Standards Australia Media Release

Television broadcasting in Australia passes an important milestone tomorrow withthe publication of a new Australian Standard for digital TV receivers.

The new Standard AS4933.1-2000 “Digital television- Requirements forReceivers: Part 1; VHF/UHF DVB-T television broadcasts” defines thetechnical requirements for TV receivers and set-top-boxes to receive and decodedigital television services, including High Definition broadcasts using Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) standards.


Bob Greeney, Chairman of the Standards Australia Committee CT/2 and Director ofTechnology for the Australian Broadcasting Authority said the Standard meets allthe requirements set out in the current Commonwealth legislation coveringdigital television broadcasting.

The Australian Standard provides for reception and decoding of highdefinition and standard definition television and datacasting services.

Viewers will have the option of buying an entry level set-top-box thatreceives and decodes the digital broadcasts for viewing on an existing analogtelevision set, or for connection to a standard definition or high definition wide-screen television display.

Viewers will also have the option of buying either a standard definition integrated wide screen television set that can receive and decodeboth standard definition and high definition television broadcasts, but willonly display the programs in standard definition if they were transmittedin a high definition format; or they might choose to buy a high definitionintegrated wide-screen television set that can receive and display highdefinition programs – receivers that will display HDTV will cost more, and willreceive and display standard definition programs when there is no highdefinition program being broadcast.

“This Standard provides consumers with the broadest options for usingtheir television for the full range of television and datacasting services which are expected to be available once digital television begins on January 1,2001,” he said.

Mr Greeney said that the industry, including representatives from thenational and commercial television broadcasters, potential datacasters andreceiver manufacturers, as well as government and consumer organisations, had worked cooperatively to bring this Standard to fruition in avery short timeframe, and in a very strong commercially competitive environment.

“With a start date now just 9 months away, industry is particularlyanxious to put the Standard in place quickly, to enable sufficient lead time fortelevision receiver and set-top-box manufacturers to get their consumer productsinto the market place in time for the beginning of the transition to digitaltelevision broadcasting in Australia,” he said.

Standards Australia’s Director, Communications, IT and e-commerce, Roger Lyle, said that the Standard had been developed in record time, throughsmart utilisation of the Internet for progressing the Committee’s work.

He said that Australia was the first country in the world to implement the DVB standard for High Definition television.

“This Standard is based on the European standards for digital terrestrial TV broadcasting and also incorporates Dolby digital audio soundrequirements, similar to the features found in DVD players available world-wide.This means receivers will be able to decode Dolby AC-3 surround sound as well asMPEG audio transmissions.

“This places Australia in a unique position to influence development ofinternational standards in this area, ” Mr Lyle said.

Government decisions taken in December 1999 in relation to digital televisionrequire no changes to this latest Standard, but has give impetus to the need fora Standard for Standard Definition (SD)TV receivers as a priority for StandardsAustralia.

Standards Australia’s Broadcasting and Related Services Committee beganpreliminary work on a SDTV receiver standard in January, in response to theGovernment’s announcement just before Christmas. Its progress is dependent uponthe passage of legislation setting out the requirements for SDTV.

Copies of all Australian digital television standards are available at by contacting Standards Australia’s Customer Service Centre on 1300 654 646.

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