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ABC confirms plans for High Definition launch

NewsKevin Perry

The ABC has confirmed key details for the launch its main channel in High Definition.

ABC HD will commence transmission in late December just in time for the networks coverage of the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks.

Similar to the Nine Network, The ABC has opted to broadcast its HD channel in the MPEG-4 format meaning some older TV equipment will not be able to receive the channel.

Most TV sets, set top boxes, PVRs and Freeview devices purchased from 2009 onwards will be compatible.

Earlier this year Seven launched the 7Flix channel in MPEG4, but then converted it to the more traditional MPEG2 due to low audience uptake.

Viewers without a compatible television will still be able to continue to watch ABC in standard definition on channel 2 and 21.

To accommodate the new channel, ABC News 24 will change from HD to SD (whilst remaining on channel number 24). So viewers who previously couldn’t receive ABC News 24 (because they didn’t have an HD TV set), will be able to watch ABC News 24 following this change in December.

You may need to re-tune your TV sets to be able to receive ABC HD and ABC News 24.

The 7pm State news services will not be broadcast in HD due to the high cost of upgrading news production facilities across the country.

ABC HD will be delivered to Foxtel cable customers.


Channel numbers:

ABC stays on 2 and 21 and stays in standard definition format.

ABC HD is new on 20 in the new HD (MPEG-4) format

ABC2 stays on 22 and stays in standard definition format.

ABC ME stays on 23 and stays in standard definition format.

ABC News 24 stays on 24 and will now be in standard definition format.