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Digital broadcasting to go centre stage

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Broadcasting

23 July 2007 Media Statement

Digital broadcasting to go centre stage

Some of the world’s leading names in digital media will meet in Wellington next month to share knowledge on how traditional broadcasting is adapting to the move to digital, Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey said today.

“It is great to welcome so many prominent players to the “New Broadcasting Futures: Out of the Box” conference in August, to focus on important issues currently facing broadcasters, both here and abroad.”

Free-to-air digital television was recently launched by Freeview in New Zealand and last week TVNZ announced the content of its first advertising free digital channel, TVNZ 6.

“The Labour-led government supports the industry’s shift to digital and has invested $25 million over the next five years to Freeview.

“As countries throughout the world have made the move to digital they have faced similar challenges about ensuring take-up of the service, and reaching a point when analogue transmission can be switched off for good.

“Meetings like this are essential to share knowledge and experience, and debate issues like ensuring quality and relevant local content is maintained as television is produced and transmitted in more and more ways.

“As New Zealand progresses toward the digital future, this conference is very timely and means we can learn from international experiences and consider how to ensure our unique culture, values and national identity are protected in a world of globalised multi-media.”

The line-up of speakers include Barry Cox (chair, Digital UK), Lyn Maddock (Australian Communications and Media Authority) and Pierre Helsen (former chair, Swedish Digital TV Commission) and feature content creators, broadcasters and providers from a range of platforms, including interactive media.

“This conference is an excellent opportunity to discuss the issues facing us as we move further in to the digital age and it is also great to see that tertiary students will benefit from using the event as a cross-platform, multi-media project in itself.”

The conference will feature international and local speakers, workshops, case studies, technology demonstrations and panel discussions and will be held at Te Papa on 28 and 29 August. To register visit www.newfuture.govt.nz.


ENDS

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