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 http://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.
For more information about Freeview’s services visit www.freeviewnz.tv. For more information about the DSO visit www.goingdigital.co.nz.