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Topic # 112300 4-Dec-2012 12:38
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The first Freeview|HD MHEG5-base service out of the door seems to be Quickflix.


Quickflix will launch its streaming movie and TV series to the estimated 500,000 New Zealand households with compatible MyFreeview|HD digital TV recorders and connected Freeview|HD TVs in early 2013.

Quickflix today announced that it had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Freeview to provide easy, viewer initiated, access to the Quickflix movie and TV streaming service via a Freeview|HD channel to the estimated half a million New Zealand households with access to compatible MyFreeview|HD digital receivers and connected Freeview|HD TVs. The majority of MyFreeview|HD and Freeview |HD TVs sold since January 2011 are enabled with this connected functionality.

The service, which will launch in 2013, will include the Quickflix “all you can view” subscription offering as well as premium new release titles, which will be available as part of its “pay per play” service. Quickflix will have its own dedicated channel on the Freeview platform - channel 200.  Freeview viewers will be able to seamlessly switch from any of Freeview’s broadcast free to air channels to instant streaming of movies and TV series just by changing channels. This is made possible by Freeview's unique MHEG interaction channel technology, which allows for the switch from broadcast linear free to air services to interactive on demand channels delivered by broadband. The Quickflix channel will also feature free movie trailers and previews for all Freeview viewers able to receive the channel. 

Freeview is owned by New Zealand’s leading free to air broadcasters TVNZ, Mediaworks, Maori Television and Radio New Zealand. The Freeview|HD service is available to 86 percent of New Zealand homes and can be picked up using a UHF aerial connected to a Freeview|HD receiver. 

Paddy Buckley, Managing Director of Quickflix NZ, said "We're delighted to be partnering up with Freeview to deliver an alternative to traditional pay TV in New Zealand.  Half a  million Kiwis will have access to our subscription and pay-per-view movie and TV streaming service so this is a big development for television consumers in this country.  This agreement allows us to hugely increase our reach and also to boost the core Freeview offering, which we're already big fans of."
Sam Irvine, GM Freeview, said "This development is exciting for  Freeview|HD owners as it gives them the option of easy access to Quickflix’s services - Freeview with extras, if you like. We think this will lead to a big uptake in connected devices."


Interesting thing to note here is that these kinds of services won't run on Windows Media Center and won't run on TiVo. Neither support MHEG5.




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  Reply # 726817 4-Dec-2012 14:02
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I assume from the HD moniker that this new service from Quickflix is only for Freeview UHF/Terrestrial delivered content and no support for satellite delivered content ?

In addition, no Tivo support ? "TiVo media device is Freeview|HD compatible in New Zealand". Bah humbug !




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  Reply # 726819 4-Dec-2012 14:07
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MHEG5 is only delivered on Freeview|HD (DVB-T), not satellite (DVB-S).

Tivo does not support MHEG5 applications.




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  Reply # 726848 4-Dec-2012 15:03
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MHEG5 is used on DVB-S also, but the Quickflix MHEG5 application isn't supported.


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  Reply # 726851 4-Dec-2012 15:05
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So it needs an internet connection to work?

What percentage of Freeview boxes/TVs are internet capable? A minority I would guess?




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  Reply # 726856 4-Dec-2012 15:16
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ajobbins: So it needs an internet connection to work?

What percentage of Freeview boxes/TVs are internet capable? A minority I would guess?


The vast majority.

Ethernet support is mandatory on all PVR's to support MHEG5 interactive channel extensions and ICstreaming support. While it's not mandatory on STB's and TV's it does exists on the vast majority.

At one stage Freeview mandated that all TV's greater than a certain size (32" from memory) had to have Ethernet to support these extensions, but I believe this was pulled from the spec after it was released.




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  Reply # 726865 4-Dec-2012 15:25
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My 2010 LG Plasma didn't have Ethernet, nor does my parents 37" LG LCD purchased last year. Nor does their Freeview box (can't remember what brand, but not a PVR).




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  Reply # 726900 4-Dec-2012 15:56
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Nor does my 32" Sony (which I think I got in Dec 2010).

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  Reply # 726927 4-Dec-2012 16:22
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Full specs are here

http://freeviewnz.tv/about-freeview-ltd/equipment-supply-chain.aspx

From this it says iDTV's above 30" were going to require an Ethernet port, but this was removed.



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  Reply # 726932 4-Dec-2012 16:27
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  Reply # 726933 4-Dec-2012 16:27
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Having an Ethernet port and also supporting MHEG5 does NOT imply a device will support streaming.

MTV3700 has Interactive Channel extensions. Its streaming functionality (with much less maturity) was tested with an early prototype MHEG5 streaming app, but it remains to be seen whether it can support Quickflix.

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  Reply # 726945 4-Dec-2012 16:31
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My late 2009 50" Pansonic plasma doesnt either - but the same model in every other country seems to have an ethernet port - seems like they decided not to bother here.

Mind you as far as I can see MHEG5 is really just a way of supplying a web sort of page - then actual selected content streams over the ethernet connection. So really what would be the difference between the MHEG5/ethernet TV solution versus say a USB/Android/HDMI dongle using wifi - like the one Mauricio posted yesterday - here: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=97&TopicId=112271




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  Reply # 726952 4-Dec-2012 16:41
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Yeah I think the firmware and hardware is going to be found to be quite lacking.
Just look at what JC Matthew/Zinwell PVR owners have gone through lately. Typically the ethernet ports have been disabled on freeview set top boxes, and one would assume these would require at least a firmware update to correct this, which will be difficult for older freeview approved but now manufacturer and freeview (very close to) unsupported units?

And yes, the MHEG5 EPG is available on satellite freeview, but I doubt anything cool will make it to the satellite flavour.

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  Reply # 726953 4-Dec-2012 16:41
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robjg63: My late 2009 50" Pansonic plasma doesnt either - but the same model in every other country seems to have an ethernet port - seems like they decided not to bother here.

Mind you as far as I can see MHEG5 is really just a way of supplying a web sort of page - then actual selected content streams over the ethernet connection. So really what would be the difference between the MHEG5/ethernet TV solution versus say a USB/Android/HDMI dongle using wifi - like the one Mauricio posted yesterday - here: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=97&TopicId=112271


probably not a lot, apart from convenience of using the same remote I expect.

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  Reply # 726960 4-Dec-2012 17:04
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Yes as you say, I have 2 boxes with ethernet but the crippled firmware they shipped has disabled it and removed all the configuration options (Which I assumed was mandated for "copy protection" and  to be certified) Support for these Zinwell boxes is non-existant as the nz importer is out of business :-(

Jaxson: Yeah I think the firmware and hardware is going to be found to be quite lacking.
Just look at what JC Matthew/Zinwell PVR owners have gone through lately. Typically the ethernet ports have been disabled on freeview set top boxes, and one would assume these would require at least a firmware update to correct this, which will be difficult for older freeview approved but now manufacturer and freeview (very close to) unsupported units?

And yes, the MHEG5 EPG is available on satellite freeview, but I doubt anything cool will make it to the satellite flavour.

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  Reply # 727016 4-Dec-2012 18:31
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Just thinking some more about this, if the MHEG5 bit just selects the items but the content is streamed to the set top box via the internet, then really why couldn't this be deployed via satellite?

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