HD Broadcasting

When they drew up the Australian digital TV standard in 2001, the MPEG-4 H.264 standard was still being drawn up. The government was extremely eager to get us on the HD bandwagon so used a standard (MPEG-2) that would be obsolete before the TV screens that could view them were affordable.

Thats why most countries use MPEG-4 for HD - they didnt launch their HD service until several years after us!


Most planning preceded the explosion in the internet as a video delivery service. Their thoughts were mostly in interactive TV, multi angle sports coverage and making large amounts of spectrum available for datacasting.

HD was mainly just the broadcasters wanting a way to lay claim to a whole frequency each despite multichannelling being disallowed, rather than any care about picture quality.

The main recent missed opportunity came with the digital ready labelling scheme - they should have uniquely highlighted MPEG4 ready devices, not just have HD ready as the top level.

The failure of Freeview has some blame too - that the broadcasters couldn’t convince enough manufacturers to get labelled as Freeview capable, because “Freeview Ready” is easier to communicate than MPEG4 ready.


Finally figured how to get MPEG-4 channels on my Panasonic Vieria which his about 5+ years old.

Go to Setup menu -> Digital TV Tuning Menu -> Add MPEG-4 channels

Honestly didn’t think it would work on this old TV.

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Same TV that I have as well. Was certainly pleasant to see it MPEG4 compatible considering we bought ours around 2009

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Same TV at home, yet to see the option.

There is a link provided in the MS article that might help.

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Shame the ABC couldn’t have gotten HD ready a couple of weeks earlier.

The Crowded House concert tonight would have looked and sounded great in HD.


I agree, the Crowded House concert would’ve been an absolutely fantastic special event for ABC HD’s launch night!


They should have at least put it on ABC News 24 too.

ABC News 24 on Youtube is a terrible resolution.

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News 24 is only upscaled from SD anyway? Or is it actual HD?

I think it’s upscaled.

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I think the NYE Fireworks may have aired in native HD on News 24 in recent years, but other than that it’s always a (really poor quality IMO) upscaled SD broadcast from what I’ve seen.


4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Community Television

I recently bought my first HD TV, a new Soniq 43" Full HD for $399. It can receive the MPEG-4 channels, but my old Panasonic HD PVR can’t. I was wondering if there’s such a thing as a set-top box that can receive MPEG-4 but output it in a way that the PVR could understand it and record it in HD (e.g., an RF out encoded in MPEG-2).

Yes there is but you would lose much of the time-shift functionality. E.g., the STB would plug into AUX1 and you would set the PVR to always record from AUX1. The STB could only be set to be on one channel at a time so you could only PVR from one channel without intervention.

What sort of input would AUX1 need to be? If it’s just AV (the yellow, white, red RCA sockets) wouldn’t it only be SD quality? I’m not sure my PVR has any input other than the antenna that it could record in HD. I’m mostly interested in the main FTA HD channels (Nine HD etc.) because they are the ones I record the most (the SD equivalents that is).

The starting point would be what inputs there are for the STB. The only way to record HD is with HDMI (possibly component ie 5 cables) IN. HDMI IN is quite rare, which makes the whole exercise rather pointless I suppose. Whether the PVR would end up recording the signal in HD is another question.

OK, thanks. I’m pretty sure the PVR doesn’t have HDMI in, so I’ll probably need a new PVR.

When shopping for a TV I was surprised how bad they looked in the shops. The colours were too bright and seemed to smear with movement. I couldn’t tell if it was the TVs or the compression, but they looked crappy. I decided to stick with my 19 yo 68 cm Sony Trinotron, which still works, and keep the new TV aside as a spare. But at home HD broadcasts on the new TV look fantastic, with none of the smeary artifacts I saw in the shops, so I’ve switched to it permanently.

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