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“Best HD”? Foxtel Come Clean On “Hi-Def” Claims

“Best HD”? Foxtel Come Clean On “Hi-Def” Claims

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Foxtel has been forced to improve information picture quality of AFL broadcasts after the consumer watchdog turned the heat on the pay TV giant.

The watchdog took action after complaints from “a number” of subscribers to Foxtel’s HD AFL channels, who believed all games would be filmed in native high definition, when, in fact,  just over half are.

Foxtel claims to broadcast nine AFL games a week in high definition on Fox Footy HD and Fox Sports 1 HD in each round.

However, of those nine games, five are filmed using high-def cameras and broadcast at that quality level, while the remainder, which are sourced from the Seven Network, are filmed in standard def and then up-converted to HD for screening.

However, the resolution of the up-converted games are still of a lower picture quality, although the games are broadcast in HD standard 1920 x 1080i, the ACCC confirmed today.

The Consumer and Competition Commission said it was “concerned” that Foxtel using terms such as “real HD”, “beautiful”, “glorious”, “brilliant”, “stunning”, and “best HD experience” to promote its AFL broadcasts “had created the impression that there was a singular and absolute level of high definition.”

This had the potential to mislead consumers and contravene Consumer Law, the watchdog warned.

However, it is also interesting that Foxtel attacked the Nine network’s “Full HD coverage” on London Olympics broadcasts, insisting the screenings were not “full HD” quality, earlier this year.

Foxtel has also been forced to cough up compensation to subscribers who lodged complaints, amend its promo material, and provide further information on its website in relation to its high definition broadcasts.

The watchdog said it was “pleased” Foxtel is clarifying any confusion regarding its promotion of AFL broadcasts in high definition.

“The ACCC recognises the popularity of watching AFL in Australia and I re-iterate that companies must provide clarity and transparency in their advertising so consumers can be sure of what they’re getting,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.