Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The digital switch-off

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  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Well TVNZ didn't have to make them but it would have been nice if they had, at least shown them (in something other than a totally viewer unfriendly time slot) instead we get crap TV reality shows in prime time.

    Further to my points made above, Natural History NZ and Cloud9 are both privately owned NZ-based production companies that have successfully exported their shows overseas - yet approaches to TVNZ have only met with frustration. It's a symptom of the cargo cultism that has beset this nation for years.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    So how do we pay for TV in the next decade?

    With broadcast viewer numbers dropping steady advertising revenue is getting harder and harder to maintain. I don't see a viable model for paying for the production of new TV programs. And the dilemma is worse for time sensitive programs like current affairs or locally relevant content. I just don't see any long term viable commercial way to sustain the medium. Especially the things that exist on TV7.

    So do we let them die?

    Personally I believe there is value there. If not of the kind that buys you lunch at Kermadec.

    To me that is the place of the government. To pay for locally relevant content. Stuff that serves 40000 viewers at a time who have no way to organise themselves to pay for that content but can contribute to a common pool of money that can then be used to pay for that content.

    Sadly we don't view our taxes that way. Taxes are merely seen from the view of the economist, something to be manipulated on paper to make New Zealand "richer". Seems to me we've lost the concept of having taxes as a common pool that can pay for more than we can afford individually.

    We certainly don't vote for governments that support that kind of thing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report Reply

  • johnno,

    With broadcast viewer numbers dropping steady advertising revenue is getting harder and harder to maintain.

    This seems to be the perceived wisdom, but can anyone point me in the direction of some actual figure for NZ that back this up this notion of audience numbers dropping?

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6, in reply to Jacqui Craig,

    I couldn't believe it when I saw that Suzie Cato was still on telly - surely in the 12 years or so since my nephew watched 'The Lady' and everything stopped for the 15 minutes or so of absolute concentration on every nuance of her presentation he could manage at that age, there has been some other similar program made? But no. It appears not.

    I would also be gutted if I couldn't see Captain Mack. But sometimes he has to go - his monkey needs him.

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    To me that is the place of the government. To pay for locally relevant content. Stuff that serves 40000 viewers at a time who have no way to organise themselves to pay for that content but can contribute to a common pool of money that can then be used to pay for that content.

    You mean like in most other countries on earth? You're a dangerous extremist who must be stopped.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    To me that is the place of the government. To pay for locally relevant content.

    So, I guess the e-mail informing me that Public Address Radio can been cancelled due to NZoA's cheque bouncing? Might want to qualify and nuance just a little bit.

    We certainly don’t vote for governments that support that kind of thing.

    We certainly don’t vote for anyone who speaks in the majestic plural. :)

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

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    So how do we pay for TV in the next decade?

    Well, they seem to think it's fine to pay for laying fibre to the home just to sell it to Telecom at cost when it has the chance of becoming profitable. Now that is the same as NZOA funding programmes and then selling them, at cost, to the company that finds a market and that just don't happen.
    See my point?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This seems to be the perceived wisdom, but can anyone point me in the direction of some actual figure for NZ that back this up this notion of audience numbers dropping?

    Basically ... they're not. We're watching more TV than ever.

    Although the audience is being spread more thinly and -- significantly -- advertising revenue has slumped because of the recession.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    We’re watching more TV than ever

    Yup. But we aren't watching it as it's broadcast. We record it on hard drives and play it back while skipping the ads. We buy TV series on DVD and Blue-Ray. We watch movies on DVD and Blue Ray. We watch live sports and go get snacks at half time. We surf the internet. We watch 100 different channels. All on our TV.

    The result is advertisers can't be sure their ads will reach the viewer. And so they stop paying. And that is the problem. Without advertisers paying for TV, how can you afford to make TV programs?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Yup. But we aren't watching it as it's broadcast.

    That's vastly overstated too, apparently. There was something in the paper not long ago.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Yup. But we aren't watching it as it's broadcast.

    Well, I'm certainly putting in my part.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    We certainly don’t vote for anyone who speaks in the majestic plural. :)

    You mean, like Gerry Brownlee? Some body voted for him...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report Reply

  • Al Asdair, in reply to Islander,

    I'm thinking that a satellite Freeview solution would be a lot cheaper than $600 per annum to SKY...??

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Ok so I'm wrong. Broadcast TV is just fine and dandy and y'all can trust that your favourite programs will get made just like they used to. My pointless post was pointless, move along.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report Reply

  • Pete Sime,

    Charlie Brooker has a lot to say about this sort of thing:

    In fact, you may want to look at his new series How tv ruined your life for more on television’s state of affiars today.

    Dunedin • Since Apr 2008 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Broadcast TV is just fine and dandy and y'all can trust that your favourite programs will get made just like they used to.

    That's not what I said. I'd just hesitate to say that a) people don't watch tv or b) that they don't watch live TV just because I personally don't. The problem of how to fund good, public service oriented programmes remains. And it will need to factor in the high likelyhood that viewing patterns will reflect the movement you described.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    the majestic plural

    Who’s queen?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report Reply

  • Clint Fern, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I record pretty much everything to watch later - my fast forward button is the most used one on the remote. The only channel I'd happily watch without recording would be TV7 - watching the news or a film on the other channels involves too may ads for sanity.

    Nelson • Since Jul 2010 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Yup. But we aren’t watching it as it’s broadcast.

    That’s vastly overstated too, apparently. There was something in the paper not long ago.

    Yup. Although the Jason Paris story does suggest a figure of 20% of NZ TV viewing being time-shifted, which isn't insignificant.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    The problem I have is this (and I would imagine I am not the only one): I pay around $80 per month, just for Sky Digital. And that's just for the one telly in the living room. We have it because Ian watches TV alot, and sometimes for most of the day, if he's feeling poorly. I would get MySky for him but I think that takes it up to $95 p/m, and you pay for the box, which doesn't even belong to you. So they can get stuffed on that one. I would love Freeview for my TV, in the bedroom, which is the one I normally watch telly on, but I have a HD recorder, and as far as I'm aware, if I'm watching something through Freeview, I can't record something else on another channel. So what to do?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Thinking about this overnight, I don't think i am that worked up by the demise of TVNZ 7. hardly anyone watched it anyway. The biggest concern for me is the swamping of our culture by a Sky network that is dominated by Australiana - anyone who watches the history channel is subjected to a constant bombardment of uncritical kitsch Australian history, be it Peter Fitzsimons extolling the virtues of the 1946 Sydney Easter Show or those "Prime Minster's collections fillers. It seems to me that if Sky could get funding to make such popular ten-minute history fillers for a much larger pay-T.V. NZ audience then surely that is better than a station at the end of the dial that no one watched? I think the same observation could be extended right across the Sky channels if they had funding to make the sort of Australian stuff that they often use as fillers.

    Of course, Sky TV is the ultimate ugly monopoly and I hate them with a passion - but there is no reason why a future government can't force Sky TV to breakup into competing companies, who would at least then all be using the same technology.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Jeeze, what are the poor kids going to do with the other 12 hours a day, poor souls.
    ;-)

    We never saw TVNZ6's Kidzone as a means to occupy our four-year old for 12 hours a day. It was however brilliant to know that we could sit our wee-one down to watch a moderate bit of telly any time between 6am and 6pm knowing that the programmes would be worthy, age appropriate and often quite educational. Absent would be the three-frames-per-second style of cartoon common on commercial TV consisting of an orgy of destruction by enormous robots (or similar). Also absent were the commercials and commercial tie-ins where programmes are simply an extended advertisement for overpriced plastic merchandise for sale at your local Toy World. Along similar lines, I've witnessed preschoolers talking in American accents as a result of watching nothing but Playhouse Disney on Sky.

    Kidzone's host presenter, Kayne Peters was probably the hardest working man in television (I have no idea how he kept up that level of energy and enthusiasm). Not only is our wee girl is bitterly disappointed at the loss of TVNZ6, she was also pretty upset the other day when in 60 seconds on TVNZ7 we went from "Giggles" at 7.59am to scenes of devastation and distraught people in Christchurch on the 8am news and Te Karere (we were out of the room at the time but this was something we had been trying to avoid exposing her to).

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • Pete Sime, in reply to Gabor Toth,

    I did notice when I saw the tv listings the other day that the revamped channel 4 is now carrying Sesame Street - which hasn't been on NZ screens for more than a decade. It'd be much better to have NZ content, but by all accounts it's still a quality show.

    Dunedin • Since Apr 2008 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Roger Lacey,

    I agree with Gabor. Kidzone had quality programmes, many of them educational (including the wonderful NZ made Wot Wots) and no ads. It was great pre-breakfast fill-in entertainment for our 3 year old.
    I know we've got a huge budget deficit and Christchurch needs rebuilding but why give the kids a kick in the slats?

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    I have a HD recorder, and as far as I'm aware, if I'm watching something through Freeview, I can't record something else on another channel. So what to do?

    Well, what I would do and bear in mind some people think I am totally insane, would be to get a small laptop (the latest eeepc running windows 7 is what I would choose @ $500 ish a good buy) and a tuner card and install GBPVR.
    With the right setup, using ts Mux you can record multiple channels. GBPVR also supports Comskip which will, most of the time, automatically skip commercials.
    Grtting an extra laptop may seem a bit over the top but you end up with not only another laptop but you can take it on holiday and be able to watch all your favourite shows. (as long as you take your satellite dish or UHF aerial with you you can continue to record Jersey Shore, owhy)
    It really isn't as difficult as it sounds.
    :-)
    ETA. If you still use the HD recorder you can record absolutely everything and never have time to watch it. ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

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