TVNZ Ondemand: Windows Media Player only

  • Matt Perot,

    For all you Mac-using TV buffs: Here's some correspondence from TVNZ on its pending Ondemand service. It's good to hear that TVNZ is looking into Mac compatibility eventually, although we may be in for a long wait...

    ---
    Thank you for your enquiry. For the initial launch of TVNZ ondemand we will be utilising WMP as a delivery mechanism for our media content. Unfortunately Windows Media Player does not support Macs. This is something we have no control over.

    We will look at ways of delivering our product to Mac users after our initial launch as we understand that Mac users will potentially make up a large proportion of our user base. We will be exploring Quicktime and ITunes as delivery options moving forward.

    Kind regards
    TVNZ

    Deutschland • Since Nov 2006 • 13 posts Report Reply

15 Responses

  • Russell Brown,

    I know a bit about this. Will get back to you when I've finished with dinner and stuff.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Capewell,

    This would be interesting to know more about, especially in light of BBC possibly sticking with WMP too...

    Manchester • Since Nov 2006 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    I currently have a Windows Media Player program running on my Mac.... whats the problem? It "looks and feels" just like the one that runs on my PC...
    Sure, I had to download it...... but "Windows Media Player does not support Macs" appears incorrect, no?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 889 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The digital rights management they're using is BuyDRM, which is Windows Media only and Windows only, because Windows Media DRM does not work on Macs.

    To some extent, they've been pushed into this by rights holders, who insist on DRM protection as a condition of licensing. But there are a couple of serious problems here:

    (a) The TVNZ day-after downloads are comparable in price to those from the iTunes Store in the US (starting at $2 for a half hour show) but you can't keep them. They'll die after a week. Say what? Given that TVNZ's market is the heroic downloaders already getting stuff off the BitTorrent, I think it's going to be bloody hard to persuade people to pay for anything other than local content.

    (b) All the downloadable content, including clips from the TVNZ Archive, will be in this format. These clips won't die, but TVNZ will be able to track their use. This seems to crap all over ideas about public content.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Right. And I guess on Ubuntu I will have to break some law in some country to watch content I have paid for. Nice.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Hutchings,

    Another problem they will face once Freeview gets off the ground, is that ppl will be able to use their PVR to get digital versions from FTA,

    The effect of main-stream PVRs have not been felt in NZ due to TVNZ/TV3 being how shall we say"uncooperative" in terms of EPG provision.

    With Freeview, I think a big chunk of what TVNZ hope to their download market, will simply grab them off the Digital broadcasts.

    I am told the MySKy boxes have significantly changed many Sky viewers habits, so imagine that rolled out across the country combined with the ability to have much more control of the stuff you have on the PVR.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Clarke,

    I am told the MySKy boxes have significantly changed many Sky viewers habits, so imagine that rolled out across the country combined with the ability to have much more control of the stuff you have on the PVR.

    The thing to remember is that the MySky box is not owned by the consumer, which means Sky can push software updates into the market any time they like. This means (for instance) they can require all high definition content to pass through a HDMI connector which is fully copy-protected, and they can switch on the broadcast flags that would not allow you to record content, or would impose other limits.

    Look at it from Sky's point of view; why should they allow you to record that All Blacks match and play it back any time you like, when they could charge you for the same thing via pay per view?

    Having a personal PVR is a fine thing ... but having a corporate-controlled PVR may not bring the level of control everyone assumes.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • barnaclebarnes,

    This seems to crap all over ideas about public content.

    Which is my main concern. Quite frankly I don't care one little bit about Shortland Street but what I do care about is watching and archiving unencrypted footage from a 1962 epsiode of 'Townin Around' where my father launched his first boat over the rocks at Thorne Bay. After all back then it was the public who paid for this content and therfore it should stay in the hands of the public.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Hutchings,

    The thing to remember is that the MySky box is not owned by the consumer, which means Sky can push software updates into the market any time they like. This means (for instance) they can require all high definition content to pass through a HDMI connector which is fully copy-protected, and they can switch on the broadcast flags that would not allow you to record content, or would impose other limits.

    Which is exactly my point, Freeview will end up allowing people to have their own PVRs tied onto the digital FTA channels, This will change TV in NZ.

    I agree that Sky have no incentive to offer you any freedom with MySky,(ala, the boxes refusing to let you playback recorded programmes when the bird when dark last year) but hopefully Freeview will offer the opportunity for something better,

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • nzMM,

    Its sad and all that TVNZ, supposed state broadcaster is pushing proprietary formats down our throats (i would be dreaming if the government actually mandated non-proprietary media/data formats), just not that kind of world that cares about like 5% of the market, i guess.

    But whats the likelihood of this venture actually doing well? Overseas stuff you can get via the likes of itunes, there isn't allot of unique NZ content worthy of download, a small amount of drama and fairly meh news hour.

    Oh and Ubuntu is looking real good. :D

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Perot,

    Oddly enough, my original e-mail -- the one that prompted the reply from TVNZ posted above -- was to suggest that TVNZ go with the iTunes platform from the outset. Why might this have been a good idea?

    - Cross-platform compatibility (well, Windows, Mac, and Linux at least)
    - DRM, but in a form that is less restrictive than most
    - Public appeal. The iPod/iTunes platform is known to a wide audience already
    - No need to set up extra bandwidth to deliver all the content; Apple and Akamai would have taken care of this. My subjective view of TVNZ's current Website response time etc. that it is absolutely shocking, and I don't hold great hope that TVNZ will deliver anything near good performance for delivering Ondemand content.

    My ideal situation would be to have all content available to all New Zealand-based hosts at all times in unprotected mp4 format -- similar to what I understand the BBC has done -- but I thought the above would have represented the best compromise to content rights holders who insist on DRM.

    In any case, the gentleman who answered my e-mail took it to be a question as to whether Macs would be supported. Go figure.

    Once Freeview launches, I suspect there will be a flurry of New Zealand programming available at mininova.org and ipodnova.tv.

    Deutschland • Since Nov 2006 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • matthewbuchanan,

    Oddly enough, my original e-mail -- the one that prompted the reply from TVNZ posted above -- was to suggest that TVNZ go with the iTunes platform from the outset.

    Matt, I don't think this is possible at present. The iTunes Store only sells music videos and Pixar short films outside of North America (no films or TV) and the Fairplay DRM Apple employs is not open for other providers to use.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Perot,

    Matt, I don't think this is possible at present. The iTunes Store only sells music videos and Pixar short films outside of North America (no films or TV) and the Fairplay DRM Apple employs is not open for other providers to use.

    Right, but what's to stop TVNZ from becoming Apple's first non-U.S. partner? Apple has said it is working on making U.S. content available overseas, but obviously the licensing issues are delicate. It'd be a whole different ball game, though, if Apple were to sell New Zealand content to New Zealanders.

    It's very wishful thinking, admittedly. But TVNZ had to hire SOME company to do its DRM bidding, and it would have been great if it had been Apple.

    Anyway, off to dream about the renationalisation of Telecom New Zealand...

    Deutschland • Since Nov 2006 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Adrian Wills,

    I'm still baffled as to why we are months and months behind television releases these days.... With the digital age, why has television not taken on what movies and music now do - the big releases are world wide releases. I've already seen the first series of Heroes because if I waited to watch it here, I'd have ruined it for myself by reading something on the internet like I ended up doing with Lost. If I watch it in time with the states, you get to enjoy the websites and forums with the rest of the world - something they should want me to be doing given the amount of money they pour into them - PLUS the downloaded ones are high def too! bonus. I'm not saying every show needs to be like this but why not the big ones? It just seems like such a waste otherwise.

    Parnell, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Adrian.... you seem to mis-understand what television is all about...

    You seem to think it is for your entertainment? It is for delivering your eyballs to the advertisements.

    :(

    Of course, as more and more of us go about finding our own sources for the stupid entertainy bits in between the adds... they might have to change thier business model?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 889 posts Report Reply

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