The situation we have here could apply to any channel any provider. SBS has had two main channel, SBS 1 & 2. About a year ago they changed the name of channel SBS 2 to Viceland. There was never any indication that SBS was going to remove SBS 2 from population wide availability, which they have done with a few weeks notice. It would be like any of the other providers just removing a station. Nearly all the other stations, no matter which provider, have both a SD and HD version, and they haven’t indicated they intend to close down any of their SD stations, SBS didn’t either. Now they have set a precedent; will the providers now shut down their SD stations with just a few weeks notice?
SBS had the option that all the other provider have ie, to have both HD and SD versions of their stations.
This has the potential to become a bigger issue, the tip of the iceberg, and Choice our Consumer Association, has made the Choice to do nothing.
Analogue to Digital - This was well planned, well informed process with long lead times. It involved both Gov’t and private sector information sources, including Choice.
Like the switch to NBN, everyone including Choice got on the same high end band wagon, the fastest speed service wasn’t delivering. Who cares about the low end internet users! It was years before the NBN providers actually started competing for the basic NBN service, the service that most people will benefit from. Even now we don’t have comparative usage data on different speeds and volumes that people actually benefit from, we don’t know if households actually need a particular speed/volume mix. Its like having a motorway outside your door, some use it to travel significant distances that save them measurable time, but is the time saving using a motorway for 2km trip to get a paper beneficial, if you had to pay a toll would you do so?
Most of us don’t need HD tv, the crispness of the image is of no significance when engrossed in a movie.
The testing Choice does on tv are about specs, rather whether we need HD for typical viewing on typical screen sizes. It doesn’t matter what level of HD an image is, you still can’t tell whether the tennis ball is in or out, without the electronic sensing equipment at the sporting venue. Our brains can only process a little better than 50Hz!