ACMA calls for discussion on the future of digital free-to-air TV

ACMA calls for discussion on the future of digital free-to-air TV

Australians are invited to discuss the drivers of technological change

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is calling for submissions on the future of free-to-air television after the transition to digital television is complete.

The report, Beyond switchover: The future technical evolution of digital terrestrial television in Australia, will examine the benefits of implementing services such as 3D receivers.

ACMA acting chairman, Richard Bean, said in a statement that the underpinning technology of digital television continues to evolve, improving from its first introduction to Australia in 2001.

“Improvements in transmission technologies, data compression and new physical characteristics of receivers such as ultra-high definition screen formats might offer attractive features or more channels of entertainment in future,” he said.

“Starting the discussion now means the ACMA can consider what, if any, action it might take in the short term to assist in delivering benefits over the next decade and beyond.”

He added that ACMA is interested in hearing from organisations and individuals with views on where the potential for technological change may lie, whether or not change would be worthwhile, what the potential benefits from any such change may be and how change might be effectively managed.

Australia is set to make the digital switchover in 2013, when free-to-air TV may become part of the future of digital television in Australia. Regional Queensland was the latest state to switch over to digital television in December 2011 as part of the Federal Government’s Digital Switchover Program.

Copies of the paper can be downloaded from ACMA's website. Submissions close 30 March 2012.

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