Monday, April 17, 2006

CanWest+TVNZ in DTV Talks

Auckland-- New Zealand press outlets have reported talks are under way between CanWest and TVNZ on a free-to-air digital TV platform.

Direct-to-Home and digital terrestrial television transmission modes are being discussed to be developed and marketed under a "Freeview" banner.

Freeview would include the current free-to-air channels: TVNZ and CanWest's - TV1, TV2, TV3 and C4 - in digital format, plus others such as Maori TV and any new channels to come along or be developed.

Industry sources say the alternative format, digital terrestrial television, which involves delivering digital signals through nationwide transmitters owned by state-owned enterprise BCL, is less likely to be adopted.

Digital terrestrial television involves also a rollover of existing spectrum allocations beyond 2015 during simulcasting of the present analog and future digital signals. Complicated at the best of times, going terrestrial would likely need the assistance of government funding to defray increased transmission costs.

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