Goodnight Kiwi

Written By: - Date published: 10:22 am, April 28th, 2013 - 46 comments
Categories: Media, tv - Tags: , , ,

Analogue TV transmissions have now ceased on the mainland (and will have stopped countrywide by December) – the end of an era. I hope we are all recycling our TVs responsibly – this Ministry for the Environment recycling programme is great.

It isn’t necessary to buy a new TV to keep watching. Consider getting yourself a USB Key sized Freeview receiver and plug it in to your computer. TV reception on your computer with no need to buy yet another huge chunk of soon-to-be-obsolete plastic, electronics and glass. Some examples are listed here (I have no association with this particular seller / brand etc, I am not qualified to give official advice on Freeview products etc, my opinion only).

One of the main reasons driving the digital switch was to free up frequency bands for new 4G data services. There’s a good background piece on Stuff today.

I haven’t watched TV for the last dozen years or so (adds piss me off). But I still remember the excitement of our first (built from kitset) black and white TV in the early 1960’s. When there were just one or two national TV channels it was quite a unifying force in the country. Now we have fragmentation, choice, commercialisation, progress. Bah humbug. Goodnight Kiwi!
 
goodnight-kiwi

46 comments on “Goodnight Kiwi”

  1. weka 1

    “It isn’t necessary to buy a new TV to keep watching. Consider getting yourself a USB Key sized Freeview receiver and plug it in to your computer. TV reception on your computer with no need to buy yet another huge chunk of soon-to-be-obsolete plastic, electronics and glass. Some examples are listed here (I have no association with this particular seller / brand etc).”

    A good option (why isn’t this standard?) but check first if you can receive broadcast that way – not everyone is in a place that has that reception.

    [r0b: Check your reception area here.]

  2. ianmac 2

    In Marlborough I had to buy a dish, and a decoder even though the TV had one built-in. The Freeview decoder I bought is a recordable one, but channels are limited. Because of the flash decoder the change cost all up $895 -and I am no better off except the Dish has better reception than an aerial.

    • Jackal 2.1

      Unless you can afford Sky or TiVo etc, you’re likely to be worse off because we’ve lost a lot of free to air channels. I think the main effect of the switchover will be to deprive poor people of information. Spending this or that on some piece of technology to be able to receive broadcasts isn’t an option for many New Zealanders. That inequality is in my opinion just another symptom of neoliberalism… The poor will be less informed, and therefore less likely to participate in elections. Knowledge is power after all, and the rich will do almost anything to take it away from those they believe are less deserving.

      • infused 2.1.1

        lol, seriously… Not everything is an attack on the poor.

        • Tigger 2.1.1.1

          Actually the privatization of TV in NZ, allowed by successive governments is definitely an attack on the poor.

          • prism 2.1.1.1.1

            Agree Tigger.
            I am so nostalgic on seeing the cat and the kiwi. I thought it heralded a lively NZ scene of television by and for NZs. Except unbelievably the pollies didn’t seem to have any concept of national identity, nationally important information being vital to the citizens in a modern democracy, and the usefulness of it being a proving ground for many of our clever and/or artistic people.

            Watching Coronation Street wasn’t an anodyne time-waster, watching Shortland Street neither. Plus all the clever useful stuff that we all watched and commented on. We can support rugby, the sacred game, but we never supported the informative and instructive technology of television to its potential, and didn’t maintain the level that we did reach. Intellectual games or pursuits were for weaklings in acacdemic ivory towers. Hence we are fading away as a modern developed country on the udder side of the world.

        • felix 2.1.1.2

          Not when you’re rich, infused. Not when you’re rich.

      • SHAZ 2.1.2

        It deprives everyone of information and reflections of cultural identity irrespective of level of wealth. Does anyone really think that Sky TV’s travelogues,science light programming and endless b-rated films are any match for a proper public broadcaster even if you can afford the full package.. Likewise Sky’s News channels seem to be endless graphics devoid of any analysis or much meaningful content.

    • millsy 2.2

      When TV was first introduced into NZ in 1960, and until 1988, when the old BCNZ was carved into TVNZ and RNZ with both being expected to run as profitable businesses, it was expected that TV coverage be as widespread and extensive as possible, and that was one of the goals of the NZBC/BCNZ/TV1/TV2/SPTV, it appears with its refusal to extend UHF digital coverage into the Blenheim area, Freeview has no such goal.

      That is also why broadcasting was largely state controlled, because no private investor would guarantee universal coverage, because they need to make a profit.

  3. DH 3

    “I haven’t watched TV for the last dozen years or so (adds piss me off).”

    Ads were the final killer for me too, was never much of a TV watcher but the increasing number of breaks and the loud screaming ads finished TV off for me. It was becoming content free anyway but I’d probably still turn it on occasionally if I didn’t have to put up with the ads. Wonder how many other people have switched off the the same reason.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      A mix of increasingly vacuous and pointless channel mis-programming mixed in with escalating and noisy commercialisation.

      Yeah the thing stays off 99.9% of the time. That’s a minute and a half on per day haha.

      • Jackal 3.1.1

        I thought there was some sort of agreement or law against louder adverts? I can’t say that I’ve noticed much difference, commercials are still too loud and obnoxious… Luckily the remotes mute button is always handy.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          IIRC they agreed on a technical standard of advert sound not being louder, but which still allowed the ad sound engineers to pack more intensity into the frequencies used – hence it’s perceived by the human ear to be louder.

          • ghostrider888 3.1.1.1.1

            when watching tele I control the content (quickly) with the remote, until something beneficial is presented, even if it is only in the form of beneficial critical analysis; i.e, what is the story here Morning Glory.

          • felix 3.1.1.1.2

            “hence it’s perceived by the human ear to be louder.”

            Which is, of course, the only relevant measure of “loudness” in this context seeing as it was how it’s perceived by humans that’s the issue, surely.

            Absolute farce.

            • Murray Olsen 3.1.1.1.2.1

              The level above 20 kHz is probably almost zero dB. It’s as much taking the piss as appointing Susan Devoy was.

          • Andy-Roo 3.1.1.1.3

            Technical term is “Companding”

            Clip the high and low frequencies, pump the equivalent amount of energy into only the audible frequencies

    • mac1 3.2

      I have solved the ads problem with a combination of the remote volume control and the mandolin/banjo next to the viewing chair. I get about two tunes per ad break or half an hour’s practice per film.

      The music then drives the family out to the kitchen to make a cup of tea…………….

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      I never made a conscious decision to stop watching TV – it just kinda happened. I got a computer, then the internet, read books, went to or had parties and when it came to watching TV there was nothing but crap on it so I went back to books/computer. A few years ago I realised that I just didn’t watch TV and that owning a TV was actually a waste. This is a change from when I grew up when a TV was seen as an essential item.

      Of course, these days that same essential item is now the PC and internet access.

    • lprent 3.4

      I’m not missing it much (aerial has been off since September). About the only time I do is when I see something like that doco on Afghanistan come up. But they are few and far between and can be viewed on demand anyway. And I can wait for a DVD for something like that.

      But regrettably Lyn wants the aerial back on because of her profession. Amongst other things, she examines ads…. I don’t think that having all 15 seasons of ER will hold her off much longer – we’ve been getting the DVDs for each season in turn.

      • DH 3.4.1

        What I miss the most is good news & current events. Somewhere along the line TV presenters began to think they were the news and it went downhill from there.

        • Colonial Viper 3.4.1.1

          And journalists/editors think they are the news. And have as much say in how the country is run as any democratically elected official.

    • ghostrider888 3.5

      once I had benefited as much as seemed possible from Sky I let it go.
      occasionally I watch the Sky News channels when visiting.
      I watch news, current affairs and parliament on tele to see what they are selling, and catch the odd programme.
      I read The Herald and / or Stuff online while The Standard pages or comments are refreshing.
      I gather most information from books (own reference library), RNZ, international news and business papers and The Standard with it’s informative comment and links.

      Thank You, the rogue rider.

  4. Jenny 4

    Several years ago I read that New Zealand is reputed to have the highest TV ads to program ratio of any country in the world, higher even, than TV mad US. (unfortunately no link). In NZ the level has reached the highest possible bearable pain levels of advertising tolerance that viewers can bear. Determined by American TV viewer studies. Which if I can recall correctly is 50/50. And I am sure that though I haven’t timed it. Some of the shows that I have watched on TV recently have been at that level.

    But knowing the ad breaks are that long is good. Because you can make a cup of tea, or a sandwich, or check your emails and know that you won’t miss any of the broadcast. Sometimes though I think that they get sneaky and now and then flick in a short ad break to catch you out.

    • infused 4.1

      Well it’s not 50/50. 30 minute shows are generally 23-24mins. So there you go, 7mins of ads.

    • prism 4.2

      I read that the television program will generally be divided into sections of 10 minutes with 6 mins program and 4 mins of ads. Around the half and full hour this may differ. They might start and keep going long enough to catch your interest and then have ads and start the sectioning, and at the end they may put some ads in a short time before the finish.

      I’ve done some timing and this was the frequent procedure allowing time during ads for a toilet break or cup of tea, or even practising the mandolin, or maybe the ukelele which is becoming popular! Just turning the sound off is a treat for the ears and the battered brain reeling from the propaganda of screaming purveyors to the masses.

  5. Frankie and Benjy Mouse 5

    I have always been a “TV addict”. My grandmother worried that I was trying to get inside the TV because I sat so close to it when I was little. But I’m boycotting TV one at the moment after one too many unbalanced news items. I one that tipped me over the edge was
    the china poll
    Some public opinion (right or wrong) was concerned about Crafar farm sales to China. The “poll” questions neatly side step that. But the 40% result was used to say that public opinion had changed. Has it?

  6. Oscar 6

    Given that all tvs can receive the digital signal with an appropriate decoder, why mention the need to recycle tv?

    • dpalenski 6.1

      People that might want to use this as an opportunity to get rid of their TV’s

    • prism 6.2

      oscar
      why not? what’s your point.

    • r0b 6.3

      Those old TVs are doing to die / be replaced at some point. Better they should go now while there is a recycling scheme in place than end up as landfill later. There’s a lot of useful material in those big heavy old CRT TVs.

  7. Tim 7

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch – as we wonder how we might receive Televiz including the crap delivered today, the idea of PSB and an electronic Public Sphere is taking a back seat.
    Even the former participants that operated in that environment (and I’m thinking Chapman, Christie, whats-his-name,,,Brown, et al) have succumbed to the agenda. Fair enoough maybe – better they survive than not MAYBE. Had not the risk been taken on a PSB platform, it never would have.

    There are of course various options to preserve that PS/PSB including what they do elsewhere (such as a levy on the commercial)

    Here’s a radical idea, Together with/OR rather than the levy:
    First: Anything intended as being Free-to Air MUST be carried on all platforms
    Second: ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that is received unencrypted cannot be REbroadcast in an encrypted format.

    Let’s see how a monopoly with preferential treatment deals with that.

    • Tim 7.1

      OH, and just btw – I’ve heard the argument that the likes of ‘Heartland’ justify their existance on the basis that intellectual property is with various private production companies – I don’t dispute that.
      BUT, they should also consider that funding – in various forms ONLY came about because of their obtaining publicly funded broadcasting agreements.
      As such, whatever the programme, their existence is the result of public assistance and as such – its PUBLIC ‘property’

      • Tim 7.1.1

        Hat tip: Clare – gorgeous gorgeous, luvly lik my boots Darling! We all love you, we love it that you’ve ‘paid your dues’, we, well Darling – we just lerv you for who you are, your Adelaideling, your vast experience, your tolerance, your understanding.

        Now lets see what you plan is. If not, well… politics is a bugger at times aye!

  8. karol 8

    I used to be annoyed by ads, but since getting my freeview, I do watch quite a bit of TV – skip through the ads, and rarely watch anything live on TV. There are some good dramas & movies on TV, but often the most interesting ones are on late at night. My freeview can be set up to record a series.

    I like the idea of a USB freeview connection for my lap top. However, won’t that chew up my bandwidth allowance that I pay my IP for monthly?

    • r0b 8.1

      The systems I linked to in the post receive the freeview broadcast signal and deliver it to your computer via the USB port. (Like plugging a digital “rabbit ears” antenna into your computer.) It is completely separate from your ISP / data / broadband connection, it won’t affect your monthly data use / bill.

    • lprent 8.2

      It shouldn’t do. If it is a TV tuner, then it is coming in directly from the airwaves…

      Something like one of these Hauppauge WinTV – seems to have drivers for windoze and common support on Linux
      http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=c&p=capture

      I suspect that reception would be the biggest issue.

      • karol 8.2.1

        OK. It seems promising. But the reception would be a worry, because now my TV is connected to an aerial on the roof.

        I also like to have the TV on a screen that is separate from my lap top screen/s – and that includes an external monitor for my laptop.

        Also, many households like having a bigger (than 12 or 19″) TV screen so that more than one person can sit back and watch it at the same time.

  9. Mary 9

    “But I still remember the excitement of our first (built from kitset) black and white TV in the early 1960′s. When there were just one or two national TV channels it was quite a unifying force in the country.”

    Surely if you could remember your first TV “in the early 1960s” you’d know there definitely weren’t two national TV channels. TV 2 started in the mid-1970s. Up until that time we only had one channel.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Thank you to Roger Douglas for TV2!

      Hrruumph.

    • millsy 9.2

      Even then, TV2 was broadcasted only to Auckland and Christchurch, and intermittetly. National had the same attitude to public broadcasting back then as it does now, only back then the plan was to slowly starve it to death,.

  10. feijoa 10

    There are some gems hidden away on Maori TV. Less ads there too. I think its a channel worth supporting -the NActs would probably love to get rid of it

  11. We have CHOICE, that is the most important thing.

    This is not Marion Hobbs’s tv, its her worst nightmare infact, anyone can hook up to the internet and watch what program they want.

    • millsy 11.1

      What would you rather see on TV1, “Ken Burns’ Civil War” or “My Kitchen Rules”?

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