CHOICE membership

Apps/Function Problems with TV's


While SBS did not clearly explain the implications of its change, there is nothing new here. The link I gave you above (from Panasonic itself, and the related Press Release from the ABC itself) is dated from 2016 i.e. about 2.5 years ago. That is plenty of notice in the general industry sense.

In addition, since this only affects 9 year old equipment, SBS may have made a judgement that almost all of their customers will not be affected. We do know at least two people in Australia who are affected (you and me) but it could be that we are very much in the minority.

I’m going to suck it up and put a spending proposal before the DSE. :slight_smile:

You have to pick your battles. SBS isn’t suddenly going to turn around and say, yeah, we stuffed up, we are going to change back to MPEG-2 SD/HD just because your and my equipment can’t handle MPEG-4. That’s even if they can go back to MPEG-2. Because each network only has a limited amount of spectrum, it may be that MPEG-2 is literally impossible with the current set of channels.

As commented above, depending on where you live, you may already be missing out on quite a few SD channels. I have done a blow by blow comparison between what my device recognises and what a different, more modern, device recognises, so I now know exactly what I am missing out on - and through careful checking I am able to infer why.

I agree. Too technical. Too obscure. I had to stuff around reading lots of web pages and doing lots of testing. That said, my device could give a better error message rather than simply ignoring the channel. That would have helped.


A fairly complete list of Channels and their formats Australia wide can be seen at this Wikipedia page:

Now ACMA also advise about MPEG-4 and why it is being used and what people should do if they cannot on their current hardware receive the MPEG-4 encoded data. Notably their advice if you can’t get MPEG-4 is:

" Quick guide to get the new channels:

  1. Try an auto-scan of your TV (you may need to delete the channels first).
  2. Check digital TV tuning settings to see if there is an MPEG-4 AVC channels access option (some Panasonic TVs) and then perform an auto-scan.

My TV is not MPEG-4 compatible—what can I do?

If your TV is not MPEG-4 compatible, then there are a couple of options to consider.

The cheapest solution is to pick up a MPEG-4 compatible set-top box, which cost around $40–60 (sometimes even cheaper) and connect this to your TV. Most new equipment tends to be MPEG-4 compatible, but it’s worth checking before you buy.

Alternatively, you can purchase a new TV or a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) that is MPEG-4 compatible.

You can expect more MPEG-4 channels to start in the near future as broadcasters look for ways to bring more content to their viewers."


Technically, I think it should, but digital TV is very complex, and I am not in the top percentile of experts :sweat_smile:

I say should, as whilst the DVB-T standard used in Australia allows for MPEG-4 content to be broadcast, the multiplexing ( allowing multiple logical channels, eg 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, to be broadcast on one physical channel, eg VHF 12 ) of the signal uses MPEG-2 compression.

I think MPEG-2-only devices should be capable of recognising that there is a logical channel there, but then report that the content cannot be decoded if it is not MPEG-2.

DVB-T has a successor, DVB-T2, which is already used in more than 25 countries.


It is no wonder we have DVB-T then. There must be lots of unsold equipment still being sold (or would it be dumped) here while the first part of the first world (just joking - see the list of countries in the wikipedia entry linked below) has moved on. We must be doing OK though, the USA seems well behind even us. When I visit the US people are still confused about zoom versus full versus letterbox versus pillarbox so ‘fat people’ are often the norm as the images are distorted. But I digressed there…back to us.

DVB-T2 is being considered as a technology which could replace the current DVB-T standard for television which has been in operation since 2001. When combined with new compression technologies, DVB-T2 will have the potential to allow 4K TV reception with four times the picture quality of the current high definition standard.

For those wanting glassy eyes, a good overview and a surprising list of DVB-T2 enabled countries and the dates it started roll-out in each.


Er, that’s not necessarily the fault of the TV settings.

With Afghanistan at the start of the list and Vietnam closing it. /sigh

Of course, it only provides for 4K; 16K TVs will probably be appearing at next year’s CES now that the DisplayPort 2.0 standard has been released.


SD is standard definition


The USAmericans developed their own digital TV standard, ATSC. Apart from South Korea, very few others use ATSC.


Thanks for that. I stand corrected. If the USAmericans did it, it must be the bestest most advancedest greatest that leaves the rest of the world behind. Now if those USAmerican Viewers could all figure out how to set the proper screen format so the images are displayed in the correct proportions…

As often happens, leading their part of the world and wondering about the rest of us?


You’re talking about the country that thinks 30 frames/second is too many and went with 24!


Hello there. I am one of those with a tv that cannot ‘see’ Ch32 or Ch31. Very annoying as there were many programmes I enjoyed on Viceland. All SBS has done is exasperate me and cause me to be a lost viewer. More ABC and more book reading!!


Best that you communicate that directly to them.

If you tire of the ABC and book reading then if the problem is with your TV then a cheap set top box should solve the problem.


Yes, prices for a new HD one starts about $25 (online) or a few more dollars instore. As indicated above, check with family and friends as they may have one they don’t use any more as a result of upgrading to HD digital/smart TV


Thanks for the report @mungclarke. If others are having the same experience, please be sure to leave a comment.


I followed the tips and purchased an AerialBox STB, only to find when it arrived that it had very limited instructions regarding use and connection. So I contacted their support, having e-mailed the relevant connection pages of my recorder instructions, to to seek their technical expertise. Instead They refused due to the Constraints of “Freeview”. I was staggered and you can see from the following e-mail exchange got no-where, not even able to find the rules that Freeview uses to constrain viewers.

Should this Freeview aspect become a separate thread? @BrendanMays @AlanKirkland

My e-mail correspondence with Aerialbox:


Due to broadcaster copyrights the output can’t be connected to your recorder.

You need to connect the T2100 direct to your TV.


In Australia it is perfect lawful to use DVD recorders for free to air TV for personal use. Many such recorders include the set top box function, ie, it is integrated.

Even your set top box, includes a USB record function to copy real time free to air programmes.

Such broadcaster copyright is not applicable. Hence, please may I have your assistance in making the correct technical cable connections, as previously requested.


For a unit to get Freeview approval it has to comply with the broadcasters regulations, and included in that is all recordings done by the unit are encrypted and can only be played back on the unit, also all outputs need to have content protect therefore not allowing recordings to be done from them. The is to try stop the distribution of the broadcasters content.

Any device that does not have Freeviews approval does not need to comply legally.

Due to this the unit will not give an output to your DVD recorder


So, when this Aerialbox comes to the end of its life, and probably by then is superseded, all the recordings I made to USB on the old device cannot be played back on the new superseded device?


At this stage there is no planned model to supersede the T2100 so i can’t answer that.


Where can I find these Freeview rules. doesn’t have any such information?


You will receive them if you apply for a unit to be approved.


For starters, I presume this is the back of your STB?


From the manual on your Panasonic DMR-XW380 it shows connecting a STB as shown here (p13)

You should have an RCA cable set with three sets of plugs.
Connect the R to R, L to L, and Video to CVBS (composite video) and follow the DMR-XW380 instructions for using the STB (p60). What I do not know is whether your DVD will pass through the STB signal to the TV; if it does not, Panasonic might be more forthcoming than AerialBox in enabling that.

Hopefully that will solve your use problem, although not the issue with AerialBox Inc.

Plz let us know if that helped get you listening and watching.


Thank you BBG for answering the technical question that AerialBox refused. Appreciated.

It still leads me shocked that the rules that govern Freeview, are not available to the public. That seemingly they stop anyone using their legitimate PVR copies onto a replacement PVR/recorder, when the old one breaks down. With PVR HDD running into Terabytes, that is a lot of lost recording. It seems like a sledge hammer crushing a nut solution to illegal copying. I feel this is a legitimate topic for Choice to investigate.


Personally I agree. We had a look at the Freeview app specifically a little while back, but I’m sure there is more that we can do and I’ll raise this with my colleagues. In the meantime, I’ve also started a thread to collect ongoing opinions about Freeview.


The user manual is available here:

I also see that there is a firmware update on their website.

I expect that since you have made a recent purchase, it should have the most recent fireware installed but it might be worth checking. I expect that the fireware is loaded onto a clean USB drive and then inserted into the USB port…then turn it on…it should then automatically update the firmware.


What do you mean, you haven’t seen them? They’ve been in the display cellar (which unfortunately has the lights and stairs out), in a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.

Thank you Douglas Adams.