New Digital Television Services NOW AVAILABLE

An FAQ about the New Digital Television Services NOW AVAILABLE.

What are the new services?

On the 1st of March NBN introduced 2 new services to Northern New South Wales. They are 9HD and 9Life. These are in addition to the current NBN, 9GEM, 9GO and eXtra services.

What channel numbers will the New Services be on?

9 HD will be on Channel 80, 9Life will be on 84.

The Channel Line-up after the 1st of March will be:-

  • 8 – NBN (In Standard Definition)
  • 80 – 9HD (The new service in High Definition. It is a simulcast of Channel 8)
  • 81 – NBN (In Standard Definition)
  • 82 – 9GEM (In Standard Definition)
  • 83 – 9GO! (In Standard Definition)
  • 84 – 9Life (The New Service in Standard Definition)
  • 85 – eXtra (In Standard Definition)
  • 88 – 9GO! (In Standard Definition)

Are you using any new technologies for these changes?

Yes we are. To enable us to provide the viewers with Full High Definition pictures, add new channels, as well as maintain our existing range of channels we will be using a newer technology called MPEG4 to broadcast the High Definition Service on Channel 80.

Most Free-to-Air broadcasters will be using MPEG4 for broadcasts in the near future; some already have services on-air using this technology. It allows the broadcaster to deliver better quality services to the home viewer.

All of the other services will be broadcast in the current technology we are using now, MPEG2.

Will I be able to receive the High Definition Channel that is using MPEG4?

This really does depend on the receiver you are using and its age. Some receivers have MPEG 4 built in, whereas some don’t.

For the most part, the recent popular manufacturer model receivers should be able to receive MPEG4. Older receivers may receive the MPEG 4 broadcast; it is a good idea to consult your receiver manuals.

In some receivers the MPEG4 receive function will have to be switched on. This is usually a menu selection in the channel setup area. Users should consult their manuals to see if their receiver needs this option switched on.

Will I need to retune?

Newer receivers should automatically add the new services when they start on the 1st of March. If you don’t see at least 9Life on channel 84 then you will need to retune.

There are two ways you can do this:-

Auto Tuning
This is the normal way for you to tune your receiver. In the menu section the option is usually located in the SETUP or CHANNEL area. Under that menu it will usually say something like AUTO TUNE, or AUTO STORE. This option scans all the frequencies in the TV band and looks for Digital Television Services.
Manual Tuning
This way is slightly advanced from Auto Tuning and really only should be used if you know the frequency that NBN broadcasts on in your area. Using manual tuning you can scan an individual frequency and it will add the services only for the frequency. This will be quicker than Auto Tuning, but more susceptible to mistakes.

N.B. If you have had to previously do a manual tune to scan for channels due to circumstances in your area, and you need to retune to receive the new services, please use the same manual tuning procedure as before.

Make sure that after you have retuned that you store the new channels before exiting the menu. (Some TV’s store the channels automatically; some ask if you want to store them).

After retuning if you see the new channels 80 and 84 (as well as all the others already broadcast) it means that your digital receiver can decode MPEG4 broadcast and you will be able to watch NBN in HD.

After retuning if you only see channel 84, but not channel 80, this will mean that you digital receiver is not equipped to receive MPEG4 broadcasts. You will still be able to watch NBN in SD on Channel 8 or 81.

I have retuned my receiver but all of my NBN services (all the 8 channels) have disappeared.

In some cases when you do a retune you may lose all of the NBN channels. This may be due to a problem with some manufacturers and how their receivers treat MPEG 4 services. The receiver when it sees an MPEG4 television service doesn’t know how to handle it and it blanks out ALL the channels associated with that broadcaster.

Another reason for losing the complete set of 8 channels could be that there is a problem with your antenna and cabling. During the rescan the signal was low or not of a sufficient quality and the receiver missed the channel completely. If this happens try scanning again or you can try again a little later. If the problem persists, contact an antenna installer to have a look at your antenna system.

What options do I have if my digital receiver can’t receive MPEG4 broadcasts?

If you can’t receive the MPEG 4 High Definition broadcasts you still will be able to watch NBN in Standard Definition as well as the other services (9GEM, 9GO!, 9Life). If you wish to watch the High Definition Service on Channel 80, but your current Television doesn’t tune into the MPEG4 broadcasts, you could purchase a Digital Set Top Box (be sure to check that it does receive MPEG 4) and connect it to your Television via a HDMI cable. These devices cost less and provide a way to view the High Definition Service without having to purchase a new television.

Do I have to rescan my PVR/DVD recorder or my Set Top Box?

If your PVR/DVD recorder or Set Top Box does not show the new 9Life Channel after the 1st of March then you should do a rescan on those devices. Please consult the manual for your device for the correct procedure.

Like Digital Televisions, some of these devices, particularly older ones, may not receive HD MPEG4 broadcasts. You will need to consult your user manual to ascertain if they can.

Similar to Digital Televisions, some devices like PVR’s or DVD recorders will need to have the MPEG4 tuning option switched on in the setup menu. Please consult the manual for your device for the correct procedure.

I watched High Definition on 9GEM before on Ch.80, why can’t I see the new HD broadcast on Ch80?

The old HD 9 GEM broadcasts on Ch.80 were done in MPEG2. To allow us to provide a higher quality HD broadcasts as well as include the new 9Life channel we are using a new technology called MPEG4. This technology is more efficient in providing a HD picture, as well as providing a better quality picture.

Your Digital Receiver must be able to receive MPEG 4 broadcasts for you to see 9HD on Channel 80. Please consult your manual as to whether your receiver can do this.

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