High definition drama and entertainment will become another victim of network restructuring when the ABC turns the ABC HD channel into ABC News 24.
The few programmes that aired in HD will be relegated to SD in the same way as TEN’s decision to introduce ONE HD impacted on its entertainment shows.
The good news is that the news channel will air in high definition when it airs in July.
The Sydney Morning Herald notes, in theory, the ABC could have converted one of the existing SD channels to HD, but the ABC’s director of TV, Kim Dalton, said there was a problem in finding enough suitable content.
It could be three years before entertainment shows are restored in true HD.
In 2013, when the digital switchover is complete and when HD was more mature, Dalton said the ABC would review the balance of SD and HD programming.
Networks must air a minimum of 1000 hours of HD content to meet licence requirements, around 3 hours per day. ABC will meet this with ABC News 24 when it launches in July.
The new channel will air content simultaneously around the country regardless of timezones.
The newspaper notes shows like Doctor Who will be one of the shows no longer airing in HD on ABC HD. However, TV Tonight understands the show has not been airing in HD because ABC does not purchase the more expensive HD version.