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BDFL - Memuneh
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Topic # 26355 19-Sep-2008 15:53
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Hello folks. We have arranged with Freeview to have a series of regular Q&A discussions here on Geekzone. The idea is that we will have this discussion open for a week or so (through 29th September) and lock this discussion while Freeview answers the questions.

We will then re-open the thread with their reply and leave it open for people to discuss. We will then follow with another discussion thread some time later and so on.

If you show enough interest (and please make it clear in your posts) we could even organise some live on-line chat to have Freeview discussing the answers with you guys.

So start with your questions below for this first round...

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6 posts

Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 165662 19-Sep-2008 16:01
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Do you plan to start broadcasting any new channels in the near future?


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  Reply # 165664 19-Sep-2008 16:04
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Why has Freeview chosen to compete with Pay TV (ie. Sky)?
Ad's contain the line "Make subscriptons a thing of the past" which in my opinion doesn't really make any sense.
The way i see it Freeview is meant to replace analogue, not try and pull customers off sky. The only place where it seems relevant is where rural customers have to subscribe to sky to get any tv reception, however this is a small percentage to target at. All it seems to have done is alienated Sky more from adding Prime into the mix.

Speaking of Prime, any discussions on it being added?

What about Freeview HD channels being added to sky as TV3 has arranged? Any future chance of allowing sky to use Freeview's muxes either, instead of rebroadcasting the same content at a lower quality?

I know a lot of the relations with Sky heavily depends on TVNZ's views, however i imagine Freeview must have some influence.

As per the online live chat - i would prefer keeping it forum based, because this allows easy to read answers, and plenty of time to think of what to say, as well as filtering out any repeated questions and the like.

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Master Geek

  Reply # 165665 19-Sep-2008 16:05
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  • What is the story with Prime?  People will be reluctant to upgrade if they do not at least get all the channels previously available on analogue TV.
  • Why did Freeview choose H.264? 
  • Is Freeview working with companies like Microsoft to pressure them in to supporting Freeview in their products?  (i.e. Media Center).

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 165668 19-Sep-2008 16:17
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what new channels are planned and when will they start? what's happening with prime? finally, when can we expect to see a freeview approved terrestrial pvr?


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 165671 19-Sep-2008 16:28
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  • + 1 vote for information about when/if Prime is coming on Freeview.
  • Will we ever see DWTV back?

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 165673 19-Sep-2008 16:34
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what is your process for deciding which stb's get freeview approved?

73 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 165674 19-Sep-2008 16:48
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  • Why did Freeview choose H.264? 

I'm not from Freeview, but I can tell you why they chose h.264. It's a more modern codec, and more bandwidth efficient. This is good it's more forward thinking than using mpeg2, and means that we can expect more channels/better quality.
The drawback is that most other countries are using mpeg2, so there is a lack of hardware at the moment.
Personally I'm willing to put up with a little discomfort with HD now in return for having a more modern system in the future.

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  Reply # 165676 19-Sep-2008 16:48
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When the 4th and 5th muxes come online (after analog closedown?) will they use DVB-T2 modulation rather than DVB-T. N.B. If DVB-T2 then new set top boxes will be required.

Was it always thought that Prime would join the current digital terrestrial Kordia mux or Prime be part of a new Sky digital terrestrial network?



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Master Geek

  Reply # 165677 19-Sep-2008 16:51
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I'm really interested in an official PVR option. Particularly an HD option.
Actually not for me, but for me to set up for other people (like my Mum). I'm already pretty stoked with my Mac Mini PVR, but my mum isn't going to drop $1k for a mini or know how to use it.
So when can we expect to see some PVRs?

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  Reply # 165687 19-Sep-2008 17:26
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1. Freeview currently state that they won't roll out DVB-T to more than the current 9 regions. Is this the long term plan? What if a region wants it?
2. Is DVB-S ever going to support HD?
3. Why did you not use a standard EPG format for NZ?


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Master Geek

  Reply # 165756 20-Sep-2008 08:23
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1) Are there plans to provide EPG for the whole day or better whole week on DVB-T?
2) The downside of DVB-T is some channels have black borders on all 4 sides. Is it possible to fix this and if so are there plans to?

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  Reply # 165758 20-Sep-2008 08:45
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charley: 1) Are there plans to provide EPG for the whole day or better whole week on DVB-T?
2) The downside of DVB-T is some channels have black borders on all 4 sides. Is it possible to fix this and if so are there plans to?

I'll answer these questions for you as they aren't really issues for Freeview themselves but issues with your setup. If you have any followup questions you may want to start a seperate thread as it's not really a direct question for Freeview themselves.

They do transmit a 8 day EPG's on the Freeview and Freeview|HD platform but use MHEG5 for DVB-T Freeview|HD but use the DVB EIT tables for Freeview DVB-S. Assuming you're experiencing these issues with DVBViewer it's simply the fact DVBViewer doesn't decode the MHEG5 EPG. You need to use an external EPG grabber and XML importer for DVBViewer to display the 8 day EPG.

I'm also not sure what you mean by a border around the whole 4 sides, this sounds like a setup issue with your setup. The occasional ad or music video on C4 does appear both centre cut and letterboxed when the aspect ratio has been messed up. This is an occasional thing however, not the norm but does appear reasonably frequently on C4.

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  Reply # 165761 20-Sep-2008 08:49
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What was the rationale for choosing AAC-HE LATM audio for the DVB-T standard or was this a decision made by Korida?

If so why are broadcasters choosing to use different audio standards and not have consistency.

For example TV1 broadcasts DD 5.1 during the Olympics and now have reverted to AAC audio while TV3 seems to broadcast both AAC and DD (2.0 and 5.1) audio all the time. One of the touted benefits of HDTV was 5.1 sound but it appears now only one channel is actually doing that which does reduce the impact and qualitative ROI of upgrading to HD.

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Master Geek

  Reply # 165842 20-Sep-2008 17:34
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Are Freeview going to move Stratos and Cue to terrestrial broadcast as well? I would have thought UHF bandwidth would be much cheaper than satellite channel space.

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  Reply # 165843 20-Sep-2008 17:42
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What (if anything) are you doing to help regional broadcasters (that typically don't have a large budget) onto the DVB-T platform?

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