Australians Not All Racing Towards HD Digital

As the switchover to digital TV gathers pace, new research suggests that many people have gone with the ultra-cheap option of a standard-definition (SD) box rather than a high-definition (HD) alternative. That’s a potential way of saving a few bucks, but it does cut down substantially on your channel choices.

The Australian reports that figures assembled for Senate budget estimates hearings suggest that 30% of set-top boxes sold in Australia are SD-only. Overall, the government estimates that 13% of Australians won’t be able to pick up HD digital channels.

When digital TV was first being promoted, HD was presented largely as a matter of better image quality for the same content, so it’s not surprising that some budget-conscious buyers went down the SD path. The issue now is that each network has one channel which is HD-only (ABC News 24, 7Mate, GEM, ONE and SBS HD), and thus not available to anyone who purchased a cheaper SD box. I know many Lifehacker readers are still annoyed that each channel no longer has a dedicated HD broadcast option; now it looks like this particular approach to HD will annoy some casual viewers as well.

No digital on set-top boxes [The Australian]

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