ABC HD (Australian TV channel)

Launched 1 January 2008 – 22 July 2010
6 December 2016 (revival)
Network ABC Television
Owned by Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Picture format 1080i (HDTV) 16:9
Country Australia
Language English
Broadcast area Nationally
Replaced ABC Sydney (HD simulcast)
Sister channel(s) ABC
ABC Kids
ABC News 24
Freeview ABC (virtual) 20
Foxtel (virtual) 202

ABC HD was a national public television channel in Australia. It was available nationally to digital terrestrial and cable television viewers in Australia. Following the government's decision to remove the SD Primary Channel limitations, the channel will return as an HD simulcast on channel 20 on 6 December 2016.[1][2][3]



Starting on 1 January 2002, the ABC began a prime-time simulcast of ABC's Sydney station ABN, except that it had no watermark and was upconverted from standard definition to 1080i high definition. On 1 January 2005 it was changed to 576p to accommodate the launch of new channel ABC2 and gradually expanded its operating hours.

2008 rebrand

On 1 January 2008, the ABC's high definition simulcast was rebranded as ABC HD, relaunching as a high definition multichannel with its own logo and branding. The channel was also enhanced to 720p to mark the start of native high-definition content.

Throughout its multichannel era, ABC HD continued providing a high definition simulcast of ABN Sydney. As a result, viewers outside of New South Wales would see Sydney-based news bulletins and other localised content. The purpose of this as of 2008, was to provide high-definition versions of ABC1 shows when available (Prior to this, the broadcaster relied on regulation exemptions that allowed it to meet a high-definition quota using content upscaled from standard definition).

There were exceptions to the ABC1 simulcast: During the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, ABC HD became a dedicated sports broadcaster, simulcasting the dedicated coverage on ABC2 for most of the day. The 2009 VFL Grand Final was shown exclusively live on ABC HD. For a time up until ABC HD branding ceased, ABC HD screened a "7:30 Select" national highlights package instead of the Sydney version of Stateline.


On 10 June 2010, ABC HD's unique branding was replaced with that of ABC1, reverting the channel to an ABN Sydney simulcast. ABC HD ceased being a simulcast of ABC1 from 6 July 2010 in Tasmania and the ACT; 7 July 2010 in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory; and on 8 July 2010 in Victoria and New South Wales, all replaced by a looped pre-launch promotion for ABC News 24 on channel 24.[4] This made ABC the second broadcaster in Australia to permanently discontinue the high definition simulcast of its main channel, following the removal of Ten HD to create Ten's former sports and now entertainment channel One in 2009.

2016 revival

ABC Director of Television Richard Finlayson announced in November 2015 that the ABC will recommence simulcasting in high definition in June 2016.[5] However, the launch date was later pushed back to an indefinite time in late 2016 due to technical reasons,[6] with the launch date finally announced as 6 December 2016.[1][2] However, in contrast to its past, ABC HD will provide region-specific simulcasting, not just a nationwide simulcast of ABN Sydney. Additionally, the channel will broadcast in MPEG-4 format as opposed to the traditional MPEG-2 format. As a result of the channel's revival, ABC News 24 will be reduced to a standard definition broadcast.[3]

Logo history


  1. 1 2 Lallo, Michael (2 November 2016). "ABC in 2017: Diversity a focus, but which popular shows aren't returning?". Brisbane Times. Brisbane. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  2. 1 2 Knox, David (2 November 2016). "ABC switching to HD in December". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  3. 1 2 "ABC is changing to HD". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 9 November 2016. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  4. "ABC News 24 hype reel unveiled". mUmbrella. 8 July 2010. Archived from the original on 10 July 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
  5. Perry, Kevin (18 November 2015). "ABC TV to make the switch to High Definition in 2016". DeciderTV. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  6. Perry, Kevin (31 May 2016). "Delay confirmed for ABC High Definintion launch". DeciderTV. Retrieved 1 July 2016.

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