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Snubbed! No HD for M-Net Series

2012-09-03 14:18
If there's any channel that should go HD first, it's M-Net Series - but it's been snubbed in the upcoming DStv changes. The result: shows that were in HD are now in SD.

M-Net Series (DStv channel 110) has always been home to some of the best series DStv has to offer and yet the channel's just suffered a rude snub.

I was convinced that Multichoice was going to announce that the channel will be going HD now that DStv has the capacity to add new HD channels but there was no mention of it during the recent reveal.

Instead, only Universal Channel and Studio Universal get to headline the HD scene with the new movie channels when the changes take effect in October. Why? It makes no sense to me at all.

M-Net Series is a much better channel than Universal by far and it's becoming more so with the increasing addition of exclusive series. As you'll have noticed over the past few months, various shows from M-Net and Vuzu have moved to Series exclusively.

Pretty Little Liars moved from Vuzu in June, Army Wives moved from M-Net in July and Boardwalk Empire moves to the channel in late September for season 3 - also exclusively, which means we're losing it in HD.

Both Army Wives and Boardwalk Empire were on M-Net HD so we've lost the high-def in them both.

Also, M-Net Series has the new JJ Abrams' series Revolution. It premieres on 27 September at 20:30 - 10 days after it debuts in the US - and it's apocalyptic. It's set during the aftermath of a technology blackout and it's described as featuring a sweeping and intimate focus - exactly the sort of show that we need to see with max clarity.

With all this mind I chatted to Aletta Alberts, GM of Content at Multichoice to find out how DStv choose which channels to broadcast in HD.

Word from Aletta is that the top priority is a channel's popularity so Universal got to go first because it's ... wait for it ... the most popular international channel on DStv.

Yip. I feel as if I'm in some sort of twilight zone because I honestly don't understand why. Am I solo or does it stump you into oblivion, too?

Conducive to HD

Another selection factor is how conducive the content is to HD. This from Aletta about it: “For instance you won't go and make The Home Channel HD if it was on your list - it might be a very popular channel but the content of the channel doesn't lend itself to HD."

Real HD

The third consideration is how much real HD content there is on a channel. There are two processes that can be used to convert SD content to HD: upconverting and remastering.

If the content on a channel needs a lot of conversion it'll get less priority than a channel that has a lot of real HD content.

Which M-Net Series does. It meets all of the requirements. I don't know exactly how popular it is but it must be right up there, surely? It's also on the Compact bouquet, it's the best thing going on DStv Mobile (besides Sport) and the content's so conducive to HD you can't get more conducive.

All of these factors should count for something and yet it's just been ignored, brushed under the carpet for the future, shunned to the sidelines like a tacky cousin when the real tacky cousin gets preferential treatment.

Bah! It really needed to have gone HD now.

Tashi Tagg is the editor of TVSA.

How do you feel about M-Net Series losing out on HD? E-mail your concerns to

An unpacking of why M-Net Series won't be broadcast in HD when the new DStv changes hit our screens on 1 October. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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