Monday, September 27, 2010

MultiChoice on the new M-Net Movies 1 HD channel - and more HD channels to come: ''High definition is the future of broadcasting.''

On Friday, October 1 the new M-Net Movies 1 HD (MM1 HD) channel will become the 5th high definition (HD) TV channel to be added to MultiChoice's pay TV platform DStv on channel 175 at 07:00.

I asked M-Net as well as MultiChoice about the new M-Net Movies 1 HD that was officially announced on Friday and will be an HD mirror channel of M-Net Movies 1 (DStv 103).

For my Q&A, click on READ MORE below.

Why did M-Net decide to start a dedicated high definition movie channel as opposed to some other kind of HD genre?
Aletta Alberts, MultiChoice general manager for content: Our focus is on giving our viewers a great entertainment experience. HD movies lift that viewing experience to another level.

With M-Net Movies 1 HD as a channel, now additionally fuelling the demand for HD movies and the channel being a mirror tot M-Net Movies 1, does the requirements of the channel slightly change the inventory requirements or the kinds of movies viewers will get to see? For instance, would there be a bigger focus on newer movies because older movies are more likely to sometimes not be in HD and have to then be upscaled to HD?
Sabiera Patel, channel head for M-Net Movies channels: Most of our movies are available in HD, although a very small percentage is still not available. This does not mean that they are not broadcast quality. High definition has been around since the 1930's and has been perfected over the years. Older movies, such as the James Bond's brand, is a perfect example of movies that are still good quality for high definition.

The name of the channel is obviously as a result of the decision for the channel to mirror M-Net Movies 1. But why has it been decided to create a HD version of this channel, and not a stand-alone M-Net channel that just show films in HD with its own schedule?
Sabiera Patel, channel head for M-Net Movies channels: In line with international practice, the channel is a mirror of the standard definition (SD) channel. There is no extra content produced to accommodate high definition, most productions around the world are currently being done in HD, as the there is a gradual shift towards producing in HD.

What will be happening to the filler material on M-Net Movies 1 HD that is shown such as behind the scenes bits and on set interviews  that often fills the time between a new movie starting at the top of the hour? Will this also all be HD, or upscaled? And is this more difficult to procure and find in HD or becoming easier?
Sabiera Patel, channel head for M-Net Movies channels: There is still a limited amount of filler material. We see this problem not only exist in South Africa, but around the world. The interstitial material between programming will not be all in high definition (HD). But in some cases, we will up convert this content to show on M-Net Movies 1 HD.

M-Net Movies 1 HD begs the question of speculation about the future possibility of a M-Net Movies 2 HD. Would that be a possibility, or is M-Net Movies 1 HD the only HD movie channel M-Net is envisioning for the foreseeable future?
Aletta Alberts, MultiChoice general manager for content: MultiChoice believes that high definition (HD) is the future of broadcasting and therefore our focus will be on rolling out as many HD channels as possible, taking into account bandwidth restrictions as well as limited content availability.

With HD, the viewing experience of certain movies are actually better than some, although all movies look better. Does the creation of the channel mean a slight shift into more movies that’s better suited for HD, or that can take fuller advantage of HD, like more action, adventure, nature orientated films, or does the ratio between the various kinds of movies as it is currently on M-Net Movies 1 stay the same?
Sabiera Patel, channel head for M-Net Movies channels: It will remain the same, however, we will focus on certain evenings of the week or month where we will either do a festival around an actor, genre or theme to compliment the high definition movies.

Anything else interesting about M-Net Movies 1 HD that viewers wouldn't realize or know while they're watching the channel?
Sabiera Patel, channel head for M-Net Movies channels: We have a separate night and day look to compliment the whole HD viewing experience.

ALSO READ: The on-air look of M-Net Movies 1 HD will be as different as day and night.