Television Evolved – FreeviewPlus Launches Today #freeviewplusnz

20150605_103512New Zealand television viewers have a new way to discover and enjoy content with the launch of FreeviewPlus, a service that lets users flick between live TV and On Demand at the touch of a button.

FreeviewPlus viewers can catch up on shows they’ve missed, look through featured content and search or browse through loads of shows from all of the live TV channels and TVNZ OnDemand, 3Now and Maori Television OnDemand using one intuitive on-screen guide.

The electronic programme guide displays programmes that are coming up in the next 8 days but it also displays over 600 On Demand programmes and movies from the previous 8 days.  Viewers can experience the convenience of navigating through all the content without having to use a computer or jump into another app on their smart TV’s.

At a time where traditional TV is experiencing “digital disruption” in the form of Streaming Video On Demand (SVOD) services like Netflix and Lightbox, the free to air networks have been keen to collaborate on this new innovation based on the open HBBTV standard.

Advertisers too are likely to be happy as FreeviewPlus makes it easier for people to view even more of the network’s ad supported content.

Here are some of the main questions and answers regarding Freeview Plus:

How do I get it?
1. Check your coverage: You need Freeview HD coverage (87% of people have this). To find out if you are in a Freeview HD coverage zone go to http://www.freeviewnz.tv/coverage and put your address in.
2. Check that you have a UHF Aerial and Broadband: The UHF aerial picks up Live TV and the broadband streams On Demand.
3. Get a FreeviewPlus TV or Box: Most manufacturers 2015 range smart TVs will have FreeviewPlus built in. Most of LG’s 2015 models and some Panasonic models have FreeviewPlus enabled models already, more models from Panasonic, Samsung and Sony will be enabled in the coming weeks. If you don’t want to buy a new TV you can buy a set top box for $169.  You will also soon be able to buy a MyFreeviewPlus PVR that can record your programmes too.
4. Connect to your UHF Aerial and Broadband: Plug your UHF cable into the TV and tune the stations, then connect it to your home broadband in one of three ways – wifi, ethernet cable or powerline adapters (bought separately).
5. Watch some TV: Press RED to load the FreeviewPlus guide, or GREEN to go to that channel’s OnDemand service.

 

What are the main features of the service?

Freeview Plus users can:

• Switch easily between live TV and On Demand content

• View 8-days forward and 8-days catch up TV Guide

• Easily find and discover on demand and live TV shows

• Set Reminders to notify you when your show’s about to start

• Personalise your FreeviewPlus with Your Favourites

• See all the live programming with Freeview|HD channels

 

What channels are on FreeviewPlus?

As well as OnDemand from TVNZ, Mediaworks and Maori Television, viewers can watch the following channels live: As well as OnDemand from TVNZ, Mediaworks and Maori Television, viewers can watch the following channels live: one, 2, 3, 4, Maori television, 1+1, 2++1, 3+1, 4+1 Prime, The Edge, Te Reo, Al Jazeera, Choice, TVSN, Yesshop, Parliament , Firstlight, The shopping channel, CTV8, Channel 29, TV33, Channel North (Whangarei only), APNA, Channel 39 (Dunedin only); Canterbury TV(Canterbury only), TV Hawkes Bay(Hawkes bay only), Radio New Zealand National and Concert and Base FM.

What is the technology behind the service?

The new service FreeviewPlus uses the open software standard built into the TV or set top box known as HBBTV, Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV.  What it does is combine Internet catchup TV into the television set or freeview|HD set top  box.  It’s a great new innovation which will allow people to access more and more free to air content.

What is the potential impact on viewing habits?
The trick that Freeview Plus performs is that it makes it easier for you to see the vast array of content available on free to air television. The fact that it’s easy to organise, view, save favourites and find more content like the stuff you like, will probably mean people end up watching even more content this way.

How are Kiwis viewing TV currently?

The most recent figures from Sky show that 794,000 homes subscribe to Sky while 529,000 of those use a MySky recorder.  According to Freeview  1,268,000 households have Freeview while an estimated 165,000 of thise have Freeview recorders.

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