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M-Net returns HD channel logos

2014-03-18 21:00
Cape Town – M-Net has returned the letters "HD" to its high definition TV channel on DStv and added it to its other HD channels after the removal of the letters from its on-screen logo led viewers to believe that M-Net is no longer being broadcast in high definition.

M-Net restored the “HD” to the on-screen channel logo of the M-Net channel (DStv 101) and added it to its set of movie channels and the M-Net Series Showcase channel where these channels are broadcast in high definition, three weeks after dropping the “HD” from M-Net’s channel identity.

After the “HD” was quietly dropped on 21 February, some M-Net and DStv viewers thought the channels reverted back to standard definition (SD), although it wasn’t the case.

Even some DStv installers told new and existing subscribers that HD channels are no longer in HD. In reality nothing changed, but it has been an important lesson for the South African TV industry about TV channel and TV channel branding perceptions.

It is also an ominous signal and a cautionary warning for the coming perceptions problems when the switch from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting (DTT) eventually happens in South Africa.

If higher LSM television viewers and subscription broadcasting consumers struggle to properly distinguish – without the aid of a descriptive logo – between SD and HD channels, a much bigger problem awaits when broadcasters in South Africa switch from analogue to digital TV channels.

That change will force millions of lower LSM viewers in the country to switch to a new system they don't comprehend or understand – wondering if, or why, the SABC1 or viewed through a “bunny ears” aerial is the same or looks different from the SABC1 received through a set-top box (STB).

It's clear that South African consumers and TV viewers will take a much longer time to acclimitise to what SD and HD are, given the relative few HD channels available for viewers to make comparisons.

A channel such as, shown in high definition on OpenView HD's (OVHD) satellite platform, prominently displays an " HD" channel logo on screen to show those viewers that the channel is different, and of better broadcast qauality than the normal

'Change was to create uniformity'

M-Net says "the removal of the HD letters from the logos did not mean that the series/movies screened on the HD channels were not in HD. The change was done to create uniformity across all channels".

"M-Net channels would like to thank their viewers for the feedback received regarding the on-air corner TV channel logos," says Pierre Cloete, M-Net and M-Net Series channels director, in a statement.

"We have added back the HD descriptor as part of the on-screen channel logos to the channels which are broadcast in HD. This was done for the convenience of our HD subscribers, enabling them to identify which of the M-Net channels are broadcast in HD."

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