Last Updated December 31, 2000

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]

ARCHIVE 1997 - 2000

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December 2000

Digital TV gets low-key debut
By JANE SCHULZE MEDIA Saturday 30 December 2000

Digital broadcasting, perhaps the most significant change to Australian TV since the introduction of color, will make its debut on Monday, but it will start with a whimper rather than a bang. Stores will not have the set-top boxes needed to see the digital signals and the only new services being sent on the digital signals will be an electronic program guide on Network Ten's digital channel, 11.   more

Switch to digital TV doesn't rate
Sarah Bryden-Brown 30 December 2000

ABOUT 100,000 people watched the launch of television on September 16, 1956, yet just a handful of technicians will watch the evolution to digital TV on Monday.   more

Plenty of digital but no TV due to delay
By JANE SCHULZE Friday 29 December 2000

TV watchers will be unable to view digital TV when it launches in three days. The supplier of set-top boxes confirmed yesterday they would not be for sale until mid-January. This will be a blow to the free-to-air TV networks, which underwrote the first shipment of boxes to ensure their delivery before January 1.   more

Digital TV policy 'botched and blurry'
Kate Mackenzie of australianIT.com.au and AAP 29 December 2000

THE federal Government has been accused of offering Australians blurry television, but no digital TV, from New Year's Day. Although it was proclaimed by the Australian Broadcasting Authority as the biggest revolution since colour television, the Government has come under attack from both the Opposition and a member of its own ranks for its implementation of the new medium.   more

Government under attack over digital TV
Friday, December 29, 2000, 9:00 AAP

The Australian government was today attacked by one of its own communications policy makers as well as the Opposition for offering Australians the possibility of blurry television but no digital TV from New Year's Day. Queensland Liberal Gary Hardgrave, secretary of the coalition's communications policy committee, told ABC radio the government had missed an opportunity, and instead had created a niche marketing policy. ``I would be very doubtful if there was any more than a handful of people watching this new technology when it dawns on Monday,'' Hardgrave said.   more

Government under fire over digital TV
AAP 29 December 2000

THE federal Government has been accused of offering Australians the possibility of blurry television, but no digital TV, from New Year's Day. Queensland Liberal Gary Hardgrave, secretary of the coalition's communications policy committee, told ABC Radio the government had missed an opportunity and instead created a niche marketing policy. "I would be very doubtful if there was any more than a handful of people watching this new technology when it dawns on Monday," Mr Hardgrave said.   more

HDTV hits snooze button
LAWRIE ZION Wednesday 27 December 2000

When I was a mere youngster and color television sets started appearing in shop windows, I was transfixed. On school holidays, I hovered around the local electrical appliance store for days on end, pretending that I was there for the benefit of my four-year-old brother.   more

The television revolution that almost nobody will see
GARRY BARKER Sunday 24 December 2000

Digital television will be officially launched in Australia on New Year's Day with an audience close to zero. All television networks will broadcasting digital versions of their programs, but they will be received only by the broadcasters and a handful of others. Nobody else has a suitable receiver or set-top box converter for their TV.   more

Digital TV to cost $100 more
AAP 21 December 2000

SHOPPERS will have to fork out almost $700 for the first digital television equipment, $100 more than the highest estimates of government and industry officials. The free-to-air networks have clubbed together to commission and subsidise the first shipment of set-top boxes from French manufacturer Thomson Multimedia.   more

First digital TV set-top boxes to cost $699
AAP 20:33 AEDT Wednesday 20 December 2000

Shoppers will have to fork out almost $700 for the first digital television equipment, $100 more than government and industry top-end estimates. The free-to-air networks clubbed together to commission and subsidise the first shipment of set-top boxes from French manufacturer Thomson Multimedia, which are expected to be on display in shops next week.   more

Govt MP changes channel on digital TV

A Federal Coalition MP backbencher has cast doubt on the Government's digital television policy. Digital television broadcasts begin in Australia next Monday, but the technology to receive the broadcasts has not yet arrived in the country.   more

Television's set to change channels
Selina Mitchell and Ian Grayson 19 December 2000

THE new age of digital television is on the way ? but very slowly. The television sets able to receive and display digital transmissions will not be available in Australia until at least April, manufacturers say.   more

Nine alters name for digital TV era
Finola Burke 16 December 2000

KERRY Packer's Nine Network has renamed itself Nine Digital ahead of the introduction of digital television on January 1. The top-rated network's logo remains the same but viewers who buy a new digital television set or set-top box to plug into the new medium will get the new-look Nine Digital.   more

ABC awards digital broadcasting contract to NTL
ADAM TURNER, FAIRFAX IT, Friday, December 15, 2000, 16:03

The ABC has awarded its digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcast contract to NTL. The contract involves the design, building, management and operation of transmission services for a 15 year period. The ABC has an option to extend the digital transmission contract for a further five years.   more

Rural town clicks into future
By JANE SCHULZE Tuesday 12 December 2000

In the rural New South Wales city of Orange, 150 households are experiencing a number of firsts as they participate in a ground-breaking interactive TV trial.   more

Who will foot the TV bill? Stay tuned
By JANE SCHULZE Tuesday 12 December 2000

There is still confusion about who will pay the potential multi-million dollar cost of retuning video cassette recorders and pay TV set-top boxes when digital TV begins in three weeks.   more

Digital TV to make deadline
AAP 12 December 2000

THE first equipment allowing television viewers to tune into digital television would start trickling into shops by the end of the month, free-to-air networks promised today.   more

WIN TV broadcasts Australasia's first interactive TV program broadcast
By ADAM TURNER, FAIRFAX IT, Monday, December 11, 2000

WIN Television has broadcast Australasia's first interactive TV program in Orange, NSW. The broadcast, on Saturday evening, was part of an interactive television trial being undertaken by WIN and ICE Interactive in 150 Orange households.   more

Alston tunes in digital operators
Finola Burke 07 December 2000

COMMUNICATIONS Minister Richard Alston called together the free-to-air television networks and pay-TV operators last night to ensure consumers were not left with poor reception when the digital revolution begins on January 1.   more

Canberra plugs into VOD
Ashleigh Wilson 05 December 2000

CANBERRA residents will soon be able to choose a film without moving from their couches. Video-on-demand (VOD) will be available to the estimated 100,000 users of TransACT's fibre-optic network after connections begin early next year. In addition to films, the service will include sport, educational programs, internet and e-commerce.   more

Digital services take off slowly
Caitlin Fitzsimmons of australianIT.com.au 04 December 2000

DIGITAL television was the frontline for the battle on intellectual property, a US communications expert said today. US Federal Communications Commission senior economist Jonathan Levy said digital television was suffering from a "chicken and egg" scenario.   more

TV a la carte, on a set at your place

Canberra, per capita the most prosperous community in Australia, will be first in the nation to taste video-on-demand, a technology forecast to sweep the home entertainment market. It means, ultimately, television with pause, rewind and fast-forward buttons.   more

Videos on demand for Canberra's interactive homes
By Margot Saville Date: 01/12/2000

Canberra subscribers to an interactive television trial will be able to access video-on-demand services from early next year. Broadband network TransACT Capital Communications has signed Total Television Australia to provide content to its service, which will be offered to more than 100,000 homes and businesses throughout the ACT.   more

November 2000

Adland rings digital alarm
Andrew Mckenzie 28 November 2000

FEWER than five weeks before the introduction of the digital television signal, the marketing industry is close to hitting the panic button. They are claiming they have had too little communication with the networks.   more

Squabble may delay digital TV
By JANE SCHULZE Tuesday 28 November 2000

Australia's peak advertising groups have warned that dissension among free-to-air TV broadcasters over which set-top box to adopt will delay the introduction of digital TV.   more

Interactive TV due next year
Dan Kaufman Monday, November 27, 2000

Will the introduction of interactive TV have Australian viewers just as interested? Free-to-air networks may deploy interactive television as soon as mid next year, according to the two major players in the field, ICE Interactive and Two Way TV.   more

French deliver cheap digital TV
By Finola Burke 27nov00

FRENCH electronics giant Thomson will deliver Australia's first digital set-top boxes to retailers ahead of the launch of digital television on January 1, 2001.   more

Vision blurred on digital TV
AAP 24 November 2000

THOUSANDS of television viewers who tuned their sets into video recorders would get fuzzy reception once digital broadcasting began in January, the broadcasting watchdog said today.   more

No sets ready to go in digital's big kick-off
Anne Davies SMH - Saturday Saturday 18/11/2000

If you're looking for a digital television set as a Christmas present for the person who has everything, don't hold your breath. Even though digital television transmissions start on January I, the first digital television equipment is unlikely to go on sale before mid March.   more

Interactive TV gains new player
By JANE SCHULZE Tuesday 14 November 2000

Another company has launched into the interactive TV arena hoping to entice Australians with a bundled offering of TV, high-speed Internet access and Internet-based telephony.   more

Yes TV to try digital interactive TV here
Yes TV was told no in Britain but is coming here to launch interactive TV. KATRINA NICHOLAS reports.

Yes Television, a British company best known for pulling its £800 ($2.2 billion) stockmarket float in April, has joined Cable & Telecoms, a largely unknown miner-turned-fibre-optic telecom, to offer interactive TV in the Australian market.   more

CaT says Yes to iTV
AAP 13 November 2000

LOCAL telecommunications concern CableandTelecoms (CaT) said it would partner with UK-based Yes Television to bring interactive digital television services to Australia and New Zealand.   more

October 2000

Digital TV nightmare stirs
Mark Westfield 23 October 2000

THE Howard Government's digital television strategy is in disarray just two months before the service is due to start. The three commercial networks face a delay of at least a year because technical problems have postponed the introduction of their chosen technology.   more

Alston tunes in to an ugly picture : Digital TV: just how prepared are you?
By ANNE DAVIES Date: 19/10/2000

Tick, tick, tick, tick. In 75 days Australia is due to begin digital television broadcasts. But does anyone out there own a digital TV yet? It's a problem that's been haunting Communications Minister, Senator Richard Alston, who has pinned his political future on a plan for digital TV which owes much to the superb lobbying efforts of the commercial television networks.   more

Seven jockeys for place in digital future
Wednesday, October 18, 2000, 12:25 AAP

Seven Network executive chairman Kerry Stokes today said the broadcaster was well placed for the introduction of digital television. In the company's annual report released today, Stokes said Seven had completed the most significant year in its history "and today is well placed for the forthcoming introduction of digital television and other new communications technologies.   more

TV rules blocking progress: Beazley
Michelle Gilchrist 18 October 2000

THE digital TV regime introduced by the Coalition was a "regulatory road block in the way of new-economy progress", Kim Beazley said last night. In a speech to a banking function in Sydney, the Labor leader said the next wave of productivity gains from new technology would require the deregulation of communications and telecommunications laws as well as big investments in education and technology.   more

Interactive TV a drawcard for British coach potatoes
By JANE SCHULZE Tuesday 17 October 2000

Sixty per cent of United Kingdom homes with digital TV have interactive services, according to a survey by the UK communications regulator Oftel. In Australia, interactive TV is limited to a few pay TV channels, but the UK model of subsidised set-top boxes has seen the technology quickly spread since the launch of digital TV at the end of 1998 to 20 per cent of homes.   more

TV guide to interactivity
By JANE SCHULZE Tuesday 17 October 2000

Television service providers, or TVSPs, could become the key to ensuring interactivity through Australia's free-to-air TV networks, a leading broadcast academic has suggested. Duane Varan, the chairman of Murdoch University's marketing and media department, said existing Internet service providers (ISPs) or other companies could morph into this new form of service provider.   more

TVs not ready in time for digital
Michelle Gilchrist and Dennis Shanahan 11 October 2000

THE revolution will not be televised - the digital TV revolution, that is. The three commercial networks have conceded this week there is unlikely to be digital television equipment in shops in time for the start of digital TV on January 1.   more

Makers will miss digital deadline
By JANE SCHULZE Wednesday 11 October 2000

Set-top box manufacturers yesterday maintained they were unable to produce the boxes for the start of digital TV on January 1, despite a move by the free-to-air industry to accelerate the roll-out by underwriting the first order.   more

Thick and thin of TV screens
Stewart Fist 10 October 2000

THE crux of the high-definition television debate has been whether Australian viewers can afford to buy large-screen sets capable of showing 1080 lines.   more

Networks seek digital TV set top box interest
Tuesday, October 10, 2000, 15:07 AAP

AUSTRALIA'S three commercial television networks announced today their intention to jointly call for expressions of interest for the supply of digital set top boxes.   more

Networks place first digital set-top box order
By JANE SCHULZE Tuesday 10 October 2000

The free-to-air television industry has stipulated that the first digital set-top boxes available in Australia must be capable of Internet access, but may not decode high-definition TV signals.   more

Datacasting rules unfair, says China Online chief
By ELI GREENBLAT Tuesday 10 October 2000

Australia's datacasting rules were more draconian than those in the police state of China, a chief executive of a leading regional Internet-content company said yesterday. Lyric Hughes, head of China Online, an Internet news service that provides business and economic intelligence about China, said the Federal Government was behind the rest of the world when it came to datacasting.   more

Back to the digital stamping ground
By ANNE DAVIES 05 October 2000

Datacasting may have the media elephants regrouping against the Howard Government. The Sydney Olympics may have provided an opportunity for media executives to trade more than commemorative pins.   more

Canberra exempts streaming
Selina Mitchell 03 October 2000

STREAMED internet content will be exempted from the definition of a broadcasting service under the Broadcasting Services Act, ensuring datacasting-style restrictions will not be placed on advanced multimedia content.   more

Multichannel television seen as opportunity, not a threat
Monday, October 2, 2000, 10:44 AAP

MULTICHANNEL television was inevitable and would come in ways we do not yet understand, Greg Dyke, BBC director-general said yesterday. "The one thing you know is there is going to be more and more ways of getting programming to the home. "And all sort of ways to prevent that won't work in the end,'' Mr Dyke told Channel Nine's Business Sunday program.   more

September 2000

Web streaming not broadcast
Kate Mackenzie of australianIT.com.au 28 September 2000

A DETERMINATION by the Federal Government that audio and video streaming will not be considered broadcasting services has been welcomed by an internet industry group.   more

TV labelling feud nears end
By JONATHAN COX WASHINGTON Friday 15 September 2000

A feud between television set makers and the cable TV industry that threatened to slow the introduction of digital TV is expected to end today as US regulators adopt labelling requirements for new, higher-quality receivers.   more

WIN takes lead in interactive TV
Dominique Jackson 12 September 2000

WIN Television has signed on to the first free-to-air interactive television trial in Australia, seen as a bellwether for broadband services. WIN will provide text and images -- but not video -- reformatted from its WINNET online information service for ICE Interactive's narrowband, analog trial in Orange, NSW.   more

Broadband rollout lags US: Gates
By DAVID HIGGINS and LACHLAN JOHNSTON Tuesday 12 September 2000

Microsoft chairman and world's richest man, Bill Gates, has criticised Australia's slow roll-out of broadband Internet networks, a technology he calls "the ultimate Internet experience".   more

Combatants stake claim to interactive TV revenue
By SAUL HANSELL NEW YORK Tuesday 12 September 2000

After a decade of false starts, interactive television may be heading into tens of millions of living rooms in the United States over the next two years. Before people have the chance to click their remotes to check a sports score or order a pizza, an industry battle is brewing over who will lay claim to the tens of billions of dollars in new revenue interactive advertising is expected to yield.   more

ninemsn aims for interactive future
By JANE SCHULZE Tuesday 5 September 2000

Internet portal ninemsn, which is owned by Kerry Packer's ecorp and Microsoft, would not become a TV channel in competition with the Nine Network but an interactive TV business, its chief executive, Steve Vamos, said last week.   more

Lining up for digital TV
Stewart Fist, Crossroads 05 September 2000

RECENTLY, Four Corners provided an excellent overview of HDTV and digital television, although it overstated the success of digital television in the UK. It didn't explain a lot of the technical stuff people need to know and understand to make sense of digital television, and I received a lot of email questions the next day.   more

Telstra's digital stumbling block is CWO's stepping stone
By STEPHEN BARTHOLOMEUSZ Tuesday 5 September 2000

When former Cable & Wireless Communications managing director Adrian Chamberlain arrived in Sydney from London earlier this year, he was a man on a mission.   more

Packer attacks datacasting rules
Michelle Gilchrist and Dennis Shanahan 01 September 2000

THE Nine network and other television networks received no special treatment from the federal Government on digital TV and had never received any "free" television spectrum, Kerry Packer said yesterday.   more

August 2000

Pay TV has short lead over free-to-air
By JANE SCHULZE Tuesday 29 August 2000

While pay TV will gain a jump start in interactive TV, the free-to-airTV industry's mass reach will allow it to quickly catch up, according to a new survey.   more

Digital set-top boxes free in UK
Finola Burke Tuesday 29 August 2000

BRITAIN'S Blair Government will give away digital set-top boxes to millions of British homes to speed up the conversion to digital television, in a plan not unlike that proposed for Australia by Fairfax chief executive Fred Hilmer 12 months ago.   more

Optimism grows for interactive TV
KATE MACKENZIE of australianIT.com.au 28 08 00

PROSPECTS for interactive television in Australia improved today with the launch of software for set-top boxes. OpenTV, a Nasdaq-listed company which has deployed its technology in 50 countries, today launched its Sydney offices with Communications Minister, Senator Richard Alston. Set-top boxes are devices which can be attached to a standard television set, and use a modem chip to access interactive content via a standard phone line.   more

Foxtel united on interactive step
FINOLA BURKE Tuesday 22 August 2000

NEWS Corp yesterday denied shareholder tensions at the Foxtel board table and foreshadowed a move to interactive television. Rupert Murdoch said there was "little disagreement among the shareholders" that Australia's largest pay TV service should move to interactive TV, considered to be the next big driver for subscriber growth.   more

Foxtel rethinks digital strategy
By Luke Collins, Tuesday, August 22, 2000

Pay-TV group Foxtel is rethinking plans to convert to digital services after Friday's Federal Court ruling that Telstra, which owns 50 per cent of Foxtel, open its cable network to other parties. Foxtel, in which News Corp and Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd each hold 25 per cent stakes, has been planning to convert from analog to digital so that it can offer interactive services through its set- top boxes.   more

Datacasting blueprint opens door to free TV
By JANE SCHULZE Tuesday 15 August 2000

The blueprint for the allocation of the first datacasting licences has been released for discussion by the Australian Communications Authority. In a significant development, it says these licences can become TV licences when the current prohibition on new TV licences ends in 2006.   more

Telecasters tune with data trial
By JANE SCHULZE Tuesday 15 August 2000

The first analogue datacasting trials have taken off on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, where early-morning and late-night viewers are getting news headlines, weather and other information with their usual viewing.   more

ICE trials interactive TV

ICE Interactive has launched the first trial of its wholesale interactive television (ITV) service, aiming to increase awareness of the product.   more

DivX ;-)

Mayhem at the movies
By Nathan Cochrane. Tuesday 15 August 2000

Hollywood's nighmare is not Jaws or Freddy Krueger; it's DivX;), a file format which allows a 90 minute film to fit on a single 650mb CD-Recordable.   more

Related Links:

Related stories:
See change in the video store - HOLLYWOOD and its dependents have a narrow window of opportunity to avoid a rerun of the MP3 traumas that have beset the music recording industry. They can either embrace new technologies like DivX ;) or be swallowed by them.

Hollywood's digital headache - A few months ago, Hollywood executives pondering the effect of the Internet company Napster on the music industry wondered how long it would take before full-length movies could be sent over the Internet. The wait is over.

Smile, you're on ;-) camera - So how does DivX ;-) work? As Nathan Cochrane reports, its is a rough and ready amalgam of two technologies - the MPEG4 video CODEC and MP3.

Optus goes for interactive TV
FINOLA BURKE August 11, 2000

CABLE & Wireless Optus has moved to plan B on its $5 billion broadband cable, confirming yesterday that it was proceeding to a launch of digital interactive television.   more

Optus considering multimedia future
AAP August 10, 2000

CABLE & Wireless Optus is considering a number of options for its multimedia business, which might include a partnership.   more

Optus tags $1bn for interactive TV
By Media writer FINOLA BURKE August 10, 2000

CABLE & Wireless Optus will spend $1 billion upgrading its broadband cable for interactive television, sources close to the company said yesterday.   more

Thrills and spills in the fast lane
Tuesday 8 August 2000

BROADBAND is going to have as big an impact on us as the Web did back in 1994. The term broadband is less about a specific technology or mode of carrying data than it is a philosophy. Many technologies, applications and services are grouped under that generic term.   more

America gives HDTV a poor reception

As the changeover to digital television began, government leaders and industry executives described the transition as one of those rare touchstone events that would in time alter the life of every American.   more

Chisholm puts money on interactive TV
By JANE SCHULZE Tuesday 8 August 2000

As doubt remains on how the free-to-air TV networks will enter the world of interactivity, one of the founding industry executives has warned they must adopt the technology to remain competitive.   more

Interactive TV put to the test at last
By Helene Zampetakis Financial Review Aug. 7, 2000

After years in gestation, the first trial of two-way interactive television kicks off later this month with a two-month pilot of 150 homes in Orange, NSW.   more

Optus may go it alone on IDTV
By Alan Kohler

Cable & Wireless Optus is now considering keeping 100 per cent of its cable network and pay-TV business and going it alone in converting to interactive digital TV (IDTV).   more

July 2000

56 million homes worldwide to switch to Digital TV
Broadcast Engineering News, July 2000

A new report signals success for digital television take up around the world. Yet the evidence continues to mount that digital terrestrial services are failing to compete with other delivery platforms for market share

Fifty six million households around the world will be watching Digital TV (DTV) by the end of this year, according to the latest forecast from US-based research group, Strategy Analytics.

By the beginning of 2001, the group claims the UK will be the world's most advanced market in terms of digital take up, with an expected 2% of homes having switched to digital, followed by the US (24%), France (15%) and Spain (15%).

These conclusions are presented in a study entitled lnteractive Digital Television: Worldwide Market Forecasts. By the end of 1999, 34.4 million homes around the world were receiving DTV, 77% using a direct-to-home satellite service, 21% cable and 2% terrestrial.

Competition from satellite operators is now forcing cable operator to rapidly roll out digital services, particularly in the US, and cable is expected to have become the leading provider of DTV services by 2005, with a 55% global share. Terrestrial services however, continue to face a difficult future.

According to Strategy Analytics, limited capacity puts these operators in a weak position compared with cable and satellite, and technical difficulties with digital terrestrial television, particularly in the US, are stalling market growth.

During 1999, consumers installed more than I7 million digital set-top boxes in order to access the new services. This year's global set-top box sales are forecast to reach 28 million units, and by 2005 annual sales are expected to have reached nearly 92 million units.

The leading digital TV operators, such as TPS in France, Open in the UK and Teledanmark in Denmark, are now offering interactive and online services such as e-mail, home shopping and banking, and games, providing new competition for PC-based lnternet Service Providers.

"Millions of consumers around the world are demonstrating their readiness to pay more for better television," said David Mercer, Senior Analyst with Strategy Analytics. "Service providers can now reap the benefits of the interactive capabilities of digital television by launching e-commerce and advanced interactive services."

Worldwide Digital Television Households

Millions of households/year 1998/19.2 1999/34.4 2000/55.9 2001/79.9 2002/106.8 2003/140.2 2004/180.0 2005/221.7

Source: Strategy Analytics

Web decision pleases industry
By NATHAN COCHRANE Tuesday 25 July 2000

The Internet industry will continue to press the Federal Government for further concessions and legislative clarification, following a decision last Friday giving the green light to Web streaming.   more

Converging on confusion

CONFUSION over internet streaming highlights the increasing inadequacies of existing legislation in regard to the rapidly converging internet, broadcasting and telecommunications technologies, an IT industry group has warned.   more

Streamers escape licence law
by FINOLA BURKE July 24, 2000

COMMUNICATIONS Minister Richard Alston has made good his promise of a speedy review on internet firms "streaming" video into Australian homes.   more

Blockbuster, Enron team to provide movies on demand
By LILA LaHOOD Fort Worth, Texas: Couch potatoes, take notice

But, please, don't get up: it might soon be easier to order up your favourite movies, when you want them, without having to jump in the car and go to your neighbourhood video retailer.   more

Alston fiddles as net set burns
MARK WESTFIELD, Insider July 20 2000

PETER Coroneos emerged yesterday evening from his meeting with Communications Minister Richard Alston angry and frustrated. Coroneos is the main lobbyist for Australia's internet industry, which is still stupefied and reeling nearly a month after Alston delivered the industry a below-the-belt blow in his contentious digital television legislation.   more

Streaming review worries Internet community
ABC Online 20 07 00

Australian new media companies are protesting against a Federal Government review into Internet streaming which they say could turn Australia into an Internet island. The Government is to commission an Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) review into Internet streaming, the process of putting audio and video on the web. The inquiry would consider whether Internet streaming should come under the definition of broadcasting, which could lead to broadcast licence payments.   more

Alston recants on net TV
By Finola Burke 20jul00

CALL it a backdown or call it backtracking but Communications Minister Richard Alston yesterday signalled he did not want to ban the internet industry from "streaming" video into Australian homes.   more

Speed hump on super highway
AFR Editorial 20 07 00

When internet giant America On Line merged with media giant Time Warner earlier this year, the Federal Government seemed content to indulge in wishful thinking that the deal had little relevance for its digital television policy.   more

Ten goes to No1 in digital stakes
By JANE SCHULZE Saturday 15 July 2000

The Ten Network has created a piece of media history by transmitting Australia's first continuous digital TV signals.   more

Datacast billions 'at risk'

An expected decision to declare online audio and video content as broadcasting would put at risk billions of dollars in investment by Internet providers, Australia's Internet industry has warned.   more

Interactive TV to get a Massive push
ByJANE SCHULZE Tuesday 4 July 2000

Even before the launch of digital TV and the new medium of datacasting, a company has admitted losing money on the emerging technology.   more

Networks consider joint push of set-top box
By JANE SCHULZE Tuesday 4 July 2000

Ten Network chief executive John McAlpine has agreed the television industry could jointly promote the set-top boxes required for digital and interactive TV through its commonly owned transmission company, TX Australia.   more

TV cop-out
Editorial, Sydney Morning Herald, Monday July 3, 2000

THE best that can be said of the messy digital television regime that emerged last week from days of Senate debate and backstage bargaining is that it might have been even worse. In the end, the Government had to make concessions to get its legislation approved, but the three existing commercial free-to-air television networks still came out as the clear winners.   more

Top | Index

Office of the Minster for Communications and the Arts

Digital Television and Datacasting Legislation
Office of the Minster for Communications and the Arts, Canberra, May 10, 2000

'Australians will have greater choice in their television viewing and the types of services they can get through their television sets as a result of the Government's digital television and datacasting legislation introduced to Parliament today,' the Minister for Communications, Senator Richard Alston, said today.   more

June 2000

Labor caves in to restrict ABC and SBS digital role
By MARK ROBINSON in Canberra Friday 30 June 2000

The ABC and SBS will be unable to show sport, movies and comedy on new digital channels after Labor caved in to the demands of the Federal Government yesterday. Tight restrictions will also apply to news and current affairs, largely to be confined to regional issues.   more

Interactive TV a step closer

The Senate last night paved the way for Australia's transition to a new era of interactive television when it passed the Federal Government's digital broadcasting legislation.   more

ABC, SBS get curbs on digital

DIGITAL TV will offer consumers new ABC and SBS channels, interactive information services and limited internet access under the final regime approved by federal parliament last night.   more

Labor missed golden opportunity with digital TV
Source: AAP Published: Friday Jun 30, 11:34 AM

The Labor Party missed a golden opportunity to force changes in the government's datacasting legislation, the Australian Democrats said today.   more

Datacasters in box seat after digital backdown
By Steve Lewis Friday 30 June 2000

The Federal Government last night secured final Parliamentary approval for its controversial digital broadcasting reforms after hammering out a deal with the Labor Party.   more

ABC and SBS have hands tied on multichannelling
Source: AAP Published: Thursday Jun 29, 5:12 PM

The ABC and SBS will be banned from showing sport, films, comedy and other entertainment on their new digital channels under a deal hammered out between the government and Labor.   more

Switch off digital: Brown
ROD SMITH for australianIT.com.au June 29 2000

AUSTRALIAN digital television wouldn't be worth watching unless the current legislation was scrapped and the whole concept revisted with less rules, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.   more

Alston fears `commercial' ABC
MICHELLE GILCHRIST Australian IT June 29, 2000

THE spectre of the ABC, under new boss Jonathan Shier, becoming a de facto commercial channel showing sitcoms has been raised by Communications Minister Richard Alston, to argue against more digital TV freedom for the public broadcaster.   more

Digital debate to resume
AAP 7:00 June 29 2000

THE debate over digital broadcasting laws will rage in parliament again today, with the ABC and SBS edging closer to being allowed to show programs on multiple channels once the new regime begins on January 1.   more

Top | Index

Blow for networks on digital TV
By Steve Lewis June 28, 2000

Australia's commercial television networks suffered a setback yesterday in their plans to introduce digital technology, when the Senate blocked a plan that would have allowed broadcasters to offer enhanced services to viewers.   more

Flexible system of digital TV defeated

HOPES for more flexible rules on new digital TV services were dashed last night after Labor and the Democrats voted against each other's new datacasting regime, leaving the Government's genre-based system the only model now likely to win Senate approval.   more

ABC Board Calls on Government to Accept Multichanneling Amendment
ABC Media Release Wednesday 28 June 2000

The Chairman and Board of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has noted the debate in the Senate today on the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Digital Television and Datacasting) Bill 2000. The Board notes that the vote on the amendment to allow the ABC to multichannel under its Charter was passed. The legislation will now return to the House of Representatives and the ABC Board calls on the Government to accept the amendment on multichannelling in the House of Representatives.

For further information: Shane Wells, Media Adviser, Corporate Strategy (02) 9333 5306 or 0408 445 098, Wednesday 28 June 2000

Senate moves to pass data bill
by Steve Lewis 28 June

The Howard Government was moving closer to securing Senate support for its digital broadcasting framework last night, although the fate of several key decisions was still in the balance.   more

Government set to loosen up on digital broadcasting
Source: AAP | Published: Tuesday June 27, 6:00 PM

Digital broadcasting laws are set to be freed up after the government bowed to pressure and agreed to minor changes to rules governing new interactive information services, or datacasting.   more

Digital legislation a step closer

The Federal Government last night appeared closer to getting its digital broadcasting legislation passed largely intact after key amendments moved by the opposition parties were defeated.   more

Democrats' proposal 'absolute nightmare'

The Federal Government yesterday rejected as "an absolute nightmare" a Democrats' proposal to let the Australian Broadcasting Authority award datacasting licences.   more

Democrats, ALP disagree over datacasting
Source: AAP | Published: Tuesday June 27, 11:32 AM

The Australian Democrats and Labor Party have not found common ground in their campaign for changes to the government's datacasting and digital television proposals.   more

'Alston is no expert on broadcasting' - Natasha Stott Despoja
Source: AAP Tuesday Jun 27, 9:55 AM

Communications Minister Richard Alston was no expert on broadcasting, Australian Democrats Senator Natasha Stott Despoja said today.   more

Top | Index

Datacasting lobby at fever pitch
By JANE SCHULZE Friday 23 June 2000

Senator Richard Alston preparing to sell the government's datacasting policy to a media conference. Lobbyists from divergent and often opposing organisations have descended on Parliament House in a last, desperate attempt to influence the future direction of Australian TV.   more

Alston to push for digital TV solution
By MARK ROBINSON in Canberra. June 22

The Federal Government will try to negotiate a compromise on the future of digital television today, as Labor and the Democrats oppose restrictions on viewing options available to consumers.   more

Democrats support ALP digital plan
AAP June 22

THE Australian Democrats have left the way clear to support Labor's plans fora radical overhaul of rules governing new interactive information services.   more

Industry slams digital TV bill
by SIMON HAYES. June 22

AS the Senate prepares to consider the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Digital Television and Datacasting) Bill this week, the Internet Industry Association (IIA) has launched a blistering attack on the Government.   more

ABC, SBS to win digital freedom

MORE freedom for the ABC and SBS to exploit digital television will be forced on the federal Government after the Democrats last night said the public broadcasters were the "issue of greatest importance" in return for supporting the Coalition's digital TV regime.   more

Digital battle lines drawn

The Australian Democrats and Labor are set to push for significant changes to the Federal Government's digital television legislation, with proposals to allow a wider range of new screen-based services.   more

Libs promise open mind on Labor digital amendments
AAP | Published: Wednesday June 21, 3:03 AM

The federal government has promised to keep an open mind in examining Labor's planned changes to the controversial digital broadcasting regime to be unveiled in the Senate today.   more

Networks attack ALP digital plan

Commercial television proprietors were last night fighting to preserve their stranglehold on the industry after Labor put forward plans which would enable rivals to offer interactive TV services for the first time.   more

Packer comes to town - polite, friendly and wanting no change

James Packer was low-key, polite and very friendly when he met Meg Lees and Vicki Bourne on Monday to discuss how the Democrats will vote on the digital television legislation.   more

TV's big dollars in the balance

It's a scary situation. Meg Lees and her colleagues in the Democrats party room will today decide whether datacasting licences have little or no value or whether an auction of this spectrum could reap billions.   more

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ALP datacasting plan slammed
australianIT.com.au STAFF June 20

COMMUNICATIONS Minister Richard Alston today rubbished Labor's proposed amendments to digital broadcasting laws, which are scheduled to come up for debate in the Senate today.   more

Government to act on Internet streaming

Tuesday 20 June 2000 The federal government may be attempting to stop audio and video streaming on the Internet, as well as limiting datacasting in Australia, it was claimed today.   more

Canberra accused of caving in to TV moguls
By GARRY BARKER Tuesday 20 June 2000

Datacasting - which promised to deliver high speed, broadband, Internet-based video, e-commerce, entertainment and information services over digital television channels - is now all but dead in Australia, according to the Internet Industry Association of Australia.   more

Digital TV to debut with no reception
By JANE SCHULZE Saturday 17 June 2000

In a little over six months, Australia's TV stations will begin broadcasting TV signals no one will be able to see.   more

Digital TV on track, say Seven and Ten
By JANE SCHULZE Saturday 17 June 2000

The Seven and Ten television networks claim they are well advanced in preparation for digital TV, but the Nine Network is keeping its progress under wraps.   more

Telstra dumps datacasting trial
australianIT.com.au STAFF (sourced170600)

TELSTRA has withdrawn from datacasting trials, blaming the federal government's digital television legislation.   more

High-definition picture not so clear
australianIT.com.au STEWART FIST (sourced170600)

AT the recent Senate inquiry into digital television, a very convincing submission came from Alex Encel, a businessman who imports high-quality German television sets and runs a chain of electrical retail stores in Victoria, Queensland and WA.   more

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Alston offers datacasting compromise
By JANE SCHULZE SYDNEY Thursday 15 June 2000

Communications Minister Senator Richard Alston has accused critics of the Federal Government's datacasting legislation of trying to persuade the government to allow extra TV stations into the market.   more

Digital TV plans under a cloud
By JANE SCHULZE SYDNEY Thursday 15 June 2000

Competition within the digital TV spectrum could be stymied before it has begun after the Australian Broadcasting Authority yesterday cast doubt on its ability to free large amounts of spectrum for new players.   more

Interactive TV in doubt as News quits trials

THE future of interactive digital television is in doubt after another big media group yesterday pulled out of datacasting trials beginning next month. News Limited, publisher of The Australian, wanted to use the digital TV spectrum to offer new services, but yesterday confirmed the company would not take part in the trials.   more

Fairfax shuns datacast trial
By JANE SCHULZE Saturday 10 June 2000

John Fairfax Holdings has raised the stakes in the digital TV debate, announcing it will not participate in the trials of the new medium of datacasting due to begin in Sydney next month.   more

Digital deal tipped to help SBS, ABC

The Federal Government appears likely to bow to opposition demands to allow the ABC and SBS to operate more than one channel when digital television begins next year.   more

ABC appeals to Senators to change digital laws
Source: AAP | Published: Thursday June 1, 12:27 PM

New ABC managing director Jonathan Shier today appealed to senators to amend the government's digital broadcasting laws and allow the national broadcaster to provide multiple channels.   more

Australian consumers face Catch 22 over digital hardware
9:38 Thursday 1 June 2000 AAP

CONSUMERS may be stuck in a Catch-22 situation when it comes to buying digital television equipment, the digital broadcasting inquiry heard yesterday.   more

Top | Index

May 2000

Media and ABA head for digital showdown
By JASON KOUTSOUKIS Wednesday 31 May 2000

THE Australian Broadcasting Authority and media companies are heading for a row over digital spectrum space for datacasting. ABA engineers estimate there will be enough spectrum space for only two, possibly three, datacasting licences on the 7MHz band. But aspirant datacasters, including John Fairfax Holdings, publisher of IT Breaking News, believe the ABA is being too conservative.   more

News Limited pulls out of digital TV inquiry

Rupert Murdoch's News Limited yesterday decided to snub a Senate inquiry into the Federal Government's plans for digital television which is due to begin tomorrow.   more

One voice for digital TV interests
By JANE SCHULZE Tuesday 30 May 2000

Australia's television broadcasters, retailers and manufacturers have come together to promote digital TV to consumers in an effort to avoid the mudslinging that has stymied digital TV in the United States.   more

Fairfax attacks digital TV bill
By KEVIN MORRISON SYDNEY Saturday 27 May 2000

John Fairfax Holdings has called the Federal Government's digital television policy unworkable, saying the legislation makes it impossible to provide datacasting services.   more

Industry players can digital TV proposals
Thursday May 25, 2000. AAP

THE new digital broadcasting era is set to become an expensive flop, industry players warned yesterday, canning planned Australian government laws as biased, boring and a breach of human rights.   more

Web services 'will make Broadcasting Act irrelevant'

Online, Internet-delivered television, radio, multimedia and video on demand are closer than we think .  more

Moderate progress on digital TV policy
Friday May 12, 2000. Age Editorial Opinion

First the good news. Thanks to the changes in legislation revealed by Communications Minister Richard Alston on Wednesday, the country's two chief newspaper companies, John Fairfax Holdings - owner of The Age - and Rupert Murdoch's News Limited, will have an enhanced capacity to provide viable services through datacasting. Essentially, the changes mean that television sets will be able to accept high-speed Internet services from datacasters.  more

Internet law threat to TV

Every television set in Australia could become a lightning-fast Internet screen under new government legislation, creating the potential for a new breed of high-technology media companies to compete with traditional TV operators.  more

New TV to give Net access
By JANE SCHULZE, Wednesday 10 May 2000

Thursday 11 May 2000 TV consumers will be receiving more than TV pictures when digital TV launches in January next year .  more

Top | Index

April 2000

The wrong view on digital TV
Editorial, Friday 14 April 2000

The Communications Minister, Richard Alston, says he will give "careful consideration" to the Productivity Commission's final report on broadcasting laws.   more

Digital TV bill delayed again
By JANE SCHULZE, Thursday 13 April 2000

The Federal Government has again delayed the introduction of its controversial digital TV legislation following criticisms of its draft bill by potential datacasters and the Productivity Commission.  more

Howard's digital TV plan blasted
By JASON KOUTSOUKIS, CANBERRA, Wednesday 12 April 2000

The Federal Government's main advisory group on media policy says the government's plans for digital television are stacked in favor of existing commercial stations and will stifle the growth of new media companies.  more

Australian university joins digital TV research pact
By BARRY PARK, Wednesday 12 April 2000

THE Australian National University has joined a collaborative research venture between the United States-based Fox Television and Netherlands-based Philips Electronics..  more

Media companies create datacasting joint venture
AAP (the Age) Wednesday 12 April 2000

DIVERSIFIED media company APN News & Media and regional broadcaster Telecasters Australia today announced a joint venture to trial and develop datacasting services in regional Australia.  more

Civic to pump home movies down the line
By NATHAN COCHRANE, Tuesday 11 April 2000

A JOINT venture to provide videos on demand to homes using high-speed digital subscriber-line Internet access, majority-owned by rental company Civic Video, will seek an exchange listing by November.  more

Datacasters reject Internet limit plan
By JANE SCHULZE and JASON KOUTSOUKIS, Saturday 8 April 2000

Aspirant datacasters yesterday reacted negatively to draft plans by the Federal Government to limit Internet access via datacasting services .  more

Top | Index


Mixed reviews for digital TV rules
AAP, Published: Wednesday December 22, 3:29 AM

The Federal Government's new digital television policy is receiving mixed reviews from the big media players today as they assess who will be the big winners and losers in the new age of broadcasting.  more

Digital TV policy lacks vision: datacasters
AAP, Published: Wednesday December 22, 8:35 AM

Potential datacasters today criticised the government's digital TV policy as undemocratic and lacking vision.  more

Digital TV: Until 2008, the choice is yours
By JASON KOUTSOUKIS, CANBERRA, Wednesday 22 December 1999

With the new age of television just on a year away, broadcasters have been told they are required to present digital programs in two different formats while maintaining the current analogue signal until the end of 2008.  more

Digital TV: Datacasting regulations spelt out
By JASON KOUTSOUKIS, Wednesday 22 December 1999

The centrepiece of the digital TV revolution will be a new concept known as datacasting, which will enable consumers to go shopping, pay their bills, do a university course, order a pizza and play video games, all on their television set.  more

Digital TV: What it means for viewers
By GARRY BARKER, TECHNOLOGY REPORTER, Wednesday 22 December 1999

So what does digital television mean in practical terms for Australian couch potatoes?  more

Packer wins digital battle

Australian viewers will gain access to both high-quality digital television pictures and Internet services in their lounge rooms in a compromise heralding the biggest TV revolution since the introduction of color in the 1970s.  more

Consumers 'the big winners' from digital TV decision
News Online, December 22, 1999

The Federal Government says consumers are the big winners from its digital television policy announced in Sydney yesterday.  more

Alston faces reality of digital TV inquiry
News Online, December 22, 1999

Federal Communications Minister Richard Alston says he accepts there will be a Senate inquiry into the Government's plans for digital television.  more

Communications Minister dismisses criticism
AM, Wednesday, December 22, 1999

The Federal Government has dismissed the complaints about its digital television decision saying they're based on self-interest.  more

PM rules out re-considering digital TV decision
News Online, December 22, 1999

The Prime Minister, John Howard, has rejected criticism of the Government's decision on digital television.  more

Mixed response to digital TV decision
7.30 Report, Transcript 21/12/1999

It's one of the last major policy decisions of the year, but one which will determine our television viewing patterns for a decade.  more

Kerry Stokes on the digital decision
7.30 Report, Transcript 21/12/1999

Today's decision brings to an end months of intensive lobbying by all media players -- but this time round not all the commercial networks spoke with one voice.  more

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Sorting through Digital definitions (Australia's Digital Television Decision - Part 2)
by Stewart Fist: CROSSROADS The Australian, 7 April 1998

I guess we'll be discussing digital television for quite some time, and obviously there are many factors to consider. [...] But if we are going to discuss this in public, we need some definitions in an attempt to avoid semantic confusion.  more

Australia's Digital Television Decision - Part 1
by Stewart Fist: CROSSROADS, The Australian, 31 Mar 1998

Last week the government, opposition, pay TV and commercial operators got together to design Australia's policy for the digital television future. The public wasn't invited: we were excluded from both the conference and consideration.  more

Digital TV
The Media Report with Robert Bolton. Thursday, March 19, 1998

Welcome to The Media Report, which today looks at Digital TV. But we're going to zoom forward ten years and ask what sort of programs are we likely to see? What sort of content will we actually get on HDTV?  more


Digital Terrestrial Television
by Stewart Fist: CROSSROADS The Australian Feb 97

One technology that I was particularly keen to look at in the USA and Europe was digital terrestrial television (DTT). This is the name now being given to the digital form of our current broadcast TV, to distinguish it from digital satellite and cable delivery.  more

So TV will be digital
by Stewart Fist: CROSSROADS The Australian Feb 97

There's a lot of confusion about digital television. I keep reading how we'll all need a new flat-panel digital TV sets that mounts on the wall. People are confused at what 'digital' implies here, and so they should be.  more

Top | Index

Visioneering the Future is a work in progress and is © Copyright Dr Russell Naughton
The site was first published on July 10, 1999. This is Version 1.7

This website is © Copyright 1999-2003 CTIE - All Rights Reserved - Caution
Created and maintained by russell.naughton@eng.monash.edu.au
Last updated January 25, 2001