7mate - another nail in the coffin of Australian HDTV
By Adam TURNER
Seven is the latest network to spit in the eye of HDTV owners, scrapping 7HD to make way for 7mate.
I kid you not, the name of Seven's new digital TV channel is 7mate. It's pronounced seven-maaaaayyyyttte, if Seven's promo is anything to go by. 7mate is clearly intended to have a blokey feel - it's going to run the footy, action movies and sitcoms such as Family Guy, American Dad, Scrubs and My Name is Earl.
7mate will be a high-definition channel, on channel 73, and Seven intends to find the bandwidth by scrapping the 7HD on channel 70 at the end of September. So anything you watch on Seven in high-def will only be broadcast in lowly standard-def, unless it's blokey enough to make the cut for 7mate. I'm told by Seven's publicity department that Bones, Castle, Criminal Minds, City Homicide, Packed to the Rafters, Covert Affairs, Parenthood and Home & Away are amongst the shows that will no longer be broadcast in high-def once Seven kills off 7HD. I half expect the Bundy Bear, Barry Hall and a bus-load of bikini-clad chicks with guns to rock up in Summer Bay in the next few weeks - Alf will have the time of his life.
Of course it's not long since we lost the ABC's high-def channel in favour of 24-hour news. Last year we lost Ten's high-def channel in favour of 24-hour sport. The Nine Network is rumoured to be announcing a new channel very soon, which could also come at the expense of Nine's existing high-def channel.
I understand that spectrum is scarce and hopefully we'll get our HD channels back in 2014, after analogue TV broadcasts cease. Even so, it's shame that the networks have so little respect for their HD channels and HD viewers. 7mate is mostly just a rehash of blokey content from 7 and 7TWO. ABC 24 ensures we can see every wrinkle on the newsreaders' faces, while ABC1, ABC2 and ABC3 simultaneously churn out a wealth of repeats for pre-schoolers. One HD treats us to the thrilling excitement of poker and fishing in high-def. It's almost enough to drive you into the arms of Foxtel.
Heaven help anyone who spent good money on a HDTV and wants to watch movies, dramas or documentaries in high-def. It seems Australia's high-def channels are reserved for news, sport and fart jokes.
|Subscribe to Hydrapinion|
If & when regional viewers do get 7mate on PRIME it could go on CH 63.
I couldn't agree more with your comments.
First TEN, then Aunty ABC and now the other commercial stations have taken a BIG step backwards. What a waste, with movies and dramas produced in HD, now to be transmitted in SD. What's next ? Back to 4:3 in black & white.
I hope you are right that we get back to sanity in 2014 with the analogue bandwidth freed up and the possibility of MPEG4 transmission.
Trust me, even though it says 1080i in the corner of your screen, it is in fact only 720i.
We won't get TV shows in true HD for years so this argument is pointless.