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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Free satellite TV in NZ - freeview

    Not happy with your TV reception?

    In case you guys weren't aware, you can now get TV1, TV2, TV3, C4, Maori channel, and V8 sports channel for free on satellite, anywhere in NZ. Prime will supposedly start broadcasting as well, but no firm decision yet. That's especially nice for those of you in rural areas where you tv reception is 'average'. If you have a sky dish that you aren't using, you can buy a tuner and you're good to go. (you don't need to point it anywhere else) If you don't have a dish, you can of course buy one from retailers as well. I've seen it in action and the picture is great quality. You also get the benefits of a built-in TV guide.

    Here's more info about it:

    I'm curious if anyone else has bought tuners yet. You can get the 'certified' tuners from Dick Smith etc, but they are quite expensive (about $300). You can buy simple tuners on the web for about half that price, but with that, you get fewer video/audio out options, and a not quite as fancy EPG (electronic program guide).

    Couple sites where you can buy online:

    Any first hand experience with the different tuners/receivers? I've been reading that the Zinwell tuner (one of the 'freeview certified') has some serious quality control issues.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Cambridge ex- Liverpool


    Good post! Don't think much of the programming yet but it is apparently going to increase.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Freeview via aerial


    Is there a freeview system via a terrestrial aerial in NZ?

    Not seen any reference to it, so yhought to as th question as I have a USB freeview box that I can hook up to the Laptop.

    If there is no service then it is going on Ebay - like a lot of other stuff


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Wellington NZ


    There will be terrestrial service in most of NZ, starting next year, but it's not available yet - outside of one test site in Auckland.

    But if you have a Sky dish already installed it's a simple matter of buying a set-top box to use the satellite service. (You might have to rotate the LNB, the detector attached to the dish, or spend $25 for a new one if the old one gives you problems.)

    There should be many more channels available in 2-3 months, but the meagre selection up now works fine for us. The occasional TV drama, news, etc. is all we really want from the tube, so a $300 box pays for itself in six months by not paying for Sky. But if sport or movie channels are your main reasons for having a TV, you're not going to be satisfied with Freeview. Yet.

    I bought the Zinwell unit from DSE because I wanted the thing to work with minimal effort and to be simple to update as channels are added, with a working EPG. Non-certified STB's require more ongoing effort but cost $100-140 less, so you do pay a premium for ease of use/maintenance. The Zinwell unit has worked fine for us but frankly it does look very flimsy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    New Plymouth - here to stay!


    I can't normally answer these sort of nerdy technological questions, but I can this one (whoo hoooo!)
    We bought the zinwell digital receiver from Harvey Norman (knocked them down to $250 after haggling). The first box didn't work at all, and we took it back and changed it. Second one works fine. The quality control issues are to do with there being a dodgy bit (very technical eh) in the zinwell boxes that causes some channels to not be received properly, or even not at all. There is another fault that also means if your satellite dish is not totally 100% aligned to the optus D1 satellite (hey, i'm sounding genuinely experienced about this stuff - i even know the satellites name!) then it won't receive properly. however, from what i've read, if your box receives and displays the channels ok then the box is fine. We were aware about the possible problems with some zinwells (and Noel Leeming apparently has recalled them from what we were told at the shop) however OH bought it because (from his superior electronic knowledge) the zinwell is a better quality box than the Hills one - assuming you get one without the problem bit inside it.
    As for the cheaper boxes on the internet, i've read that you can buy some which receive many more channels - esp if you have one of the new satellite dishes that have moveable LNBs (another techy term for the pointy bit that sticks out of the dish) capable of locating other satellites. Of course these other satellites no doubt transmit trash, korean shopping channels and the like.

    Enough of this, better get back to my normal life....

    In a nutshell though - we only got freeview box because there is virtually no terrestrial TV reception in our new house. It was either sky, freeview or nothing. I voted for nothing, OH voted for freeview as it's cheaper than sky in the long term (and neither of us want to watch the additional drivel thats on sky)

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