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rugrat

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#19917 6-Mar-2008 12:30
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www.stuff.co.nz/4425361a23399.html

Hope they do. It'll make things a lot more interesting in nz.

If people don't agree with paying, they don't have to buy the stuff and at the same time don't have to have sky start up before buying other services. (The start up channels which sometimes have more then 4 add breaks in an hour, i.e. there 2 to 3 minutes long instead of the usual 4 minutes). I gave up watching house on vibe because of  that, a lot more enjoyable on TV3, plus the latest episodes.


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old3eyes
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  #115111 7-Mar-2008 08:42
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rugrat: www.stuff.co.nz/4425361a23399.html

Hope they do. It'll make things a lot more interesting in nz.

If people don't agree with paying, they don't have to buy the stuff and at the same time don't have to have sky start up before buying other services. (The start up channels which sometimes have more then 4 add breaks in an hour, i.e. there 2 to 3 minutes long instead of the usual 4 minutes). I gave up watching house on vibe because of  that, a lot more enjoyable on TV3, plus the latest episodes.



Most likely a case of the good stuff goes on payview and the crap stay on freeview.  A TV class system again.  I doubt that Payview would get enough content like sports  to make much of a dent in Sky especially if sky is merged with Foxtel..




Regards,

Old3eyes


 
 
 

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sbiddle
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  #115122 7-Mar-2008 09:26
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I guess it all depends what happens with the governments desire to have FTA sports content.

I no longer consider Prime TV to be a FTA channel because it is not available on the Freeview platform. I don't see why Sky should be able to call Prime a FTA channel when it's not.

mentalinc
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  #115131 7-Mar-2008 09:57
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I don't see why Sky should be able to call Prime a FTA channel when it's not.


Yeah I agree




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bazzer
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  #115133 7-Mar-2008 10:11
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sbiddle: I guess it all depends what happens with the governments desire to have FTA sports content.

I no longer consider Prime TV to be a FTA channel because it is not available on the Freeview platform. I don't see why Sky should be able to call Prime a FTA channel when it's not.

Can't you still get prime via UHF?  Isn't that FTA?  Once analogue is switched off, then I agree with you.

However, far worse than Sky's move is TVNZ blocking access to Freeview via Sky.  I don't think it's fair that the Government funds TVNZ/Freeview, yet they don't make it available to as many viewers as possible.  I thought it was meant to be free to view?  If I have a set top box that is capable of watching it, why can't I watch it?  Oh, they want me to buy their box?

I'd have no issues buying a DVB-T box to get the terrestial signal, but why should I have to buy another DVB-S box just for Freeview when the Sky box I currently have is more than capable?

Of course, this argument has been done to death.  Why can't we all just get along and do what's best for the people?  Especially TVNZ, we've already paid for it!

sbiddle
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  #115146 7-Mar-2008 10:56
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bazzer:
sbiddle: I guess it all depends what happens with the governments desire to have FTA sports content.

I no longer consider Prime TV to be a FTA channel because it is not available on the Freeview platform. I don't see why Sky should be able to call Prime a FTA channel when it's not.

Can't you still get prime via UHF?  Isn't that FTA?  Once analogue is switched off, then I agree with you.



What about all the people who only have Freeview by satellite?

As for receiving Prime via UHF analogue making it FTA I disagree. People who are only watching the Freeview platform can't get Prime. I'm not going to bother hooking my aerial up to my TV to watch a fuzzy Prime signal when every other channel is crystal clear on Freeview. It's Prime's loss - not mine.




However, far worse than Sky's move is TVNZ blocking access to Freeview via Sky.  I don't think it's fair that the Government funds TVNZ/Freeview, yet they don't make it available to as many viewers as possible.  I thought it was meant to be free to view?  If I have a set top box that is capable of watching it, why can't I watch it?  Oh, they want me to buy their box?



There are two sides to every story. I agree that the Freeview channels should be in Sky and the fact that our taxpayer money has funded these new channels is a good arguement. Having said that however Sky *needed* TV1 and TV2 initially as a selling point for their service. TVNZ should have never let Sky carry their channels for free.

There is more to it than just that though, a lot of the current stalemate relates to the uplink issue that occured at Avalon last year as well. I think we'll see everybody sort out their issues in the not too distant future.

mruane
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  #115149 7-Mar-2008 11:00
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I don't think that TVNZ are blocking access to Freeview from SKY decoders. Frankly they are in no position to stop a SKY decoder accessing the mux. SKY Control their decoders, so its just a matter of scanning the appropriate transponders - isn't it?

Mike

bazzer
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  #115150 7-Mar-2008 11:04
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sbiddle: everything...

You're right, of course.  However, Prime was FTA before Freeview came along but now it's not?  Well, only if all FTA channels are mandated to be on Freeview.  Are they?  I don't know the answer to that.  Should they be?  Yes, I think so.

I feel these 2 issues are like 2 sides of the same coin.  Why should TVNZ be able to stop Sky using their Freeview streams, when there are many other uncertified boxes, not to mention PC cards etc, doing exactly the same thing?

Can't the government step in and say all FTA channels must be on Freeview and all Freeview channels should be available to all users (regardless of the method they use to receive them)?

mruane: I don't think that TVNZ are blocking access to Freeview from SKY decoders. Frankly they are in no position to stop a SKY decoder accessing the mux. SKY Control their decoders, so its just a matter of scanning the appropriate transponders - isn't it?

Mike

That's what I'd have thought.  But I remember a few articles where the TVNZ guy said they have issues with Sky if they did that.  Maybe I just don't understand the issue well enough.  The Freeview website even states "Freeview does not sell or manufacture any of the hardware required to receive our services and we therefore do not set or influence prices." and "For other non-approved digital satellite receivers: You may need to re-scan for new channels but please check with the manufacturer for instructions."  Kind of implies they are ambivalent about the set top box being used, so why not Sky's?  Are all the other channels (non TVNZ) on Sky using the Freeview signal now (eg Maori etc)?



mruane
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  #115163 7-Mar-2008 11:48
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I guess that part of the issue is that people who frequent this forum would probably never purchase a Freeview certified STB preferring one of the other options (i.e. Topfield, Coship etc). So, for the most part, TVNZ would have somthing to loose if users watched their programs from a SKY STB rather than a Freeview certified STB. That might explain why TVNZ had issues with use of the SKY STB.

However the existing TV1, TV2 transmissions from the SKY mux are un-encoded (which begs the question; why is Prime  encoded)  and they are transmitted on a SKY mux (not sure about TV3, C4). So SKY are honouring whatever obligation they may have made not to provide access to TVNZ from their STB.

I suspect all of these petty squables would go away if SKY just gave back Prime - i.e. transmit it un-encoded. It would be that simple and not cost them a penny!!!

Mike

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  #115170 7-Mar-2008 12:06
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bazzer: You're right, of course. However, Prime was FTA before Freeview came along but now it's not? Well, only if all FTA channels are mandated to be on Freeview. Are they? I don't know the answer to that. Should they be? Yes, I think so.

I feel these 2 issues are like 2 sides of the same coin. Why should TVNZ be able to stop Sky using their Freeview streams, when there are many other uncertified boxes, not to mention PC cards etc, doing exactly the same thing?


Ahh but you are talking about two different things. One is a individual buying an "off the shelf" STB or PCI card that is capible of receiving DVB-S signals. The other is a subscriber STB supplied by Sky with no end-user configuration possible, all the management and control of the box is done via Sky. If Sky decide to shutdown your card, you are no longer able to watch non-FTA channels (TV3,C4,Prime etc) off the Sky platform. Sky has complete control over it's subscribers.

bazzer: Can't the government step in and say all FTA channels must be on Freeview and all Freeview channels should be available to all users (regardless of the method they use to receive them)?


It could, but then much of the "value proposition" for Freeview goes. They are trying to position Freeview as an alternative to Sky to allow customers to access Digital TV (and shut off the Analogue UHF/VHF in the future).

Sky are paying for Transponder space on the satellite to re-broadcast TV1,2,3,4 whereas if Sky was using the Freeview TP's the money that Sky is saving do you think Sky should pass that money back to TVNZ/Canwest?? Or reduce their subscriber fees... Doubt it.

bazzer:
mruane: I don't think that TVNZ are blocking access to Freeview from SKY decoders. Frankly they are in no position to stop a SKY decoder accessing the mux. SKY Control their decoders, so its just a matter of scanning the appropriate transponders - isn't it?

Mike

That's what I'd have thought. But I remember a few articles where the TVNZ guy said they have issues with Sky if they did that. Maybe I just don't understand the issue well enough. The Freeview website even states "Freeview does not sell or manufacture any of the hardware required to receive our services and we therefore do not set or influence prices." and "For other non-approved digital satellite receivers: You may need to re-scan for new channels but please check with the manufacturer for instructions." Kind of implies they are ambivalent about the set top box being used, so why not Sky's? Are all the other channels (non TVNZ) on Sky using the Freeview signal now (eg Maori etc)?


Maori/Parliment/Stratos on Sky are using the "Freeview" muxes. That is because there is an agreement between Maori/Parliment/Stratos and sky allowing Sky to use their TP's.

Technically Sky could do it, however there is the fact that TVNZ/Canwest "own" the content broadcast so by having sky push down a new config to say "use the Freeview TP's for 1/2/3/4 instead of our own ones" that would be essential re-broadcasting over the sky platform. Laywers would be visiting Sky very shortly if they did that.

If however a Sky STB was able to be re-configured by end users to pick up the Freeview TP's (which at the moment they aren't) then that would be a different story, as picking up Freeview would be "end user" driver, rather than "pushed down" by Sky.

Sky already have to pay TVNZ & Canwent for 1/2/3/4 to allow them to re-broadcast those channels on Sky, and if Sky didn't have those channels then it wouldn't be that appealing to have Sky as more that 50% of sky customers only watch the FTA channels 90% of the time anyway, or figures of that nature.

Think of it this way, why should TVNZ/Canwest who have paid millions to buy content in from overseas and produce content locally then go and give it away to Sky, who are making a good profit (#7 on the stock market!) on providing "add on" services which are only utilised peroidically. Why don't sky offer a "Sports only" or a "Movies only" or a "Kids Cartoons" only service for $10-$20 per month, cause they know that having "the basic package" for $50 per month for content that most of the subscribers don't watch is much better for the bottom line than offering tailored packages for smaller returns that customers want.

It's all about having as much content in the "Basic" package for the highest base price before customers say "no we are not going to pay that much just to watch the FTA channels". Freeview is the alternative. If people can live without the add-on channels / sports / premium movies. Then all they are hit with is a one off fee.

Edit-
mruane: However the existing TV1, TV2 transmissions from the SKY mux are un-encoded (which begs the question; why is Prime encoded) and they are transmitted on a SKY mux (not sure about TV3, C4). So SKY are honouring whatever obligation they may have made not to provide access to TVNZ from their STB.

I suspect all of these petty squables would go away if SKY just gave back Prime - i.e. transmit it un-encoded. It would be that simple and not cost them a penny!!!

TV3/4/Prime are all encyrpted on the Sky MUX.  There was something in the origional agreement that TVNZ mandated if Sky carried their content it needed to be unencrypted, Canwest did't make the same demand (shame, even tho the Sky's content is compressed like mad!).
It would be ideal if Prime was unencrypted.  Then more people may just dump Sky and go for Freeview (be it DTH/DTT) since then they can also get their Prime digitally rather than UHF.  Plus if they did go "Freeview" who would pay for the installation off DTT transmitters by Kordia / whoever across the country to re-broadcast Prime over DTT, Prime would have to front up with the Cash for that.  Which is what TVNZ/Canwest have already done to get the DTT transmitters across the country as part of the Freeview DTT rollout!




and


rugrat

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  #115181 7-Mar-2008 12:49
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I read somewhere that Sky plans to put Prime on DTT once the amount of people accessing it passes a certain figure. No plans for it to be on Satillite freeview forever at this stage.

If Sky did decrpyt Prime on Satillite so it would be able to be picked up on any Freeview reciever would Freeview expect Sky to pay, or would Sky expect Freeview to pay them as Sky owns the broadcast rights in NZ to content on Prime? At present Sky pays TVNZ and Canwest for having them on Skys platform, so was wondering if reverse situation would hold - Freeview to pay sky for Prime?

openmedia
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  #115186 7-Mar-2008 13:23
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First up Sky have mentioned that they wish to include Prime on DTT once it has reached a certain level of market penetration. They haven't been clear what that level is.

On the subject of Sky using freeview's transmissions of TV One / 2 / 3 / C4, it is technically possible, just TVNZ and MediaWorks might decide to take them to court.

As for Maori / Cue / Parliament / Stratos there is an agreement between the broadcasters, Kordia and Sky that allows Sky to use those transmissions.

If you have a DVB-S Card and have a look at Sky's boquet information you might notice that there is a Staff only Sky boquet that has the freeview version of TV 3 loaded as an additional test channel.

Steve




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC as a Technology Evangelist and Portfolio Architect. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.


sbiddle
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  #115191 7-Mar-2008 13:42
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rugrat: I read somewhere that Sky plans to put Prime on DTT once the amount of people accessing it passes a certain figure. No plans for it to be on Satillite freeview forever at this stage.

If Sky did decrpyt Prime on Satillite so it would be able to be picked up on any Freeview reciever would Freeview expect Sky to pay, or would Sky expect Freeview to pay them as Sky owns the broadcast rights in NZ to content on Prime? At present Sky pays TVNZ and Canwest for having them on Skys platform, so was wondering if reverse situation would hold - Freeview to pay sky for Prime?



Why should Freeview pay Sky to carry Prime? Sky still pitch Prime as a FTA channel however the Freeivew platform is the replacement for the existing FTA network therefore if Prime isn't on it you can argue it's no longer a FTA channel.

I'm guessing we will have to see Prime on a DVB-T and DVB-S unscrambled before the Olympics, one of their conditions of them being able to get it was the requirement to provide FTA coverage.

openmedia
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  #115209 7-Mar-2008 14:18
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sbiddle:
rugrat: I read somewhere that Sky plans to put Prime on DTT once the amount of people accessing it passes a certain figure. No plans for it to be on Satillite freeview forever at this stage.

If Sky did decrpyt Prime on Satillite so it would be able to be picked up on any Freeview reciever would Freeview expect Sky to pay, or would Sky expect Freeview to pay them as Sky owns the broadcast rights in NZ to content on Prime? At present Sky pays TVNZ and Canwest for having them on Skys platform, so was wondering if reverse situation would hold - Freeview to pay sky for Prime?



Why should Freeview pay Sky to carry Prime? Sky still pitch Prime as a FTA channel however the Freeivew platform is the replacement for the existing FTA network therefore if Prime isn't on it you can argue it's no longer a FTA channel.

I'm guessing we will have to see Prime on a DVB-T and DVB-S unscrambled before the Olympics, one of their conditions of them being able to get it was the requirement to provide FTA coverage.


Who pays for what depends on how it is done.. First up "freeview" don't pay for channels, the channels pay to be on freeview.

On DTH sky could just enencrypt Prime.

To satify their obligations as an FTA broadcaster they are only required to provide a terrestrial service, so the UHF service is currenty sufficient, and a DTT services after analogue turn off would also suffice. They aren't required to be FTA on DTH.

Going DTT can be done a couple of ways, the simplest of which is to book a slot on the Kordia Mux.

A more interesting solution might be for an additional Mux to appear. The DTT design allows for upto 2 additional muxes to appear closer to the analogue switch off.

Steve




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat APAC as a Technology Evangelist and Portfolio Architect. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.


compost
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  #115328 7-Mar-2008 21:55
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This means war.

Sky must already be doing everything in their power to ensure Freeview Plus is a failure. I expect they will be lobbying government hard for favourable regulations and demanding exclusivity from content providers.

The collective purchasing power of the Freeview broadcasters may be sufficient to compete with Sky so this potential alliance must be cracked at all costs, probably by offering up a lolly scramble of FTA rights and content snippets. FUD-spreading and threat-making will also cause deep-pocketed parties such as the Todd family to shrink from backing Freeview Plus.

If Freeview Plus starts to make headway, things will get nastier. Sky could start signing content sharing agreements with Freeview Plus broadcasters and then find excuses to renege at the last moment so as to destroy viewer perception of the Freeview Plus brand.

The final act may be to weaponise their satellite. Be very afraid if your dish is pointing the wrong way.




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sbiddle
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  #115352 8-Mar-2008 07:05
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I know this is a wee bit OT but it's interesting to read that the FTA broadcasters are launching the Freeview brand in Australia shortly. This also appears to indicate the death of the Australian Tivo.

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