September 17, 2007

Timeshifting 101

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:06 pm by Give Me The Remote

Big news from a couple of days ago was the announcement by Ten that they would begin broadcasting a new High Definition (HD) channel by the end of the year. Channel 7 quickly followed suit to and announced that they would do similar in the coming months. (Read the story here).

One particular very important feature of these new channels will be the timeshifting of various programs (11 hours of it on Ten).

Timeshifting? This use of the word does not relate to what I know the word to mean.. Apparently there’s two different meanings of the word. I imagine other people may have been confused like me.

So here’s the 101 on ‘timeshifting’.

Definition 1 – Timeshifting is a function of digital television recorders (e.g. TiVo) that allows viewers to tape a program and view it at a later time. People often turn on timeshifting at the start of a program and then start watching it about 5-10 minutes in. This way they can skip forward through all of the advertisements and finish watching the program at its scheduled finish time.

TiVo

Definition 2 – Timeshifting in relation to television channels is where a network has an alternative channel that they use to broadcast the same programs at a different time. So it basically gives viewers a second (or third) chance to catch a program if they missed its premiere screening. A few channels on Foxtel have dedicated timeshifted channels, eg. Arena, W and UKTV.

Foxtel

.. and that’s all there is to it. So the new HD channels that Ten and Seven (and inevitably Nine) will be providing will have timeshifted programs (definition 2), but if you want to keep out the ads, buy a recorder and timeshift (definition 1) the programs.

(TimeShift is also an xBox game – but this is of little relevance when speaking about television)

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