Digital Action Plan Released
Posted 23 November 2006 - 02:55 PM
In summary, no early switch off, a new body called Digital Australia to be set up, ACMA to do research, ch 31 to be converted later on and, of course, no mention of IPTV or MPEG4 or any other issues...
(PS Caniffe I couldn't post a new topic in the appropriate sub-forum)
Posted 23 November 2006 - 03:08 PM
Posted 23 November 2006 - 03:22 PM
That said, despite the glossy (and for some reason mostly 50% fuzzy) pics, there's enough in there for the short term. The ABC to (be allowed) to go full multichanneling within the month. HD multichannelling able to start in 2 months and SD multichanneling in 2 years.
Maybe nothing will happen but it will be interesting to see how this all works.
Posted 23 November 2006 - 03:46 PM
Posted 23 November 2006 - 03:57 PM
*unless they give ABC or SBS control of the mux. I could live with that.
Posted 23 November 2006 - 05:31 PM
PS Realise that there's nothing particularly new in the brochure (aside from those "hey they look like normal people, maybe I could go digital too" glossy brochures). But its just interesting that we're not talking "2012" now. Some interesting stuff should be happening by the New Year.
Posted 23 November 2006 - 08:11 PM
Posted 23 November 2006 - 08:49 PM
Posted 23 November 2006 - 10:09 PM
There may be a possibility in future they, in turn, could make a few dollars subletting bandwidth on it to other local (multi)channels. Perhaps, however, that's the whole reason they aren't getting it, and I've answered my own question.
Posted 24 November 2006 - 08:33 AM
Whilst you can debate that the government might/should forgo income by giving away more free spectrum (than necessary) and letting Ch31 sell it to fund themselves, I think the taking the current arrangement as a base point, the one proposed by Coonan maintains the status quo while enabling Ch31 to go digital.
Posted 24 November 2006 - 03:21 PM
Posted 24 November 2006 - 07:03 PM
That's not enough in the short term! You never struck me as someone to settle for second best Peter.
SD multichanneling should be starting in 2 months then the whole AFL live everywhere crap wouldn't be an issue and there'd be a huge upswing in demand for digital TV from AFL fans in NSW and QLD. The same would apply for rugby union and league fans in VIC and elsewhere and IMO digital TV would take off.
Posted 24 November 2006 - 08:08 PM
As for second best, I realist enough to accept there are more factors at play in Oz TV than what's good for the public. I/You might not agree with all/most that Coonan is doing but I personally would'nt want to try do her job. FWIW I think this 'roadmap' is a reasonable compromise and I can actually see where its headed. There would seem to be enough flexibilty in the plan that things could be
What's a little depressing is that its finally sinking in how PVRs etc. will basically decimate FTA TV over the next decade. I suspect Oz is anachronistic not because of the media landscape/regulations or the media moguls but because FTA is just not supportable. The UK/Euro model of ubiquitos cheap PAYTV with a few (well funded) public broadcast stations would seem to be where we should/are? headed.
Posted 24 November 2006 - 11:41 PM
While some of the material was probably Alcatel and Intel hype (who are trying to sell IPTV and networked media centres respectively; there was a chap from Nokia plugging DVB-H at the ABA conference two years ago which is still in trial here), there is a general belief that the internet's going to be where the action is over the next 10 years.
One has to wonder whether this Digital Action Plan is all going to be moot in the near future?
(Another interesting tidbit/claim presented by the Alcatel chap: Australia is the world's largest illegal downloader of TV shows, and not just on a per capita basis either, accounting for 12.5% of all TV downloaded)
Posted 25 November 2006 - 09:16 AM
Question is, what are all of those factors and why should they be at play? If Seven want to SD multicast why are they not allowed to? It is/should be a free market surely? It appears to me that the real problem is that the market is over-regulated. Why is ABC allowed to multicast but the commercial networks can't? Ridiculous.
The poor implementation of anti-siphoning laws, and lack of multi-casting (in the case of sports mainly) is simply forcing me to fox. Except I get a raw deal there because of how sports are 'rationed' anyway. How is that good for FTA?
Not saying I'd do a better job than Coonan, but would certainly do a different job.
The writing was on the wall before PVRs. Look at the increasing prices paid for sport and what has happened over the tasman for the direction things are headed here - unless the govermnet stays in protectionist mode.
Posted 25 November 2006 - 09:30 AM
I agree to some extent, except are people ready to pay $3 per episode for their shows (which is cheaper than $6 ringtones I guess)?
The real question is whether IPTV will be heavily regulated, and whether the companies selling you IPTV can get the right content. If the compelling content is still locked up by 7, 9, 10, and fox what is the point?
I wonder how well bigpondmovies downloads are going. How many people are actually paying $2.95 for an episode of "On The Buses" from 1969? Shouldn't this stuff get cheaper over time, not more expensive?
That is a surprise. I would have thought the UK over Australia for the total volume. And the US would be in that race as well. I'd expect Australia for per capita though.
Posted 25 November 2006 - 09:52 AM
No really. I have a feeling that since the UK and US are in the same weather season cycle, that for some things, the delay of new shows is nothing like down here (which for us is mostly from the US and UK). We want our shows and are sick of waiting for FTA to pul their finger out. Combine that with rising ADSL take-up (3 million at the moment isn't it) and relative ease of downloading and away it all goes.
Posted 25 November 2006 - 09:57 AM
The initiative, announced today by Communications Minister Helen Coonan, involves the creation of a dedicated Sydney-based switchover body called Digital Australia.
The body, among other tasks, will run "educational campaigns" to help educate consumers of the benefits of digital television.
It will also provide support to those having trouble making the switch - such as the elderly, disabled or those living in remote areas - so that "no one will be left behind" once analogue transmissions are turned off, she said.
[. . .]
"Not only will brand new digital channels emerge but the free-to-air broadcasters - including the ABC and SBS - will be able to boost their range of services with additional digital multi-channels."
[. . .]
Another benefit of digital TV is the ability for existing broadcasters to use spare spectrum for separate, complementary channels.
For example, ABC and SBS offer two additional digital-only channels - ABC 2 and SBS World News - which allows them to showcase additional original content and content from their archives.
From January 1 next year, the commercial free-to-air broadcasters - Seven, Nine and Ten - will be permitted to offer similar extra channels.
"Over the next few years there is the likely opportunity that Australian consumers will have access to up to eight new in-home channels, up to 30 new channels on mobile TV and up to five digital multi-channels and even more from 2009," she said.
Australia's analogue-to-digital switchover period of 2010-2012 isn't far behind the rest of the world.
The US switchover is set for February 17 2009, while Britain will switch during 2008-2012 and Germany's transition will be completed by 2010.
Senator Coonan said she would announce a firm switchover date for Australia "as soon as practicable next year"
Posted 25 November 2006 - 10:48 AM
But on the other side I think all players realise that FTA is pretty fragile these days. With ad revenue probably headed ever downwards as TV is increasingly canabalised to get short term rating returns then simply saying its a 'free for all' is more likely to hasten the death nell than slow it.
I can only see TV going two ways at the moment. Either it becomes fully PayTV (probably with tiers that dictate the amount of advertising you see) or it becomes increasingly 'bite sized'. An episode of 'Lost' will be 10-15 minutes long. Shows like Idol are ideal for this format. You'll watch it on the train or some such.
Posted 25 November 2006 - 11:50 AM
Only around 25 % of all of the around 3000 analog transmitters have digital equivalents.
Whilst the remote area satellite transmissions are in MPEG2 when are the fruits of widescreen etc going to be added. It would however be much better to use MPEG4 so that those viewers' can also get HD.
When are CBN2 = PRIME in the Riverina, and SSW 3 = GWN Bunbury going to get digital? These are the only high powered analog only transmitters below channel 6 without a digital companion. There are 27 low powered analog transmitters below channel 6 without digital companions.
Once the above transmitters have digital companions, then the manufacture and import of the channel 1-12 (+) antennas can be stopped. They can be replaced with antennas designed for channel 6 upwards. This will reduce the incidence of impulse interference causing pixellation and sound breakups.
Posted 27 November 2006 - 05:05 PM
It also explains why PBL & 7 are divesting and diversifying, and CanWest is again trying to sell down in 10 - with the market being opened up even slightly more, and increased competition from "new" sources (and non-media companies with aspirations to be gatekeepers/providers, e.g. Telstra, ReelTime, etc), the only way to go is down.
Posted 30 November 2006 - 10:28 PM
That article cracked me up. Here's a some of my favourite parts:
>Once the switchover to purely digital occurs, the spectrum previously used by the analogue transmissions >could be used for new digital channels and the enhancement of existing channels.
We could have new digital channels now, but we don't. We could have enhancement of existing channels now, but we don't. We could have a proper EPG now and we don't. Ceasing analogue transmissions won't change the pathetic protectionist corporate bias of the current federal minister
>Not only will brand new digital channels emerge
Really, last I heard, channel Nine were vehemently against multi-channeling ??? But wait it get's better....
>Senator Coonan said that one of the reasons for the low digital take-up was the fact that consumers were >not aware of its benefits.
Is this woman actually conscious, put her on a plane and get her over to the UK so she can see a region with a high digital takeup and see if she figures it out then. The reason consumers are not aware of it's benefits Helen is because thanks to the restrictive legislation and repetitive mishandling of this issue there are NO &*^%ing benefits. Why the hell would Joe Public drop $100 on a set top box when it gives them nothing more than they currently have. And sorry, but ABC2 and SBS world news don't count. The man in the street couldn't give a toss about what these channels offer. My $100 set top box money would be better spent on 4 cartons of beer. It would certainly be more entertaining then the current junk being pumped out by the 3 commercial networks.
If you want to see digital takeup skyrocket encourage the networks to multichannel different types or multiple games of sport. That would give you an immediate boost. Chuck in a few more multi-channels of children's, music, and dramatic entertainment and bingo, you've figured it out. Sadly digital audio and EPG's and High Definition might matter to the people on this board, but if you want the unwashed masses to take it up you've got to give them a reason and the only one that will work is MORE QUALITY CONTENT !
You don't need to waste $20 million on an action plan. People will look at the advertisements and say Big Deal, my picture quality is fine already and I get the tv guide in the saturday paper.
What a load of bollocks
Posted 01 December 2006 - 08:10 AM