CHOICE membership

Free to air television

What can be done about the reality tv (drivel) and the like we are being served up on free to air tv.
Channel 9 owns Stan and I think 7 owns another one of the “low cost” pay tv channels.
Isn’t the rubbish we are being served up just a way to get us to pay to watch anything of worth.
isn’t that a conflict of interest.??? Who would be able to investigate this ???
I for one cannot afford to pay tv on top of the essentials.



Vote with your remote control’s selector buttons. If you don’t like it, don’t watch.

If enough people don’t watch a channel or program(s) the advertisers will withdraw and then there will be change.

Perhaps you could watch & support the ABC or SBS if you have it where you live? Some very good content, and Australian taxpayer dollars are paying for it.


Do you mean the rubbish on the HD service or the same rubbish simulcast on the 2 companion SD services? Is not just rubbish, it is 3x the same rubbish! I suspect some of the US rubbish comes with payments to 7-9-10 rather than attracting license fees it is so bad. ABC often appears to want to join the fray.


That only works if you are in that select sample group that is counted.


I disconnected the antenna - that seemed to fix it.


Don’t think paid TV or streaming services is any better. These just give you more choice of rubbish.

I have to agree that TV (all varieties) is fixated in reality TV. I recall reading a article a few years ago that one of the reasons these shows are popular (well, maybe not popular but popularly shown by the station) is because they are one of the cheapest forms of TV production which can go to air. It is a cheap/cost effective way to fill the mundane hours in TV land.

This compares to the relatively expensive documentaries and/or dramas which seem to be a special occurrence rather than a norm.


While Mr Z watches the umpteenth re-run of Ep 1 of As Time Goes By, I have discovered Future Learn (free short Uni courses on the internet), various Forums, Family History, letter writing, puzzles, Citizen Science (recording frog calls, insects, plant ID … ) Transcribing science and historical handwritten documents, correcting text for Trove … Updating the Farm management plans … doing the books …

Years ago we only had the ABC. If you missed something, it didn’t come back; for years. Now you can watch re-runs until they are so cheap the likes of GEM and GO! pick them up and run them over & over, back to back. It must be something about old age that he finds so much comfort in watching the same series 20 times over. We don’t watch any of the reality shows. He’s in charge of the remote, so TV is restricted to a few 1980’s & 1990’s comedy series, plane crash, Westerns & WWII, interspersed with constant channel surfing which get very annoying. Then there’s our worn out videos. Agree that more stations didn’t result in better quality viewing.


@lois.ely1 - not sure if this helps, but personally I’ve found there are some TV apps you can install that helps ease the pain - even the SBS and ABC apps can be useful as it allows you toa ccess content that may have been missed. I’ve found the Red Bull TV app is quite good for my interests, seeing as though they have a number of adventure documentaries. You must be connected online to utilise this though.

Anyone else using a custom set top box, interesting apps or other set ups to expand their viewing options?


I am on satellite NBN and now find early evening that speed really drops off - assume families are streaming content - also goes out when it rains or heavy overcast - so we are stuck with Free to Air. We’re on a SWER with constant brown-outs, so technology would have to withstand voltage fluctuations.

Would be interested in other free options, we have a very limited income, so it has to be free.


I jailbroke an Apple TV2 a few years back and while it’s no longer updated with the latest Kodi it works fine for playing music and video. I also have a Chromecast and play the occasional show on the PC or my phone to the tele from Netflix. One of my many Raspberry Pi 3’s is also connected to the tele and runs Kodi/etc but I find it a little short on grunt …


Admittedly…and somewhat glad I have pay tv after seeing the rubbish on free to air.
Well anyway if this is of any help, what we’ve done is hooked an old but perfectly usable computer to the loungeroom tv
and stashed a wireless mouse and keyboard in the coffee table so we have ease of access when we want to use it.
I don’t know what sort of shows you’d like to be watching Lois but if you can’t find anything on youtube or Daily Motion then I’m out of ideas :slight_smile:


I resolved this issue by not bothering to watch FTA TV any more (and I am never going to get Foxtel because I refuse to contribute any money to Murdoch). If there’s a series I get a hankering to watch I’ll buy the online version as it’s ~$25 for a season. I believe there are free options that are legal (some libraries lend DVDs) and some which may not be legal. These days I listen to a lot of (free) podcasts and have rediscovered reading books.


Exactly. ABC iView and SBS on Demand provide a wealth of good programming, via the Net, and it’s free.


I just switch off and do productive things like learning stuff and broadening my knowledge. Why waste time on that rubbish!


I think there is a real psychology to it? - years ago I was glued to the set every night - series, sport, news … didn’t see anything wrong with it. It’s coming up to a decade since I toned it down and nearly 6 years since I went cold turkey and I have enormous feelings of weltschmerz whenever I happen to catch a glimpse of a show, either at a pub or someone elses place. I think it really draws people in, all types of people, and it takes a good break to see it for what it is.

As an aside, where I live (remote/outback) we see lots of tourists - its peaking tourist season now-ish - all the vans and campers and winnebago-style mobile homes - amazing how many have television or sat dishes. Here, where we probably have nearly the darkest skies in the country and you can light a campfire almost anywhere, people watch tele? Sometimes I feel like telling them they made a mistake leaving home, because they brought with them what they needed to escape from …


I won’t subscribe to pay TV on principal, though I do miss the live coverage of Formula 1, The one hour highlights on channel 1 on Monday nights are an insult…We do watch some AFL on 73 but mainly watch some good shows on ABC and SBS…We record to watch at leisure


I agree with the general sentiment that there’s a diminishing amount of worthwhile things to watch on free-to-air TV (and also the one about not wanting to give Murdoch money). But I’m not as distressed about it as many other people on this thread seem to be.

The fact is that FTA TV requires advertising to pay for it and advertising requires “eyeballs” to justify paying for airtime. This worked when FTA was the only game in town. Nowadays, as kids become employed consumers they’re finding more and more interesting things to do on The Internet. This includes “TV like” things such-as YouTube, and NetFlix as well as other media offerings like social networks and video games.

They used to claim the drop in viewership was purely due to piracy (which is only partially true) and this was a problem that could be “solved” with better anti-piracy measures (Which has never been true). Ultimately people took their attention elsewhere, where they had better control over where/when/how they consumed content (and what that content was).

I don’t see this as a lamentable thing. I’m surprised how the licensed FTA model is still going as good as it still is, frankly. Personally I’m happy watching TV shows when/where I want (e.g. on the bus as I go to/from work) and without any uninteresting ads (Pet peeves: nappy and car ads) and this is all legal.


I find quite enough TV to satisfy me on ABC and SBS. I record the occasional film and rare commercial programme, then I’m able to whiz through those annoying ads. They fill in on those nights when there are only repeats or programmes that don’t interest me.


Your local library may give you access to Kanopy, a video streaming platform for public libraries which has a large selection of indie movies, classic cinema, festival, educational documentaries, kids, etc, over 30,000 in the collection, streaming free with your valid library card.

My pick for when I next have time is “Lion” a 2016 Oscar nomination for 6 Academy awards.


Wow, Kanopy sounds great. Thanks for the tip @pennycarrier :slight_smile: