If you rescan your TV or set-top box in December you might discover a new service riding out across your airwaves: TV4.
Before you get all hot and heavy at the prospect of wall-to-wall music videos, "scripted reality" shows or, heaven forbid, quality drama and documentaries, keep in mind that TV4 is a datacasting service. As such, the law states that it cannot carry "matter that would be equivalent to a television news, drama, sports, documentary, lifestyle or entertainment program, or a commercial radio program".
It will be available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and rural Queensland from December courtesy of the Seven Network. TV4 has already been launched in rural areas serviced by the Prime7 and GWN7 networks.
We were lucky enough to be in Prime7 country recently and sampled a bit of TV4's content. It consisted primarily of infomercials, with the odd help and how-to segment thrown in. Needless to say it had us flicking back to re-runs of Kingswood Country in a hurry.
In fact, the most exciting thing we find about this "station" is that it's the first in Australia to be using MPEG4 compression.