Parliamentary broadcasts

This sounds like a silly question, but why do we not have freely available parliamentary broadcasts via terrestrial TV?

Several countries make their parliamentary proceedings freely available via digital TV, why aren’t we? The closest we have is ABC News Radio, but that’s only on analog radio.

I’ve been playing around with IPTV and found the federal feeds, but adding NSW ones is tricker because they use Vimeo Livestream and finding the M3U8 files is tricky. I hope I’ve got there in the end, and that the URL is not a temporary one.

Surely you can transmit the state parliament via ABC TV and the federal parliament via SBS.


They were available in Sydney for a few years as part of D44. But ACMA stupidity axed that service despite Broadcast Australia’s willingness to continue it.


Exactly. What did they have to hide? :thinking:

It’s not like they have to spend any additional money on setting up equipment - pretty much all states and the federal government film proceedings as it is. All you’re doing is retransmitting it.


Digital 44 was really an underrated part of Sydney Digital TV history. Like TVS, it’s one of those things which should still exist in some form.


They probably thought the spectrum was worth something, maybe for a 6th free to air network (4th commercial).

Really short sighted.


Because it’s a waste of spectrum use. /endthread

In an era where streaming is almost ubiquitous, this seems unnecessary


Then explain ABC News Radio - it gets interrupted for federal parliament on AM/FM frequencies. By your logic, that’s a waste of spectrum space.

Surely ABC and SBS can tack them onto their multiplexes? As I’ve said, it wouldn’t take them much to do, it all gets filmed using existing equipment. ABC can handle the states, as it is a state-based service, and SBS can do the feds.


It is.

Parliamentary broadcasts should be freely accessible as a means of transparency and holding them accountable for our taxpayer dollars.

Formerly, the best way to disseminate that content was via radio frequencies and/or TV.

However, times have moved on. If it is freely accessible online then there is really no need for it to be on digital TV/radio anymore.


Does anyone happen to have a screen shot of this?

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What he said :point_down:t2:


Perhaps ABC could get rid of its simulcast of radio stations on DTV and put on a Parliament TV stream instead.

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Well someone had to ask! It is a media discussion forum after all. :rofl:

I’m thinking if that there were stations up and running long before cramming all sorts of crap on the digital mux, they’d survive. Could they datacast - is that still a thing?

Again, we don’t really need 2 kids channels - merge them into one. Use one for a Parliamentary channel. Use the spare time on channel 22.


As a parent I disagree. We do need 2. Different age groups and ABC Me does provide school educational programs during the school day. They serve different purposes.


In the case of AM/FM services the ABC radio simulcasts are a fairly recent addition. Not entirely sure how they are beneficial as in pretty much all cases it’s just simulcasting services already on radio.

Datacasting channels have not been a thing since Digital 44 folded in Sydney? We never really had an equivalent elsewhere.

And though the government is planning to shut down community TV broadcast (still unjust IMO) there is still a spare channel available (VHF 10 in the cities AFAIK)


Exactly. Use that channel.


Yeah, you’re probably right.

As for the ABC (and SBS) radio channels on DVB-T, I rarely listen to them. But they probably do serve a purpose: Ensuring that ABC/SBS Radio is available to all Australians in some form or another, since not everyone is in the same “metropolitan Australia privilege” position of being able to get stations like Double J & SBS PopAsia on DAB+ and online streaming.

Yeah, that’s correct. Of course early last decade we had the commercial networks passing off home shopping channels as “datacasting” but I don’t think that really counts.

Yes I believe the spare channel is VHF 10 for the main transmitters in metro areas, not so sure about UHF translators and regional areas.

In an ideal world, that 6th multiplex would be used for community television AND other things like State/Federal Parliament which probably wouldn’t ever receive MAFS-like ratings but still provide a valuable public service.

You could even use those lengthy periods of time that Parliament is in recess to fill the blank space (and make some money which helps to keep those Parliament broadcasts on-air) with some special event programming. To drum up all but one example which I might try and spin-off into a mock for the relevant thread at a later date: How good would it be if the team at AFTRS not only had Show Radio on 107.9FM, but also Show TV in Sydney/NSW around Easter each year?!


Not sure I agree with this one - they are aimed at very distinct age groups.

Thats the case in metro areas (if you’ve got Digital Radio), for us rural folk many of them arent available.

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I was talking about the heritage networks, e.g. Local Radio, ABC FM, RN, NewsRadio, JJJ.

The Digital-only stations, of course, put them on DTV as DAB only has limited coverage.

For anyone interested, the Australian Parliament channels are below:

#EXTINF:-1,Australian Parliament 1

#EXTINF:-1,Australian Parliament 2

#EXTINF:-1,Australian Parliament 3


I’ll post up the NSW ones when I get home. They did work today, which was surprising, as most of the undiscovered IPTV gems have a nasty habit of dying in the arse after a few hours.

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