Without fanfare a new TV channel is now available on your Free-to-air TV – in Sydney anyway. Right now it’s just a slide with no audio, but very soon it could be anything from a new niche genre channel to a HD simulcast of the main Channel 7 signal.
Appearing on sets as Channel 76, it’s taking up a fair bit of the network’s spectrum for a slide (1.4mbps), EFTM can confirm the new channel is currently being broadcast in MPEG-4 which leads us to speculate that the network is about to announce and launch a simulcast of their main channel in HD as Channel 9 did less than one month ago.
Using their available spectrum, they could easily launch a whole new channel in MPEG-4 with new content such as 9Life or SBS Food Network, the difference being that would be available only to those with compatible MPEG-4 sets, which as we’ve seen from the 9HD experience is problematic for many.
The most likely scenario is that 7 is doing broadcast “head-end” tests for MPEG-4 broadcasts, in readiness for a HD Channel launch.
I would speculate that if they announce a HD Simulcast, 7mate will drop back to SD and at the same time they could then launch a new niche content channel in MPEG2 – available to all Australian TVs, with the 7HD channel available only to newer MPEG-4 compatible channels.
A Channel 7 spokesperson confirmed to EFTM they were aware of the new channel broadcast, but at this time no formal announcement had been made regarding new or HD channel launches.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.