Dunedin is dragging the chain in the countdown to digital
Otago will be one of the first regions to go digital, but
around 11% of Dunedin households had television sets which
would no longer work when the analogue signal was abandoned,
Freeview general manager Sam Irvine said from Auckland
''Dunedin is slightly behind the national take-up, but
Dunedin has a large student population and a lot of them are
still away. We expect that will quickly change when the
students come back,'' Mr Irvine said.
New Zealanders had been ''spending up large'' on televisions
and digital receivers in preparation for the digital
switchover this year, he said.
''The biggest seller is still TV. A lot of people are taking
the opportunity to buy a new TV. It's incredibly cheap to buy
a new TV in New Zealand. We're one of the cheapest countries
in the world. That's because our high dollar has pushed
electronics prices down, there are new retailers competing
vigorously in the market and there are new manufacturers
entering the market.''
More than 575,000 free-to-air digital TV devices, receivers
and digital recorders have sold during the past year. The
biggest growth was in ''time-shifted'' viewing, such as
Freeview, which was now being used in half of all New Zealand
homes, Mr Irvine said. However, it was not necessary to buy a
new television set, as most older models could be used with a
''An old TV will give you just as good a picture. In fact,
some people prefer the picture on the cathode ray tube TVs,''
Mr Irvine said. The South Island will go completely digital
on April 28.
The lower North Island and East Coast follow on September 29
and the rest of the North Island goes digital on December 1.