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  Reply # 558203 15-Dec-2011 10:26 Send private message

oxnsox:
paulmilbank: I may well be wrong here and picking up on bad second hand information, so please correct me if i'm wrong, but it is my understanding that winz already subsidise sky on the benefit as a claimable expense for those with "disabilities" (however this is defined) who need it. In theory it is for those who cant get out of the house easily.

If this is the case, moving them onto a cheaper box makes a lot of sense. Providing them with a box for $25 a month or free and they pay for the sky programs if they want to makes financial sense instead of $45 a month for basic sky.

If this is correct, I find it shocking that Sky should be subsidised for any beneficiaries. 
And yes I acknowledge that some folk maybe confined to home, however free to air TV still provides that choice as an option.
I'm open to be convinced otherwise providing its not a 'content' based argument, because everyones 'content' choices are justifiable individual and different. 


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  Reply # 558204 15-Dec-2011 10:35 Send private message

TV is not a necessity of life. We need to get our priorities straight. The taxpayer should not be footing the bill (yet again) for people who can't (or more likely won't) go and get a decoder themselves.

Before the election there was the usual "politicising" of the beneficiaries with a couple appearing on TV showing how bad their life was. I was shocked to see in 2 cases I saw people going on about not having enough to feed their kids, meanwhile in the background was a nice big TV with a Sky decoder! I hope they are not subsidised by WINZ, but then how do they supposedly afford them?





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  Reply # 558222 15-Dec-2011 11:19 Send private message

http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/6141783/Free-digital-TV-on-cards-for-disadvantaged-viewers

 

'Sky Television spokeswoman Kirsty Way said Sky and its Igloo joint venture with Television New Zealand had expressed interest in supplying the boxes, but both were turned down.

Neither was invited to participate in a subsequent closed tender, scotching speculation in a newspaper report yesterday that Igloo could get a leg up from the assistance scheme. "We won't be involved unless there is a huge turnaround somewhere, which we are not expecting," Way said.'




 

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  Reply # 558232 15-Dec-2011 11:32 Send private message

I really hope this thread doesn't turn into a beneficiary bash.

I personally don't have Sky as for me it does not represent justified opportunity cost and I spend my salary elsewhere.

I do find the idea of the Government subsidising 60,000 set-top-boxes hard to take as a tax payer. That's a few teachers, nurses, cops or doctors we could have had.

Anybody on this thread in disagreement with that statement?

So, as I understand it the Government has decided to subsidise STBs. Just read the above post, looks like Igloo/ Sky is out of the running. 

Would any STB govt subsidy under any circumstance be OK?

I don't know.




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  Reply # 558240 15-Dec-2011 12:04 Send private message

paulmilbank: I may well be wrong here and picking up on bad second hand information, so please correct me if i'm wrong, but it is my understanding that winz already subsidise sky on the benefit as a claimable expense for those with "disabilities" (however this is defined) who need it. In theory it is for those who cant get out of the house easily.

If this is the case, moving them onto a cheaper box makes a lot of sense. Providing them with a box for $25 a month or free and they pay for the sky programs if they want to makes financial sense instead of $45 a month for basic sky.


They may not be getting the Sky Basic package, as there is the ability to have the "Decoder Only" rental package which is a little over $18 per month. Gets most freeview channels.  Useful for those outside the terrestrial broadcast area.

I'd be pretty miffed if WINZ are subsidising anything more than the Decoder Only package, irrespective of disabilities or circumstances.





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  Reply # 558249 15-Dec-2011 12:21 Send private message

"They may not be getting the Sky Basic package, as there is the ability to have the "Decoder Only" rental package which is a little over $18 per month. Gets most freeview channels.  Useful for those outside the terrestrial broadcast area."

But if there is to be a subsidised box, why not a generic terrestrial or satellite Freeview box rather than the more expensive, Sky-related igloo box?  Shouldn't be rental subsidy - the first 6 months $18 rental could purchase a Freeview box.



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  Reply # 558279 15-Dec-2011 12:55 Send private message

crichton: But if there is to be a subsidised box, why not a generic terrestrial or satellite Freeview box rather than the more expensive, Sky-related igloo box?  Shouldn't be rental subsidy - the first 6 months $18 rental could purchase a Freeview box.

Back somewhere near the beginning of the thread was a link to a report where it was 'indicated' that the box could be igloo/freeview capable. OK, so thats a good thing.  

Cost??? shouldn't be much more than a Freeview box really (at point of manufacture)


crackrdbycracku:
I do find the idea of the Government subsidising 60,000 set-top-boxes hard to take as a tax payer. That's a few teachers, nurses, cops or doctors we could have had. 
So, as I understand it the Government has decided to subsidise STBs. Just read the above post, looks like Igloo/ Sky is out of the running.   

Thats not the way I read it. I read they're contracting for the supply of Freeview/Igloo (dual capable) boxes... which they'll then on sell, distribute, (and give away) to recover some of the costs....

Would any STB govt. subsidy under any circumstance be OK? 

If the govt. argument is that the subsidised products are offset by the sales of the dual STB's then it's far more palatable. But it still means that those that pay are subsiding those that don't (or pay less)

I see 2 issues in all of this:
- Should the govt. be subsidising anyone who wants to watch tele?
- Should I be responsible for anyone who hasn't been able to get their head around the analogue switch off, and sort out a suitable digital option?  (When we went to colour the govt. didn't subsidise you upgrading your B&W set, or indeed getting your first tele!!)
 

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  Reply # 558291 15-Dec-2011 13:08 Send private message

"Back somewhere near the beginning of the thread was a link to a report where it was 'indicated' that the box could be igloo/freeview capable. OK, so thats a good thing."

Not igloo/freeview.  Where we started was a quote from NZ Herald, maybe you missed it:
"The Government is looking at taxpayer subsidies for some late-adopters to get Sky's Igloo set-top boxes after old analogue TV signals are switched off.  The move is aimed at easing the transition to digital transmission, but would fit with Government policies that promote pay TV and undermine Freeview and the free-to-air TV sector."

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  Reply # 558301 15-Dec-2011 13:16 Send private message

Just need to step in briefly again and make the point that my statement is not first hand experience or necessarily the truth. I remember hearing it from someone who should be credible as they work in this sector, but until it is confirmed by someone in the know, it should not be taken as truth.

If it was true, the govt could make a significant saving by switching people with subsidised sky onto subsidised igloo which would be a good move. Even at 10000 boxes it is $200000 a month or $2.4 mil a year.

Otherwise we need to wait and see what the details are of what is being discussed, as it sounds like a scheme to make sure people dont miss out on their tv when analogue is switched off something like the UK scheme. We seem to follow the UK in a lot of things.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Switchover_Help_Scheme_(United_Kingdom)  

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  Reply # 558682 16-Dec-2011 13:04 Send private message

IMO the broadcasters should be footing the bill and possibly getting in branded boxes that they can push epg and onscreen ads out to which would cover the costs. then if you dont like them you can pay to remove them by buying a box.




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  Reply # 558687 16-Dec-2011 13:11 Send private message

richms: IMO the broadcasters should be footing the bill and possibly getting in branded boxes that they can push epg and onscreen ads out to which would cover the costs. then if you dont like them you can pay to remove them by buying a box.


Wouldn't that mean you need more than one box because, for example, you can't get the Prime EPG on TiVo? or worse...  




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  Reply # 559778 19-Dec-2011 22:01 Send private message

In my opinion, the government should be issuing one voucher per household.
This single voucher will be for $39 to $49 and redeemable for any 'approved' decoder is both freeview approved, and voucher programme approved. This is how the USA did it with their digital switchover.

This will enable hills or some cheap approved decoder to be included in the voucher price, and also allow those that want to pay the difference to get a more fancy box such as the igloo.

One voucher per household is fair, and allows every person in new zealand who currently chooses to watch free tv, to continue to watch free tv.

The purpose is to keep the citizens informed by allowing them continued access to educational and news content that the citizen currently has access to.

The voucher programme basically needs to approve any box that can continue to recieve free tv, and that is freeview approved, without a required subscription. Freeview just need to approve any box that recieves the video and gets the epg.

By requiring all voucher qualifying decoders to be freeview approved, this allows all channels fair and equal access to the decoders under the voucher scheme, and so that no ongoing subscription is required to use the box - but some more expensive boxes can have a subscription addon.

So under my suggestion, igloo would qualify by
 - Customers paying the difference on top of the voucher to purchase the decoder
 - Igloo would need to get itself freeview approved 
 - Igloo doesnt require an ongoing subscription
 If igloo didnt get freeview approved, then it looks like mediaworks would be excluded and therefore the vouchers couldnt be redeemed for them.




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  Reply # 559805 20-Dec-2011 06:05 Send private message

Sorry for taking this off topic, but can you imagine the outcry from NZ if the a Canadian Broadcaster released a pay TV service called Whare?

Ok back on topic.

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  Reply # 563843 2-Jan-2012 20:30

If this isn't corporate welfare, I don't know what is.

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  Reply # 563853 2-Jan-2012 21:03 Send private message

deepred: If this isn't corporate welfare, I don't know what is.


Well it's not really, because as discussed in the media (and in this thread) the suggestion of a subsidy for Igloo boxes was ruled out. Seems this initial story was nothing but an unsubstanciated rumor that media ran with.


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