Last Updated June 17, 2004

On Tuesday December 21, 1999, The Government handed down its decision on the rollout of digital television in Australia. The following are selected Australia media reports on the so called Triplecast model. A transcript of the parliamentary legislation process can be accessed via the Senate Hansard homepage or by downloading (in MS Word, Rich Text Format), proofs of day one to three June 19, 21 and 22 [192kB], day four, June 27 [208kB], day five June 28 [200kB], or the final day June 29 [96kB]

Please note that files for 1997-2000 are now archived here and if you find a file has disappeared from its host server, please write and let me know.


June 2004

Mixed signals on digital TV
Jane Schulze JUNE 17, 2004

THE Nine, Ten and Seven networks have revealed divergent policies for how they plan to use their digital TV signals as debate hots up on how to ignite take-up of free-to-air digital TV. The Seven Network, which has always wanted to offer extra channels (called multi-channels) on its digital TV signal, revealed it initially wants those channels to be free from Australian content regulations.   more

July 2003

Digital TV just around the corner
By Paul Kalina, July 3 2003, Livewire

Some time early next year Foxtel households should expect a knock at the door from a representative. For once, they will not be trying to flog anything but will ask to replace your existing set-top box (STB). For the 90 per cent of metropolitan pay TV homes on the Foxtel service, the digital STB - which, contrary to rumour, does not require a new digital monitor to work - will be the gateway to the interactive digital platform that Foxtel will launch in the first half of next year.   more

Do not adjust your sets
By Ella Smith, Livewire, July 3 2003

Two days ago digital TV finally took an evolutionary step forward. July 1 marked the date that commercial free-to-air networks were compelled to start broadcasting 1040 hours of high-definition digital TV over the next 12 months; that's about 20 hours a week. Originally the Government planned to introduce the HDTV program quota - due for review at the end of 2004- at the start of the year, but it deferred the legislation last November.   more

June 2003

Broadcasters push digital TV
Ian Cuthbertson JUNE 23, 2003

AN estimated 75,000 digital television receivers have been sold in Australia, two and a half years after the standard was approved locally. That's a small number in a population approaching 20 million, but that may be about to change. Commercial Television Australia is about to launch a promotion featuring personalities from all three commercial networks, set-top boxes that allow analog sets to receive digital signals are available at $299, and the stage is set for digital television to become a reality for Australians.   more

A digital dead end
Jane Schulze JUNE 05, 2003

IN less than five years, more than 90 per cent of the television sets now in Australian homes will no longer work. The federal Government's digital TV legislation states that at the end of 2008 it will turn off the analogue TV signals. By then, everyone must have a digital TV or, at the very least, a digital set-top box decoder if they want to watch TV.   more

May 2003

ABC pulls digital TV off air
Staff writers MAY 26, 2003

THE ABC will close its FlyTV and ABC kids digital TV channels at the end of the financial year, blaming a lack of budget funding from the Federal Government. "The government has never funded these digital services. Given the paucity of incentives for the public to take up digital television, the ABC initially considered that a dedicated children's and youth television service could attract funding support from the government. Unfortunately, this has not been the case," the ABC said in a statement.   more

Networks stalling HDTV: Alston
Luke McIlveen MAY 15, 2003

THE blame game over the failure of high-definition television has begun, with Communications Minister Richard Alston accusing the commercial networks of refusing to promote the technology. Senator Alston told industry guests at the annual conference of the Australian Broadcasting Authority in Canberra that commercial networks were dragging the chain on HDTV and should contribute to the cost of selling it to viewers.   more

April 2003

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March 2003

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February 2003

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January 2003

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December 2002

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November 2002

TV's digital showdown
Jane Schulze, NOVEMBER 21, 2002 THE federal Government is expecting a digital showdown between the free-to-air and pay-television industries in the wake of regulatory approval for the pay-TV industry's restructure. Communications Minister Richard Alston believes the pay-TV industry's plan to digitise its network, enabling it to offer more channels and myriad services, will provoke the free-to-air sector into action.   more

October 2002

Government locks in HDTV quota
Wires,OCTOBER 16, 2002

THE federal government has locked in place changes to rules for High-Definition Television (HDTV) broadcasts, requiring networks to screen an average of 20 hours of HDTV footage each week. Communications Minister Richard Alston said in line with the government's election promise, free-to-air networks would be required to screen 1,040 hours of HDTV programming each year.   more

Mandatory digital TV considered
Maria Hawthorne in London, OCTOBER 02, 2002

AUSTRALIA will consider forcing television manufacturers to include digital tuners in new sets to encourage consumers to take up the new technology. Communications Minister Richard Alston said the government would look at a variety of proposals to stimulate public interest after sluggish consumer take-up of high-definition television (HDTV).   more

September 2002

Digital TV: dead in the water?
Selina Mitchell, September 17, 2002

ACCORDING to broadcasters, technologists and the Federal Government, the future of television is digital ... but someone forgot to tell the viewers. More than 18 months into the new age of digital television, most Australians have not experienced the superior picture and sound quality digital can offer, let alone its interactive capabilities.   more

Switched on TV
Maria Nguyen, Icon, September 7, 2002

Whether we're on the Internet or watching the television, staring mindlessly at the screen is out and interactivity is in. The popularity of reality television show Big Brother, where viewers could pick up the phone and vote to evict contestants from the household, appears to have been the first mass consumer step towards interactive television.   more

Seven launches digital TV channel
September 06, 2002

TELEVISION viewers in Sydney and Melbourne got a new channel today with Seven Network's launch of the new digital Channel 77 - a 24 hour program guide and a real-time news and weather service. Seven's general manager of digital content Mark Cloudsdale said the new channel laid the foundation for the station's future offerings in digital television.   more

August 2002

Government delays HDTV regime
Jane Schulze, August 28, 2002

THE progressive roll-out of high-definition television, with its cinema-like TV picture quality, has been delayed by six months. Communications Minister Richard Alston yesterday gave broadcasters until July 1 next year to meet the 20-hours-a-week quota of HDTV content. Senator Alston denied the reprieve indicated any weakening of government resolve to introduce HDTV, so far marked by sluggish consumer take-up with just 25,000 set-top boxes in service.   more

July 2002

Media align to scuttle digital rules
Steve Lewis, July 19, 2002

AUSTRALIA'S leading media groups have embarked on a last-ditch - and apparently successful - campaign to block radical changes by the Howard Government to digital broadcasting rules. In an unprecedented media alliance, the Nine and Ten commercial networks have joined with Foxtel and News Limited to block plans allowing free-to-air networks to offer multi-channel services.   more

On the broadband wagon
July 12 2002, Sydney Morning Herald

Australia lags three years behind the US in its take-up of broadband. Maria Nguyen asks - why is it so? Once you use broadband it's difficult to go back to using slower modem dial-up - loading pages just seems to take forever, says broadband convert Richard Lim. Having swapped his 56k modem for an always-on ADSL connection last June, the self-employed businessman echoes the sentiments of most cable, satellite and DSL (digital subscriber line) users.   more

June 2002

7:30 Report : Australia urged to embrace the wired world
Transcript 26/2/2002

KERRY O'BRIEN: As well as lining up with the Governor-General to meet the Queen in Adelaide tomorrow, Prime Minister Howard will open the World Congress on Information Technology - a biennial meeting for those on the cutting edge of the IT revolution. It's of particular relevance for Australia because many participants believe we're at risk of falling dangerously behind in a wired world.


Optus puts iTV trial on ice
Kate Mackenzie, June 13, 2002

INTERACTIVE television in Australia took a blow last week when Optus announced that its iTV trial would be put on ice, despite its popularity with subscribers. While the 3000 Sydney participants who are paying $15 a month for the service will continue to receive it, Optus has declined to extend the trial or announce a commercial launch after the initial six-month rollout ends this month.   more

Are you switched on?
June 7 2002, Icon

Optus wants to turn viewers into active participants, writes Jenny Hailstone. Picture this: you're watching television and a travel show advertises a deal on midwinter island getaways. By pressing a button on the remote control, you're instantly connected to a secure site where you enter your credit card details and book your dream holiday. With the help of an infrared keyboard, you then email the travel dates to your friends or perhaps even search for a date to accompany you.   more

May 2002

Rules to force digital TV off the air
Cynthia Banham, Sydney Morning Herald, 28/05/2002

Australia's only separate digital television channels the ABC's youth channels, Fly and ABC Kids will have to be taken off air next year so the organisation can broadcast its required 20 hours of high definition television a week. more

Aussies won't walk with the beasts
Caitlin Fitzsimmons MAY 09, 2002

AUSTRALIANS will miss out on a virtual stroll through ancient geological time when the award-winning BBC documentary Walking with Beasts screens in July. In the sequel to Walking with Dinosaurs that traces the rise of mammals, Kenneth Branagh guides the viewer through a computer-animated world populated by woolly mammoths, giant predatory birds, sabre-toothed tigers and early humans.   more

PM cautious on multi-channelling
Wires MAY 03, 2002

PRIME Minister John Howard sounded a note of caution today on proposals to allow free-to-air television stations to broadcast extra digital channels. Federal cabinet is considering ditching a ban on multi-channels until 2005, possibly in exchange for changes to plans to force networks to broadcast in the expensive high-definition television (HDTV) format.   more

ABC calls for digital delay
By Annabel Crabb Canberra May 2 2002

The ABC has asked the Federal Government to drop its requirement that TV stations broadcast 20 hours a week of high-definition digital TV by January. Less than 20,000 Australian homes have digital television equipment, and the ABC has claimed satisfying the requirement will sap its other services.   more

Video-on-demand hits troubles
Angus Kidman MAY 02, 2002

FOX Entertainment Group has quietly withdrawn from Movies.com, a joint venture established with Walt Disney Co in September 2001 to provide US consumers with a movies-on-demand service. In a brief statement, Fox (owned by News Corporation, publisher of The Australian) said it had "now chosen to pursue alternative strategies" in the on-demand market.   more

Wait till TV picture is clear: Tanner
Jane Schulze MAY 02, 2002

THE federal Opposition has called for a halt to the introduction of high-definition TV requirements until the likely digital TV landscape is clarified. Opposition communications spokesman Lindsay Tanner said free-to-air TV networks were about to sign large cheques for HD-capable equipment that might not be necessary if the law changed.   more

Australian HDTV 'obsolete'
Matt Price MAY 01, 2002

AUSTRALIA'S digital television regime, under review by the Howard Government, was yesterday ridiculed by a visiting British broadcasting expert. British Radio Authority chairman Richard Hooper told the Australian Broadcasting Authority in Canberra that high-definition television as prescribed by the Government was obsolete around the world. "I go to a lot of conferences," Mr Hooper said. "I've not heard the word mentioned for four years." Mr Hooper, who has also worked for BBC Television, European satellite television and British Telecom during a 40-year career, said he was "surprised" Australia persisted with a technology rejected by Japan, Britain and the US. more

April 2002

Push for digital TV review
Chantal Rumble, Daniel Hoare and Jane Schulze APRIL 29, 2002

ALMOST 50 per cent of Australian homes will be watching digital television within the next six years, according to a survey released yesterday. The survey, released by Murdoch University's Interactive TV Research Institute director Duane Varan, shows that, contrary to the federal Government's goal of a complete digital conversion by 2008, industry players predict the uptake of digital TV in Australia will reach 46 per cent by 2008.   more

March 2002

Broadband's back on the agenda
By Sue Cant March 6 2002

After dismissing Labor's universal broadband policy at the last election as a waste of money, the Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Senator Richard Alston turned convert last week announcing an advisory body to assess the government's role in helping push take-up. Alston last year branded the Labor policy to connect broadband to all Australian homes by 2006 "a recipe for disaster". He cited Singapore's failure to stimulate take-up and South Korea's demand as driven by "kids playing games" to illustrate why the government should not get involved in pushing broadband.   more

Many TV stations not ready for digital rollout
By David Lieberman, USA TODAY 03/04/2002

NEW YORK - Many television viewers waiting to see favorite shows with digital clarity will have to keep waiting. More than 30% of commercial TV stations told federal regulators Monday that they will miss the deadline of May 1 to begin digital broadcasts. They had until midnight to ask the Federal Communications Commission for a six-month waiver. At least 412 of the 1,288 commercial stations - mostly in small to midsize markets - said they need the time to solve technical, legal or financial problems.   more

February 2002

Optus iTV all set to go
Kate Mackenzie FEBRUARY 28, 2002

OPTUS looks likely to make a commercial launch of its interactive television product, after it said a commercial iTV trial in Sydney would reach its take-up target by the end of next month. Optus consumer and multimedia marketing director Scott Lorson told a digital media conference in Sydney today that it will make its target for interactive TV take-up of 3000 subscribers by the end of March, with more than 2000 paying customers since the commercial trial launched in December.   more

Confusion over iTV standard
Kate Mackenzie FEBRUARY 27, 2002

AUSTRALIA'S free-to-air television networks have agreed to use a new interactive standard, but they are far from unified about how to go about introducing it. The Nine Network has criticised the slow advancement of the interactive television standard, MHP, but insists it is still committed to the embryonic technology.   more

A scroll down the digital menu
Jane Schulze, FEBRUARY 07, 2002

DESPITE the hullabaloo being created over the types of new services digital TV can offer, little is yet known about what they might look like. In its paper calling for the datacasting review, the Government did not ask companies to explain the kinds of services they might offer.   more

TV's zero hour
Jane Schulze, FEBRUARY 07, 2002

THE direction of Australian television is up for grabs as debate hots up over the rules that will govern digital technology. At issue are the types of services that can or cannot be delivered on the next generation of digital television sets. That technology means that viewers will be able to use interactive TV (iTV) services - such as booking tickets or calling up sports statistics - on free-to-air networks.   more

Set-top tussle hurts iTV
Kate Mackenzie FEBRUARY 05, 2002

INTERACTIVE television in Australia is being held up by the status of set-top boxes. SBS demonstrated its interactive television applications using the new iTV open standard, MHP (multi-home platform), last week. The Ten Network has also demonstrated developments with MHP, which the free-to-air broadcasters have all agreed to use.   more

Tax break for digital TV decoders
Jane Schulze, FEBRUARY 01, 2002

TELSTRA says the federal Government should consider subsidies or tax incentives to help people buy the decoders needed to view digital TV, while again calling for new TV licences to be issued. In its submission to the Government's datacasting review, the telecommunications giant also said the debate over the technology could not be separated from a broader regulatory debate.   more

January 2002

Australian interactive TV boxed in for years yet
Katrina Nicholas, Australian Financial Review, Date: 31 Jan 2002

Television viewers will be able to access extra information about news programs and respond to content following the launch yesterday by SBS and Sun Microsystems of an interactive television application based on the multimedia home platform (MHP). While the concept of giving feedback in real-time to journalists may excite some viewers, the ability to actually do so may be years off.

SBS pioneers iTV open standard
Kate Mackenzie JANUARY 30, 2002

SBS HAS demonstrated the first Australian interactive TV applications using the new iTV open standard, MHP. While the technology is not yet available to Australian viewers, the public broadcaster has developed back-end systems that will make additional information available for its news bulletins, and allow viewers to send feedback to the station.   more

Digital TV a turn-off for viewers
By Daniel Dasey, Consumer Reporter

Fewer than 10,000 Australian households have made the switch to digital television one year after its official launch, new industry figures suggest. With January 1 marking the first anniversary of regular digital broadcasts by the main networks, one leading retailer last week said sales of digital decoders were about 80 per cent below expectations. Advocates of the new digital technology - which allows for interactive viewing - hope for improved sales next year.   more

How Web gives you video-on-demand
By Neil McManus

Cable television executives have been promising video-on-demand for years. Somebody should tell them it is already here. The other night I hooked audiovideo cables from my PC to my television. Then my wife, Emily, and I sat on our sofa and watched fullscreen, full-motion videos through our broadband Internet connection. Although far from DVD quality, they looked and sounded as if we were watching regular television.   more

Year of living digitally
Jane Schulze, JANUARY 10, 2002

IN years to come, 2001 may attain its place in media history as the year in which digital TV launched in Australia, in much the same way that 1956 is remembered for the first TV broadcast - but much will depend on what happens in 2002. On January 1 last year the first digital broadcasts were transmitted across Australia's metropolitan markets, but it is not surprising if few noticed.   more

Digital TV flops
Michelle Gilchrist, JANUARY 05, 2002

WHEN Australians turned on their televisions on January 1 last year, they were promised a revolution. But one year on, digital TV has been a damp squib; only a few thousand people are able to see the few extra services on offer. The broadcasting industry is notoriously shy about releasing sales figures but sources agree that no more than a few thousand set-top boxes and digital TV sets have been sold in the past year.   more

Minister for change
JANUARY 03, 2002

HE is Australia's longest-serving communications and IT minister, and after more than nine years in the portfolio - more than three years in Opposition and approaching six in Government - Richard Alston may never be more in the spotlight than in 2002. The Communications Minister is preparing to introduce radical legislation to federal parliament in February which could see the removal of the cross-media and foreign ownership laws introduced in 1987.   more

December 2001

Interactive TV is child's play
Kerrie Murphy, DECEMBER 27, 2001

LIKE programming a VCR or surfing the internet, if you don't know how to use interactive TV, you should ask a kid. The years of talk about iTV became a reality, at least for people living in regional areas, in October, with Austar's launch of its interactive services, and children's channel Nickelodeon is betting that its services and child know-how will drive usage.   more

Seven takes bat to HDTV
Jane Schulze DECEMBER 10, 2001

THE Seven Network's broadcast managing director Maureen Plavsic has further ignited the debate over digital TV policy, calling for an overhaul of the legislation. Ms Plavsic told a seminar organised by media buying group MindShare last week that high-definition TV (HDTV) was an expensive federal Government requirement not supported by consumers.   more

November 2001

The secret iTV weapon
Kate Mackenzie NOVEMBER 22, 2001

OPTUS will rollout digital set-top boxes that contain a cable modem and support interactive services if its interactive television (iTV) trial is successful. The telco hopes its ability to leverage off the digitisation of its cable broadband network will give it an advantage over rivals FOXTEL and FOXTEL part-owner Telstra.   more

Opening up Pandora's set-top box
Author: Helen Meredith 14 Nov 2001 Australian Financial Review

The vision for interactive TV is clear but there's still some interference, writes Helen Meredith. Interactive television is likely to be part of the ultimate high-tech home, but experts are warning that Australia's move to the new technology is being hamstrung by cost, technology and a rigid regulatory environment. The delay could force the industry to adopt interim solutions that cause problems down the track and confusion in the development of iTV applications, and which stifle the move to true digital television.

Interactive TV trial expands
Jane Schulze, NOVEMBER 09, 2001

OPTUS has dispelled speculation about cancellation of its interactive TV trial soon, revealing yesterday that the trial will be expanded to 3000 homes by March and that it will begin charging for the service.

Off to a Flying start
Sarah Bryden-Brown, NOVEMBER 01, 2001

IT is only fitting that while digital television is in its infancy a whole network has been handed over to the next generation of television talent. Fly, the ABC's latest digital channel made for and by young people, launches today and is the second of the national broadcaster's multi-channels (ABC Kids was launched in August). Fly marks the ABC's first attempt to build a youth-oriented media brand since the 1970s arrival of Sydney cult radio station JJ, the AM precursor to the highly successful national TripleJ FM network.   more

October 2001

Rules keep digital TV on a leash
Matt Robbins, OCTOBER 30, 2001

POLITICIANS and broadcasters have developed a broadcasting policy that restricts the potential reach of digital television to protect the present regime, former ABC managing director Brian Johns says.   more

Devil in the digital detail
Mark Day OCTOBER 25, 2001

WE live in an age of uncertainty, but even so, there was something hesitant about the Government's announcement last week: If returned to office on November 10, the Coalition undertook to consider legislation that would give the green light to a $500 million digital pay-TV upgrade.   more

Coalition to re-think datacasting laws
Caitlin Fitzsimmons OCTOBER 23, 2001

THE Howard Government has pledged to review its digital television policy in early 2002 and will consider easing controversial datacasting restrictions. Federal Communications Minister Richard Alston released details of the Coalition's broadcasting policy today, committing the Government to facilitating "the smooth transition to digital television".   more

iTV's blurred future
Kate Mackenzie, October 17, 2001

THE future of digital and interactive television in Australia remains blurry, with broadcasters concerned they will have to publish content in multiple formats for it to be widely accessible. Technology - particularly the middleware that operates on set-top boxes - is one of the key issues facing the local industry.   more

Dotting the 'i' lifts two-way TV
Jane Schulze, OCTOBER 10, 2001

SHARES in regional pay TV group Austar kicked 20 per cent higher yesterday after it officially launched Australia's first two-way interactive TV (iTV) service.   more

Austar goes live with interactive TV
AAP, Tuesday 09 October, 2001

Regional pay TV group Austar United Communications has become Australia's first digital interactive television broadcaster with a range of iTV services available to more than 300,000 of its customers in regional Australia.   more

Networks won't rock digital boat
Jane Schulze, 01 October 2001

THE commercial free-to-air TV industry has rejected suggestions it may seek to multi-channel despite evidence that channel choice was the driver of digital TV in Europe. TV networks are banned by legislation from offering more channels and any change to that would unleash the fury of the pay TV industry.  more - tba

September 2001

Seven still committed to digital
AAP, 26 September 2001

SEVEN Network will continue to focus on its core television operations, but plans also to develop areas such as pay and digital TV, online and magazines.   more

Interactive TV awaits new time slot
Sarah Bryden-Brown, 19 September 2001

A PLAN to introduce interactive TV on free-to-air networks in Australia next year has been delayed. The networks cannot agree on a common strategy to introduce the technology and manufacturers will not supply settop boxes until they get this agreement from the networks.   more

Optus readies for iTV roll-out
Kate Mackenzie 07 September 2001

OPTUS is extending its interactive television trial - and appears likely to launch the service commercially in the next few months. The telco confirmed it would extend the trial, which currently involved 300 households on Sydney's north shore, to more than 1000 households in the next few weeks.   more

August 2001

Optus, Seven team up on iTV project
Kate Mackenzie, 29 August 2001

OPTUS and the Seven Network have overcome their differences on technology to team up on a new interactive television project for the Bledisloe Cup on Saturday. While Foxtel's plans to run digital cable flounder following a ruling it must share access to the platform, Optus, whose pay TV delivery is already digitised, has pushed ahead with its interactive trial which involves 300 Sydney households.   more

Scrambled digital signals
Jock Given, 23 August 2001

WHILE digital television broadcasting has been one of the hottest stories in Australian media over the past few years, that other kind of broadcasting - radio - has been decidedly cool about any transition to digital.   more

Hollywood comes home
AFP LOS ANGELES Friday 17 August 2001

Five top Hollywood studios said today they are entering into a deal to create an on-demand movie service to offer movies through the internet.   more

Interactive TV gets a chance, at last
Adele Ferguson, 16 Aug 2001

Australia's pay-television industry is on the verge of a radical overhaul. The biggest pay-TV operator, Foxtel, is expected to make some important decisions soon that will bring the industry into line with the rest of the world.   more

Challenge to ABC's digital TV
Michelle Gilchrist, 10 August 2001

PAY-TV children's channel Nickelodeon has accused the ABC of unfair competition and entering the pay-TV market by stealth, in a stinging response to the launch of the public broadcaster's first digital TV channel.   more

July 2001

Kids channel digital first
Sarah Bryden-Brown 30 July 2001

FANS of Bananas In Pyjamas and locally made children's programs can rejoice. The nation's inaugural digital channel will be the first wholly Australian-owned children's television network. ABC Kids goes live on Wednesday and will be available from 6am to 6pm, seven days a week, on either Optus pay-TV, regional pay-TV provider Austar or through a set-top box that receives digital TV. Regular children's programming on the ABC will remain.   more

Interactive TV battle heats up
Kate Mackenzie 24 July 2001

INTERACTIVE television has moved a step closer, with Cable & Wireless Optus undertaking a trial using a different platform than other network operators. Optus says its 300-household trial in Sydney is "progressing well", using set-top boxes manufactured by Pace and running Liberate middleware. The trial will run for about four months.   more

Free-to-air TV banks on interactive
Jane Schulze 23 July 2001

AUSTRALIA'S free-to-air TV industry is developing an interactive digital TV system to provide it with the infrastructure it needs to battle the pay TV industry for the hearts and minds of viewers. Elsewhere in the world, interactivity is delivered traditionally through pay TV, as those companies have the subscriber bases needed to be able to afford the subsidised set-top boxes delivered to consumer's homes.   more

Foxtel eyes interactive button
Jane Schulze 14 July 2001

FOXTEL'S 50 per cent owner, Telstra, has given its strongest indication it may soon upgrade the pay TV company to an interactive service, saying it believes interactivity will drive Foxtel's next growth phase. But Telstra chief executive Ziggy Switkowski yesterday shied away from committing it to a rollout of interactive pay TV.   more

Aunty first off the mark
Sarah Bryden-Brown 05 July 2001

ONLY the ABC is prepared to talk openly about its plans and current experiments for interactive TV, although the Nine network's director of digital services, Kim Anderson, says it is only "weeks away from launching something". Seven and Ten have demonstrated interactive applications at trade shows that offer more information for lifestyle and sporting programs. The ABC is concentrating on applications for news, initially addressing common problems such as tuning in late and missing the bulletin's top stories, or keeping track of the relevant characters in a complex Four Corners story.   more

Ridgy-digital TV
Mark Day in London, 05 July 2001

THE development of digital television in Australia is lost up a blind alley: hobbled by regulation, besieged by warring vested interests and hamstrung by inadequate policy. This is starkly obvious when viewed from afar. In Britain digital TV is a glittering, exciting, working reality. It has stormed the nation, transformed viewing habits, and created a vast new industry.   more

Shopping from a set near you
Jane Schulze, 05 July 2001

AUSTAR United will launch Australia's first commercial rollout of two-way interactive television next month when it upgrades services to its satellite pay TV subscribers. Subscribers' set-top boxes will be sent new information via satellite which will make them iTV-ready. They must then purchase a $120 iTV kit, comprising an infra-red keyboard and box attachment with a fast modem to quickly send user's commands through phone lines.   more

June 2001

Foxtel bets won't extract digital
Jane Schulze 21 June 2001

FOXTEL has moved to hose down speculation the Federal Government's support of interactive wagering could prompt digitisation of its cable network. The pay TV and free-to-air industries lobbied vigorously against the original bill which would have outlawed all interactive TV.   more

Interactive TV key, says Optus
Jane Schulze 19 June 2001

CABLE & Wireless Optus believed it could gain an edge over its pay TV rival Foxtel by introducing interactive services on its $2 billion cable, the head of its consumer and multimedia division said yesterday. Adrian Chamberlain also confirmed his belief that interactive services, rather than content, drove subscription growth.   more

Optus progresses interactive TV trial
Tuesday 19 June, 2001 08:26 GMT+10:00 By AAP

Cable & Wireless Optus said today technical testing of its interactive digital television platform, Optus iTV, was progressing well with a decision to be made within three or four months on whether to rollout the service.   more

Net video still long way off
David Hellaby 19 June 2001

AUSTRALIANS are likely to miss out on video-on-demand over the net because Telstra says the system is too expensive. Sony Computer Entertainment plans to introduce broadband capability to its PlayStation 2 videogames console, including facilities for a future movies-on-demand service, in the United States later this year.   more

May 2001

Alston puts digital TV fix on agenda
Michelle Gilchrist, 30 May 2001

THE future of digital television and new interactive services should be determined well before the federal election, Communications Minister Richard Alston has said. Senator Alston said the Government was examining a number of options to alter the digital TV regime, which has been harshly criticised by media groups including John Fairfax, Telstra and News Ltd, publisher of The Australian.   more

Optus in $200m punt on iTV trial
Jane Schulze, 29 May 2001

CABLE & Wireless Optus will spend more than $200 million on an interactive television trial in a bid to steal a march on rival Foxtel by becoming the first pay TV operator to offer the service to consumers. Optus has invited a range of companies to participate and is believed to have begun installing the service in up to 300 homes.   more

'Sharing' needed on ITV
Jennifer Foreshew, 22 May 2001

THE penetration of set-top boxes into the home was the single biggest challenge facing Australia's interactive television industry, an expert has warned. Austar interactive services manager John Paul said set-top box manufacturers would not be interested in the Australian market unless reasonable services were offered.   more

Datacasting not dead, Alston says
Jennifer Foreshew 22 May 2001

DATACASTING may have a bright future in Australia despite the Government's cancellation of the spectrum licence auction, according to Communications Minister Richard Alston. Earlier this month, the Government scrapped the planned auction of datacasting licences when only three bidders remained. The Federal Government had spoken to the three bidders, Senator Alston told an industry briefing last week.   more

Video on Demand Ready to Go
By GARY GENTILE, AP Business Writer, Fri, May 18 6:39 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The company that in 1999 allowed people to download and view a feature film using their computer is raising the stakes in the almost nonexistent video on demand market by adding 20 titles a week on its Web site. SightSound Technologies is already offering a full-length feature from Miramax on its site and has a deal to offer more Miramax titles in the future.   more

Alston ponders datacasting
AAP 15 May 2001

THE Federal Government said it was considering its options on datacasting after last week cancelling a planned licence auction. The Government has not said if it would sell off the 16 datacasting licences separately after cancelling the auction following the withdrawal of four bidders, including Fairfax.   more

Bidder calls for datacast review
Jane Schulze 14 May 2001

ONE of the registered bidders for the federal Government's cancelled datacasting auction has called for the statutory review of digital TV legislation in 2003 to be brought forward.   more

Open digital TV skies, says Fairfax
Michelle Gilchrist,11 May 2001

DIGITAL TV has flopped in Australia and rules restricting new entrants should be abandoned, publishing group John Fairfax said yesterday. A day after the federal Government scrapped the sale of licences for datacasting, or new digital TV, services, Fairfax's corporate affairs manager Bruce Wolpe said the Government should use the digital TV spectrum to create new free-to-air television broadcasters.   more

Interactive TV provider hopes to list
Jane Schulze 07 May 2001

AUSTRALIA may have a listed interactive TV service provider by the end of the year if ambitious plans by a company called My TV World prove successful. The private Melbourne-based group plans to trial its business model with between 200 and 1000 subscribers in about two months' time before a possible national and international rollout.   more

April 2001

Exhibitors push for digital TV
Caitlin Fitzsimmons of australianIT.com.au 26 April 2001

TELEVISION manufacturers and commercial networks are using Australia's first Consumer Electronics Show to spruik the wonders of digital television. Companies such as Sony, Panasonic and Thomson Multi Media are among those demonstrating state-of-the-art digital television sets and set-top boxes at the inaugural show in Darling Harbour, Sydney.   more

Keating criticises digital TV policy
AAP 26 April 2001

FORMER prime minister Paul Keating has lambasted the Federal Government over its handling of digital television. Mr Keating said the Government had botched the introduction of high definition and standard definition television by giving too much of the spectrum to the commercial free-to-air networks.   more

Digital TV falters in the US
Kalpana Srinivasan in Las Vegas 24 April 2001

THE conversion of US television sets to digital signals has been touted as the biggest development since the arrival of colour. But Americans have been slow to embrace the new systems, which can cost from $US2500 ($4937) to $US7000. And early adopters of the technology might wonder if there are enough innovative programs and services to make their investments worthwhile.   more

Networks join forces on digital TV
Jane Schulze 20 April 2001

THE free-to-air TV stations have put aside individual differences to form a joint digital TV strategy group to drive the introduction of interactive TV. National broadcasters ABC and SBS have joined members of the Federation of Australian Commercial TV Stations to jointly overcome the hurdles facing the new media.   more

ABC video news on demand
Sarah Bryden-Brown 19 April 2001

BOB Johnston, Carolyn Tucker and Richard Johnson have either made brilliant career moves or effectively sold themselves down the river. All have been with the ABC most of their careers and all are well respected. So why shift from the comfort of a trusted medium - TV and radio - to an outfit housed in Brisbane ABC's basement, funded by meagre dollars and watched by hardly anyone?   more

Telstra pulls out of digital
Jane Schulze 14 April 2001

THE federal Government's plans to introduce competition on the digital television spectrum are in tatters after Telstra, one of only two bidders for two national datacasting licences, withdrew from the auction. The move dashes any chance the Government had of attaining a premium for the datacasting spectrum, while the prospect of fewer digital services also reduces the consumer appeal of digital TV.   more

Network delivers interactive taster
Jane Schulze 14 April 2001

THE free-to-air TV industry's slow crawl towards interactivity gained some momentum this week with the Ten Network displaying Australia's first interactive prototype at Sydney's Royal Easter Show.   more

Nine, Ten ready to go interactive
Jane Schulze 06 April 2001

PUBLISHING & Broadcasting chief executive Peter Yates and Ten Network chief John McAlpine yesterday gave the strongest indication the free-to-air TV market may soon become interactive when they both identified it as a potential growth area.   more

Another Government gift to the networks : Free-to-air broadcasters will have to pay - a peppercorn - to datacast
By Anne Davies Date: 05/04/2001

The commercial television networks had yet another policy win yesterday, adding to their almost unbeaten record of securing favourable outcomes on digital television policy.   more

Foxtel to carry ABC's digital channels
Amanda Meade 02 April 2001

THE ABC and Foxtel have signed an agreement under which the corporation's new digital children's channels will be carried by the pay-TV provider. The ABC's first new digital channel dedicated to children will be launched in winter, while a second youth channel is still in development and has no launch date, The Australian has revealed.   more

March 2001

In tune with the digital set
Sarah Bryden-Brown 31 March 2001

COME Saturday and Sunday, when lolling about in PJs is de rigueur, there is never a better time for all those hot-housed children to kick back and watch Play School's latest reinvention of the egg carton or catch REM jamming with the monsters on Sesame Street.   more

Aunty tunes in to digital teens
Sarah Bryden-Brown 31 March 2001

ABC TV will launch two new digital channels dedicated to children and teenagers. ABC head of digital TV Ian Carroll said the children's channel would be launched in winter, while the youth channel was still in development and had no launch date. "The ABC is making a modest and strategic start to a multi-channel world.   more

HDTV plan is unravelling
Stewart Fist 20 March 2001

THE United States is now failing in its third attempt to introduce high-definition television.   more

Canberra 'killed' digital TV
Simon Hayes 20 March 2001

THE promotional video promised the lot ? every channel under the sun, video-on-demand, interactive weather forecasts, even the ability to order pizza. But according to the segment's creators, the technology will never see the light of day.   more

ACT premieres phone-line videos
NICOLE MANKTELOW Tuesday, March 13, 2001

The movie of your choice, when you want to play it, pause it, rewind or fast forward it all the benefits of renting a video, without having to go to a store. This is the promise of video on demand (VoD), which has finally secured a commercial rollout in Australia.   more

Tele2000's set to top the TV market
Tessa Denton, 13 March 2001

FLEDGLING local company Tele2000 will supply the advanced TV set-top box iCUE310 in Australia and New Zealand, after signing a $95.3 million contract with Texas-based supplier uniView Technologies.   more

Interactive games head for your TV
Jennifer Foreshew 13 March 2001

LONG nights spent holed-up in overseas hotel rooms watching foreign television - while on the road for work - are about to pay off for Tony Johnston. With 15-years' experience in TV production, the former The Great Outdoors presenter has started his own company to capitalise on the growth of interactive TV (iTV)   more

Shier tunes to digital strategy
Michelle Gilchrist and Amanda Meade 07 March 2001

THE ABC will launch its second TV channel within three months in an aggressive bid to be the first broadcaster to exploit digital television, ABC managing director Jonathan Shier said yesterday.   more

VoD launch in Canberra
Kate Mackenzie of australianIT.com.au 07 March 2001

A JOINT venture between an Australian telco and a UK-based interactive television company is to launch a service to Canberra residents that includes video on demand and web access through a television set-top box.   more

February 2001

iTV policy chokes national roll-out
Jennifer Foreshew 27 February 2001

AUSTRALIA must relax content restrictions for datacasters if interactive television (iTV) is to be a success, a media expert has warned. Itvworld founding chief executive Jason Romney said Australia's roll-out of iTV would continue to lag until key issues were resolved.   more

Built-in bandwidth
SUE CANT Monday, February 26, 2001

A council on Melbourne's northern outskirts plans to compel land developers to install big fat pipes to carry data communications in all new housing and office sites.   more

Internet promises movie home delivery
By DEBORAH COLE, AFP BERLIN Monday 26 February 2001

Home entertainment still often looks like this: the film you've been dying to see is unavailable at your local video store and when you finally do get it, the picture is a grainy fog with sound barely better than that of a transistor radio.   more

Prime in position for datacasting
By JANE SCHULZE Monday 26 February 2001

Prime Television could emerge as a regional datacaster after investment bank Gresham Partners revealed itself as the company behind datacasting licence applicant Barwix.   more

Dems to back digital ABC and SBS
Michelle Gilchrist 26 February 2001

THE ABC and SBS will move closer this week to securing full freedom to use the digital television spectrum, after the Democrats promised to support part of Labor's bid to overturn the Government's controversial digital TV regime.   more

News rejects datacasting reports
Michelle Gilchrist 24 February 2001

NEWS Limited has rejected a report that its parent company has a de facto interest in the federal Government's datacasting auction, yesterday saying it had sold its shares in US company OpenTV last year.   more

Seven applications lodged for Australian datacast licences
Friday, February 23, 2001, 8:50 AAP

Seven companies, including Fairfax and Telstra, have put their hands up for datacasting licences under the new digital broadcasting regime. Communications watchdog the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) said it had received seven applications to provide the new interactive information services, despite industry criticism of the tough rules.   more

Interactive TV waits for prime time
By NICOLE MANKTELOW Tuesday, February 20, 2001

Television is typically a one-way transmission. To make it truly interactive and allow users to do such things as send email or make purchases, there must be an avenue allowing a return of this information to the service provider.   more

Digital divide growing, says ILO
AFP in Geneva,13 February 2001

TECHNOLOGY is creating a growing divide between industrialised and developing countries, the International Labour Organisation has warned, saying countries that fail to harness the internet will lose out economically.   more

Japan's TV goes digital
AFP in Tokyo 13 February 2001

THE Japanese government plans to digitise all television broadcasts within 10 years.   more

US surfers go for faster DSL
AFP in Washington 13 February 2001

THE number of internet users in the United States increased 52 per cent last year to 68.7 million, with the biggest growth being in high-speed DSL access, according to a report.   more

Hilmer says datacasting changes needed
Wednesday, February 7, 2001, 9:37 AAP

Changes to Australia's digital datacasting laws were urgently needed to make the sector viable, Fairfax chief executive officer Fred Hilmer said today. Hilmer supports the Labor Party's plan to open up the regulations surrounding datacasting.   more

Labor digital reforms doomed
Michelle Gilchrist 07 February 2001

LABOR'S attempts to reform digital TV rules appeared doomed last night after the Australian Democrats blasted Labor's revived datacasting regime as an "outrageous stunt". The Democrats, which hold the balance of power in the Senate, were last night still waiting for copies of the Labor amendments. But communications spokeswoman Vicki Bourne said the party would not support Labor if the proposals matched those put up last year.   more

Plan A returns to the fray
Michelle Gilchrist, Comment 07 February 2001

WHAT can Labor hope to achieve with its revival of the bloody digital TV debate? Optimists who believe that political parties disregard big media groups' desires will believe Labor's argument that it seeks merely to implement good public policy. Cynics must look to Labor's attempt to balance big media players's interests in an election year.   more

Labor's bid to rewrite digital rules
Michelle Gilchrist 06 February 2001

THE bruising political battle over digital television will be reignited today when Labor moves to rewrite the rules on who can compete with free-to-air broadcasters. In a move that will infuriate Kerry Packer's Nine network but win the acclaim of other big media players, including News Limited, Labor will attempt to amend government legislation to widen the definition of datacasting.   more

Alston labels Labor digital TV changes a cheap stunt
Tuesday, February 6, 2001, 12:40 AAP

Labor's plan to revisit changes to digital broadcasting laws was a political stunt, Communications Minister Richard Alston said today. Digital broadcasting began in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth on January 1 and will be phased in elsewhere over the next three years. But takeup has been slow because of the limited amount of equipment available to allow digital signals to be picked up by existing analogue television sets.   more

Leaks reveal Optus's digital plans
Mark Westfield, Insider 01 February 2001

CABLE & Wireless Optus is secretly canvassing "content partners" to help it trial an interactive television service on its hugely unwanted broadband network, despite assurances by chief executive Chris Anderson that the telco had suspended all plans to digitalise the network.   more

January 2001

Orange testbed yields early data on interactive television
Adam Turner Monday, January 29, 2001

YOU can't travel far around Orange, in country New South Wales, without one of the locals reminding you that 19th century bush poet A.B. "Banjo" Paterson was born "round these parts". Almost 150 years later the city has witnessed the birth of what may become Australia's great storyteller of the coming century - interactive television.   more

Seven pulls out its digit
By JANE SCHULZE Saturday 27 January 2001

The Seven Network this week became the first commercial broadcaster to demonstrate multi-view digital technology, broadcasting four TV sub-channels during the final week of the Australian Open.   more

Digital TV to a PC near you
Michelle Gilchrist 24 January 2001

DIGITAL television was supposed to deliver new services to TV viewers, but new datacasting applications are more likely to be accessed via personal computers, a government sales brochure revealed yesterday.   more

Rental set-top boxes to give digital TV a boost
By JANE SCHULZE, Tuesday 23 January 2001

A glimmer of hope has emerged for the infant digital TV technology, with retailer Thorn yesterday announcing it will rent set-top boxes. The cost of the few available boxes, which retail for $699, has been cited as a major obstacle to the take-up of digital TV.   more

Interactive TV? Yes, but not yet
Ellen Cresswell, 23 January 2001

A NEW interactive television venture is expected to begin commercial operations by May. Total Television, launched locally last year, will focus on video on demand. It is a joint venture of Yes Television, a UK i-TV company, and CableandTelecoms, a local telco.   more

Digital TV a privacy issue
Karen Dearne, 18 January 2001

INTERACTIVE television providers in Britain are giving away set-top boxes to get people hooked up, according to Federal Privacy Commissioner Malcolm Crompton. "That's because digital television will give media giants like Rupert Murdoch the largest possible telescope into an individual's home that has yet been invented," Mr Crompton said. "As an information-gathering tool, digital television is going to make the internet look thin by comparison, because it closes the loop back to the service provider."   more

Media giants snub digital datacasting
Michelle Gilchrist, 18 January 2001

DIGITAL television started with a whimper rather than a bang on January 1, but the federal Government has said it will press ahead with the sale of licences to provide new digital TV services this year, despite a lack of interest from big media groups.   more

Obsolescence has digital viewing for rent at $24.90
By SUE LOWE, SMH, Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Two years after the launch of digital TV in Britain, an estimated 20 per cent of households with a TV set subscribe. That's about 5 million households, making the country the fastest growing digital TV market in the world, according to UK based research firm Ovum. Ovum predicts that by 2006 that figure will grow to almost 20 million connections (77 per cent of TV households), generating more than $US4.5 billion ($8.1 billion) in "tcommerce".   more

Slow birth for world of digital TV
By JANE SCHULZE Tuesday 16 January 2001

Nine's digital TV channel is up and running, the promotional ads have started, and its guide to digital TV is out. Still, Nine's director of digital services, Kim Anderson, is the first to admit there is much work to be done before digital TV becomes a mainstream medium.   more

Video on demand in ACT next month
Simon Hayes 16 January 2001

COMMERCIAL video-on-demand services are just weeks away, with Civic Video planning to launch its system over Canberra's TransACT broadband cable network by the end of next month. Consumers will pay $8 a movie for the service, which will be offered to Canberra customers without monthly subscription fees, to boost the initial takeup.   more

Packer not in the digital picture
Sarah Bryden-Brown16 January 2001

POOR Kerry and Ros. I've beaten them to the punch. The billionaire might own the Nine network but he can't watch its digital broadcast yet. I can. In fact, I'm just about it when it comes to the national digital TV audience.   more

Strung out over digital TV changeover

If America's experience is any guide -- and Australia does tend to mirror its take-up of gadgetry -- digital TV won't be an overnight success Downunder. AS SALES of digital TV sets continue at a sluggish pace, the US Federal Communications Commission will consider new rules this week aimed at spurring broadcasters' switch to the new technology that provides crystal-clear, high-resolution pictures and CD-like sound.   more

Time for Senator to pull a decent policy out
Date: 11/01/2001

Fooling about in his inbox, Paul Ham found an email cc'd from a distant uncle, Professor Brian Mountjoy Ham, M.D., F.R.A.C.S, I.R.K. Senator the Honourable Richard Alston, Minister of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Dear Mr Alston, Your "marvellous digital television policy", as someone called it, seems to have landed in pig's spittle, fiercely criticised by those ratbags in the press, as you probably expected. While I have misgivings about our friends in the media, I do agree with them when they say that the launch of digital telly has been less than auspicious.   more

Digital TV needs re-think
10 JAN 2001 AP

THE Internet industry today called on the federal government to re-think the set-up of the digital television network, arguing it denies all Australians access to the technology. The government's decision to choose high definition television, or HDTV, for the use of digital television meant people would not be able to use the spectrum for other services, such as the Internet.   more

Digital TV a failure: Net group
By ANNABEL CRABB Wednesday 10 January 2001

Australian television viewers have been "dudded" by the first week of digital TV, according to a critique to be released today by the Internet industry. Australian Internet Industry Association executive director Peter Coroneos said the digital regime introduced on January 1 was testament to legislative compromise of the new technology.   more

Digital TV policy flawed: report
Caitlin Fitzsimmons 10 January 2001

THE internet industry has slammed the federal Government's handling of the introduction of digital television, branding the new regime a "digital disaster". The Internet Industry Association (IIA) today released a report titled 'Why Australia has been shortchanged on digital TV' strongly criticising the Government's policy. IIA executive director Peter Coroneos said the federal Government mishandling of the issue meant digital television was launched with a big price tag but only "marginal benefits".   more

In the US, television's revolution fails to fire Under the gun
The New York Times 090101

the transition to digital in the US remains plagued with problems. Few Americans are buying digital TV sets, new models are rare and networks aren't enthused. Three years after the first digital television models were shown at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in the US, digital TV sets represent less than 3 per cent of all TV sales.   more

Public tunes out to digital
Selina Mitchell and Ian Grayson 09 January 2001

RETAILERS are having difficulty selling the virtues of digital television to a confused public. Yesterday, many shops were still waiting for promised display-only units to be delivered, and others were having problems setting up the equipment. A number of retail stores The Australian IT contacted had received their set-top boxes but could not tune them properly.   more

iTV closes gap for students
Jennifer Foreshew 09 January 2001

SYDNEY University has become the first Australian campus to use interactive television (iTV) for distance learning, under a pilot program conducted by ICE Interactive. The iTV pilot, in the NSW city of Orange, is expected to demonstrate the capabilities of the new medium. The $5 million initiative, which involves 150 homes and 25 organisations, is due to wind up on January 31.   more

Life in digital no-man's land
By MARK DAY 04jan01

THE phones are ringing off the hook with complaints about digital TV, even before any but the elite few have had a chance to see it. The federal Government is nervous. About 10,000 calls of complaint about interference to existing services is enough to make any election-year politician anxious.   more

Digital TV legislation appalling
Editoria Canberra Times

THE Government will have to think seriously about revisiting its appalling legislation on digital television before too long. It was obvious at the time that the legislation imposed unnecessary restrictions on digital television technology and now that digital has arrived it is apparent that consumers are voting with their wallets.   more

Decoding digital TV
By ROD EASDOWN Thursday 4 January 2001

This week saw the first day of digital television broadcasting, which the government, the networks, the electronics manufacturers, the retailers and a plethora of lobbying and PR companies want you to believe is the best thing to hit the small screen since color. If you canít see any differences itís because there arenít any yet.   more

Tuning in to digital TV
Thursday, January 4, 2001, 10:36 By ROD EASDOWN, THE AGE

This week saw the first day of digital television broadcasting, which the government, the networks, the electronics manufacturers, the retailers and a plethora of lobbying and PR companies want you to believe is the best thing to hit the small screen since color. If you can't see any differences it's because there aren't any yet.   more

Digital supporters say be patient
Wednesday, January 3, 2001, 8:16 AAP

Digital television supporters are urging viewers to be patient as the new technology makes a less than auspicious beginning. Around 1500 people contacted two digital television hotlines with most complaining of interference caused by the new broadcasts.   more

Digital snowshowers affect hundreds of TV viewers
Wednesday, January 3, 2001, 8:10 By KAREN POLGLAZE, AAP

Hundreds of television viewers were finding summer snow on their screens since the introduction of digital transmission, the Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations said yesterday.   more

Few complaints about TV reception
Kate Mackenzie of australianIT.com.au 02 January 2001

FEARS that digital broadcasting would interfere with analogue reception had not been realised, the Australian Consumers' Association (ACA) said today.   more

Australians denied benefits of high-definition digital: expert
Tuesday, January 2, 2001, 9:29 AAP

The Australian federal government's high-definition option for digital television denied Australians the real benefits of the new technology, communications expert Jock Given said today. Digital broadcasts began in state capitals yesterday but digital TV sets or set-top boxes to receive the digital signal are still unavailable.   more

Digital TV is born
01 JAN 2001 AAP

THE digital television revolution has officially begun in Australian loungerooms, but almost no one was able to see it. An absence of digital televisions -- and a delay in the equipment allowing analogue televisions to be tuned to digital images -- means the change has passed quietly.   more

Lucky few witness start of new TV era
By Joseph Kerr

The digital television broadcast era officially began in Australia yesterday - at least, it did for the lucky few who had the technology to receive the signals. While test broadcasts have been under way since July, Federal legislation set January 1, 2001, as the official starting date for digital transmissions by the television networks.   more

Digital TV to interfere with VCRs
Sarah Bryden-Brown 01 January 2001

DIGITAL television transmission commenced today and free-to-air broadcasters are so concerned at the disruption their digital signals could have on TV reception and VCR playback function they have jointly funded a television interference help line and technician call-out service.   more

Digital's little fuzz and bother
By JANE SCHULZE Monday 1 January 2001

With the Y2K crisis failing to materialise, the television industry reported few problems with fuzzy reception after digital TV was launched on Sunday night. Robert Osmotherly, the Melbourne general manager of Network Ten, said only four people had called the station by mid-afternoon.   more

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