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134 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 45


  Reply # 723810 27-Nov-2012 19:26 Send private message

adrianj: Not sure if this is a question for the broadcasters or freeview but is there a plan to broadcast local versions of the channels? E.g. here in Wellington our tv1 seems to be filled with adverts for Auckland businesses.


There is already regional advertising on One in Auckland, Central NI, Wellington and South Island. Sky rebroadcasts the Auckland region everywhere.


42 posts

Geek


  Reply # 723823 27-Nov-2012 19:56 Send private message

We have regional advertising here in Wellington too... Auckland's region, which made me wonder if Freeview are doing the same thing as sky

134 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 45


  Reply # 723841 27-Nov-2012 20:50 Send private message

The commercial breaks aren't regional in their entirety. It's the last few commercials in a break that are regional and even then, not all breaks have regional commercials.

Freeview isn't broadcasting Auckland regional commercials to all regions of the country - if it were doing that, there would be no point in TVNZ running four different versions of One. You are definitely not getting Auckland's regional breaks. If you're seeing commercials for Auckland businesses, it's likely that the business wants it to be advertised nation-wide, for whatever reason.

42 posts

Geek


  Reply # 723893 27-Nov-2012 22:17 Send private message

Journeyman: The commercial breaks aren't regional in their entirety. It's the last few commercials in a break that are regional and even then, not all breaks have regional commercials.

Freeview isn't broadcasting Auckland regional commercials to all regions of the country - if it were doing that, there would be no point in TVNZ running four different versions of One. You are definitely not getting Auckland's regional breaks. If you're seeing commercials for Auckland businesses, it's likely that the business wants it to be advertised nation-wide, for whatever reason.


interesting. Thanks Journeyman

532 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 9


  Reply # 724019 28-Nov-2012 10:12

Hi Freeview,

I am impressed by the DTT coverage and the expansion has been great. Can you do something to improve monitoring of the transmission? Occasionally, there are issues with pictures or sound that occur at transmission sites that are not picked up and repaired for several hours. Examples of this would be when lip sync between picture and sound ends up seconds out of place or no pictures at all, just sound. This has happened at both Kordia and JDA sites several times this year. It would seem that the telemetry returned from the transmitters is not capable of reporting these issues and they end up not being resolved for long periods, until multiple calls from the public eventually reach the broadcaster affected.

What would be good would be a common fault reporting system for the public to report problems. I realise most of the problems will be reception/aerial related, but if these are collated there would be the chance of picking up genuine transmitter faults early. Could you introduce a system for public fault reporting? Or can transmitter site telemetry be improved, perhaps with monitored back haul, to confirm the transmission is ok?

Thanks!




don't mess with me.... i'm the hd insider....



BDFL
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  Reply # 727239 5-Dec-2012 09:12 Send private message

Folks, I have compiled these questions and sent to Freeview. Will post the answers when I get them back. It usually takes a couple of weeks.

The PVR winner is Old3eyes!

I have confirmed his address and sent to Freeview today. This will be sent directly to him.





532 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 9


  Reply # 727782 6-Dec-2012 01:19

Old3eyes, you deserve it! Love your posts!




don't mess with me.... i'm the hd insider....

5576 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 728383 7-Dec-2012 09:27 Send private message

Hi Mauricio,

Many thanx for this. Was quite surprized. Even more so when i got a call from Freeview saying that they would deliver it to me personally Thursday. I was away yesterday so it was there this morning when I got in to work.. Will run it up at home tomorrow and compare it to my TiVo.

Will be interested in the new online channels next year that were mentioned during the fone call..




Regards,

Old3eyes



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  Reply # 728384 7-Dec-2012 09:29 Send private message

Congrats... Sam is a very cool guy and a great driver for Freeview.





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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 729248 9-Dec-2012 12:31 Send private message

I ran this box up on Saturday,

Took about 5 minutes to do a channel tune and about 20 minutes to do an over the air upgrade.

Can't say I'm impressed with the Freeview EPG compared to the TiVo.

The user guide that came with it was a bit lacking on what certain settings are, i.e Could not find away of setting DD5.1 and the default audio codec for HD channels. Went online to the Dish site and found a later version of it and no sorted that part out.

The pluses:
1. Picks up and shows TV channels from the AK Sky tower even though they appear in CH 800 listings unlike the TiVo that picks them up but won't show them..
2. When on standby it really is on standby and only powers up when a timed recording starts.

The minuses:
1. The EPG is only 8 days and not as good as the TiVo one which is 14 days,
2. Haven't found a away of setting up a manual record for a program that's not in the EPG like BBC overnite Click at 2.30am Monday morning TV1. Easy on the TiVo but it looks like I would have to record all 5 hours of programming on the Dish box.
Will email Dish and ask them unless someone here has one and knows..
3. Thew network play would not play anything from my main PC. Says "Can't play file"

Verdict: A nice DVR and will be a good replacement for the day my TiVo dies and we get Quickfix and the other online channels next year. I have a friend who still uses a analog VCR who will have to get a separate STB for that and all the hassles of doing that so I will suggest she buys one of these units.

Many thanx for Geekzone and Freeview for having this competition..






Regards,

Old3eyes



BDFL
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  Reply # 735956 21-Dec-2012 11:27 Send private message

Folks, these are the answers to this round of questions. You can now comment on these:

Q. Post DSO will we see any increase in transmission strength for the digital signals?

Freeview – The only feedback we have had on signal strength is with regard to DTH services and we are waiting for Sky to agree to changes that will allow Mediaworks and TVNZ to increase the bandwidth they currently allocate to their channels on DTH .

Q. As part of the DSO prep we've seen some restacking around the regions. Will Auckland's transmission frequencies be changing at some point?

Freeview – Our understanding is that the MED, who control this process, also want to restack Auckland at some stage but no date has been agreed by the broadcasters.

Q. Both DTT service is now running a close to transmission capacity. Will we see a fourth active multiplex before DSO completes?

Freeview - We would hope so. There are two more potential mux to be commissioned in the next year, so potentially another 20 FTA, standard definition channels or a mix of SD and HD.

Q. The DTH service is seriously oversubscribed due to the multiple versions of TV One and TV 3. What progress is being made on acquiring additional capacity, or providing guidance to broadcasters around picture quality?

Freeview – There is a solution been developed between Freeview and Sky to cross carry FTA signals which will mean more bandwidth will effectively be available so C4 will return and TV3 compression will be reduced. It will also allow other FTA programmes transmitted by Sky to be automatically picked up by Freeview receives. 

Q. Has Freeview conducted any research into how many households have converted their televisions to Freeview-capable with a set top box vs how many people have upgraded the TV itself to one with a built in Freeview receiver?

Freeview – No but we may do in the future. The Going digital tracker measures how many homes are using a Freeview device or a Sky device for watching TV and also the split of DTT V DTH for Freeview http://www.goingdigital.co.nz/media

Q. Might Freeview have any indication as to how many households are still using a 4:3 television as opposed to a 16:9?

Freeview – No we don’t as any TV can go digital with Freeview. We do know that approximately 400,000 flat panels will be sold this year and nearly every one of those has a Freeview|HD receiver built in. 

Q. As the first stage on the analogue shutdown has gone without any major problems why not just throw the switch nation wide end of this year. Why drag it on for another 12 months??

Freeview – Yes we would be keen to do that too but the Government is responsible for the process and while the technology is ready, it takes time for any society to adapt to the new and improved changes.  A staggered switchover (as the Government has planned) would help ensure positive outcomes in terms of technology as well as the wider community.  All countries have followed a similar process – the UK took about 5  years to do theirs, and Australia are also taking over double the amount of time we are to complete their switch over.

Q. Is there ever likely to be HD broadcast on Freeview Satellite?

Freeview – No plans for any of the broadcasters that we are aware of. It would mean a significant increase in broadcasting cost for them to account for the increase in bandwidth required for HD unless sky agreed to unencrypt the FTA HD content they have.

Q. Is there any plans down the track to upgrade Freeview UHF/HD to DVB-T2?

Freeview – Not in the near future but it is on the roadmap. What is more likely to happen be that, as we did with mpeg 4 v mpeg 2, we will actually skip T2 and move to the next standard. So the answer to your question is that it is some years away before we commit to any plans to change the Freeview NZ specification.

Q. Is the Freeview default channel numbering going to go past channel 29 in the future or are any additional channels going to fill the gaps?

Freeview – Yes the publically available numbering for broadcast FTA channels currently goes up to 99. If you go to our website and download the General Service provider code of practice you will find the costs for Freeview membership and those channel-allocations.

Q. For that matter, are there any plans to switch to DVB-S2 at some point?  If I buy a DVB-S-only STB today, how long can I expect it to be capable of receiving Freeview?

Freeview – No plans to change to S2 in the near future. However we may make it mandatory for 2014 (after DSO) receivers so if there is any change or addition in the next five years the market will mostly be seeded. Most products sold are already capable of S2 so it would only affect a small amount of older receivers.

Q. Are there any plans to offer a Teledex-type service via Freeview when TVNZ turn off their Teletext service (is it still scheduled for the end of 2012)?

Freeview – Not at this stage. The broadcasters seem more interested in developing their own online and on demand video services before any digitext service.

Q. Are there any plans for true 1080p content?

Freeview – No, the bandwidth costs are too great to make this financially sustainable for a broadcaster.

Q. Japan is already going ahead with plans to skip 4k and switch directly to 8K for digital broadcasting (Ultra Hi Definition). 8k is already a standard approved by the ITU. Is another switch planned in the long term and if so, when?

Freeview – Yes the Japanese are the world leaders in this development; however no plans to adopt here given the cost of broadcast capacity to achieve this.

Q. Wouldn't it have been better/easier/cheaper long term, for them to just have used the single satellite system, rather than having UHF for HD, and thus having two separate systems? I have satellite, and the picture quality for fast moving complex images is far worse than the analogue system, due to the high compression, and limited channels, so it is a pretty poor service compared to the UHF version.

Freeview – You have identified the issue with only having a digital satellite service versus digital UHF. There is no more capacity on satellite as sky controls all the remaining capacity, so there is no room for expansion of non-sky services. It is unusual that TV3 and TVONE are up on non-sky capacity three times when sky can simply unencrypt and this is in fact exactly what happens in other countries where regulation ensures the efficient use of limited resources like satellite capacity. UHF does have other advantages over satellite as it is more economical to get to the vast majority of NZ homes, there is plenty of capacity to expand and it is owned by New Zealanders. However it isn’t cost-effective to cover the whole country hence the need for a satellite service to provide free to air digital TV to those areas unable to receive the digital UHF service.

Q. Why is there a difference in the available channels between Freeview sat and UHF?

Freeview – Broadcasters have to pay twice to be on both and obviously some of them think that it isn’t cost-effective to do that. It’s also not really possible to do regional services on a satellite signal as it covers the whole country.

Q. How does Freeview feel they can compete with the pay-TV market?

Freeview – Quite simply – one is a monthly subscription the other is free once you have the receiving equipment.  The 20 highest rated shows in New Zealand last month* were all available on free to air channels via Freeview. Just over half the country has Sky and they aren’t really growing subscribers as the other half of the country have Freeview or analogue still or don't watch TV at all. So I think it’s a valid assumption that they either don’t want or can’t afford pay TV. The average cost of a basic sky subscription is nearly $900 cash a year which is a lot of money for most people and the majority of what many of those sky viewers watch is also available on Freeview – a free service all New Zealanders can enjoy after a one-off upgrade to digital TV equipment that you then own and have control of, the average cost of which is far less than the cost of a basic annual pay TV subscription.

*Supported by research conducted by Nielsen.

Q. When will more channels be made available in HD and also on the DVB-S2 service?

Freeview – We would certainly think so but that’s a broadcaster decision. So Prime and Maori would be the next obvious channels to go HD. HD costs over twice the amount of an SD channel to broadcast so that well over one million NZD which is a lot of extra revenue needed to justify the increased cost.

No plans for S2 at this stage.

Q. There'll be any prospect of HDTV over DVB-S? I'm not in a DVB-T coverage area, and would love to have HDTV available to me.

Freeview – Unfortunately no. There is no capacity left on the satellite to achieve this as sky controls all the remaining transponder slots.

Q. My question is what are Freeview doing to get more Freeview channels on air? I presume Freeview are not just waiting for potential broadcasters to contact them but are actively pursuing new customers and new opportunities. How does Freeview plan to increase their presence in the TV market?

Freeview – Yes we are and we think the free to air market in New Zealand, with annual revenue of about $550m, can justify about 18-20 free to air channels. The big new opportunities will be in on demand content via a viewer’s broadband connection. We just signed an MOU with Quickflix and have another 3 service providers interested in providing an IP delivered service to Freeview|HD viewers. 

Q. Would like to know why you use and if you ever plan to stop using the HE-AAC audio codec in your Freeview HD/UHF/Terrestrial service. Many channels now carry an AC3 track which seems to be more universally compatible, why not just use that?

Freeview – There is no plan to switch off the HE-AAC audio as some units don’t have Dolby and the HE-AAC transmission is very efficient. 

Q. Is Freeview investigating launching their own channels to fill any gaps in the market. I think there are already enough channels, but the quality of the programming isn't there. Basically NZ is let down by it's news, business news, investigative journalism, documentary and technology news services.

Freeview – Freeview is not a broadcaster so we are not able to launch our own channels. Freeview is a digital TV and radio platform – we are open access so any channel can join. Interested / potential broadcasters can find all the information around establishing a new channel laid out on our website.

Q. How about setting up some form of central ondemand online service that includes all the channels that are broadcast on the Freeview platform, and having this available as an app on smart TVs/ipads etc. Currently the ondemand services are only provided by a few channels, and are disjointed with varying formats and quality.

Freeview – There won’t be a Freeview on demand service but there will be on demand and streaming channels available via IP next year. Quickflix is an example for this type of service being made available from the Freeview EPG.

Q. Once I get UFB to my home, I won't need an aerial, dish, set-top box, or TV.  Right?  I can just watch Freeview over IP?

Freeview – That’s possible but the most cost effective way to get free to air television to all households, for the foreseeable future, will be via terrestrial or satellite broadcast.

Q. When can we expect DTT from Putauaki (Mt Edgecumbe) in eastern Bay of Plenty?

Freeview – Unfortunately we haven’t heard of any plans from the broadcasters to pay for any additional DTT coverage.

Q. Given that the content is free to air, could the EPG be made freely accessible too? Could it be published in a standard form (say XML) from a central location for Kiwis to use in their DIY setups?

Freeview - The broadcasters own the rights to the listings data and at the moment they have no plans to make these listings available outside of the current platforms.

Q. What are you going to do about the rising tensions over the Gaza strip?

Freeview - Export Shortland street???

Q. I've noticed there are now some "Energy Efficient Freeview Products". Do PVR products with this tick only do their initial hard drive spin up at the time when first required, or whenever they come out of standby?

Freeview – The Energy Efficient products comply with a voluntary code developed between Australia and NZ that is leading the field in energy efficiency. It does not determine when exactly the HDD switches on or off.  More information about the Energy Efficient products can be found in the Approved Products section of our website.

Q. There has been talk about Freeview launching interactive "on demand" services through IPTV. With the limitations of internet bandwidth in New Zealand constraining "broadcast" quality on existing IPTV services like Quickflix, can we expect to see such a service also support HEVC (the successor to MPEG-4) which reduces bandwidth consumption by 50% ?

Freeview – HEVC is still a draft standard. The video will be encoded using MPEG-4. The key reason to use this standard is there are 500,000 devices in the market that are already capable. Broadband capability is improving constantly and many homes can now not only receive SD comfortably by IP but also HD.

Q. Is the Panasonic DMR-BWT720 Freeview approved? It isn't on the Freeview website's list.

Freeview - It soon will be and we will then publish on the approved products list.

Q. A number of Freeview approved PVRs like the Homecast, Zinwell, JCMatthew and to a lesser extent the Magic TV have suffered from either slow downs or rebooting problems after the stations made changes to their broadcasts. With brands coming and going and stations periodically making changes to their broadcasts, can we have the assurance that a Freeview UHF certified device like a PVR will remain compatible with broadcasts in the long term?

Freeview – Absolutely. All Freeview approved products are tested to the Freeview spec, which helps to ensure compatibility with NZ digital broadcasting & transmission standards, and we continue to work with the manufacturers, transmission providers and broadcasters.

Q. Why are Freeview and going digital refering it to a digital switch over instead of an analog switch off? The impression that several elderly people I know have had as a result is that they cant do anything about it until the day that it happens.

Freeview- Good feedback. We will pass that onto Going Digital, a Government agency, who are promoting the DSO(ASO).

Q. What exactly is DTCP-IP ?  What is it applied to and for what reason(s)? Is intended to stop copying of TV programmes recorded onto a Freeview approved device - or stop streaming of such content? Does it affect all prgrammes, or just HiDef ones? How can you tell in advance which programmes are affected by it  (to avoid recording ones that will not stream).

Freeview – It’s really the opposite. Broadcasters have to make their HD content completely locked down and not copy-able on both Freeview and Sky. DTCP-IP is a technology which makes copying and streaming of this HD content possible and acceptable to the studios.

Q. Is Freeview considering a better Live Sport coverage?

Freeview – Unfortunately in New Zealand Sky has the right to the majority of live sports so until there is a change in legislation you won’t get to see the All Blacks, All Whites etc. live on free to air TV. Of course some sports (Rugby world cup, FIFA World cup, Olympics etc., have to be broadcast free to air as well as on Pay TV due to their national & international significance).  

Q. Why are there some of the programme listings not displayed on the EPG screen?

Freeview- I think you are referring to the synopsis. This is all provided by individual broadcasters so we can pass the feedback onto them. The best idea is to send that feedback directly to the broadcasters.

Q. There have been a lot of anecdotal reports about problems since the recent mediaworks updates to their channels. These have centered around older freeview boxes. A lot of advice talks about simply resetting the channels - but this doesn't seem to work for some older boxes. Is there some underlying issue where the pace of change with Freeview in NZ means that technology is outdated quickly?

Freeview – Not at all. All Freeview approved devices are tested and approved to the same standard. The mediaworks changes were challenging and we are confident that all the receivers are now working as designed and tested.

Q. There have been many comments about "spare" or "free" or "unused" channels, is there any chance of coming to some sort of arrangement with any of the Australian broadcasters, for example SBS which has a terrific range of programmes that would be very complementary to the existing Freeview range.

Freeview – We are an open access platform so any broadcaster can join Freeview. The issues with Australian broadcasters joining Freeview result from them not having the rights to show all of their programmes outside of Australia.

Q. How has Freeview thought about those of us who have high spec equip that is in our modern lounges, and how they interconnect. I have an internet capable TV, internet capable BluRay, and an internet capable TV-Box which is a multi media storage and broadcasting device. My old DVB-S Freeview decoder is ancient and is difficult to interface with my modern equipment lacking HDMI, Ethernet and a decent Menu system.

Freeview – It might be time to upgrade your receiver. There are plenty of Freeview devices that have all of these capabilities.

Q. To what extent does Freeview testing look at whether a decoder is a "quality" product, and can casual buyers interpret Freeview approval as identifying a quality product or it is all just about checking that DRM and restrictions are in place?

Freeview – No, all Freeview approved product is tested to work with the New Zealand transmission system, quality control is a measure manufacturers must make.  However the Freeview Awards, run each year since 2009 and celebrates top brands of digital TV devices – as voted by consumers & viewers - provides some indication of what is a good quality product.

Q. Are you in the process of certifying any Freeview PVRs that will allow for proper integration into a modern home - DLNA streaming to media players in other rooms etc?

Freeview - Yes, both the new Panasonic and Samsung MyFreeview recorders currently in the market have full DLNA server and receiver streaming options. 

Q. The big issue with Freeview compared to alternatives is a dismal lack of content. Are any new channels on their way in the next few months?

Freeview – Freeview will never have the range of content available on Sky, however almost all the most watched content in all New Zealand homes is available on Freeview.

Q. Will Freeview consider removing the requirement that manufacturers disable the skip ahead function on PVRs etc. in order to gain Freeview certification?  This pathetic restriction is insulting to users who may have legitimate reasons for skipping ahead that has nothing to do with bypassing ads. In any case, skipping ads is the viewers choice and NZ users should have access to the same features as the rest of the world.

Freeview – No. Our shareholders (the major free to air networks) and the other free to air broadcasters, make the majority of their revenue, which they use to buy programmes and pay for transmission, from advertising.

Q. How long do you think Free to air broadcast TV will remain relevant after we get lots of fibre penetration and people start to watch TV "on demand" via the internet?

Freeview – Broadcast is still the most reliable and cost effective method of delivering video content to all New Zealand homes. This will change in the future but the question is when and how successful the roll out of the UFB is.

Q. My parents in law have been telling me they must get rid of their analog TV at digital switch over. I have convinced them that a set top box will allow them to keep their 20 year old Phillips TV. Is there a plan to try and educate the masses that analog TV's will work at analog switch off with a set top box? It seems to be a common thought that this is not the case. The digital TV ads that are on at the moment seem to be a it vague in their message.

Freeview – Thanks for the feedback and we will pass that onto Going Digital whose role is to educate all new Zealander’s about what they need to do to go digital.  Going Digital has in the past run campaigns intended to highlight that any old TV can go digital – here’s an example of the type of resources found on their website.

Q. Pretty much the same question as others, more channels please, the BBC channels (uktv and BBC knowledge) would be great. Any plans?

Freeview – We would love to have them too but the rights for those in New Zealand are already held by broadcasters here.

Q. Can the Freeview 'board' look at engaging with NZ's appliance retailers and suggest to them to have a good look at the specs they are uploading to their website pages and ensure they mention "Freeview" inconjunction with the more technical terms.

Freeview – We will do. Thanks for the feedback.

Q. Is there any plans for DAB Radio? Will any future STB's be able to link to or output DAB signals to a home stereo / radio that usually sits near TV's in most homes as part of a HT set up?

Freeview - DAB has been trialled in New Zealand but the radio networks don’t seem that interested in adopting the technology at the moment. 

Q. Any there any plans to broadcast 1080p25 content as is happening in the UK with broadcasters such as the BBC dynamically switching between 1080p25 and 1080i depending on whether progressive or interlaced will deliver the best picture for the content being broadcast?

Freeview – We received this comment from one of our broadcasters however there is no imminent plans to change from 1080i and it should be noted that switching may cause issues with some products.  “Interesting debate this one. In theory done properly and viewed on a progressive panel there shouldn't be much difference. The reasoning as follows. Progressively shot content has no inter-field movement and therefore when converted to interlaced should be very similar apart from some persistence of vision differences. My guess is the biggest benefit is bypassing the cheap de-interlasers  in the viewing panels.”

Q. What is the timeframe for providing greater terrestrial coverage and improving terrestrial coverage in fringe areas?

Freeview - There is no time frame that we are aware of. The broadcasters already pay for Satellite broadcast for those areas.

Q. Once the digital switch over is all completed next year, will the Freeview organisation continue to exist, and if so, what new initiatives or improvements will you be rolling out?

Freeview – Yes Freeview will continue and if we have shareholder support we will most certainly continue to develop the platform e.g. remote recording, trailer bookings etc. are planned for the MyFreeview service.

Q. Is it true that you charge about a million dollars per year to any supplier of freeview boxes ?

Freeview – No, there is no charge from Freeview to manufacturers of Freeview approved products. There is development work they need to do to ensure the products work here and testing costs they pay the test houses directly in Hong Kong or the UK.

Q. Would it be possible at some stage for Freeview to provide a service like the proposed Igloo one, ie pay-per-view movies and sport? Or is freeview just not capable of it?

Freeview – Yes and Quickflix on Freeview is the first example of that.

When is the new HD EPG being deployed?

Freeview – With new chipsets and the advances in screen technology, the level of graphics on many new TV’s and receivers are now close to HD quality so we have changed our focus to developing the next generation of EPG that will be available to connected TV’s via IP.

Q. Considering the UFB (ultra fast broadband) roll out and the fact more and more content will be viewed over the internet with smart tv's and 'on demand' services etc.. What do you estimate the useful life of the freeview platform is in terms of satellite and uhf ?

Freeview – Quite a long time. Broadcast is still the most cost effective way for broadcast and viewers to receive digital video content.

Q. Further to this, what is Freeview's perspective on the pay TV landscape in NZ, particularly Sky's market dominance and cornering of live sports content? Please feel free to be as vituperative as necessary.

Freeview – No comment but market dominance, in any industry, usually means a lack of choice and innovation as well as increased prices to consumers.

Q. The discussion around TV on demand (or even not on demand - just streaming tv) over the web is very relevant. TVNZ have recognised it with their announcements in the last few days. Traditional TV transmission and setup is just one way of achieving the result, convergence between IT and broadcasting will continue. would be interesting to know Freeview's thoughts on this (and Sky's for that matter - iSky is an interesting service but v limited).

Freeview – Yes we certainly see the “Freeview with extra’s” model as being very relevant and likely in the future e.g. Quickflix.

Q. In Invercargill I have noticed most UHF aerials are pointing towards the Hedghope VHF repeater and the old prime UHF repeater, rather than pointing towards Forest Hill (Where Freeview UHF repeater is located). Would this mean most people haven't taken up Freeview, or has Sky dominated the households?

Freeview – Not sure of exact number in Invercargill but nationally, among TV-watching households, 48% are using at least one Freeview device in their home (Going Digital tracker, October 2012).

Q. Love the TV3 plus1 channel - allowing me to watch the news when I get home at 7pm or start watching a programme from the start when I've realised I've tuned in half-way into the show, are there plans for other channels to add time-delayed duplicate channels like this?

Freeview – Yes +1 channels have proven to be popular for the reasons you give. We aren’t aware of any other channels launching these services.  You may like to check out MyFreeview as you can record your favourite shows and watch when it suits you.

Q. I would like to know why more isn't being done about getting STB enabled TV's. My parents struggle with technology and they are due for a new TV would be great to get them a large TV with a built in STB/satellite recorder too bad the only ones that seem available are small and unknown brands.

Freeview – The majority of TV’s sold in the world include only one DTT tuner so there is an added cost for a manufacturer to include a DTH tuner.  While including a DTH tuner is obviously something they have considered, this additional cost does still pose a barrier for manufacturers.

Does Freeview have a position on the practice of single tuner Freeview receivers being marketed as PVRs? I know they are being bought by naive people who don't understand their deficiencies compared with a MyFreeview or MySkyHD+ recorder.

Freeview - Yes we are working on how we communicate this better to viewers. Perhaps the easiest way for any consumer to differentiate MyFreeview from other single-tuner receivers with USB recording capabilities, is that only MyFreeview digital recorders can carry the MyFreeview logo.

Q. We live in an area deemed 'marginal' for terrestrial Freeview reception. Having said that, on a day with no wind or rain our built-in Freeview TV copes quite nicely. However it does tend to pixelate with rain or particularly wind on misty, drizzly (Wellington) days. So when we lose the analogue signal, will the Freeview signal occupy and be boosted from the then redundant same transmitters?

Freeview - A better aerial installation/alignment will help with this problem not an increase in transmitter power.

Q. Not sure if this is a question for the broadcasters or freeview but is there a plan to broadcast local versions of the channels? E.g. here in Wellington our tv1 seems to be filled with adverts for Auckland businesses.

Freeview – Yes that’s a question for the broadcasters. Freeview doesn’t control what they broadcast.

Q. I am impressed by the DTT coverage and the expansion has been great. Can you do something to improve monitoring of the transmission? Occasionally, there are issues with pictures or sound that occur at transmission sites that are not picked up and repaired for several hours. Examples of this would be when lip sync between picture and sound ends up seconds out of place or no pictures at all, just sound. This has happened at both Kordia and JDA sites several times this year. It would seem that the telemetry returned from the transmitters is not capable of reporting these issues and they end up not being resolved for long periods, until multiple calls from the public eventually reach the broadcaster affected.

Freeview – Agreed and we are working with the broadcasters and transmission providers on this.

Q. What would be good would be a common fault reporting system for the public to report problems. I realise most of the problems will be reception/aerial related, but if these are collated there would be the chance of picking up genuine transmitter faults early. Could you introduce a system for public fault reporting? Or can transmitter site telemetry be improved, perhaps with monitored back haul, to confirm the transmission is ok?

Freeview – Yes any new broadcast system, and digital is still relatively new in some areas, takes some time to mature and be 100% reliable. We continue to work with the broadcasters and transmission providers on this.

 




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