Wow! According to the latest FreeView ad campaign we get 16 digital free to air TV channels!
Let’s count them up.
ABC has ABC1, ABC2, ABC3 and ABC HD
SBS has SBS ONE, SBS TWO and SBS ONE HD
Seven has Seven, 7TWO and 7HD
Nine has Nine, GO! and 9HD (or Nine Hi Def)
Ten has Ten, ONE HD and ONE Digital.
So yes, it is true – there are16 channels.
But – if we take into account the following:
ABC HD is a full time simulcast of ABC1 (other than the odd special event occasionally in some markets)
SBS ONE HD is a full time simulcast of SBS ONE
7HD is a full time simulcast of Seven (other than one hour on Sunday mornings in Sydney and Brisbane for an AFL show)
9HD is a full time simulcast of Nine
ONE Digital is a full time simulcast of ONE HD
That is five channels that are simulcast, and therefore the same.
That means, there really is only 11 channels.
Why are FreeView still trying to mislead the public like this?
I wonder what a retailer says to someone who has never seen digital TV before when they ask – “hey – tell me about those 16 channels we get?”. I can see it now “Umm… well, there are the five main channels – Seven, Nine, Ten, ABC and SBS. Then there is GO, ONE and 7TWO, then SBS TWO and ABC2 and ABC3… Oh yes – there are HD channels as well – here let me show you…”
The retailer then flicks through the channels – and they may show even more channels if they count the fact that Seven also has digital channels 73 and 74 which are nothing more than a simulcast of Seven itself (why they still do this, I don’t understand, SBS still has extra digital channels 33, 34 as well that are all SBS ONE). The customer, if observant, would then ask “but half these channels are the same?? – Aren’t there meant to be 16 channels??”
The answer is no – there are not 16 unique channels – there are 11.
Perhaps FreeView should have held off this ad until later in the year.
This year will see ABC launch its 24 hour news service on ABC HD, Ten will launch a third channel which will be a general entertainment channel, and both Nine and Seven should launch a third channel this year which will utilise their HD services. There is even a rumour that SBS are considering a third channel as well. Once these channels launch, then we have 16 channels. Some areas will have 17 if you include community TV.
Please FreeView – stop confusing the public. It’s bad enough to see “get ready for digital” and FreeView ads on actual digital channels like GO and 7TWO! Let alone being told there are more channels than there really are. Thought they would have learnt from their original campaign when they spruiked 15 digital channels back in the days when there were only HD break aways and no secondary digital channels.