News Ltd have been accused of deliberately misleading owners of plasma and LCD TV’s following a report in the Melbourne based newspaper the Herald Sun that said that flat panel TV’s will become officially outdated on May 1 2009.
In what appears to be more a propaganda piece for Freeview the story Written by journalist Peter Familari has been slammed as being “misleading and totally inaccurate”.
Colin O Brian the CEO of IceTV the creator of an electronic program guide for flat panel TV’s set top boxes and media centres said “This is totally not true. This has got to be a plot by Freeview to spin propaganda. Whoever wrote this story has lost the plot as no current model flat panel TV whether it be plasma or LCD will become officially outdated on May 1”.
A senior marketing executive at one of the biggest TV manufacturing Companies said “This is ridiculous and some poor journalist has been sucked in by Freeview who want the market to believe that as of May 1 consumers have to run out and buy a set top box or a compliant Freeview TV and that suddenly digital TV is going to be distributed differently. This is not the case. Any flat panel TV in particular the ones that have a HD tuner which is the bulk of those being shipped today will be able to get all of the free to air TV signals plus the new HD programs now and in years to come”.
Familari also said about Freeview “In a headache for consumers, programs sent by the future digital TV system will not work with existing LCD, plasma or tube TVs – or high-definition set-top boxes and none of these expensive appliances can be upgrade. To watch the new digital TV system, consumers will have to buy a Freeview-approved high-definition set-top box or a LCD or plasma TV that conforms to Freeview specifications”.
“This is pure utter drivel said a senior executive at a major TV manufacturing Company who cannot go on record as his Company has recently signed a non disclosure agreement with Freeview. However he did say. “Anyone who has a flat panel TV does not need Freeview now or in the future. This journalist has been really sucked in”.
Colin O Brian said “All a consumer needs to get a digital TV signal in the future is either a built in tuner or a set top box. They will also need an electronic program guide similar to the IceTV guide”.
“In the future we will have a set top box that does everything that the Freeview box will do but without any restrictions on what you can do with the box. It will let you ad skip, download content from the Internet and watch it. We will also be able to deliver advertorials by postcode to users”.
Currently IceTV is awaiting an Australian High Court decision following an action by Channel Nine over EPG Copyright.
In further embarrassment for the journalist he claims that “hooks to entice viewers to Freeview and away from analogue include 15 new digital channels, but not necessarily much new content, and an electronic program guide. The first channel is ONE, the Ten network’s 24-hour sport channel, from March 26”.
What journalist Peter Familari does not tell his readers is that there will only be 14 HD channels and that 11 of those channels are already available and has been since mid 2008. He also fails to tell readers that if they have Foxtel Cable or an existing digital TV set top box or a Topfield or Beyonwiz PVR, that they can already access the most of these HD Channels and will still be able to after May 1 2009.
He has also failed to inform readers that the majority of TV manufacturers will not have Freeview compliant TV’s by May 1 2009 and that many of the leading brands are considering not supporting Freeview because “It does not deliver any consumer benefits” said Malcolm Middleton the Managing Director of LCD TV the distributor of Baumann Meyer TV.