A friend of mine who recently upgraded to a full HD LCD 55” TV asked the following question:
“Aren’t some of these free to air channels in HD? I know about ONE HD, but what are the others? Isn’t there meant to be one for each network? If there is, I cannot tell which they are, or if there is any difference!”
He went on to ask:
“If there is no real HD on free to air TV, where can I get some HD content to view on that huge TV I just bought?”
A few years ago, before the free to air networks gave up their HD channels in favour for multi channels, free to air was the best source of HD material.
Now that the free to air networks no longer simulcast main channel programming in HD, there is less free to air HD available than ever before. Bluerays, Pay TV and legal downloads now seem to all be better sources of HD material than free to air currently is.
Each free to air network does indeed have a HD channel stream, each with varying levels of actual HD content.
The HD channel for the Ten network is of course, ONE HD. ABC News 24 occupies ABC’s HD stream, while Nine has GEM and Seven 7mate. SBS is the only network which still has an HD simulcast of the main channel SBS ONE on SBS ONE HD.
But just because these channels use the HD stream of their respective networks, doesn’t mean there is actual HD content. There are many times when you can flick through all the channels and not find anything in HD at all. For someone not familiar with the way the free to air channels work, they would indeed not notice any difference between all of the channels in terms of quality of picture.
This is the first of a series of posts that will explore just how much HD content is out there, and where – or indeed where not to – find it. Each of the five free to air channels will be looked at, then Foxtel – which now has 20 HD channels as well as HD movies on demand, and other sources like Blu-rays and the internet.