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TV3 First in the Market With HDTV Technology

19 March, 2008
MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TV3 First in the Market With HDTV Technology

TV3 has announced the launch of High Definition (HDTV) broadcasting on the new Freeview HD digital terrestrial television service. In doing so, they will be the first New Zealand broadcaster to introduce this new format.

The popular TV3 show Boston Legal will be the first television programme to be screened in native HD on Tuesday, April 1. Subsequent shows to be broadcast in HD include CSI, CSI: New York, Prison Break, My Name Is Earl, NCIS, Bones, Home and Away, So You Think You Can Dance Australia, Rove, and the highly anticipated Australian series Underbelly.

The service will only be available on Freeview’s new platform and to about 75% of the population. Coverage will be limited to the major metropolitan areas in the first instance. The TV3 HDTV service will be a combination of native high definition programmes and standard definition material that has been up-converted to the higher resolution.

HDTV provides a significant improvement in television picture quality together with the opportunity to receive surround sound. TV3 plans to provide programmes sourced in native HDTV on a gradual basis as they become available. TV3 will also have the ability to screen high definition advertisements.

HDTV capability is built in to most plasma and LCD televisions for sale in New Zealand and in a great proportion of the 300,000 TV panels that already exist in New Zealand homes. To receive TV3’s new service, viewers will need to purchase a Freeview digital terrestrial set top box. These are likely to be available in late March. The box can be connected to any existing UHF aerial within the intended coverage zone and does not require any complicated installation. TV3’s service will be delivered in the 1080i HDTV format to provide optimum screen resolution.

MediaWorks has been at the forefront of broadcasting technology in recent years. The first free-to-air broadcaster of widescreen programmes, the company also pioneered the use of satellite news gathering (SNG) in New Zealand.

“The launch of HDTV is one of the key outcomes of a five year plan to upgrade MediaWorks’ television infrastructure,” comments John Allen, MediaWorks Director of Technology. “This service will provide a new viewing experience and will allow the increasing number of large screen purchasers to exploit the full potential of their home entertainment systems.”

ENDS


ABOUT HD

What is HD?
Put simply, High Definition television provides around twice the standard television picture quality and resolution. Most internationally produced movies and television are now produced in HD.

What does HD mean for viewers?
HD provides theatre quality pictures and sound. It gives viewers a much better, sharper picture and sound and a more enjoyable viewing experience.

Which TV3 shows can I watch in HD?
As HD appropriate episodes become available, TV3 will be screening CSI, CSI: New York, Prison Break, My Name Is Earl, NCIS, Bones, Boston Legal, Home and Away, So You Think You Can Dance Australia, Rove and the new drama series Underbelly in HD. More and more shows will become available in HD on TV3.

Which areas can receive HD?
The main metropolitan areas across New Zealand will be able to receive HD including: Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Hawkes Bay, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.


FAQs

How do I set up my HD technology?
There are three main requirements to set up for HD:
*A UHF aerial
*A Freeview HD digital terrestrial receiver (set-top box)
*An HD capable television
For more information on set-up requirements please visit www.freeviewnz.tv

What sort of television do I need to watch HD?
You will need a high-definition (HD compatible) television which can display at least 720 line images to pick up the HD broadcasts. To achieve optimum HD viewing you will require an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) input connection.

Will I receive an HD picture if I have the right television, but have Freeview via the satellite dish on my house?
No, the basic Freeview satellite service will not carry HD material at this stage. You will require a UHF aerial and a new Freeview HD set-top box.

If I have an HD television but no Freeview HD receiver, what sort of picture will I be watching?
You will be watching standard definition television.

Where can I buy the Freeview HD set top boxes?
Freeview HD set-top boxes are available from major electronics stores. For a list of accredited retailers, please visit www.freeviewnz.tv

How much will the HD set-top box cost?
Each retailer and each brand of hardware will have different retail prices, although most HD set-top boxes should retail for around $500.

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