Freeview|HD Launches in New Zealand with S&T MHEG-5 Technology

Monday, April 14th, 2008 
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LONDON — Strategy & Technology (S&T), specialists in interactive TV playout systems and MHEG-5 middleware, is pleased to announce that it has extended its relationship with New Zealand free-to-air platform Freeview. S&T’s MHEG-5 interactive playout technology has been exclusively deployed for the launch of the new DTT/HD version of the service Freeview|HD™.

Friday 14th April saw Freeview NZ – which launched across the country last year with a satellite service – begin its DTT/HD service, branded as Freeview|HD™. The new DTT platform is the first live service in the world to use the MHEG-5 middleware technology with MPEG-4 AVC compression.

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At launch Freeview|HD™ consists of three HD channels – TVONE, TV2 and TV3 as well as a bouquet of SD channels. TVNZ will also be broadcasting this year’s Beijing Olympics in HD. In total there are 10 TV channels and two radio services with the number of broadcasters on the platform expected to grow over the coming months. S&T has supplied six of its TSBroadcaster/TSPlayer Object Carousel generation and playout systems to the multiplex operators to play out content and signalling for interactive television applications.

“The service is also using S&T’s MHEG EPG application that provides an eight-day listing service with a consistent look and feel regardless of which receiver manufacturer supplies reception equipment. We are also supplying receiver manufacturers operating in the New Zealand market with our RedKey™ MHEG-5 middleware engine,” explains Colin Prior, Director of International Sales, S&T.

Freeview|HD™ will cover approximately 75 per cent of NZ homes in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Napier, Hastings, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. Steve Browning, General Manager, Freeview, said: “Using a world-first combination of technologies has allowed us to extend the service that we provide into the HDTV world. It will change the way that Kiwis access and enjoy television and radio programmes.”