Kordia kicks off digital switch over in New Zealand

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 

A new era in TV

On Sunday morning, Kordia engineers will begin the first of a series of nationwide switch-overs from analogue to digital television.

The first regions to switch over will be the West Coast of the South Island, and Hawke’s Bay.

To minimise disruption, a team of Kordia technicians will enter a number of sites in the middle of the night to switch off the long-serving analogue transmitters. At the same time, engineers at Kordia’s ‘TV HQ’ – the Transmission Control Centre at Avalon – will decommission the other sites and fault alarms for these two regions. 30 of the 300-plus analogue sites due to be switched off by the end of the digital switch-over process will be affected this weekend.

Kordia Group CEO Geoff Hunt says that this is a time to celebrate the outstanding performance of an analogue network that has delivered television into New Zealand living rooms for over 50 years.

“We have known this day was coming for six years, and we’ve been preparing for it – our ‘broadcast to broadband’ transformation is complete,” he says. “It’s the dawn of a new era, and an exciting time for the Kordia business – but we are taking some time today to reflect on our heritage and celebrate our people who have worked on the network since ‘Day Dot’.”

Greg Harford, National Manager for Going Digital, says that digital television will give new Zealanders better picture and sound quality, more channels and advanced features such as on-screen TV guides.

“Recent research indicates that, across the country, more than 86 per cent of New Zealand households have already gone digital, while in Hawke’s Bay and the West Coast, 96 per cent of homes are already enjoying the benefits of digital TV: more channels, higher quality pictures and better sound,” says Mr Harford.

“Going digital by the end of 2013 will free up radio spectrum in the 700MHz range, which is ideal for next-generation mobile telecommunications services. These will support our economic development by offering faster and cheaper mobile telecommunications and data services for New Zealanders,” he says.

Kordia built the digital terrestrial television (DTT) network in 2007, and has the head lease on the satellite transponder which delivers digital signals direct to home (DTH).