEG4 along with the conversion of the HD channel from MPEG2 to MPEG4. This will then give every broadcaster a pair of HD programs instead of what they have now.

In the Coonan time there was no knowledge that if analog was switched off, all the viewers in unit blocks would loose the ABC TV and probably some commercials as well! Imagine the scream!
Murdoch probably wanted the UK model, go and look at a current program guide from the UK. How much advertising only channels would you like?

AlanH

#9 DAB-

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 01:08 PM

If the technology was understood, then why did we get this rediculous HD & SD simulcast? In the receivers the only difference is more memory and a faster processor. These were available then. They did not understand that the STB could output SD signals and that the display did not have to be HD. The high cost difference was because you could charge a higher price for a prestige product even when nearly all HD signals were upconverted!

AlanH


I followed the lead up to the intro. of Digital TV into Oz closely(like a lot of posters in this Forum) and it was Kerry Stokes that was passionately arguing at the time for SD only, it was Kerry Packer with backing from Ten that got HD(of a sort) included in the specs. Anyway from my point of view the Govt. was pushed/bullied into a compromise camel by the likes of Stokes/Packer/Murdoch trying to get their respective agendas up.

#10 alanh

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 01:36 PM

DAB-,
I remember that, but we didn't get the right compromise. One HD for Canwest/Packer and a different program on SD for for Stokes. The HD channel could have been the simulcast with analog. This would have made them all happy.

AlanH

#11 radarman

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 08:53 PM

Darth,
If the technology was understood, then why did we get this rediculous HD & SD simulcast? In the receivers the only difference is more memory and a faster processor. These were available then. They did not understand that the STB could output SD signals and that the display did not have to be HD. The high cost difference was because you could charge a higher price for a prestige product even when nearly all HD signals were upconverted!

Because of these decisions we have to persist with duplicate programming on HD & SD. Fortunately the light has now been seen and MPEG4 has been mandated in "Freeview" approved products and the new draft version of the Australian DTV receiver standard is recommending all new receivers be able to decode it. This will mean that in say 2013 the MPEG2 SD channel can be replaced with HD MPEG4 along with the conversion of the HD channel from MPEG2 to MPEG4. This will then give every broadcaster a pair of HD programs instead of what they have now.

In the Coonan time there was no knowledge that if analog was switched off, all the viewers in unit blocks would loose the ABC TV and probably some commercials as well! Imagine the scream!
Murdoch probably wanted the UK model, go and look at a current program guide from the UK. How much advertising only channels would you like?

AlanH

Hi Alanh

What exactly is MPEG4 I've seen the term used talking about MPEG2 So what are we talking about here.

#12 digitalj

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 09:44 PM

Hi Alanh

What exactly is MPEG4 I've seen the term used talking about MPEG2 So what are we talking about here.


MPEG4 is a method of compression, just like MPEG2 is, but MPEG4 is the more modern version and is able to compress video/audio down to half the bitrate of MPEG2 without looking worse than MPEG2, i.e. it's more efficient, e.g. 3Mbps MPEG4 video will look almost the same as 6Mbps MPEG2.

#13 Timmy Downawell

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 10:01 PM

As I recall it, Nine and Ten pushed for HD/SD simulcast in order to lock up bandwidth and therefore prevent SD multichannelling a la UK Freeview, while Seven wanted SD and multichannelling in view of their failed C7 pay channel. Seven ultimately wanted to deliver pay services via their digital mux but the government (both then and now) has not allowed this to happen, thankfully.

If Seven is pushing for MPEG4 then ask yourself what their motivation is. As for the other members of Freeview,
given their reluctance to offer new services, then their enthusiasm for implementing MPEG4 is bizarre. What exactly do they want/need it for?

#14 digitalj

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 10:10 PM

What exactly do they want/need it for?


probably to stop the phones ringing hot with people complaining about the poor PQ, especially with HD? Or to allow them to broadcast full 1920x1080p50?

#15 DAB-

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 08:51 AM

As I recall it, Nine and Ten pushed for HD/SD simulcast in order to lock up bandwidth and therefore prevent SD multichannelling a la UK Freeview, while Seven wanted SD and multichannelling in view of their failed C7 pay channel. Seven ultimately wanted to deliver pay services via their digital mux but the government (both then and now) has not allowed this to happen, thankfully.

If Seven is pushing for MPEG4 then ask yourself what their motivation is. As for the other members of Freeview,
given their reluctance to offer new services, then their enthusiasm for implementing MPEG4 is bizarre. What exactly do they want/need it for?


I think all of the above was in the mix along with Seven verse Nine/Ten on many issues along with a combined opposition to Murdoch or anyone else getting a 4th Digital Commercial Network.
Freeview is a seemingly united front with MPEG4 defintely on the agenda,amongst other things, after 2013 so it will be interesting to see how its implemented.

Edited by DAB-, 10 June 2009 - 08:53 AM.


#16 alanh

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 11:46 AM

DAB-
Not only is Freeview specifying MPEG4 compression but it is also proposed for the new Australian Standard for DTV receivers.
It is not a matter of one network pushing it, it is that NZ use it for all terrestrial DTV, it is included in the ASTC standard for US TV (whose channels are narrower than ours, and used as a piggyback "channel"), HD for all of Europe, all HD satellite broadcasting including Foxtel HD and every Blu-ray player.

So as you can see it is a method of futureproofing receivers so that when there is enough MPEG4 receivers in Australian we can have a pair of HD channels. (Note the huge number of large TV screens being sold you can see the differenct!) It is hoped by then that the broadcasters have fully equipped their plant for HD production and the idea of upconversion has died (except for archive material).

Lastly the use of MPEG4 reduced transmission and storage costs because all programs contain less data for that resolution.

An ideal location to start MPEG4 is country WA where there is no commercial DTV at all and no sign of it yet. The analog switchoff is in the last 6 months of 2013.

AlanH

#17 Timmy Downawell

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 09:03 PM

You guys raise some good points... increased PQ on HD and standardising with other countries are things that will improve DTV quality and affordability in Australia. I question whether it is necessary right now, but I suppose that because MPEG4 hasn't been mandated as such just puts the public in a better position for a transition should it occur in the future. But for all we know there could be MPEG5 or MPEG6 in a couple of years and the question would then arise should we skip MPEG4 for that.

#18 alanh

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 09:32 PM

Timmy,
I have not heard of any more efficient compression algorithm than MPEG4 part 10. It is being used in all new systems such as DVB-H which is digital TV on mobile phones and DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) which is linked to DAB, & DAB+ digital radio standards.

The advantage of specifying now MPEG4 is that the cost of inclusion is minimal, but it means that you shorten the time required for a switchover from MPEG2 to MPEG4 without using simulcasting.

AlanH

#19 DrP

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 09:37 PM

I have not heard of any more efficient compression algorithm than MPEG4 part 10.

Perhaps you need to look a little deeper. Such a beast is already in development.

#20 alanh

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 08:29 PM

DrP,
What beast is it?
The push now seems to be going to the compression of 3D images.

Timmy,
Australia has been at the forfront of taking on new technologies
1954 625 line TV (now called 576i) when there was 405 and 819 line monochrome TV with AM sound and Positive vision modulation (Means sync is the least power, so on weak signals you can see pictures but can't keep them still). The other option was 525 line TV (now called 480i)
1973 PAL colour TV. We didn't end up with NTSC (Never Twice the Same Colour) or SECAM (Something Essentially Contrary to the American Method). The best by far is PAL where the colour is correct and ghosted signals don't produce different coloured ghosts.
1998 Digital Video Broadcasting - Terrestrial was selected after a comparison with the Advanced Television Systems Committee. In addition we selected 1080i/720p from that system but was unavailable in Europe. Both systems use MPEG2 compression. DTV was very new then.
2008 NZ started DTV in that year, and so was able to select MPEG4 compresssion along with DVB-T.
The adoption of MPEG4 into receiver standards means that his decoder will decode MPEG4 and MPEG2 and it will mean that MPEG4 can be introduced in the future without the use of simulcasting. It iwll also mean that it will be commercially viable because a large number of receivers are already capable of receiving it.

Similarly with digital radio, our DAB+ is being broadcast to the largest potential population in the world. The sound compression technique used is identical to MPEG4.

So the next consumer TV product will be 3D TV using a compression technique which produces an MPEG4 signal which can be decoded into a 2D signal for existing TV and to a 3D TV its pair of signals representing a 3D can be decoded.


AlanH

#21 DrP

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 05:21 AM

DrP,
What beast is it?

For someone that is so 'informed' of the current state of play I'm surprised you aren't aware of the developments. :excl: :excl:

#22 cdn

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 10:37 AM

For someone that is so 'informed' of the current state of play I'm surprised you aren't aware of the developments. :excl: :excl:

Tune in again same place for the neverending saga of Ways of our life.

#23 Person1234

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 05:36 PM

I think whole 3D thing now, is where HD was at in the early 90s. I don't think we'll see a proper system till the 2020. When they develop a system that works without glasses we'll see it on the market.