When is a ONE HD watermark not a ONE HD watermark?

sbshdThe rebranding of SBS ONE and SBS TWO yesterday maylead to some confusion given that SBS HD is now SBS ONE HD.

The result is a watermark on the channel that sounds awfully confusing to ONE HD, TEN’s 24 hour sports channel.

Freeview CEO Robin Parkes yesterday welcomed the new channel, saying: “SBS TWO is a compelling addition to the free digital channels available on the Freeview platform.

“With free-to-view digital take-up steadily increasing, SBS TWO provides another reason for viewers to
switch to Freeview for the best television Australia has to offer.”

Freeview says it currently offers five digital-only, free-to-view channels: ABC2, SBS TWO, Seven HD, Nine HD and ONE, complementing the networks’ main channels: ABC1, SBS ONE, Seven, Nine and TEN –
providing a suite of 10 channels available now (it omitted to count SBS HD and ABC HD).

It also didn’t indicate any conflict branding between ONE HD and SBS ONE HD, something that is likely to unravel.

Freeview says more new channels will progressively launch this year.


  1. @Rick TEN get 1, 10-19, 100-199 / ABC get 2, 20-29, 200-299 / SBS gets 3, 30-39, 300-399 / Seven gets 7, 70-79, 700-799 / Nine gets 9, 90-99, 900-999

    Currently channels 1, 10, 11, 12, 2, 20, 21, 22, 23, 200, 201, 3, 30, 32, 33, 34, 38, 39, 7, 70, 71, 72, 73, 9, 90 and 99 are being used. Granted, there are quite a few duplicate channels, but keep in mind they’re placeholders for new channels. 23, 33, 34, 72, 73 and 99 will all be new channels over the next year or two.

    I have no troubles remembering the channels. ONE HD is 1. ONE Digital is 12. / TEN is 10. / ABC1 is 2. ABC2 is 22. ABCHD is 20. / SBS1 is 3. SBS2 is 32. SBS HD is 30. / Seven is 7. Seven HD is 70. / Nine is 9. Nine HD is 99. And then ABC3 will be 23, SBS3 will be 33, SBS4 will be 34, GO!99 will be 99 and Seven’s secondary channel will probably be 72.

  2. I think this encapsulates the entire problem with digital TV here in Australia: The channels are ludicrously confused.

    In the old days, there was 2, then 7, then 9, 10 and 28.

    Now the channels have some sort of order, but it isn’t obvious. Basically I scan up and down my DTV tuner looking for the watermark or channel-ID that I need. Let’s just give them all numbers again. The ABC gets 20, 21 and 22 (through to 29?). Seven gets 70 and 71 (through to 79?). Nine gets 90 and 91. Ten gets 0 through 9. SBS can have the 30s?

    Bah, it’s all too confusing. I’m sticking with Foxtel.

  3. Has SBS ever broadcast anything in HD? I’ve been watching their HD channel waiting for any content in HD. All I’ve seen is commercials and Idents in HD… Anyone know what is going on there?

  4. Get out your frustrations now because in a couple of days the watermark issue will be gone and you’ll all appear as fruitloops debating a smudge on the corner of your TV

  5. What’s wrong with
    ///1HD or
    ///HD1 ?
    Less footprint.

    Also, the govt. should have mandated a maximum watermark size of 80hx150w, and grey/transparency level.

  6. The SBS logo is well known to Australians (especially those that watch SBS). I don’t think there is going to be confusion as a) the watermarks are completely different and in different locations and b) most digital owners will either 1) enter the channel number (1 or 30) or 2) select the show from the EPG, which shows the channel as SBS ONE HD.

  7. This is going to confuse quite a few viewers. They’ll flick on the box expecting paintball or Idaho truck racing and will see foreign news or world cinema instead.

  8. Why would you count ABC HD and SBS HD as they are only simulcasts of main channel and never break away. Its that sort of channel counting that made 15 channels sound like a scam 1st time round. And 7HD and 9HD are really only part time channels.

  9. I wonder if this branding as SBS ONE HD was decided on to allow for an HD simulcast of SBS TWO at some stage – ie flicking the HD channel to SBS TWO as ABC HD did to ABC2 during the paralympics. In this way it could become SBS TWO HD – showing people where the show is primarily broadcast.

  10. Christopher

    Why would it even need to be called SBS ONE HD? SBS HD is fine. The watermark is ridiculously huge as well, almost as bad as Nine HD.

  11. Neon Kitten

    They can just do some promos along the lines of “The One HD without the endless, pointless obscure alleged sport”.

    That new watermark, by the way, is nothing less than obnoxious.

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