After a lengthy “coming soon” campaign, WINTV has now confirmed add the WINHD simulcast and 9Life channel on Tuesday March 1st for its regional audiences
The March 1st date is in-line with a recent announcement by the NBN Network which will launch the channels for Northern NSW viewers on the same day.
The introduction of WINHD, along with the new lifestyle channel 9Life, will bring regional viewers in to line with Metro viewers whom have had NineHD since Nov 27th.
WIN is currently retransmitting Nine Network content as part of a 6 month affiliate deal which is due to expire on June 30th. Changes to the media ownership laws this week means that a takeover of WIN by the Nine Network is now possible.
In order to create space for the new channels, WIN TV will transmit WINHD & 9Life in the MPEG4 format. 9GEM will become an SD only channel.
WIN Network Television Operations General Manager Stevan Djokic said,
“The move to this new technology is being made to enhance the overall viewing experience. HD provides clear, crisp pictures adding extra life to programs.”
“The Free To Air broadcast industry is changing and the WIN Network is changing with it to ensure more choice for our viewers across regional Australia.”
“The MPEG 4 technology allows the WIN Network to broadcast more channels and for the first time, the opportunity to watch their favourite WIN programs, movies and sport in high definition across regional Australia. WINHD will carry the same programs as the main WIN channel, but with all the advantages of high definition.”
“The industry’s move to MPEG 4 may seem inconvenient for some viewers, however this new technology allows the WIN Network to offer more channel choices such as WINHD and 9Life.”
“The lifestyle channel, 9Life, will also make its debut on the WIN Network bringing viewers free to air firsts from around the world such as House Hunters and The Real Housewives.”
“The technology is new and we’re positive that regional viewers will embrace it. Some televisions will automatically pick up the new channels while others will require a channel rescan. Viewers should refer to their TV manual for rescan instructions.”
Unfortunately, some older TVs may not receive the new channels but WIN, Gem and Go! will still be available.
The launch means some channel numbers will change and viewers may need to rescan their televisions on Tuesday the 1st March, but no viewers will lose access to the current WIN, Gem or Go! channels.
A spokesperson for Foxtel has informed DeciderTV that,
“we expect WIN HD to be available on our MyStar set top boxes. Some customers may need to reset or retune their box.”