SBS has become the first Australian free-to-air broadcaster to provide two nationwide HD channels to audiences, following the launch of SBS VICELAND in high definition (HD) on Saturday 8 April, on channel 31.
SBS has made changes to the way it uses its available television spectrum, utilising MPEG-4 technology to allow it to launch a new HD channel, while also making upgrades to its existing SBS HD channel available on free-to-air channel 30.
Noel Leslie, SBS Chief Technology Officer, said, “At SBS, we want to give audiences the best viewing experience possible. Whether that’s watching the best international football and cycling events like the Premier League and the Paris Roubaix, fantastic dramas like The Night Manager or high quality documentaries like Testing Teachers, viewers can continue to watch our main channel SBS, and now SBS VICELAND, in high definition glory.
“We have a continued focus on innovation in how we deliver our channels and platforms to audiences, and we are delighted to be the first free-to-air broadcaster in Australia to offer two HD channels, nationwide. By leveraging new compression capabilities we are able to get more from our spectrum and deliver better services to our audiences.”
The changes mean that Australians will also be able to watch SBS’s coverage of the upcoming Hyundai A-League finals starting Friday 21 April, in high definition on SBS VICELAND HD.
As a part of the changes that SBS has made, it also recently launched its 24/7 Arabic language radio channel, SBS Arabic24, on digital TV. Listeners can now hear SBS Arabic24 on DTV channel 36.
Some viewers may be required to retune their televisions in order to receive the new SBS VICELAND HD channel, and the upgraded SBS HD channel. Some digital TV equipment will automatically detect changes to the channels and retune itself, or may prompt viewers to retune.
Viewers without an HD/ MPEG4 compatible television will continue to be able to watch SBS and SBS VICELAND in standard definition (SD).
Should viewers find they need to retune they need to press “menu” on their remote and look for the “auto tune” or “channel search” option. In most cases, this should only take a few minutes. Some viewers may find it useful to consult their manual on how to retune their digital TV equipment.