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New Legislation for HD Broadcasts in Australia

The Australian government has introduced a new bill that would remove the restrictions on free-to-air networks regarding HD broadcasts on their main channels.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull brought the bill to Parliament, proposing the removal of the requirement for TV networks to air their primary channel in lower-quality, standard definition.

Free TV Australia, the industry body that represents all of the country’s commercial free-to-air television licensees, welcomes this HD rule change. Julie Flynn, Free TV’s CEO, said, “This is a win for viewers as it will give broadcasters the flexibility to screen more premium content in HD. In a digital environment, it doesn’t make sense to limit the primary service to standard definition. We welcome this as a first step to allowing free-to-air broadcasters to deliver more enhanced services to all Australians, for free. These positive changes may take some time to implement for each broadcaster, depending on the resolution of technical and rights issues”.