28/04/2007

FREEVIEW: WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO GO DIGITAL

A plethora of stories in the Herald today about Freeview free-to-air digital TV which is launched on Wednesday. John Drinnan does an interesting piece about how Freeview might change the competitive landscape. John's story suggests 30,000 people have already bought the set-top boxes that will allow them to receive satellite digital TV. I think that's probably a large over-statement seeing as none of the retailers have been doing much advertising of the boxes.
My story looks at what the options are for Freeview in terms of hardware. The Coship 160GB digital recorder Satlink is offering for $595 looks like a good option for those wanting to record TV to watch later.
Also, an interesting story about the viewer backlash to Canwest's move to deliver TV3 programmes in widescreen. The problem facing those with widescreen TVs who are receiving a digital TV signal is that not all of the programmes broadcast are in 16:9 format yet. For instance, The Simpsons is still in 4:3 format so black bars are put down the sides of the picture to fill the widescreen TV sets. That looks pretty ugly and the situation is likely to continue to but those with widescreen TVs and digital feeds until all programmes are delivered in 16:9 format.

Feedback from Ray:

The North Shore City Council has a restriction on Sattelite Dishes via a recent District Plan Change. Those people who live in North Shore City MAY have to obtain a Resource Consent and pay a fee to the Council BEFORE installing the Freeview Dish. Why doesnt NZ Herald clarify that with North Shore City Council and advise the public via NZ Herald? They are the only City Council in New Zealand to have gone down this path. Wayne Thompson was there for the hearings last November.

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