Tag Archives: SC10

ONE HD on SC10

Southern Cross Tens’ (SC10) scenery HD channel is now displaying a message bar stating: “We are excited to announce that the 24 hours sports service ONE HD will be broadcast on this channel in coming months”. No indication of a date.

Coming months puts the launch of ONE HD on SC10 in line with what we hope to be a July start. Hopefully soon they will be able to tell us the date, and then to promote accordingly so that regional viewers can finally join their capital city counterparts in having the option to view the 24 hour sports channel.

At least there will be a free to air option in the early morning hours that is not informercials or movies older than your grand mother.

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FreeView in my View 4

So here comes the next round of Free View ads which will supposedly remind us of what we love about free to air TV. The same day we hear about channel 9’s new Tuesday night line up containing nothing but 2.5 Men, 20-1 and Underbelly, most of which are repeats. These Free view ads are a waste of time and no doubt take air space away from real advertisers selling real products.

Freeview are so delusional, that they call 7HD and 9HD separate channels. 9HD hardly has any break away programming and for the most part is the same as the main channel – so should not count, and 7HD is almost as bad but at least has more break away times.

And now the comment relating to more channels launching says within a year. We know channel 9 have announced their new channel, Ten is already doing ONE, SBS News has become SBS2, ABC has been given the go ahead for ABC3 (I knew thewy would) but channel 7 is still yet to announce anything.

Currently, I put the channel count at 8 – ABC, ABC2, Ten, One, 7, 9, SBS, SBS2. In regional area of northern NSW, it is 7 channels as there is no ONE yet. It will hopefully be on SC10 by July, about the same time it is rumoured Foxtel will get it for those who do not have cable. Go 99 and ABC3 will take it to 10 channels, and 7’s new channel when they announce it will be the 11th. And that will most likely be it, as I don’t see any of them then using the HD channel as a break away from the other 2 channels.

Channel 9 and Go99 or Go!99

Channel 9 is set to launch its 2nd free to air digital channel sometime later this year – most likely in August. The rumour mills suggest it will be called GO!99. Apparently, GO!99 has been registered by ch 9 as a trade mark, but that does not necessarily mean that will be its final name. Whether it is or not, is not really relevant. Of greater concern, is what exactly will be its content?
 
Channel 9 now lead the free to air networks as being the channel that has the most programming changes, as well as being the network least likely to show a series that they introduce in entirety at any time favouring quick program fixes and repeats in favour of running a series they started. At least channel 7 give their series a go, even if that means, they end up late at night or being held for a few months or so until they put them on.
 
Channel 7 is yet to announce plans for their second digital channel. Channel 10 has already done it with ONE HD although the regionals will not see it until July.
 
All that aside, one must be concerned as to what channel 9 will do with their extra channel. It was only announced yesterday that 9’s Tuesday night line up was to be changed most likely due to low ratings. This change is too late for their printed TV guides – the very guides that most of their loyal viewers will rely upon. As has been the case for numerous weeks this year, channel 9’s programming changes are last minute and never are in time for printed guides to reflect. While TV guides are now available on the internet and EPGs, no doubt the masses are picking them up from printed guides and will tune in (or out) accordingly. This, to me, is one of the reasons why their ratings are falling.
 
In my opinion, if this is the way they handle their main channel, then their second channel is going to be an even bigger nightmare to deal with. I wonder if it will be loaded with endless Underbellys’, 20-1’s, 10-1’s, even 50-1 they did once, not to mention two and a half men played to the point of overkill. It is supposedly slated as an entertainment channel but, if the lack of programming ability they are demonstrating on their main channel is anything to go by, why would anyone care about the second channel?
 
I always thought that a second SD channel would give a network the chance to experiment and show programs they normally would not on their main channel. The marketing opportunities are enormous. I mean, here is the chance to have themed nights like 10HD did with Sci Fi nights. Here is the chance to have movie nights, comedy nights, crime nights, drama nights, niche programming, majorly time shifted prime time segments and more (what I mean by time shifted prime time is that they repeat prime time after say 12.30am instead of infomercials or even during the day to give those people who do not fit into the working prime time norm (such as shift workers) a chance to see prime time TV without having to record it). 
 
The way channel 9 are heading at the moment, is that this 2nd channel will show little more than endless 20-1’s, Underbelly’s, 2.5 Men and other repeats little or no people care about. I mean, the only reason most of these shows rate is due to a lack of options rather than the fact people really care for them.
 
Channel 9 have the rights to so many shows, that it amazes me why they don’t put them on. Channel 7 and 10 give their shows a chance and follow through – even if late. But not 9. They axe shows never to be seen again except possibly on Foxtel a year or so later. Who remembers their Pushing Daisies ads? That one ended up W channel Foxtel, but 9 had rights to originally. OK – that show is a bit weird, but still, if they had the rights to it over Foxtel, it would do alot better than something like Bridezillas which 9 was showing even though it had already been on Foxtel.
 
I can’t wait to see the programming for the 2nd channel 9 – I’ll call it Go99 even though that is not really confirmed yet. Even if it is a channel of 9 repeats, it will at least give an option for those who do not have Foxtel. I just hope they have the sense to program it properly as a new channel that will not yet attract major ratings. I just hope it is better than 9HD – which was really only there for a few hours each night – in the sense that they do not cut and chop programs left, right and centre. I hope that they will see this channel as an opportunity to show programs that – for whatever reason – they do not show on their main channel – we all know they have the rights to so many shows. Yes, I am a fan of ER, and have already seen the finale through a friend in the US, but they could put ER on this channel. Not to mention, Survivor, Weeds, and others they have the rights to.
 
Lets hope that they do not deal with the 2nd channel the way they do with the main channel and that they use it to promote digital uptake in the sense that they make people see what they are missing out on. Sooner or later, the networks have to embrace digital and multichanelling rather than catering for those who don’t care and making sure that their TV shows are all available on analogue.

FreeView in My View 3

So there will be no FreeView EPG until the end of the year. Channel 9’s new channel will launch some time in August. ONE HD is already here for anyone who lives in the 5 capital cities. FreeView branded equipment will be on sale from May 1. And FreeView will launch more ads from April 26.

Exactly what do they hope to achieve with these ads? More confusion? More empty promises? Brand awareness? Confusing the already confused?

In my opinion, what really needs to happen is to have everything sorted out before they wast anymore time advertising and further confuse TV viewers Australia wide. Given that the EPG will not launch until the end of the year, how will the product work in any case? And there is still the cloud over the ad skipping capability on the FreeView branded PVR. I can understand why they would not want viewers to skip ads completely, so why not base the system on Foxtels’ IQ2 where you fast forward ads? If you see an ad that is interesting, you stop and take a look. Making people sit through ads when they are not watching live TV just won’t work. And being called FreeView will mean nothing.

Since the FreeView name was introduced late last year, saying “coming soon in 2009”, there has been little or no development to the system leading many to write it off as a pointless waste of time. This is now the stigma they are stuck with and will be very hard for them to work their way out of it. FreeView is seen as misleading and a series of empty promises. As I have written in other posts here, we will not see 15 unique Free to air channels any time soon.

Here’s what should happen now, in my opinion, if FreeView is going to revive itself:

1. Do not advertise at all until everything is in place for the product.

2. Set deadlines with manufacturers for FreeView branded equipment, and get them into the market place by a certain date.

3. Educate retailers about the system.

4. Deadline when the extra channels come. Ten has ONE HD already. 9’s 2nd channel is due in August, 7 is yet to announce, but should ideally do it about the same time as 9.

5. Get the EPG up in line with extra channels.

6. Include community TV (where available), and maybe even some of the channels in the 44 group in Sydney extending to other cities and areas – that gets more channels (Available frequencies may be an issue though).

7. Make sure that the regionals are on at the same time – unlike what happened with ONE HD, still yet to appear on SC10.

8. Publicise these dates in the media and on their web site. Keep the public informed. back up promises with actual content and detail. So far, one of the biggest problems with FreeView has been the lack of any actual content to back up their promises.

9. Any additonal services that will come with FreeView – such as on demand services – should be confirmed with launch dates as well during this time.

Once everything is in place, then will be the time to release FreeView as a complete system with 10 (say) channels including all other features it will have working rather than “coming soon”. That way, the consumer will know they are getting a complete product and not some expensive box with little or nothing over what they have now or can obtain much more cheaply.

ONE HD on SC10 Soon

Although I am yet to see one myself, I have been told by a few people now that SC10 Newcastle are advertising that ONE HD is coming soon to SC10. I am happy to hear that, as that would put some confusion to rest, but still don’t know why they would not have done that earlier.

It is interesting to read about the trouble some people on Newcastle are going to to get ONE HD. I found a forum with a number of posts from people in various parts of Newcastle who are already watching ONE HD or are trying to get it. From Newcastle, they have the choice to either trying to receive their TV direct from Sydney or to pick up UHF re-transmissions of Sydney TV from the Central Coast. You can read one of the forums here.

Depending on weather conditions, sometimes you can receive distant TV stations, but not on a full time basis. I remember, back in the early-mid 80’s, when I lived in Sydney, we would regularly receive WIN-4 from Wollongong as well as NBN-3 from Newcastle on a fine summer afternoon. The phenomenon is known in ametuer radio circles as “skip” where a signal from a distant transmitter literally “skips” or bounces off the ionosphere (an atmospheric layer) allowing it to travel further as the signal generally can travel in without much loss. The signal received would sometimes flow in and out – changing in strength – but was definitely watchable.

There was one day in particular where all 12 analogue channels were filled (except for ch 5, as this frequency is also used for FM radio). At the time, we had SBS on ch 0. A regional ABC filled ch 1. 2 was ABC-Sydney. 3 was NBN Newcastle. 4 was WIN-Wollongong, 5A was ABC probably from Newcastle, 6 was from Orange I think, 7 Sydney, 8 was NEN from memory from Taree, 9 and 10 Sydney, and 11 NRN-Coffs Harbour. On that day, I was able to watch Neighbours (yes, I watched it back then) at 5.30 on NRN rather than waiting to see it at 7pm on 10 (in 1988, Neighbours was on at 7pm).

Now, in the digital age, you could not have this happen in Sydney anymore as channels 6,8 and 11 are used as the digital components for channels 7,9 and 10 respectively. However, out in the country, the reverse could be true. You may be able to receive Sydney TV when atmospheric conditions are right and “skip” happens on a fine Summers’ afternoon. Which means, you may be able to catch glimpses of ONE HD outside of the city.

You would to make sure you have a VHF TV aerial, and have to re-tune your digital receiver when the conditions are right. If you are lucky, you’ll get the Sydney (or other capital city channels) but only briefly. Obviously you could not rely on this happening regularly. Also, fluctuating signal strength may mean that digital signal will drop out from time to time.

Enough reminiscing of the days of being able to flick through TV channels to see what was there. With most of them on UHF now in any case, chances of seeing distant channels are much lower. Furthermore, with the regionals being much the same as the city channels (other than digital channels and break away programming) there is little point going to any effort in any case.

I had read, that one possible reason why ONE HD is not on SC10 yet is because they are putting together a new digital facility in Canberra, and it is not until the middle of the year they will have the facility fully functional. With 10 HD breakaway programming running since late 2007, they have had plenty of time to prepare for the expansion of multichanneling. Apparently, this new facility will pretty much control all of SC10’s coverage area including dealing with insertion of local ads to feed to numerous different areas.

There is also a rumour, that I cannot seem to be able to confirm anywhere, that ONE HD and/or ONE SD will be broadcast through Foxtel from July. Sounds like, in the middle of this year, there will be alot of action as far as multi channeling is concerned.

ONE HD Regional SC10 From July 2

*** Updated June 16 2009 ***

Regional television viewers can rejoice and finally join their capital city friends as regional affiliate of Network Ten Southern Cross Ten will begin transmission of 24 hour sports channel One HD from July 2. Viewers who already receive a high definition signal from the broadcaster in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the ACT will start to see One HD from July 2 and can find the channel on Channel 50.

*** Updated June 1 2009 ***

An announcement as to when Southern Cross Ten will launch the 24-hour sports channel One HD is expected within a fortnight as the channel finalises testing.

Southern Cross Ten COO Greg Dodson has told the Canberra Times that final testing is underway and the slideshow is ready for the official launch, but when pushed for a date:

“While I can’t give a firm date, we are so close to getting that date and we reckon people in Canberra will be viewing One [HD] around the middle of year.”

Dodson did confirm though that a launch date will be announced in less than two weeks and that the broadcaster had spent more then $10million on the infrastructure that will make carrying the station possible.
 
Meanwhile, tomorrow sees the commencement of SBS TWO which will replace the SBS World News Channel.
During the day, SBS TWO will continue to carry news in languages other than English, while at night will carry a mixture of repeats and new programming.   Later this year SBS TWO will also carry coverage of both the Ashes cricket and Tour de France cycling.
 
Source: Media Spy

After looking around in various TV blogs and forums, there are examples of people who have actually bought HD set top boxes in regional areas thinking they will be able to receive ONE HD only to be let down when they discover it is not available to them.

Sure, they can do some searching on the internet, but like I always say, not everyone gets their TV information from the internet – and why should they. A number of issues comes out of this situation – here’s the list and some solutions.

1. ONE HD should be promoted only in the 5 cities it is being broadcast to. A disclaimer should be attached to any advertising for ONE HD specifying the areas it is available in.

2. The CH 10 Web site should do the same. Strictly speaking, the ch 10 website is for ch 10 itself, which is broadcast into the 5 TV capital cities, but they would surely be aware from their own forums and site membership that there are regional viewers there as well. One in forum contributor from Darwin said he spent $180 to buy an HD set top box hoping he would receive ONE HD and was disappointed when he couldn’t get it. Furthermore, Southern Cross Ten (SC10) does not have a TV web site (there is a website but its more of a corporate site as opposed to an entertainment site like the TV sites usually are) so regional fans of 10 shows use 10’s web site.

3. SC10 on their own web site, in a clearly visible location (like the home page) should have the ONE HD logo with clear commentary below it stating (words to the effect of): “ONE HD is coming to SC10 at a future date, possibly mid year. Until then ONE HD is NOT able to be seen on SC10’s HD or secondary SD channels until then. We are working as hard as we can to deliver this exciting new channel to you. Keep up to date and register your interest here… ” – you get the drift. It’d take me not even 5 minutes to set that up on a home page of any site – and it keeps your viewers informed rather than having them all over blogs and forums expressing their disgust or just asking how they can get the channel. Like anything in business, it all comes down to communication.

If you go to a shop after being lead to believe a product is in stock by advertising, and then get told once you are there that is is not in stock and there will be a 3 month wait until it comes in, then you will not be happy. If, however, you know beforehand that the product will not be in for 3 months, then you’ll wait. no problem. In fact, in the retail world, this is known as deceptive and misleading advertising and businesses can be heavily fined for that sort of behaviour.

Here in the world of TV, the viewers are the customer. They have been mislead. The situation is the TV version of  the example above. The only place I have read anything about ONE HD not coming to SC10  from its’ launch date is on TV Tonight. That’s it. A web site frequented by several thousand TV fans a day, bu tnot necessarily by sports fans looking to know what is happening with ONE in their area. Nothing on Ten’s web site, nothing about it on SC10’s, nothing in the papers. Unless you are on the net looking for this sort of information, the assumption would be that ONE HD should be on SC10 from day one. Furthermore, there have been a few misleading reports, one I spotted on Media Spy in January that ONE HD would be on SC10 from its March 26 launch.  

4. The FreeView web site should also inform its visitors where ONE HD is available.

As previously stated in earlier posts, a simple press release would solve the problem.

As it stands right now, all we know is that ONE HD will on SC10 “mid year”. Let’s hope so.

ONE HD Newcastle From July 2

*** Uodated June 16 2009 ***

Regional television viewers can rejoice and finally join their capital city friends as regional affiliate of Network Ten Southern Cross Ten will begin transmission of 24 hour sports channel One HD from July 2. Viewers who already receive a high definition signal from the broadcaster in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the ACT will start to see One HD from July 2 and can find the channel on Channel 50.
 Channel 50 has been updated to indicate that the service will commence at 7pm on July 2.

 

*** Update June 1 2009 ***

An announcement as to when Southern Cross Ten will launch the 24-hour sports channel One HD is expected within a fortnight as the channel finalises testing.

Southern Cross Ten COO Greg Dodson has told the Canberra Times that final testing is underway and the slideshow is ready for the official launch, but when pushed for a date:

“While I can’t give a firm date, we are so close to getting that date and we reckon people in Canberra will be viewing One [HD] around the middle of year.”

Dodson did confirm though that a launch date will be announced in less than two weeks and that the broadcaster had spent more then $10million on the infrastructure that will make carrying the station possible.
 
Meanwhile, tomorrow sees the commencement of SBS TWO which will replace the SBS World News Channel.
During the day, SBS TWO will continue to carry news in languages other than English, while at night will carry a mixture of repeats and new programming.   Later this year SBS TWO will also carry coverage of both the Ashes cricket and Tour de France cycling.
 
Source: Media Spy

I noticed alot of searches within my blog relating to ONE HD Newcastle. If you are in Newcastle, you cannot receive ONE HD. Same with Wollongong.

If you live on the southern side of Newcastle, and try pointing your TV aerial to Wyong, then, in theory, you might be able to receive all of the channels transmitted out of the Wyong transmitter including all of Sydneys’ TV channels and ONE HD via channel 10 Sydney. Whether this works or not will depend on your area. That’s about as good as its going to get, until SC10 come to the party and broadcast ONE.

In fact, the combined area of Newcastle and Central Coast represent a population base of just under 500,000 which is half the size of Adelaide so I cannot understand why SC10 have not committed to broadcasting ONE in Newcastle. See previous posts for more about the regional fiasco with ONE.

Similarly, in Wollongong, in some areas you might be able to pick up ONE but, again, that will depend on where you are and pointing your aerial to Sydney. From past experience, the geography between the two cities would mean only those high up would have a hope.