MELBOURNE COMEDY COMING TO TOWN.
Changes to the way several new TV channels broadcast is causing reception issues for some television users.
Until recently, all networks were broadcasting in either standard definition or high definition using the MPEG-2 video format.
Now, however, some high-definition channels including Channel 9’s new Channel 90, Seven’s new 7Flix on Channel 76 and the Racing Channel on 78 have begun broadcasting in high definition using the new MPEG-4 format, which provides a higher quality picture but uses less bandwidth.
There are plans for other channels to soon begin using the new MPEG-4 format.
Some TVs and set top boxes, which are able to receive high-definition signals, may not be compatible with this new format. Nine is still broadcasting its programs in standard definition on Channel 9 for those who are not able to view HD Channel 90.
There are consumers who purchased HD TVs some time ago and these TVs may not be capable of playing MPEG-4.
Generally, TVs and set top boxes purchased before 2010 will not be compatible with MPEG-4.
Products sold now with the Freeview logo displayed should be MPEG-4 compatible.
Picking up the new channels requires a rescan of your TV’s tuner which can be found in the set-up menu. Only then will you find out if your TV supports the MPEG-4 format.
If, after a rescan, your TV does not pick up all the channels and the manufacturer cannot resolve it, you will either need to buy a new TV or opt for the cheaper and simpler solution and buy a new set top box which supports the new format. Set top boxes can cost as little as $30.
Consumers buying TVs or set top boxes today have a reasonable expectation that the devices will be able to access all stations broadcasting in all formats. It would be advisable, however, to check to make sure they are compatible with the MPEG-4 format.
Retailers should be advising consumers whether or not they will be able to access all stations.
Western Australians can contact Consumer Protection for assistance by contacting 1300 30 40 54.
Recent changes in the way TV channels are broadcast may affect your TV and set top box.