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7flix coming February 28 but we're still waiting for the return of 7HD

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Channel 76 will kick off at the end of the month, but there's still no word on switching Seven's primary channel to high-def in time for the AFL premiership season.

7flix is a new general entertainment channel screening the likes of Seinfeld, Once Upon a Time and Grey's Anatomy along with romcom movies and kids shows. Seven unveiled details during Sunday night prime time, having run a "Coming Soon" placeholder on Channel 76 for several months. 7flix will also be streamed live via Seven's Plus7 catch up service.

This line-up certainly sounds more enticing than yet another home shopping or 24/7 reality TV channel, but unfortunately Seven has confirmed that the launch of 7flix won't necessarily coincide with plans to turn Channel 70 into a high-def simulcast of Seven's primary channel.

Seven's high-def switch is expected to come soon, with the AFL resuming on March 24. It follows Nine's move late last year to convert Channel 90 into a MPEG-4 high-def simulcast of 9 while downgrading GEM to standard-def.

We've recently seen the analogue switch-off and a digital spectrum reshuffle, granting the networks greater freedom in terms of high-def broadcasting. They've taken an ad-hoc approach to high-def sport, but that should change this year.

There was a time when all five major networks offered HD simulcasts of their primary channels, but unfortunately all but SBS gave up after a few years – finding it more lucrative to screen re-runs of Gilligan's Island on their high-def channels while shows actually available in high-def languish on the standard-def channels.

It's been one more justification for Aussie pirates sticking with the BitTorrent channel, where they can download high-def rips of their favourite shows rather than watching them in standard-def on Australian free-to-air television.

For now 7mate remains Seven network's high-def channel, mostly screening blokey US TV shows but occasionally offering a high-def simulcast of the primary channel such as with the Super Bowl. What do you want to watch in high-def this year?

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