S&T supplies iTV to New Zealand's FreeView

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Strategy & Technology (S&T), the UK-based interactive TV specialist, has won an order from New Zealand's FreeView consortium of free-to-air broadcasters to build an end-to-end interactive TV solution.

The order, for S&T's TSBroadcaster and TSPlayer systems and an electronic programme guide (EPG) for the FreeView service, follows a trial hosted by TVNZ using Mheg-5 middleware used in DTT set-top boxes in the UK. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Steve Browning, responsible for the TVNZ-hosted trial and newly appointed general manager of FreeView said: "We have worked very closely with S&T and other suppliers to deliver a successful proof of concept that showed the capabilities of the Mheg-5 technology and the advantages of a consistent EPG.

"We believe this will offer significant benefits to broadcasters and consumers alike when the FreeView platform launches next year".

S&T's international sales director Colin Prior said: "We are delighted to have concluded this order from FreeView and in particular with FreeView's decision to select the Mheg-5 standard for the platform.

"MHEG-5 offers a flexible interactive platform as well as the significant advantage of low incremental cost in receiver devices that will ensure that the whole FreeView audience is able to receive interactive applications".

New Zealand's FreeView plans to launch a DTH satellite service in 2007, followed later by a digital terrestrial service. The consortium comprises TVNZ, CanWest, Maori TV, The New Zealand Racing Board, and Radio New Zealand.

The New Zealand government will spend NZ$25m to get FreeView established, but most of the cost in setting up FreeView will be met by broadcasters.

Lovelace Consulting  |  30.10.2006

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