Digital TV

Curran in collusion with DomPost?

Dominion Post reporter and future Labour Party press secretary Tom Pullar-Strecker isn’t very good at hiding his dislike of the Government.

Yesterday he gave his future boss Clare Curran a free run in a story that appears to be based on a combination of hearsay and an interview with his keyboard. 

The gist of his story was that he and Curran have decided the Government should have already auctioned the 4G spectrum freed up by the switchover to digital television.

He then goes in to some bizarre angle based on a “suspicion” by Labour there has been some kind of massive conspiracy that isn’t backed up anywhere with facts.

Pullar-Strecker than contradicts himself by writing:

“It was never envisaged the spectrum would become available to new users before the end of this year.”

And ICT Minister Amy Adams has repeatedly said the spectrum would be auctioned by September, which will give plenty of time for business and network planning.  Read more »

The New Pig in Town (plus enter to win)

Regan from Throng has looked at (P)Igloo, the new joint venture from Sky TV and TVNZ and he has found that despite the marketing schlock the facts don’t match the reality.

He is also running a nice little competition for a Samsung Freeview PVR:

On Monday, Sky and TVNZ launched their hardly anticipated new subscription television service.

Here’s our list of reasons why it shouldn’t be under your tree this Christmas or anywhere else in your house for that matter.

 10. It’s probably still broken.  

The custom built platform was supposed to be launched months ago but has been delayed due to “technical problems”.  Is the launch simply exploitation of the spending season or a Christmas miracle?

9. TVNZ are involved.

Remember when TVNZ said “TiVo transforms television“? How are all those customers feeling today?  How long before Igloo too melts down?

8. A comparable Freeview box is less than half the price.

There are a number of basic models of DVB-T receivers which also have the ability to record to a connected USB storage device.

7. Sport is ultra-expensive.

The base “30 day channel pack” plus purchasing every Super XV match The Chiefs play during that period would cost you up to $99.74. On Sky this would cost $72.46 and include more channels, every Super XV game and a lot more sports besides.

6. Paying for content that used to be free.

Two of the eleven Igloo channels feature content that TVNZ used to broadcast for free:  Kidzone24 and TVNZ Heartland.

5. All Igloo content is Standard Definition.

The only content that you’ll be able to view in High Definition is from any of the free-to-air channels that broadcast in HD.  All of the extra content you’re paying for is delivered in standard definition.  This includes movies and sport.

4. High per channel price.

The “Sky Basic” package costs approximately $1.36 per premium channel compared with $2.27 per premium channel on Igloo.

3. Igloo is not a middle option.

Currently, a new 12 month “Sky Basic” package (~63 channels) with 3 months free sport and SoHo and free installation costs $553.44.
A new Igloo box (~34 channels) which you install yourself and a 12 month subscription costs $478.05
A new Freeview box (~29 channels) which you install yourself costs from $99.

2. Two thirds of the channels you can already watch for free.

That’s right.  They’re already free.  And also the most watched.

1. You’re not an Eskimo.

They’re the only ones who should have an igloo.

Those are our top 10 reasons why you shouldn’t get igloo and now we want yours.  We’ve got a brand new Samsung MyFreeview HD digital TV recorder (BDE-8500) worth $649 to give away.

In addition, if anyone reposts this on their own blog, we’ll include any comments made there in the draw. Have at it.

Intelligent TV

Liberty Scott

Many of the whingers crying over the spilt milk that is TVNZ7 are crying because “intelligent TV” has died…except it hasn’t as Liberty Scott explains:

Of course, intelligent TV is widely available and seen throughout NZ.  It’s called Sky.

Sky brought New Zealand 24-hour news in the form of CNN, and more recently multiple options ranging from the BBC, Sky News, France 24, Al Jazeera, Fox News, CCTV and the new channel for nutty conspiracy theorists who are anti-American – Russia Today.  New Zealanders have never had better access to news about Australia, the USA, UK, Europe, the Arab world, China and Russia.  It also brought multiple dedicated channels for documentaries and then classic movies, arthouse movies and well as the mass market entertainment channels it supplies.

Sky started by paying the government for its first network, a series of UHF frequencies, installed its own transmitters and bought content.  It spent the first seven or eight years losing money, and now gets into around half of New Zealand homes.  People who are prepared to pay for the content it provides, which is not just sport, not just movies, but far more content than state TV can ever provide.  Now we all know Sky succeeds because of sports coverage, but nobody would have predicted what it now brings, thanks to an open market, absence of foreign ownership restrictions and absence of local content quotas.

The liberal, mainly left are now eyeing up busting Sky’s chops. Have a look at Clare Curran’s tweets if you don’t believe me:


Liberty Scott continues:

A successful business, which has brought far more choice and intelligence to NZ television that any other broadcaster, is now in the firing line from one of those who asserted that she is against braindead TV.

I’d have more sympathy if those who wanted to Save TVNZ7 had raised money to set up their own TV channel – which of course you can in New Zealand, given that there are no legal barriers to entry and there is a surplus of digital TV frequencies available on Freeview.  It is a matter of money.

The problem is that the Save TVNZ7 people don’t want to put their money where their mouths are, they want to make everyonedo it.  So when the investors in Sky, have put their money in, have done so with no taxpayer subsidy at all, have been supported by around half of the adult population in subscriptions, you might wonder why they don’t like that very much.

David Beatson has at least formed a trust, we will see where that goes…my pick is nowhere because most of the people fighting to save TVNZ7 couldn’t even afford a jacket newer than 20 years old. They will simply want to pick the pockets of taxpayers more. Somehow a television channel with three shows a week featuring Martyn Bradbury just doesn’t do it for many people.

Democrats against online Freedom of Speech

[Imported from Whale Oil Beef Hooked on Blogger]

The Democrats, ironically, voted enmasse to strike down a law protectiong online Freedom of Speech, aprticularly for bloggers. After some judicial meddling Congressman Mark Kennedy proposed the law.

Mark Kennedy had this to say after the defeat of the law.

I’m horribly disappointed that this important measure failed to pass. This bill was designed to protect the free speech rights of Americans whose only alleged crime is wanting to use the Internet to express their opinions.

I disagree with the mainstream media elites who seem to think that an unregulated media is dangerous, unless it is them who are being regulated. What is disturbing and dangerous to me, and to the constituents I represent, is the ease with which so many advocate government regulation of speech.

Bloggers are everyday citizens. They are our neighbors, friends, and coworkers who want to be able to share their ideas without asking permission from a gatekeeper in the mainstream media and certainly not from a government official. They are the historical descendants of Founding Fathers like Thomas Paine and other pamphleteers who contributed enormously to our democracy.

We are trying to spread a message of hope, opportunity, and freedom around the world. I supported this legislation so that we don’t lose the ability to have that message shared among the American people, and I am frankly disappointed that a majority of Members don’t see it that way.

From Powerline;

Mark Kennedy is staking out a position as one of the leading advocates of free speech in America today. What is happening here is that certain people–the editorial board of the New York Times, the Democrats on the Federal Election Commission–are trying to put sites like this one out of business. Frankly, I haven’t followed the progress of the Online Freedom of Speech Act closely because I thought the idea that the FEC would try to shut down political discussion on the web was ridiculous. It appears that we have to take the threat to our First Amendment rights more seriously.

The vote indicates which party favors free speech; the Republicans voted in favor, 179 to 38, while the Democrats opposed the measure, 143 to 46. A stark contrast.

Other articles worth reading;

Democrats—Not for Free Speech Anymore!
Once again, the party that thinks it’s pro-expression demonstrates that it’s not