Digital Forty Four
Digital Forty Four Digital Forty Four Owned by Broadcast Australia Country Australia Broadcast area Sydney Website digitalfortyfour.com.au Availability Terrestrial SD Digital Digital multiplex on UHF 35
Digital Forty Four was a Sydney-only trial datacasting service which was licensed by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (now the Australian Communications and Media Authority) in March 2004 for an initial three year run until late 2007. The license was extended on several occasions past 2007, however on 29 January 2010 it was announced that Broadcast Australia's datacasting licence for Digital 44 would not be extended past 30 April 2010.
Shortly prior to the end of the Digital 44 service in March 2010, community television station TVS began transmission on the service. At midnight on 30 April 2010 all the other services from Digital 44 ceased broadcasting.
The services provided at various times during its six years of operation have included a television guide for Digital Television (DVB), a community service channel providing information on road, weather and surf conditions, with live broadcasts every fifteen minutes, the Australian Christian Channel (ACC), EXPO shopping channel, National Indigenous Television (NITV), Teachers TV information channel and live broadcasts of the meetings of the Australian Parliament, with audio-video coverage of the House of Representatives and Senate.
Under conditions associated with the datacasting licence, channels on the Digital 44 service had to be either text based or narrowcast services. Entertainment programming was not allowed on the service, however some programming on the Australian Christian Channel was shown in a reduced screen format with text content around it, as that satisfied the datacast requirement.
LCN Service Notes: 04 Free-to-air television guide 40 NITV 41 ABC News & Weather Text only 42 D44 Homepage 44 TVS 45 Teachers' TV Australia 46 Australian Christian Channel 47 Australian Federal Parliament - House Of Representatives 48 Australian Federal Parliament - Senate 49 Expo Shopping Network
As it was a long term trial, many channels that started on the service did not continue until the cessation of broadcasts, they include Channel NSW, a station that included live traffic as well as government announcements, a Maquarie channel showing financial information and a TAB channel showing betting odds.
Other channels included,
- Channel 45 - Channel NSW - ended 30 June 2009
- Channel 47 - Macquarie Digital - ended 11 June 2007
- Channel 48 - TAB Channel - ended February 2005
- Channel 401 - House of Representatives
- Channel 402 - Senate
- Channel 403 - House of Representatives Main Committee
- Channel 404 - Committee Room 1
- Channel 405 - Committee Room 2
- Channel 406 - Committee Room 3
- Channel 407 - Committee Room 4
The ACMA decided in closing the service that it was unlikely that datacast services would come to auction in the near future, and decided continuing the trial was unnecessary for that reason. NITV which gained coverage on the service considered the closure of the service a blow to its chances of gaining permanent spectrum for the service, and put the long term viability of the service in to question.
Most of the other channels on Digital 44 are available unencrypted on satellite or via online streaming.
- ^ "Sydney datacasting trial to end". ACMA media release 16/2010 – 29 January. http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD..PC/pc=PC_312032. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
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