Communications Minister Nobbles Freeview

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TV manufacturers are today standing by their claim that they will not support Freeview and in another blow Federal Communication Minister Stephen Conroy has said that it will be the Federal Government and not the TV stations that will determine what digital TV broadcasting changes will take place in Australia.

In what is a clear slap in the face for Freeview the Federal Government has said that it will not mandate the use of MPEG 4 technology which is what the free to air TV networks want.


Also in an interview with ChannelNews the CEO of Freeview Robin Parkes said that she that she yesterday wrote to the Editor of News Ltd newspaper the Herald Sun in Melbourne to complain over a story that claimed that plasma and LCD TV would become officially outdated on May 1 2009. See SMARTHOUSE for this story.


“This is clearly not true and it is not the view of Freeview, nor did we supply the information to the Herald Sun. I have been promised that my letter will be published”.


Senator Conroy the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy said “The Government has no plans to mandate the MPEG4 television transmission standard”

He has also indicated that he is still awaiting advice on what standards should be adopted. This say experts will hurt Freeview as “no one is obliged to deliver technology that plays into the both Freeview and the TV stations hands” said one TV analyst. 

 

Freeview who are a consortium made up of free to air TV stations want to introduce MPEG4 technology so that consumers are restricted when they come to remove TV commercials from recordings made to set top boxes, media centres and any other device that allows TV content to be recorded and commercials skipped through.


Australian TV manufacturers have told SmartHouse and ChannelNews that they will not support the introduction of Freeview technology into TV panels. In addition TV stations contacted by us yesterday said that they will continue with MPEG2 transmissions for “several years to come” with several admitting that the most likely outcome will be an MPEG 4 processor that also allows for MPEG2 transmissions which is what several TV manufacturers favour.

 

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