Freeview

TVNZ will be providing a feast of extended coverage of international soccer free-to-air this month on TVNZ Sport Extra which can be found on channel 20 of Freeview.

TVNZ Sport Extra will have full, delayed coverage of all the New Zealand games in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, held in Canada. Highlights of the New Zealand games will be broadcast on TV ONE on Saturdays.

In addition, TVNZ Sport Extra will be exclusively offering LIVE and full replay coverage of all the crucial matches from the quarter final stages onwards of the AFC Asian Cup, featuring some of the best teams in the World.

Coverage of the New Zealand team’s progress in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup begins today (3 July) with full replays of their opening match against Portugal at 4:00pm, 7:00pm and 10:00pm. Replays of New Zealand’s other pool games against Gambia (6 July) and Mexico (9 July) will screen at the same times. TVNZ Sport Extra will broadcast free-to-air replays of all New Zealand matches as they advance in the competition.

TVNZ Sport Extra coverage of the AFC Asian Cup begins on Saturday 21 July with LIVE coverage of the first quarterfinal. All subsequent matches in the tournament will be broadcast live. The Asian Cup is being contested by a 16-team field in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The field includes two-time Champions Japan, China, Korea and the Australian Socceroos.

The international soccer coverage will share Freeview channel 20 with TVNZ Sport Extra’s current LIVE and uninterrupted coverage with TV ONE of V8 Supercars races. The next round is July 20-22 from Ipswich, Queensland.

TVNZ General Manager of Sport Murray Needham says this month’s TVNZ Sport Extra international soccer broadcasts show how Freeview allows TVNZ to cover sport more fully.

“The Freeview platform opens up a world of sporting events to us. Now it’s viable for us to broadcast events with significant niche audiences like international soccer and the V8 Supercars in primetime. Expect to see more from TVNZ Sport Extra,” he said.

For full details of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup and AFC Asian Cup broadcast schedule, visit: tvnz.co.nz, keyword: football


TVNZ Sport Extra will have full, delayed coverage of all the New Zealand games in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, held in Canada. Highlights of the New Zealand games will be broadcast on TV ONE on Saturdays. In addition TVNZ Sport Extra will be exclusively offering LIVE and full replay coverage of all the crucial matches from the quarter final stages onwards of the AFC Asian Cup, featuring some of the best teams in the World.
Coverage of the New Zealand team’s progress in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup begins on the 3rd of July with full replays of their opening match against Portugal at 4:00pm, 7:00pm and 10:00pm. Replays of New Zealand’s other pool games against Gambia (6 July) and Mexico (9 July) will screen at the same times.

TVNZ General Manager of Sport Murray Needham says this month’s TVNZ Sport Extra international football broadcasts show how Freeview allows TVNZ to cover sport more fully.

“The Freeview platform opens up a world of sporting events to us. Now it’s viable for us to broadcast events with significant niche audiences like international soccer and the V8 Supercars in primetime. Expect to see more from TVNZ Sport Extra,” he said.

Despite a big slump in ratings, TVNZ is in the process of unveiling plans for its new Freeview channels – TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7, starting September and next March respectively. The new channels have been given $76 million in taxpayer grants for five years provided no advertising is shown during that period.

Read more.

TV1 and TV2 will be broadcast in widescreen exclusively on Freeview from August this year. This is the latest in a series of channels switching over to widescreen.

TVNZ is bringing V8 Supercars to Freeview

TVNZ will broadcast live and uninterrupted coverage of the remaining rounds of the 2007 Australian V8 Supercars series on Freeview.

TV ONE will continue to screen its standard ONE Sport coverage of the V8 Supercars Series, with the ONE Sport Extra uninterrupted coverage of the racing screening on a separate Freeview channel. The coverage will commence from Round Four of the V8 Supercars championship on Friday May 18 and continue for the rest of the season.

You can access the extended ONE Sport coverage of the Australian V8 Supercars on Freeview, channel 20.

If you would like to know more about purchasing a Freeview set top box please visit www.freeviewnz.tv or call 0800-FREEVIEW.

ONE Sport extended coverage schedule details are:

Round 4, Winton Raceway, Victoria – Coverage: May 18 – 21

Date Coverage time Coverage details
Friday May 18 7pm Pukehoke, Round 3, Races 1, 2 and 3
Saturday May 19 12pm Fujitsu V8 Supercars, Adelaide
1pm Fujitsu V8 Supercars, Wakefield Park
2pm Winton, Round 4 – LIVE
3.05pm Fujitsu V8 Supercars
4pm Fujitsu V8 Supercars
5pm Winton, Round 4, Qualifying
5.50pm Winton, Round 4, Race 1 LIVE
7pm Winton, Round 4, Qualifying
8pm Winton, Round 4, Race 1
9pm Winton, Round 4, Qualifying
10pm Winton, Round 4, Race 1
Sunday May 20 11.50am Winton, Round 4, Race 1
12.55pm Winton, Round 4, Race 2 LIVE
3.40pm Winton, Round 4, Race 3 LIVE
6pm Winton, Round 4, Race 2
7pm Winton, Round 4, Race 3
8.20pm Winton, Round 4, Race 2
9.20pm Winton, Round 4, Race 3
Monday May 21 7pm Winton Round 4, Qualifying and Races 1, 2 and 3

Thought I might splurge on a little freeview to add to the amount of LED’s in my living room.

Is it really worth getting a certified set top box, vs a cheaper one? Apart from a built in TV guide and it being pre-set up, are there any other benefits?

I notice the certified one says something about interactive tv?

This was reported today and is an article about those who are buying non-Freeview approved set top boxes.

Freeview box cost may put thousands off

With just one day to the official launch, the NZ Herald posted this article online today.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/3/story.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10437037


Consumers dipping their toes in the world of digital free-to-air TV will need to stump up anything from $160 to $650 depending on whether they buy an official Freeview set-top box and need to have a satellite dish installed.

The Freeview consortium has given its seal of approval to just two set-top box makers, Zinwell and Hills Signalmaster. Both will initially sell a single model each through electronics chains like Dick Smith and Noel Leeming for $299, about $100 more than the the Government indicated when plans for Freeview were unveiled.

The two set-top boxes offer fairly basic functionality – digital satellite TV and radio reception, a seven-day electronic programming guide, favourite channel settings, an output for audio streams delivered in Dolby Digital surround sound and widescreen support.

Set-top boxes that include hard-drive-based digital recorders will debut later in the year.

Meanwhile, a thriving market for Freeview equipment has sprung up among set-top box importers left out of the Freeview loop.

Peter Escher, managing director of Satlink, said he had just received 400 set-top boxes from a Chinese manufacturer and had 3000 more arriving next week.

He said Freeview’s official set-top boxes were overpriced and his simplest Coship model, which receives the same set of channels but does not allow for receipt of the regionalised advertising Freeview broadcasters will deliver, was selling for $160.

“It’s not complicated technology. People just want good-quality TV.”

A more advanced set-top box and digital recorder with a 160GB hard drive would sell for $595.

Satlink would go head to head with Freeview, offering viewers the chance to buy a set-top box and new module for their satellite dish for $180, so they could pick up the Freeview channels and more than 20 foreign language and religious channels broadcast unencrypted over the Pacific.

“Freeview, we believe, has slightly lost the plot as it has got nothing going on air like the BBC, just local content. The response from a lot of folk is disinterest, as they can already watch TVOne, 2, 3 and C4,” said Escher, who recommended that Freeview converts spend a maximum of $450 for set-top box, satellite dish and installation.

Those with an unused Sky TV satellite dish on their house can simply plug their Freeview digital set-top box into the existing connection to get the satellite feed. That is because Freeview is delivered from the same Optus D1 satellite used by Sky, so the dish’s position need not be changed.

More options for Freeview watching will emerge when the official set-top box providers launch their own digital recorders later in the year and a new box capable of receiving high-definition signals will be launched to support the switching on of the terrestrial digital TV service in March.

The terrestrial service will require a UHF rooftop antenna rather than a satellite dish.

TV makers such as Loewe have already released models with built-in Freeview tuners which support digital terrestrial TV services and remove the need for a set-top box.

Computer enthusiasts are also busy building their own digital TV-capable media centres, using PC and satellite tuner cards. While such devices cannot pick up the official Freeview programming guide, the TV listings have been made available unofficially for download on the internet from Openmedia.co.nz.

Photo:The Freeview box could cost anything from $160 to $650 dollars, depending on the supplier.

NZ Herald


The Freeview revolution is about to start. All it needs is content, an audience and advertisers.

The new digital platform is up against Sky TV’s dominance in sports and other core content areas, so it is easy to pooh-pooh its chances.

Most market analysts certainly view it as being little threat to Sky in the short term at least.

But despite the limited growth expected in the early days, many believe it marks a significant turning point for the free-to-air TV industry.

Eric Kearley, a British television executive TVNZ hired to create its first two Freeview channels, has no doubts it will take off quickly.

He thinks it will appeal to the large number of people who would not subscribe to pay television but who want more choice.

“Freeview will have an impact. You would have to be an ostrich with your head in the sand if you believe otherwise,” he said.

TVNZ has for years watched the relentless drift of its audience to Sky, which now has 42 per cent market share.

Even if it does not have an immediate effect on Sky subscriber numbers or profits, Freeview will change the dynamics.

But the first part of the Freeview platform – which will be delivered by satellite – is likely to broadcast to only 30,000 people.

That’s an estimate of how many people have paid the $300 for a new set-top box that will convert existing free-to-air channels – TV One, TV2, TV3, C4 and Maori TV – to a digital format.

The second part of Freeview – involving digital TV signals sent from “terrestrial” broadcast towers owned by the Government transmission company Kordia – starts early next year.

Sky Television chief executive John Fellet is confident Freeview will not hurt his company.

But Freeview consortium general manager Steve Browning is surprised at that confidence.

“It comes down to common sense,” he says. “When you lose a monopoly then it is going to have an effect.”

Fellet’s view is also challenged by Spectrum Strategy Consultants, the firm whose report on free-to-air digital TV last June underpinned the Freeview plan.

In particular, the consultants predicted that if there were no free-to-air digital platform, Sky would be in 63 per cent of homes by 2015.

With a free-to-air digital rival, it would be in 51 per cent of homes. By 2020 the gap would have widened with 78 per cent, instead of 57 per cent.

Those figures suggest Freeview will be a cap on Sky’s growth. Fellet is unimpressed.

“I would be more interested in the report if it was paid for entirely by the Government, when in fact it was half paid for by the free-to-air channels,” he said.

“The report makes lot of assumptions such as comparing the situation with Freeview in Britain where the cost structures are different and there are 30 good channels. They are also assuming Sky will be standing still and not increasing its own channels.”

Fellet said that despite the growth of the British version of Freeview, Rupert Murdoch-controlled BSky-B had grown as well.

“People who would not normally have got pay TV went on Freeview, they liked it and decided to get more channels,” he said.

“If Freeview hurts us as much as it hurts BSky-B, I’ll be happy.”

But the reality is Sky lobbied heavily against the Government-backed Freeview and argued Sky’s own infrastructure could be used by free-to-air channels in the future.

Labour politicians were wary of leaving the free-to-air sector and its dream of public service broadcasting in the hands of Rupert Murdoch-controlled Sky.

Then last year Sky went off the air for a while when its (since replaced) satellite went out of orbit, an indication that Freeview’s unusual strategy – using both satellite and terrestrial – made sense.

But even if Sky is left unscathed by what is initially just a new distribution system, the arrival of a state-subsidised system marks the end of an era for Sky, which has played the political game to maintain its unregulated monopoly since it started in 1989.

CanWest MediaWorks New Zealand chief executive Brent Impey says with his company in negotiations to be sold by its Canadian owners, he won’t even look at TV3 introducing new channels for three to four months.

And even then the small number of viewers means the notoriously frugal broadcaster will be in no rush to spend money on little-watched channels.

The Government has coughed up $79 million for TVNZ to put together a new ad-free “family channel” launching on September 30 and a 24-hour news channel next March.

Sky-owned Prime will join in on the terrestrial service and Kordia is selling capacity at around $700,000 per channel per year to other new players.

In theory, Browning said, Freeview could have 12 or 13 channels next year.

But the “chicken and egg” problem is when to pay for content when there are no viewers who can attract advertisers.

Whatever happens, digital is here to stay. Traditional analogue broadcasts will switch off midway through the next decade.

The job next is to get content, viewers and then advertisers to make it pay.

Photo: Freeview chief Steve Browning says the free-to-air digital TV platform could have 12 or 13 channels next year. Photo / Dean Purcell

NZ Herald