7HD launches

A silent launch of Seven’s new high-def channel 7HD took place last night with the screening of the movie The 25th Hour at 10:30pm and welcome messages from Anna Coren, David Koch, Sonia Kruger and Matthew White. There were also sneak peeks of next week’s Prison Break, Bionic Woman and Heroes.

Seven was due to launch the channel in December, but has jumped the gun on plans by Nine to launch first in November. TEN, which announced it would be the first, launches in December.

Seven launched the first phase of its multi-channelling plans at 10:30pm and will schedule programming on its second channel in late primetime and across weekends. The full channel will be running by December. A third Channel Seven will launch in the coming fifteen months.

The 7HD channel should be viewable on Channel 70. UPDATED.

The Seven Network has launched a new channel. Seven – with the first broadcast last night (Monday) – is the first commercial network to move into digital multichannelling.

Seven launched the first phase of its multi-channelling plans at 10:30pm and will schedule programming on its second channel in late primetime and across weekends as part of a considered strategy leading to the full-strength launch of a second Channel Seven in a few weeks – delivering greater choice to Australian television audiences.

Last night’s launch of the second Seven is the first step in a broad long-term plan to deliver more channels and provide viewers with the opportunity to experience full high definition programming with Dolby Digital Sound, complementing Seven’s current programming and opening up opportunities for the marketing of high-definition television sets and tuners that will allow Australians to experience multiple channel digital broadcast television.

Details of Seven’s plans for its new channels were announced today by the network’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer of Seven Media Group, Mr David Leckie.

“This is the biggest launch I have ever been involved in. I have never been so excited,” Mr Leckie said. “We are in a fantastic position. We have more content and more creative people than our competitors and we are setting out to blitz them.

“We are the first to move into new channels,” Mr Leckie said. “Our introduction of a nightly two hour channel and different programmes across weekend daytime complementing our primary Seven channel is the first step towards a second Channel Seven before Christmas and a third Channel Seven in the coming fifteen months.

“We have been one network for more than five decades. From last night, we are now two networks and we’ll be three networks by early 2009. We can’t wait. Our people can’t wait. And, we believe Australian television audiences will embrace this explosion of choice in content on broadcast television.”

Seven’s second channel was launched with the network television premiere of the movie 25th Hour and Seven is planning the scheduling of first release movies on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights. Across Tuesday and Thursday, Seven will schedule a first-run high definition US series “The Grid”. On weekend daytimes, Seven’s significant sports schedule on its primary channel will be complemented by children’s and family programming through its output agreement with The Walt Disney Company.

This “breakaway” schedule is the first step – with a complete primetime schedule for the second Channel Seven to be launched in the coming weeks. The “look and feel” and on-air presentation marketing and promotion for the new channel will be unveiled to coincide with the launch of the complete schedule for the second Channel Seven in the coming weeks. Planning is well advanced in the production of new high definition programmes that leverage Seven’s acknowledged leadership in Australian production and the scheduling of episodes of many of Australia’s most-watched television series.

Seven’s launch of the new channel coincides with the anniversaries for the launch of television in Australia in 1956 and the introduction of color television in October 1974 (with test transmissions of specific programmes before the full launch of color television in March 1975).

The launch of the new commercial network – the first new network in Australia in more than four decades – reaffirms Seven’s leadership in broadcast television, with Seven number 1 in breakfast television, news and public affairs, primetime and sports.

7HD Programming Guide

If you’ve watched 7HD give us your feedback!

Additional source: What’s on the Tube

32 Comments:

  1. First of all, Neon Kitten, do you really think you can download a TV show in better quailty then 7’s SD? HAHAHA YOU IDIOT! There is no way you would be able to do that!

    You rag out Channel 7 for doing what they have done, but I think its great… at least they have got the ball rolling. And it goes to show the other networks are trying to get everyone to buy new technology so they have ratings when they first launch. Channel 7 have made the best decision for television viewers

  2. Thanks, Neon Kitten, for explaining it to me … I do have a HD tuner in my TV and love to watch even the non-HD shows on there. I am pissed off that it will be alternate shows on the one and only 7HD Channel and think they should NOT do it unless it is a totally seperate channel to tune to other than 70!
    Half baked attention seeking clowns!
    Jack!

  3. To clarify a couple of points from questions above:

    1. 7HD is of course not a new channel per se. It is the start of alternative programming at certain times of the day on the HD channel (70). Seven has done this in reaction to Ten’s announcement last month of their upcoming seperate HD channel programming, and therefore they actually have no idea what they’ll be showing on it or at what times of the day. All they have is a new logo and a middle finger stuck up at Nine and Ten, primary-school stylee.

    2. None of the “new HD channels” will be actual new channels, but merely different programming on those already-existing HD channels now that the ridiculous mogul-driven Howard government restrictions on multicasting have been lifted. Thing is, those restrictions went away on January 1st, 2007, over 10 months ago. Nobody lifted a finger until Ten revealed their plans, and then the egos came out.

    3. People with SD-only digital tuners or PVRs will NOT be able to see the “new” channels. You *will* need a HD set top box at a bare minimum. Fortunately HD STBs and PVRs are now reasonably priced, almost all flat panel TVs come with HD tuners built in and it’ll take so long for these new channels to be actually compelling viewing that nobody should worry too much 🙂

    4. Luke, increased demand for HD gear isn’t going to bring prices down at the retailer level. Quite the opposite, actually, given all the attention these new channels will get. Prices of HD gear will continue to drop due to normal revovery-of-investment, technology-advancement and exchange rate reasons.

  4. I was waiting for boston legal to come on, and only saw this movie start, while i was a little confused to begin with, i found that it was quite interesting, if only all channels decided to do this, i would give the viewer more options on what they would like to watch at night,

  5. I see a lot of questions but no answers. I’m going to ask another question.
    1 in 10 digital set top owners have purchased HD Digital Tuners. The others all have SD. Will we be able to get the new TV station on the SD tuner? If not, there is going to be alot of people like myself who got told ‘all you will need is SD, not HD’ getting very angry as now they will feel that they have all been ripped off!

  6. This is so badly done and no word to viewers on how this is going to work. We already have 70 HD channel,(they also 71,72 & 73) that is, we can view normal 7 programs in HD, adding one or two programs a night is not in my books “a launch” of a new channel and what is going to happen to these current shows, are they how only be available in SD.

    I saw the ad only two hours before and jumped on the net to find some information, only to find nothing, I was thinking OMG a new “channel” were is the guide, what is going to on, only to be disappointed when I did find information the next day, out of 5 nights of one or two programs a night they are already running repeats!!

    This is a joke! We want detailed information on this and other channels. We want a EPG that works and is helpful and they update when they change programs. We want to know what is happening!

    There is a lot of HD viewers out there and we all want answers. Seven, Nine and Ten we are not in Kindy so please treat us like the adults we are.

  7. Do we know if 7HD is in Sydney yet?

    I immagine your HD tuner is probably not currently set to recieve the new 7HD channel.

    At present at best (if you have an HD TV/Tuner) you will already have these chanels:
    7 (Standard Definition)
    70 (HD definition)and
    77 their EPG guide (useless).

    You will probably have to manually tune the TV/tuner to locate and lock on to the new channel.

    The 7HD hopefully will be a new channel.

  8. Are you able to possibly find out what Prime’s and SC10’s plans are regarding these HD channels, please?

    I suppose the regional viewers will miss out.

  9. I’m really confused now.
    I’ve had Channel 7 on my HD Tuner already on channel 70.

    What should i have the normal channel 7 on if this is now the HD only channel.
    paul

  10. Now i’m confused … I have a HD TV with a built in HD tuner so we watch all the shows through the HD tuner on the TV and record other through the SD PVR for viewing later.
    Is there going to be TWO channels broadcasting varying 7HD shows? Or are they going to transmit shows on the existing 7HD transmission that are not the same on the SD TV transmission???
    If there are not two separate 7HD channels then they can go get stuffed!
    Jack!

  11. Luke (sexyer1)

    I’m glad Seven jumped ahead to launch before December, this should mean we can get good deals for buying new high-definition television sets and tuners, HD tuners have been becoming more available lately, but I think this will stop retailers from holding off until late November/Early December to give us really good deals on HD Tuners.

    A little disappointed by the silent launch.. If they were louder we’d probably see faster action from retailers on this issue..

    I feel Digital Television in Australia has been abused for it’s entire existence (I think it’s been like 7 years?), it’s no wonder uptake was slow, when there were no incentives to go digital aside from better picture/sound. I think many people have taken to the same view they have towards going to Pay TV saying things along the lines of ‘why pay for it when there is nothing on worth watching’.

  12. Does this mean my Standard definition set top box will be useless to view the new channel(s)? I have one normal sized box and a compact carry around one for travelling.

  13. David, Ten might end up last, but I doubt they care.

    Ten was the channel that started all of this in the first place, and people know it.

    Ten is the ONLY channel to have announced what kind of programming they will show on their HD channel. The other two have issued vague “stay tuned” statements. Ten has announced time-shifted programming, specially-themed nights (sci-fi) and a bevy of HD National Geographic specials during the day, which will please both my mum (“oooh, look at the scenery”) and retailers.

    The reality is, though – as I said earlier – none of these channels will work unless a proper EIT-based EPG is implemented by the channels.

    Ten has already stated that their prime time shows will not be removed from the HD channel. Seven implies it will actually get rid of HD runs of their top rating shows, something I hope was a mis-statement on the part of the network as it’d be blind stupidity.

  14. Good on them I say.

    Australian TV is years behind the rest of the developed world, a bit of competition like this between the networks might just be what’s needed to get them up to speed.

  15. Seven have jumped the gun WAY too quickly on the HD channel.

    It wasn’t announced until less than 2 hours before it was launched, the Yahoo7 website has no mention of the channel and I don’t even know if I want to watch the programs on 7HD because I don’t know what the programs are or what they’re about.

  16. I just saw a promo for this on Seven during Dancing with the stars (they advertised tonights line up on 7HD). Not sure what this was about I went online to seven’s yahoo7 website to try and find information. I can’t find anything about it anywhere. Except for here that is.

    I find it very strange.

    And even more strange that it only operates late at night.

    They should use it to air the shows they treat badly on their real schedule. Or possiby show interstate news, sporting events, or things like old episodes of all saints, home and away etc.

  17. I’d love to watch it but unfortunately I live in an area where it would cost me major $$ to get a new aerial to be able to get HD. And since I rent… no. It’s hard enough to get good SD most days.

    That said, the only promotion of this I know of was the 10 second promo during city homicide. I guess it wasn’t promoted so they could slip in and beat the other stations to the punch.

  18. Yes beating Nine to the punch is what this is all about. And poor old Ten who announced a commercial HD first will wind up last.

    To get to air first with an hour or two nightly of HD is first in name only. The full channel is still some way off in December. Maybe Nine can beat Seven on that.

    Sites such as this blog has news out about 7HD before Press Releases were issued by Seven after midday and official sites were updated (some of which have quite a way to go).

  19. This so-called “launch” was possibly the most comically inept thing I’ve seen on Australian TV all year.

    Nobody – and I mean NOBODY – knew about it. I was only aware because someone on the DTV Forum posted that they’d seen a 10-second promo during City Homicide – a promo that didn’t even mention which channel it was on! So the only people who knew where to go for “7HD” would be those who regularly watched the HD channel for HD versions of Seven’s shows.

    But hang on, wasn’t “Lost” scheduled for midnight? And they started a 125 minute (plus ads) movie at 10.45pm. Hmm. Let’s see what’s going on, I thought.

    I checked the Seven Yahoofest web site. Nothing about 7HD. I checked their program guide. Nothing. I checked their pointless “guide” channel on 77. Nothing. I went to the HD channel and hit the “info” button for what laughably passes as an EPG in this country, the basic now/next info/ Nothing, just the titles and descriptions of the shows currently showing on the SD channel.

    The movie played out with the occasional promo-only “ad” break, with the Seven HD watermark in the corner occasionally vanishing and re-appearing a few minutes later. After a while I worked out that the watermark was coming and going in time with the ads on the SD channel – they hadn’t even bothered to think of that.

    When the movie finally finished we were dumped out of the end credits as they rolled in time for the start of the SECOND episode of Lost at 1am – upconverted from SD rather than in full HD.

    At the moment, all this is is a pissing contest between Seven and Ten. Nyah nyah, we were FIRST, they’ll claim. But first with WHAT? Total broadcasting incompetence and contempt for their HD viewers?

    To make this work, Seven has a LOT of work to do. For starters, a full EPG is a must. No point showing programs if the only advertising you do for them is a press release to the media.

    Secondly, their statement that “a prime time schedule for 7HD” will be announced soon is BAD news. This means fans of Heroes, Ghost Whisperer (there are some David! :), Bionic Woman, etc etc etc will likely now NOT get to see these shows in HD! I haven’t bothered downloading Heroes this season because it’s on Seven relatively fast and in lovely full HD. If that changes, it’s back to the downloads for me as I can get much higher quality online than on their SD channel.

    But the EPG should be their first point of action. When I say “EPG” by the way, I don’t mean the pointless “Guide” channel, I mean a real 7-day EPG like every other digital-TV country, New Zealand included, gets as part of the broadcast signal.

    Want to be first with THAT, Seven? That’d actually be something useful.

  20. Goodness me. For 6.5 years they all sat there, doing nothing…then they all scramble like kids to be first to play with the new toy. It’s sad really.

  21. I was waiting for Boston Legal to come on last night and was wondering what the heck was going on when a movie was shown!

    With all these sub channels, that have the same content I decided to remove them as it makes surfing take so much longer. Why wasn’t this change promoted?

    Better yet, when are the channels going to come to an agreement so we can get a good electronic programming guide like the US? There was no way of me knowing what was on the 7HD channel!

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