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Free View On The Westcoast

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I recently returned to Hokitika for a school re-union and visit to the Parents who asked if I could set up Freeview for them.

As an Australian resident I was curious as to how Freeview was being handled in NZ

Obviously the message had been sent to the public that Freeview Digital TV was available and that a satellite system was needed to pick it up on the coast .Also that something needed to be done before 2012 as the West coast was one of the first places to have the existing analog system switched off.

It impressed me that at 70+ ,my parents were aware that they needed to do something and that their 80 + neighbors already had.Well done Freeview marketing !!!

More disturbing however was how many younger generation (my age) were less informed and less motivated to do anything about it.

As my folks do record one program and watch another we decided that a PVR would be the best option.Unfortunately I was unable to purchase one on the coast.It appears that Satellite PVRs are not freely available anywhere other than by purchase off the net and I had not time to wait for delivery.This is a sad thing to find in an area that has been ear marked as the first area for analog switch off.

The knowledge of the sales people was appalling.On asking for a Satellite PVR, none knew what I was talking about.On realizing what I was referring too,I was recommended to buy a Terrestrial PVR .God only knows why they even bother to stock these in an area that will never have such transmissions.I wonder how many people have bought these only to find they don't work.

One sales assistant said he was sure that Digital TV hadn't started there yet but a HD ready TV would work in a few years time when Digital was switched on.Oh dear !

Interestingly most houses I saw on the coast appear to have a Satellite dish for SKY which coincidentally can also be used to receive Free view ( same dish/satellite) so that very little infrastructure need be set up by the majority of viewers.

Most Aussies are used to seeing dishes on roofs but in NZ it appears that wall mounting is the most popular method with in most cases quite "tacky" installations .(Wall mount kits are quite a lot cheaper).I also saw quite a few Dishes mounted on wooden power poles planted a few meters from houses with coax strung to the house.Also of curiosity were several dishes mounded up side down

Another interesting observation from an Aussie point of view was that "SKY" branded coax was all Dual shield and quad shield seemed very hard to find .Makes you wonder about all the wank we have over pay TV approved Quad shield in Australia.

Anyway, a 90cm dish and LNB ( westcoast has high rain fall and these size dishes are the norm) was purchased along with a satellite decoder from a local TV shop and duly installed .The box was pre-tuned to Free view channels and although it was not Free view approved ,it worked fine.Interestingly,the local TV shop had these larger dishes whereas the larger stores were flogging smaller dishes more suited to lower rainfall areas .

I think that NZ free view needs to target and educate the retail sector as an unsure public could easily be confussed by their lack of Knowledge

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Nice review of the situation.

I set my sister up with a satellite box a few years ago (she's in Palmerston North, but this was before terrestrial DVB was rolled out). She was particularly excited because at that stage you could also receive a few unencrypted Aussie channels (SC Central, Imparja and NITV) as well.

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Just come back from visiting the parents on "the coast" again.

Set them up with another Sat decoder so they can record "Coronation street" onto VHS recorder :P

Only one week to go before this is the first New Zealand Analog switchoff area.

Kind of bought back memories as I drove around town looking at all the terestrial antennas I put up 35 years ago as an aprentice.

They will all be resigned to pointless roof cluter next week.

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Well apparently New Zealand's West coast has had its analog switched off, the first area in NZ to have this happen .

There were no issues according to the " olds" who handled the change over themselves quite well or in the local "rags" .

Coronation st can still be recorded so peace remains :logik:

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