We know that sports is a key driver for pay TV in Australia and that many Lifehacker readers are annoyed at the lack of high-definition sports. Given that, it's pleasing to see the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reminding Foxtel that it needs to be honest with viewers about whether a given AFL broadcast is HD or not.
Picture by frostnova
Foxtel broadcasts far more HD sport than any of the free-to-air networks, but because it shares rights for AFL with the Seven network, not all of those matches are full HD. The five matches Foxtel films itself are actually in native HD (1920 by 1080i), but matches sourced from Seven are filmed at a lower quality and up-converted.
After receiving complaints from subscribers, the ACCC expressed concerns to Foxtel that its promotional material did not adequately explain the distinction:
The ACCC was concerned that Foxtel, by using a number of terms such as “real HD”, “beautiful”, “glorious”, “brilliant”, “stunning”, and “best HD experience” to promote its AFL high definition broadcasts, had created the impression that there was a singular and absolute level of high definition and that this had the potential to mislead consumers and contravene the Australian Consumer Law.
Foxtel has agreed to ensure future promotions are not misleading and to publish a notice on its web site explaining its approach to HD.
Are you annoyed when you watch an up-converted match on your fancy big screen? Tell us in the comments.