Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Telecom and TV

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  • BLeeuw,

    If you're interested, local webseries can be viewed at webserieschannel.co.nz - a local initiative from the people behind Viewfinder magazine. It's not IPTV, but it's a start :)

    Since Dec 2013 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • davesparks,

    First one to make it easy gets my money. I've tried pretty much all the options at one time or another and the honest truth is that pretty much any faffing around required means the abandonment of said options each in turn.

    Pretty often we can't even be bothered finding the second (Sky) remote and just end up bouncing round whatever the TV is showing at the time. I realise this comes across as pathologically lazy, and am fully aware of the myriad deights available with (relatively) minimal effort through means fair and foul, but I suspect I'm with a substantial lazy minority. Because lazy is our natural resting state.

    My ISP and Sky get roughly equal large sized globs of my money every month, and if that could be turned into internet + a smaller sized glob of money for a reasonable standard of programming I'd take it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Glen Wright,

    Live TV ratings are not helped by networks running directly competing shows at the same time. Makes time shifting somewhat inevitable and self-fulfilling.

    Since Nov 2006 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    there's low-hanging fruit out there. Local webseries are being made, they're even being funded by NZ On Air. But most people still don't have a good way of watching web video on their televisions. Why not aggregate the best stuff, run live feeds from events and shows, do all the things that television has become too risk-averse to do?

    Sorry are you saying a Telecom venture should do that? They'd never be able to monetise that and/or gain the sort of scale they operate at. I think it's (very) valid as a differentiator on your broader television play, but not as a standalone play. Not for them anyway.

    I would have guessed the primary target for SVOD customers are precisely those heavy PVR users who have gotten used to a trove of 4-5 specific shows. I know Netflix got me out of an expensive Sky contract. But there is a benchmark of quality content required to land that (it is just a benchmark though, Netflix does just fine without HBO/Showtime etc) sort of proposition.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Chukkkker,

    Anyone willing to stab in the dark how much Showmetv could cost per month?
    Or will it be an annual subscription? Or pay as you go / VOD?

    Since Nov 2007 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    Sorry are you saying a Telecom venture should do that? They’d never be able to monetise that and/or gain the sort of scale they operate at. I think it’s (very) valid as a differentiator on your broader television play, but not as a standalone play. Not for them anyway.

    Oh, absolutely -- it's a differentiator with significant potential benefits as time passes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    They can change their name all they like, but I still know who they are. I expect they'll be as proactive with 'net TV as they were with the fiber required to deliver it.

    I can't think of a way to make their big monopoly model work in this space. My honest opinion is that their days are numbered.

    At an end their reign is, and not short enough it was.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • barnaclebarnes,

    I'm going to go so far as to say if it isn't available as an icon on my Apple TV then it doesn't exist. After ditching Sky and getting US iTunes and Netflix, AppleTV is the only remote we use. Free to Air TV goes on maybe once every month for the adults and Sat/Sun morning for the kids (only because they can't turn the TV to right input ;-). Apple TV now has some great additional 'apps' like Red Bull TV and Spark should be gunning for a place on it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    Anyone know how much content 20 million gets? I suspect not a lot of what one would call quality - which is what will drive subscribers outside of the sporting options avail.

    Like most, I figure, I'd just like to get netfix or... an established and content heavy service rather than watch what will be a train wreck as NZ telco's dabble and NZ monopolies put off the inevitable

    Slight aside - spotify on Telecom mobile only applies to some plans, I have to change my plan to qualify for the deal (its well above the entry point) - pretty much the exact same features same cost different plan name - cheers telecom staff for being pleasant to deal with, no thanks telecom for making iot quite a frustrating process. I image they will crush anyones will to watch their TV service with the signup process

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Over the weekend someone pointed to the reverse spelling of the new name......

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    most people still don't have a good way of watching web video on their televisions

    That's an artefact of a couple of things:
    - most people don't have a computer hooked up to their TV and need to mess with cabling rather than just pick up a remote.
    - navigation amongst TV streaming sites is awkward and unstandardised compared to an EPG

    The first will go away as TV monitors get more smarts and integrate Chrome or Android (particularly if the TV industry, which is a bit dark age, twigs that its actually a source of bundling revenue).

    The second isn't hard. There's sites like http://www.tvcatchup.com/ (or tunein for radio). They need a bit of work, but it's not rocket science (and any winners in this field are unlikely to grow a monstrous business).

    Telecom are trying to build an analog of the c. 1998 Sky TV model using IP instead of satellites. I don't hold out a lot of hope for them.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Ross Mason,

    Over the weekend someone pointed to the reverse spelling of the new name..
    oh dear...

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • llew40, in reply to BenWilson,

    Suspect you might be talking about Chorus. Different company. They are largely responsible for rolling out fibre (along with some smaller rollouts including Northpower and Enable), and they are the only monopoly aspect of the NZ telecommunications sector now.

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to llew40,

    Suspect you might be talking about Chorus.

    Probably. That's Telecom by another name too, right?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas,

    "The great irony of the current broadcast TV environment is that the government has contrived a state where there’s not enough broadcast spectrum to allow it to meet its own policy commitments. Community television either can’t afford a full presence – which means paying Kordia for both terrestrial and satellite service – or literally cannot obtain spectrum on which to broadcast, as was the case for Triangle/Stratos in Auckland last year. The promise of plenty after digital switchover never came true..."

    Apparently Cabinet are very soon to consider what to do with the masses of spare spectrum not used by Sky. Likely option is to sell it off to telcos meaning none for non commercial or new ventures.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • m76k,

    Telecom wanting to get into content is smart. But with Spark now competing with other 'channels', will they start to shape and throttle traffic?

    We need to get Net Neutrality on the agenda, and make it a redline issue...

    Since Mar 2014 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Jimmy Southgate, in reply to barnaclebarnes,

    I'm going to go so far as to say if it isn't available as an icon on my Apple TV then it doesn't exist. After ditching Sky and getting US iTunes and Netflix, AppleTV is the only remote we use

    Only if you turned your AppleTV to the US iTunes location to get the Netflix app to show Spark will never get an app to show on the US iTunes store so they'll have already missed your business anyway!!

    The first will go away as TV monitors get more smarts and integrate Chrome or Android (particularly if the TV industry, which is a bit dark age, twigs that its actually a source of bundling revenue).

    I have both a smart & a non-smart Sony TVs. For a bit of fun, and to get content onto the non-smart I've just deployed an AppleTV, and its already so much better than the smart I'm thinking I might need to buy a second. Looks like its relatively trivial to get a combo of AppleTV, plus a special DNS service to get you access to Neflix, Hulu etc.

    Really, the only way any of these vendors get decent market share in NZ is by getting content on the device or making it as simple as possible to pretend the device is in the US.

    Wellingtown • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe, in reply to barnaclebarnes,

    I'm going to go so far as to say if it isn't available as an icon on my Apple TV then it doesn't exist. After ditching Sky and getting US iTunes and Netflix, AppleTV is the only remote we use.

    And how do I do this? Do I need to use the region-free thing that Slingshot offers?

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Paul Rowe,

    Yes. I want to hear more about using Apple TV -- which is a vastly superior device to anything inside a smart TV.

    Unfortunately, I'm also a sports fan, which means I won't be able to dump Sky any time soon ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Paul Rowe,

    And how do I do this?

    Orcon have detailed instructions on their site.

    This is possibly what either Telecom or the NZHerald reporter referred to as: Netflix isn’t legitimately available in New Zealand, when ShowmeTV was announced last week (More choice for viewers as Telecom takes on Sky).

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to davesparks,

    First one to make it easy gets my money.

    Sometimes you just need to state the bleeding obvious, because "plug in and play" is a siren call to me. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes. I want to hear more about using Apple TV

    Well my AppleTV is set to use a US DNS service (trivial instructions/$) and then set to the US iTunes Store, giving me acces to the Netflix app (and/or Hulu Plus if that seems preferable). I only watch Netflix via my TV, as watching TV via laptop/tablet still seems like a lesser experience. Netflix + DNS is USD13/mo.
    We haven't really watched broadcast television in a very long time (apart from morning Winter Olympics coverage for the kids over breakfast).

    I note that some occasional sports fans are known to pick up their parents' Sky Go credentials, but that's laptop/tablet/phone so probably not enough for the serious sports fan...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    As I said to te Herald a few weeks back "Its bad enough that they changed their logo to something resembling a cat's rear end and now, to compound that, changed their name to Kraps spelt backwards. Do people actually get paid to be this stupid?."

    Anyhoo, a few tips for those wanting to improve their TV experience.
    For quite a few years now I have been using NPVR as my DVR though a comp plugged into the TV by HDMI and using Comskip to remove ads.
    Recently I have rediscovered XBMC as a way of getting good on-line content. Anyone watch The Daily Show last night, I didn't think so...
    XBMC actually stands for Xbox media centre but now you can use it through a comp/laptop instead.
    So have a follow of those links and have fun.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ah. I see Telecom has said (it's paywalled on NBR) that it plans to produce no local content as part of ShowmeTV. Which means it's set on a contest with Sky that it basically can't win. Brilliant.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Which means it's set on a contest with Sky that it basically can't win.

    I'm not completely sure that's true. Certainly the US experience suggests a SVOD player can "win" against cable TV interests (although Netflix's recent outsize growth is at least partly down to their $2b annual content-production budget)
    IF they can hit with a ~$20/mo plan loaded with a fairly decent content spread (including the Freeview suite) on really straightforward lounge-hardware then offshore experience would suggest they could see some success. That IF is a fairly significant one though...

    In the US the cable providers took only tentative steps to directly compete for fear of self-cannibalisation, Sky could be in the same position

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

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