Freeview launches NZ's first HbbTV VOD service

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 02 July 2015

Freeview NZ has unveiled a first to market hybrid broadcast broadband TV (HbbTV) platform to switch between linear TV and on-demand services, in what the operator describes as a digital 'game changer' in New Zealand.

The FreeviewPlus service is free-to-view following the purchase of a new set-top box, costing around NZ$150. Alternatively, most new 2015 smart TVs have an integrated FreeviewPlus platform, says the non-profit organisation, which comprises the major free-to-air broadcasters TVNZ, MediaWorks and Māori Television.

"FreeviewPlus is a smarter way to watch TV. The simple on-screen programme guide lets viewers search across a massive library that brings together broadcast content from 19-plus live channels and on-demand content from TVNZ OnDemand, 3NOW and Māori Television On Demand, something that has to-date not been available in New Zealand," said Sam Irvine, general manager, Freeview.

FreeviewPlus also offers an eight-day catch-up or reverse programme guide that allows viewers to look back at TVNZ, MediaWorks and Māori Television channels and select shows to watch on-demand straight from the guide.

TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick said: "We know people want to be able to view their content on the biggest screen in the house, what's changing is that they want to be able to do so on their terms that's where FreeviewPlus comes in with seamless access to linear and OnDemand TV."

FreeviewPlus, which offers over 600 on demand shows and films, is available in all areas of New Zealand with Freeview|HD digital terrestrial television (DTT) coverage estimated at 86% of the population.