Did we really lose ABC HD?
Before you lament the loss of ABC HD too much, remember that there wasn't much true high definition content on it anyway.
There’s been a fair bit of talk lately about ABC sacrificing ABC HD in order to launch ABC News 24.
But the reality is there was limited true high definition content being broadcast. The rest of ABC HD was upscaled content with many titles not even purchased in HD.
It is also true that very little of the content on ABC News 24 is being produced in true high definition.
The Sydney Morning Herald today notes the Broadcasting Services Act stipulates networks must air at least 1040 hours of HD content a year but this includes material converted from standard definition. It says ABC was in a difficult position. Having launched ABC2 in 2005 and ABC3 last year, it had no spectrum left to carry a new channel.
Viewers will already remember losing TEN drama and light entertainment shows from HD when ONE was launched.
Another scribe in The Brisbane Times says, “If the ABC wants to screen 24 hour news, that’s fine. If the ABC wants to cater to the under fives, that’s fine as well. But why not do it in such as way that doesn’t screw over existing viewers?”
ABC’s view of the situation is that it will re-assess its use of HD once the switch to digital is complete around the country -as far off as 2013.
Gaven Morris, Head of Continuous News already told TV Tonight this week, “All the broadcasters are going to have to think long and hard about the use of their HD in the short term, but by 2013 when analogue gets switched off and everybody has access to digital television we could all be in a different scenario as to which channels they might like to put where.”
But while the net loss of true HD content may have been minimal, it still doesn’t excuse the fact that HD television in this country continues to be maligned while we’re all being told to make the switch.