We’re going digital

September 16th, 2010 at 10:11 pm by David Farrar

The Government announced:

The Government announced today that New Zealand will complete the switch to digital by 2013.

‘’Our election promise was to achieve digital switchover (DSO) by 2015 at the latest. With 70 percent of New Zealand households already watching digital television, we are in a good position to set a date for DSO,” says Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman.

‘’In achieving DSO by the end of 2013, all of New Zealand will receive the benefit of enhanced reception, better picture quality and more channels. There will be a substantial wider economic benefit generated by the use of freed up spectrum for new technology.

It is the spectrum that is freed up, which has exciting possibilities.

Digital switchover will be phased starting with Hawke’s Bay and the West Coast in September 2012. The rest of the country will switch over in three stages with an end date of November 2013.

I got a new TV a couple of years ago that is digital, so no problems with me. Plus I do all my viewing through My Sky anyway.

Labour are supportive:

Am at NZ Computer Society 50th anniversary conf in Rotorua and about to speak, but want to say that it’s the right decision. Am a bit suprised. it loooked as though the government was going to delay til 2015.

Wonder why they changed their minds. The mobile companies investing in 4G will be pleased.  And it means that we wont lag in the next generation of ultra-fast broadband over mobile.

The “loser” is , who provide the current transmissions. But they are well on their way with developing other business models.

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26 Responses to “We’re going digital”

  1. MT_Tinman (2,993 comments) says:

    So who in the Maori party do you see about gaining access to the freed up spectrum?

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  2. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    so is it a waste of time and money getting a flat screen till 2013?

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  3. wreck1080 (3,731 comments) says:

    “so is it a waste of time and money getting a flat screen till 2013?”

    Why will the flatscreen screen TV bought today not work in 2013?

    As far as I know, there are no plans to phase out either freeview terrestrial or satellite in 2013.

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  4. marynicolehicks (24 comments) says:

    What? There are no plans to phase out either freeview terrestrial or satellite?
    So what is that whole fibre to the door thing? I am sure that could carry tv?
    Surely fibre to the door makes freeview terrestrial or satellite obsolete?

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  5. BlairM (2,287 comments) says:

    Nice, yet another move by the Government to completely fuck over poor people.

    They’ve effectively just taxed everyone $100 to buy a converter.

    Scum.

    [DPF: Why should I pay, to provide you with free TV? Never realised you were a socialist]

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  6. wreck1080 (3,731 comments) says:

    Get over it blairM. TV is a luxury, not a right.

    If all your mates down at the dole office can afford TV’s then they can afford a converter.

    What are you going on about mary? Are you taking the piss? If not, then , for your sake, it is the incumbent analogue tv spectrum which is currently being transitionally phased out by freeview.

    Fibre to the door is many years away.

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  7. Hagues (711 comments) says:

    “They’ve effectively just taxed everyone $100 to buy a converter.”

    And how much are they taxing us to pay for needless analogue transmission?

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  8. ben (2,396 comments) says:

    Sorry to rain on the socialist parade again, but how does Coleman or anyone else know this is a gain for NZ? Has Analogue Inc bid for spectrum rights on an even playing field and been outbid? Not that I’m aware of. It’s simply been decided by the planners that the spectrum must be freed. I also heard someone saying the use for the freed spectrum had been decided. How? By planners too? If so, this is a guaranteed way to find second or third or last best outcomes.

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  9. Anthony (768 comments) says:

    Ben, it costs a lot money to keep all those analogue transmitters going so that by itself makes it worthwhile to complete the change.

    And BlairM, Labour agreed with this so are you as critical of them?

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  10. Rich Prick (1,553 comments) says:

    For those of you who missed Clark in high definition, welcome to our collective hell. Thankfully Bradford left the building, but Kedgely still lurks.

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  11. James Stephenson (2,033 comments) says:

    Ben – the freed up spectrum is required for “LTE” the next generation of mobile.

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  12. berend (1,634 comments) says:

    Our government in charge of providing bread and circuses. Aren’t we lucky with good dictator Brownlee.

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  13. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    Any TV brought today will work in 2013. Freeview will not be phased out. Freeview IS THE NAME OF THE DIGITAL TV NETWORK IN NZ.

    Retail stores have been selling these TVs for about 3 years now. Anyone who has purchased a TV in that time will not need to buy a set top box.

    As someone who works in this industry, the level of ignorance regarding freeview astounds me, as evidenced by some comments on this forum. (wikiriwhis business, marynicolehicks, BlairM.)

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  14. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Nice one BlairM, cancel progress for everyone in case the cost inconveniences some dole bludgers who spend the same amount on cigarettes and booze in a week ? Socialist much ?

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  15. rouppe (916 comments) says:

    Except we’ve got a couple of older but perfectly usable CRT TV’s in the bedroom and such which will become massive paper weights unless we spend 200-300 for a decoder for each.

    Not to mention some means of recording the ‘free to air’ channels which means my DVD recorder becomes useless and I have to spend somewhere between $600 (Tivo, My Sky) to $1500 (Panasonc BD recorder with 2 freeview tuners) for a replacement.

    So not really seamless

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  16. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    rouppe what on earth are you talking about ? $200 to $300 for a decoder ? I got mine on 1-day for $80. And getting your recorder to work is only a problem if you can’t master plugging the output from the decoder into the input for the recorder. Most freeview decoders will record digitally onto internal memory or a memory stick anyway so you don’t even need it.

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  17. bearhunter (859 comments) says:

    “In achieving DSO by the end of 2013, all of New Zealand will receive the benefit of enhanced reception, better picture quality and more channels.”

    I don’t suppose Mr Coleman could do something about the quality of the content while he’s at it?

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  18. Dave Mann (1,169 comments) says:

    My immediate thought was “And how much will we have to pay the Maoris for the privilege of using ‘their’ spectrum in ‘their’ fucking country?”

    Imagine my surprise when I clicked on comments and saw the FIRST comment by MT_Tinman…..

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  19. William2 (30 comments) says:

    dpf wrote:
    “The “loser” is Kordia, who provide the current transmissions.”

    Why do you say that? Kordia also provide the Freeview transmission facilities.

    From http://www.freeviewnz.tv/site/news_article/the_establishment_of_freeview_nz

    “The Freeview Ku-band satellite uplink systems, and the UHF DVB-T distribution network are owned and operated by local distribution company Kordia. … and the consortium contracted Kordia to design and build a DVB-T distribution network that would meet its population coverage specifications. The broadcasters now deliver to Kordia their multiplexed ASI transport stream outputs which Kordia then reticulates via either satellite or UHF transmitters to the people of New Zealand.”

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  20. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    Why do you say that? Kordia also provide the Freeview transmission facilities.

    Why? Because currently there are repeaters all across the country to make sure that every little town can get reception. Can’t recall the number, but it might have been as high as 250 – a lot anyway.

    With Freeview , there are 9 or so transmitters for HD (Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Hastings, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin) and *one* satellite.

    So right away, the cost of maintaining broadcasting facilities is cut by an order of magnitude.

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  21. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    As for those complaining about their current TV’s being useless without a $100 spend, just treat it as a really cheap new cellphone… people seem to purchase a new one of those every couple of years.

    I note in the US, they’ve given out vouchers to older people who may not be able to afford it.

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  22. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    The same price as one night out in Wellington. Cheaper than going to a test match. Get over it.
    And BTW you don’t need to buy an HD decoder, a cheaper SD one can be picked up for less than $50.

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  23. rouppe (916 comments) says:

    Put it away

    Based on prices at DSE which is where you’re going to be covered by the CGA unlike trademe. Also 1-day but hey, I don’t sit there watching those places every day.

    Yes I can plug a decoder into the existing DVD recorder. Another fucking box to fit into the cabinet, and a pain in the ass because the TV there has a freeview tuner but of course you can’t record from that tuner, so you essentially have to have two decoders to maintain functionality, not to mention 2 more cables (one to the TV so you can see to drive the thing as well as one to the DVD recorder to record from it).

    The boxes on DSE don’t mention any internal storage. There’s one on trademe that does mention 128Mb. What’s that going to give you, 15 minutes of HD?

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  24. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    so you essentially have to have two decoders to maintain functionality

    I was thinking along the same lines until I realised that’s what I had under the old system anyway – a tuner in the TV and a tuner in the video.

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  25. William2 (30 comments) says:

    scrubone wrote:

    “Because currently there are repeaters all across the country to make sure that every little town can get reception.”

    I can’t imagine the many low power translators around the country are a significant part of Kordia’s revenue. They’re old and a logistical nightmare to keep running.

    With Freeview there are currently nine regions receiving coverage, but that is achieved with several transmitters in some of those regions e.g. Wellington & Auckland.

    It was also announced the other day that terrestrial coverage is to be extended to 10 other regions, Wairarapa, Timaru, Whangarei, Gisborne, Taranaki, Taupo, Nelson, Rotorua, Whanganui and Invercargill, and Kordia get that work, both installation and ongoing service.

    Sure there’ll never be the current multitude of translators, but Kordia will once again be in the situation of supplying all free to air services, the losers are the owners of other transmission sites that previously hosted some of TV3 and Sky’s coverage.

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  26. rouppe (916 comments) says:

    Srcubone

    Yes that’s right. But unless I replace the DVD recorder that’s another box in the cabinet. I guess I’m starting to rebel against the number of boxes I need to keep in the cabinet. If I’m going to have to get another box with freeview tuner/s I’d rather get something that fulfils other roles. So that leaves Tivo, MyFreeview or a newer dvd recorder like the Panasonic DMR-BW880GZK. But that latter one’s darn expensive though it does have a BD burner.

    I believe I can transfer content from the Tivo to a PC to burn to a DVD if necessary so that is the cheaper option. But still need basic freeview decoders for the other TV’s in the house so I’d need to make a call on whether trademe is worth the risk.

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