Freeview

Here is the latest Freeview ad created by their new agency, Shine.

After a successful first awards season in 2010, the second annual Freeview awards have now been launched to find and champion the best elements of Freeview.

The awards celebrate all aspects of Freeview, from the channels and programmes provided by Freeview broadcasters, to the first-rate work of retailers and installers and the top-quality Freeview-approved products around New Zealand.

The awards recognise Freeview’s growing popularity and acknowledge their broadcast,retail and technology partners and suppliers who collectively underpin the success of the enterprise.

Freeview General Manager Sam Irvine says, “After the success of last year’s awards and the boost that the wins gave to many broadcast partners and suppliers, we are looking forward to what emerges from this year’s voting. We expect a high level of engagement, judging by the growth in sales of Freeview receivers. The past 12 months have seen record numbers of Freeview-approved products sold by retailers and a significant rise in popularity of shows on digital-only channels.

In February 2011, retailers experienced their biggest February of Freeview sales since the company’s inception in 2007, and as the September 2012 Digital Switch Over (DSO)deadline approaches, the rate of Kiwis making the change from analogue to digital television is expected to increase.

The Freeview awards voting button can be found at www.freeviewnz.tv and those who vote will go into the draw to win a MyFreeview|HD ® Digital Television Recorder. Entries close on Tuesday 5 April and the winners will be announced on Tuesday 12 April.

Categories for the Freeview awards:
1. Best in-store retail experience
2. Best online retail experience
3. Best installer experience
4. Best Freeview-approved HD digital receiver
5. Best Freeview-approved satellite digital receiver
6. Best Freeview-approved Digital Television Recorder (MyFreeview|HD ® )
7. Best Freeview-approved TV with Freeview I HD ® built in
8. Best digital-only TV channel available on Freeview
9. Best digital-only TV show available on Freeview
10. Best TV show available on Freeview
11. Best High Definition TV show available on Freeview
12. Best radio station available on Freeview

The Government has announced it is extending the existing Freeview|HD® (high definition) service to more regions throughout the country including Whangarei, New Plymouth, Rotorua, Taupo, Gisborne, Masterton, Whanganui, Nelson, Timaru and Invercagill making Freeview|HD® available to an extra 160,000 homes nationwide. Viewers can check whether they are in coverage by going to the Freeview website and using the Coverage checker www.freeviewnz.tv 

The extension supports the Government’s decision to switch over to digital only broadcasting by making it easier for more New Zealanders to make the change from free reception of analogue television to free reception of digital television with Freeview.  DSO (digital switch over), begins in September 2012 in Hawke’s Bay and West Coast and finishes in the upper North Island in November 2013. 

Increased access to the Freeview|HD® service provides an easy way for households, many of which have opted for in-home entertainment since the start of the recession, to budget more efficiently. Avoiding a double-dip recession shows New Zealanders’ resilience and adaptability to the changing environment. The initiative will ensure viewers can enjoy more channels and a better picture quality without a monthly cost, giving consumers a much-needed break. 

“The largest benefit of Freeview is that it’s just a one-off cost to set up, and then the service is free,” says Freeview general manager Sam Irvine. “Some  people in these areas are likely to already have a TV with a Freeview|HD®  receiver built in and will only need to hook up to a UHF aerial (already common on many New Zealand houses) to be able to access High Definition digital TV for free. Also, anyone with a TV can benefit from Freeview|HD®, by simply purchasing a Freeview|HD® receiver from their local stockist and connecting that to their existing TV via a UHF aerial.” 

The Extension of the Freeview|HD®    service will also enable more homes to easily watch all of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) games, which will be screened on Freeview channels .without the need to pay a subscription. 

“RWC viewing will be high on many people’s agenda and MyFreeview® is a product that allows viewers to pause the live action as well as record, with one touch, all the games. So while the key RWC and All Black games will be screened live, many of the pool matches will be screened late in the evening and with MyFreeview viewers can record games to ensure they don’t miss any of the action making it a popular product choice for rugby fans,” Mr Irvine says. 

 

The popularity of free-to-air digital television and radio service, Freeview, continues to increase following the biggest month of Freeview sales since the company began in 2007.

Sales figures show 34,928 Freeview receivers were sold across the country during December. The majority of these were TVs with Freeview|HD® built-in, and sales of MyFreeview Digital Television Recorders also continue to grow progressively.

Sales for the last quarter of 2010 are also impressive, with 78,700 Freeview receivers sold, up from 58,417 in the third quarter of 2010. Of these, 11,706 were Freeview satellite receivers and 66,994 were Freeview|HD® receivers.

“The Government’s digital switch-over campaign launched late last year has had a positive impact on sales volumes. We’re encouraged by the strong progress made even though we are still over 18 months out from the start of the digital switch-over,” says Sam Irvine, General Manager, Freeview.

Freeview has grown the number of channels available on its platform to a total of nineteen with the recent launch of TAB Trackside on Freeview|HD®. This means thirteen or fourteen TV channels (depending on location) plus three radio channels are available on Freeview|HD®, and Freeview Satellite offers fifteen TV channels with an additional four radio channels.  Stratos will be launching in March on Freeview|HD® and both TVNZ and TVWorks are making changes to their digital TV offerings.

“It’s fantastic to see Kiwis embracing Freeview and enjoying crystal-clear pictures, new channels and world-class digital technology for free. This year Freeview users will get the added benefit of watching all 48 Rugby World Cup matches, with all the All Blacks’ matches  being shown live and for free on Freeview. We have also partnered with a national installer group to provide a one stop set-up and installation service. So now its even easier for analogue viewers to get free digital TV installed in their home,” he adds.

(From a press release)

A combination of additional content and technological innovation has contributed to the strong continued growth of Freeview, the free-to-air digital broadcasting platform.

Freeview sales from retailers for the three months ended 30th September 2010 totalled 58,417 units, up from 54,456 in the previous quarter. This means that even more Kiwis are enjoying crystal-clear pictures, new channels, popular content and world-class digital technology for free.

And today, New Zealand Racing Board’s Trackside Channel will join the Freeview|HD® line up providing viewers with detailed, extensive coverage of New Zealand, Australian and international races, as well as a range of racing inspired programmes. 

The launch of Trackside increases the number of channels available to New Zealanders on Freeview|HD® to at least 13 TV and three radio channels. In addition, Kiwis now have the ability to watch, pause, and record Freeview|HD ® with PlayStation® PlayTV®, launched last week. PlayTV® is a new device that connects via USB to PS3®, instantly adding DTR and Freeview |HD ® digital TV functions to the PS3® entertainment suite. In so doing it gives consumers yet another option for making the switch to digital television. 

“As the year draws to a close we’re thrilled with the rate that viewers around the country are continuing to connect with the subscription free digital television proposition that Freeview offers. These latest developments are further evidence of our efforts to make it even more accessible,” says Sam Irvine, General Manager, Freeview.

In order to aid New Zealanders in the switch to digital television, a $13 million campaign has been launched by the government for the next three years.

With the digital TV switchover announced to be complete by November 2013, around 30 per cent of kiwi households will need to upgrade to a new television for purchase a digital box by then.

The Going Digital campaign will feature a website (goingdigital.co.nz) as well as a freephone helpline (0800 838 800) in order to aid people in the switchover to digital television.

“Over the coming months, ‘Going Digital’ will be working with local communities to ensure viewers know where to turn for advice,” said Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman.

“Seventy-one per cent of New Zealand households are already watching digital television through either Freeview, Sky or TelstraClear. Going Digital will ensure people know about the change, and that advice and practical support is available for those who need it.”

The switchover will take place region by region beginning in the Hawkes Bay and West Coast in September 2012.

Source: Herald, TVNZ

A decision is set to be made as early as this week as to the date of the analogue television switch-off, with 2015 looking like the most likely date.

The end of analogue television in this country would result in people yet to make the move to the likes of Freeview and Sky having to do so if they possess older television sets which don’t have digital receivers built in.

The Government is also set to offer a sweetener to those in provincial New Zealand cities, with an extension in the reach of Freeview’s HD service, FreeviewHD, which would increase the coverage from 75 per cent to around 87 per cent of households.

Cities that would gain FreeviewHD would include Nelson, Invercargill, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Masterton and Gisborne.

A spokesman for Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman said an announcement would be made soon “on a range of issues regarding broadcasting.”

There has been no indication whether or not the Government will provide financial assistance to aid customers make the change as US and British Governments did.

Source: Stuff

Growth of the free-to-air digital broadcasting platform, Freeview, continues to track upwards, according to its latest enabled household figures which illustrate that as of 30th June, 2010, it has broken a significant milestone and is now being enjoyed by viewers in more than a quarter of New Zealand homes.

A total of 419,945 Kiwi households (26.1%) are now enjoying the benefits of crystal clear pictures, new channels, popular content and world-class digital technology for free. The increase in Freeview enabled homes for the last 12 months to June 30, 2010, was 65% from 255,048 homes to 419,945 homes, or a further 10.3% of the population. More specifically, for the second quarter of this year, Freeview satellite and Freeview|HD®. numbers have increased again. An additional 9,639 homes were enabled with Freeview satellite and 33,947 with Freeview|HD®.

“It’s yet another strong result, indicative of the appeal Freeview has and the way in which free-to-air, digital TV and radio is proving so popular with New Zealand consumers. The anecdotal feedback we’ve had from retailers suggests the All Whites performance at the Fifa Football World Cup (screened live on TV One in HD, with alternate live games plus replays on TVNZ 7) played a part in this very good result for Freeview|HD®. And prices for integrated digital TVs, which have built-in Freeview|HD® tuners, and MyFreeview|HD® Digital television recorders, are consistently falling, which helps too,” says Sam Irvine, Freeview General Manager.

“One thing won’t be changing and that’s our firm commitment to providing great TV and radio, both mainstream, popular content and niche channels, all via a free-to-air model,” he adds.

With TVNZ’s free to air broadcast of the All Whites first World Cup game in 28 years reaping a rating that was approximately three and a half times the audience of the broadcast on Sky, it raises some interesting questions.

Like, should the New Zealand Rugby Union be contemplating a return to certain games being broadcast live on FTA?  Perhaps such a move would revitalise peoples interest in the game.  Heaven knows something needs to be revitalised!

What about TVNZ Heartland?  Would any trumpet blowing about apparent success be overshadowed by the nagging question, would it have drawn even larger audiences had it been on the FTA Freeview platform?  I guess it doesn’t really matter because regardless of whether anyone actually watches, TVNZ gets paid, but still an interesting question.

The obvious success of having a live, FTA broadcasts at such a late hour must surely indicate just how important it is for games of national importance to be available for viewing.  Whether or not this is something that a minister of broadcasting would entrench into law in New Zealand, however, is a completely other story.

Nearly three years after launching, Freeview continues to connect with Kiwis thanks to increases in the number of channels, the imminent prospect of the FIFA Football World Cup being available free-to-air in HD® and continued free-to-air digital technology innovation.

“We’ve moved fairly quickly from five channels to 16 and with the arrival of the MediaWorks alternative music channel, C42 on May the 1st, that number will increase yet again. As well as the new channel, the Football World Cup is now less than 50 days away and some of the games are scheduled to screen live on TV One in HD® while TVNZ 7 will broadcast selected alternative live games plus replays.  So clearly the content that’s not available on analogue TV is proving to be a big part of a really attractive proposition for TV viewers,” says Sam Irvine, Freeview General Manager.

“We are also continuing to work with manufacturers and broadcasters  to enable  them to develop applications and products that will allow viewers to copy and distribute  High Definition content and access video content, direct to their TV’s,  over the internet”, he adds.

Sales figures for the first quarter of 2010 show that nearly a  quarter (23.5%) of New Zealand homes can now access free-to-air, digital TV and radio through  Freeview.

The total number of households able to receive Freeview is now 376,389 (up from 346,116 in December 2009), which consists of both Freeview satellite® homes and Freeview|HD® homes. The number of Freeview enabled satellite® households has grown to 12% whilst the number of Freeview|HD® enabled homes also grew to 11.5%.

“Freeview is committed to offering the best digital free-to-air viewing experience possible and new channels, popular content and world-class technology are compelling evidence of that,” concludes Sam Irvine.