Finally, all the free-to-air channels in HD

The ABC is going HD from December

After a year of conversions, by Christmas all our main free-to-air channels will be in HD with the ABC going HD from December.

While it might seem a frustrating delay, it’s a difficult thing to do within a network, there’s large expense on the broadcast equipment side, and there’s the discussion about how to break up and allocate the valuable TV spectrum they have.


For the most part, Nine led the way with a switch to MPEG-4 as a HD transmission standard. This new format only works on newer TVs so not everyone can watch it, but it takes up less transmission space and allows a standard definition channel to be broadcast as well.

In the case of the ABC, from December, Channel 2 will be Standard Definition, Channel 20 will be HD, and Channel 24 ABC News will switch from HD down to SD.

A good move, but interestingly, not one many consumers seem to care about. While viewer numbers are not specifically available for these channels, looking at viewer habits on Fetch TV where the free-to-air usage is logged in real-time, it’s a small percentage opting for HD over SD – most likely out of force of habit given the channel numbers.


Oh, and for those wanting for 4K – don’t put your house on it. There’s no additional revenue available in a better quality broadcast, and 4K currently would mean broadcasting one channel and no others – that ain’t happening folks. 4K is for Pay TV, Movies and Streaming – simple as that.

Details and FAQ available on the ABC Website



Trev produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He hosts a nightly radio show on Talking Lifestyle, 8pm Monday to Friday in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
3 Comments on this post.
  • Damian
    11 November 2016 at 5:14 am
    Leave a Reply

    No Channel 7 HD in Queensland! So your article tile is not really correct.

  • Mark
    5 December 2016 at 6:52 am
    Leave a Reply

    No Channel 7 HD in anywhere other than AFL states.

    And no Channel 7 HD or 7Flix in Prime7 land either.

  • Jeff briggs
    15 December 2016 at 6:38 am
    Leave a Reply

    ” it’s a small percentage opting for HD over SD – most likely out of force of habit given the channel numbers.”
    Where did you get this information from?
    I don’t know anyone who opts for lower resolution images, except maybe people who use Foxtel?

  • Leave a Reply