22 September 2010
ACMA continues to monitor electronic program guides offered by free-to-air TV networks
Monitoring released today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority confirms that while some free-to-air television networks now offer electronic program guides (EPGs) that fully comply with the ACMA’s key criteria for an adequate EPG, several networks are not yet meeting the criterion of accurate present/following data.
‘Two years of steady progress have seen all of the five networks reliably meeting three out of the ACMA’s four key criteria for an adequate EPG,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
‘Results of our monitoring in July 2010 show that several networks are now also reliably meeting the final criterion of accurate present/following data, which is vital for the effective operation of the parental lock function in digital television receivers,’ he said.
For the networks that are yet to produce accurate present/ following program information, Mr Chapman commented: ‘Time is starting to run out. The decision to mandate parental lock as a standard feature of all receivers from February next year, means audiences will have all the more reason to expect a fully-functional EPG to support this application.’
The ACMA will publish monthly monitoring results on this final criterion, as the non-complying networks continue to work on their new play-out systems that promise to ensure full compliance. The ACMA will also continue to publish monitoring results on all other criteria on a quarterly basis, as it has done over the past year, to ensure that the strong existing compliance with the other criteria is maintained.
In summary, under the ACMA’s EPG principles broadcasters should provide EPG information that:
- is free of charge and in a format that can be accessed by all free-to-air digital TV reception equipment
- includes program schedule information for a minimum of seven days
- includes program classification information
- includes accurate information about the present and following programs being aired, including their start times.
Mr Chapman commended the television industry for its commitment to an adequate EPG offering and the progress made to date. ‘Results so far are indicative of a general industry commitment, not only to parental lock but to other functions that require accurate and reliable EPG data. I expect that, over time, this will include new-generation digital recorders that start and finish recording programs right on time.’
Further information about the EPG principles, including all monitoring reports published by the ACMA to date, is available on the ACMA website.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Christine Donnelly, Assistant Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7857, 0401 754 344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The ACMA is Australia’s regulator for broadcasting, the internet, radiocommunications and telecommunications. The ACMA’s strategic intent is to make communications and media work in Australia’s public interest. For more information: www.acma.gov.au.