Digital Forty Four

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Digital Forty Four
D44logo.png
Launched 17 March 2004
Closed 30 April 2010
Owned by Broadcast Australia
Country Australia
Language English
Broadcast area Sydney
Availability
Terrestrial
SD Digital 4; 40-49; 401-407

Digital Forty Four was a Sydney-only trial datacasting service that was licensed by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (now the Australian Communications and Media Authority) beginning on 17 March 2004 for an initial three-year run until late 2007.[1] 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 Forty Four would not be extended past 30 April 2010.[2] At midnight on 30 April 2010, all services from Digital Forty Four ceased broadcasting.

The services provided at various times during its six years of operation have included a television guide for free-to-air television, a community service channel providing information on road, weather and surf conditions, with live broadcasts every fifteen minutes, the Australian Christian Channel, Expo shopping channel, 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.

Channels[edit]

Under conditions associated with the datacasting licence, channels on the Digital Forty Four 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.

Channel lineup prior to trial end[3]
DVB name LCN Launch date Discontinued date Notes
Channel 4 4 2008 30 Apr 2010 Video program guide for free-to-air and D44 channels.
NITV 40 27 Oct 2008[4] 30 Apr 2010 Existing subscription channel added to D44 service. Remains available on subscription satellite and cable television. Available free-to-air on LCN 33 via SBS since 12 December 2012.
ABC News, Sport and Weather 41 17 Mar 2004[1] 30 Apr 2010 Text only.
D44 Homepage 42 17 Mar 2004 30 Apr 2010 Broadcast on LCN 44 prior to addition of TVS in March 2010.
TVS 44 Mar 2010 30 Apr 2010 Existing digital community television channel added to D44 service.
Teachers TV 45 3 Nov 2008[4] 30 Apr 2010 Broadcast on LCN 47 (shared with House of Representatives channel) until 30 June 2009.
Australian Christian Channel 46 2004[5] 30 Apr 2010 Existing subscription channel added to D44 service. Remains available on subscription satellite and cable television.
Broadcast on LCN 47 (shared with House of Representatives channel) until 30 June 2009.
Federal Parliament House of Representatives 47 17 Mar 2004 30 Apr 2010 Live video/audio feed of House of Representatives sessions.
Broadcast on LCN 401 until 3 November 2008, LCN 47 shared with Teachers TV from 2008-09 (broadcast when the House was not in session).
Federal Parliament Senate 48 17 Mar 2004 30 Apr 2010 Live video/audio feed of Senate sessions.
Broadcast on LCN 402 until 3 November 2008.
Expo 49 2006 30 Apr 2010 Existing shopping channel added to D44 service. Still available on Foxtel subscription television.

Former Channels[edit]

As it was a long term trial, many channels that started on the service did not continue until the cessation of broadcasts.

DVB name LCN Launch date Discontinued date Notes
Channel NSW 45 17 Mar 2004 1 Jul 2009 Community channel broadcasting real time traffic, coast watch information and government announcements owned by the Government of New South Wales. Replaced by Teachers TV.
Macquarie Digital 47 12 Oct 2004[6] 11 Jun 2007 Broadcast financial information. Owned by Macquarie Group.
SportsTAB 48 17 Mar 2004 1 Jan 2005[7] Broadcast sports betting odds.[1]
House of Representatives
Main Committee
403 17 Mar 2004 3 Nov 2008
House of Representatives Committee Room 1 404 17 Mar 2004 3 Nov 2008
House of Representatives Committee Room 2 405 17 Mar 2004 3 Nov 2008
House of Representatives Committee Room 3 406 17 Mar 2004 3 Nov 2008
House of Representatives Committee Room 4 407 17 Mar 2004 3 Nov 2008

Legacy[edit]

Free-to-air television guide

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 into question.

Most of the other channels on Digital Forty Four are available unencrypted on satellite or via online streaming.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "First full datacasting service launched". Sydney Morning Herald. 17 March 2004. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  2. ^ "Sydney datacasting trial to end". ACMA media release 16/2010 – 29 January. Retrieved 1 February 2009. 
  3. ^ "Information on the Datacasting Trial provided by Broadcast Australia to the ACMA 2010" (PDF). Broadcast Australia. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "New Digital Content on Sydney Television Trial". Broadcast Australia. 27 October 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "Christian channel conquers Australian airwaves". Sydney Anglicans. 1 December 2004. Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "Macquarie Bank adds datacasting to its range of media services". radioinfo.com.au. 12 October 2004. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  7. ^ "Information on the Datacasting Trial provided by Broadcast Australia to the ACMA - December 2006" (PDF). Broadcast Australia. Retrieved 28 September 2016.