Multicasting and a 2012 Switchover
In a recent document, “Meeting the Digital Challenge: Reforming Australia’s media in the digital age”, it is proposed that the digital switch-off date is delayed from 2008 to 2012. Commencement of progressive switch-off is recommended to start in 2010.
These are just some of the proposals in this discussion document, from Senator Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. Comments are to be submitted by the 18th April 2006.
In recent reports Conan is quoted as saying that “ By relying mainly on market forces to drive take-up of FTA digital television we have clearly not progressed at a level and pace to allow switch-over to commence at the end of 2008 as originally planned. Australia must now implement a strategy to energetically drive take-up to achieve switchover.”
A Digital Action Plan will be drawn up with the aim of determining and ensuring that the switchover process meets its planned goals. The discussion document is a key part of this process.
In the media release it is also mentioned that the previous analogue models do not suit the digital age and it even suggests that there may be some relaxation of the Australian simulcast rules for joint HDTV and SDTV which prevents multicasting.
The ability to provide multiple SDTV programs has been stated by several commentators as one of the main reason for the great success of DTT in the UK, which also never mandated HDTV services.
Main Source: gov.au
Item added: 21st March 2006