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BDFL - Memuneh
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Topic # 30155 30-Jan-2009 11:48
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I've posted a press release from Freeview in our news section saying that Freeview reaches 200,000 homes.

I've also just received confirmation that this number includes parallel/unapproved receivers but do not include sales of PC cards and USB sticks.

However it seems a specification for these devices is coming soon...





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  Reply # 192894 30-Jan-2009 12:27
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I'd be very interested to know what the sales figures are for tuner cards (which implies HTPC usage).

I'm betting the number is higher than one might expect, and probably should contribute to freeview uptake figures..





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  Reply # 192901 30-Jan-2009 12:38
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I imagine that MED/MCH will rely on Freeview and Sky statistics in determining whether households are ready for Analogue SwitchOff. 

Would it be prudent to include PC Cards and USB sticks if this implies that the household is ready for cessation of Analog broadcasts?
How many of these households would declare that have zero use of the analog signal on the primary TV set?  I dont think FreeviewUK includes PC cards and USB sticks in their survey - most questions are related to primary/secondary TV readiness.

Agree that the statistic would be interesting though.....

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  Reply # 192902 30-Jan-2009 12:40
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Maybe sky will hurry up and put Prime on it.

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  Reply # 192907 30-Jan-2009 13:08
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Fossie: Maybe sky will hurry up and put Prime on it.


Prime will never appear on Freeview. Prime would rather  spend money deploying their own DVB-T network than join Freeview.

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  Reply # 192911 30-Jan-2009 13:17
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Seems unlikely that Prime will never be on Freeview.  Prime are already on UHF so Freeview DTT (SD) would be relatively pointless (especially given broadcast contract with Kordia).  Therefore Prime would need to be HD on Freeview and as the NBR have disclosed the cost of HD broadcast (plus Freeview fees) then you can work out the revenue required to justify migration to Freeview.

At the moment it doesnt look economic especially given Prime would receive no incremental revenue (there are up to 12% of HH that could watch Prime via UHF at the moment so no more advertising dollars). 

I seem to recall that Sky will put the Olympics on Prime in HD so either it goes HD on the satellite or..... you figure it out.

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  Reply # 195303 11-Feb-2009 13:01
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ockel: I imagine that MED/MCH will rely on Freeview and Sky statistics in determining whether households are ready for Analogue SwitchOff.?

Would it be prudent to include PC Cards and USB sticks if this implies that the household is ready for cessation of Analog broadcasts?
How many of these households would declare that have zero use of the analog signal on the primary TV set?? I dont think FreeviewUK includes PC cards and USB sticks in their survey - most questions are related to primary/secondary TV readiness.

Agree that the statistic would be interesting though.....


Whats Skys current digital coverage? (%)

Another question would be, what will happen to UHF customers? Automatic upgrade to digital?





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  Reply # 195305 11-Feb-2009 13:18
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I'm pretty sure that the satellite footprint is greater than the UHF footprint.  I think the UHF reachs between 75% and 85% of homes whereas the satellite is claimed to reach all homes.

UHF subs were 30k @ June 2008 and switching off/over at a rate of 10-12k per annum.  By 2010 there will be few subs left I imagine and Sky might do an automatic upgrade or say bye-bye.  Its no different to closure of the 025 network for Telecom is it?  Even if you offer something attractive to migrate some people wont shift anyhow.

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  Reply # 195309 11-Feb-2009 13:40
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ockel: Seems unlikely that Prime will never be on Freeview.  Prime are already on UHF so Freeview DTT (SD) would be relatively pointless (especially given broadcast contract with Kordia).  Therefore Prime would need to be HD on Freeview and as the NBR have disclosed the cost of HD broadcast (plus Freeview fees) then you can work out the revenue required to justify migration to Freeview.


Sky have already publically said they have most of the groundwork for rolling out their own DVB-T network including negotiations with vendors. They are also strongly against the MED plans for ASO and frequency reallocation.

Given the option between putting my money on Prime joining Freeview or Sky rollout out their own DVB-T network I'd wage my bets on them going it alone.

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  Reply # 195336 11-Feb-2009 16:32
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The thing is, out of those 12.6% how many have Sky on top of that? I'm one of them.

How would you know when 60% have digital access?





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  Reply # 195341 11-Feb-2009 16:46
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In the UK the regulatory authority Ofcom (and Digital UK) undertakes quarterly analysis of penetration of digital television.  The monitoring system was to ensure that the country was on track prior to DSO (and also includes awareness measures).

They changed the methodology a few times over the last 6 years - firstly to understand the number of Freeview only households (so they could understand the true penetration).  Then they changed the survey methodology in early 2006 (I think) that revised down penetration (they underestimated 2nd boxes or something).

At the moment we're a good distance from switchover so one would think that as they approach the magic numbers they'll survey households to understand the number of digital-ready households.

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  Reply # 195519 12-Feb-2009 13:23
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Regarding the comments above about Prime on Freeview. I can understand them not joining Freeview because of the cost as mentioned.

Why don't Sky turn off the encryption of the existing Prime signal on the Optus D1 satellite - like Sky have for TV1 and TV2? This has no cost for Sky - with the benefit of additional viewers responding to their advertising and increased viewer ratings.

 Okay, it won't be on Freeview but most other satellite decoders could then view it. Most people can view it via UHF aerial already so why not let them also see it FTA via satellite at no extra cost to Sky. This would reduce the number of people complaining about Prime not being on Freeview.

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  Reply # 195529 12-Feb-2009 13:54
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Their excuse was some BS about rugby rights?

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  Reply # 195531 12-Feb-2009 13:57
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geek4me: Regarding the comments above about Prime on Freeview. I can understand them not joining Freeview because of the cost as mentioned.

Why don't Sky turn off the encryption of the existing Prime signal on the Optus D1 satellite - like Sky have for TV1 and TV2? This has no cost for Sky - with the benefit of additional viewers responding to their advertising and increased viewer ratings.

 Okay, it won't be on Freeview but most other satellite decoders could then view it. Most people can view it via UHF aerial already so why not let them also see it FTA via satellite at no extra cost to Sky. This would reduce the number of people complaining about Prime not being on Freeview.


Sky have said this won't happen due to the ability to pick up Prime outside NZ where coverage of sporting events (such as the S14) are owned by other networks.

As for the UHF situation I'm not interested in watching a grainy 4:3 centrecut feed on analogue and losing 1/3 of the picture.

Sky now only promote Prime as being available on Sky Digital in all advertising material.





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  Reply # 195534 12-Feb-2009 13:59
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Thats right!  Something about satellite footprint spillover that would allow Australians to see content that Sky only has the right to broadcast in NZ (eg Seven (a litigious company IMHO) has rugby rights in Australia that Sky would be breaching).  I think it was more claimed than just rugby content though.


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  Reply # 195542 12-Feb-2009 14:15
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Spillover to Australia? Is this a real problem - or an excuse?

If Prime "spilled over" won't all the other FTA channels on D1 aimed at NZ do the same? I don't hear TVNZ or TV3/C4 complaining about it - or don't they spill over while Prime would?

TVNZ and TV3 must also have contracts not to broadcast their programs outside of NZ.

Perhaps I'm missing something about Prime's signal coverage compared to the others?

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