Digital TV is coming to New Zealand 15th December 2010     By: Panasonic Media

The arrival of colour television to New Zealand in 1973 was a once in a generation event which opened up a new chapter in how Kiwi's saw themselves and others in an increasingly technological world.

Perhaps less dramatic, but no less significant, is the official full switchover of New Zealand television from analogue to digital, which the government announced in September would begin regionally from September 2012.

At Panasonic, we are excited about the switch, and look forward to our audio visual products continuing to bring the highest quality of broadcast programming to New Zealanders.

Digital TV is of course already available nationwide in New Zealand and has been since Sky TV upgraded its network to digital in 1998. In fact, about three quarters of New Zealand households already have access to digital TV.

We understand that there may be some confusion about the switch and what that is going to mean for thousands of New Zealanders, so for those who are still wondering, here's a quick Q&A guide to digital TV.

What is digital TV?

Simply put, digital TV is a step up from the old broadcast technology, which is known as analogue. Analogue is the method in which our televisions have received signals since they were invented.

Basically, a digital signal can carry more information than the old analogue network, which means it can deliver better picture and vastly improved sound quality. It also lets broadcasters offer more channels and a broader range of services through your TV like on-screen TV guides.

How do I watch digital TV?

Most new HDTV's on the market - like the Panasonic Viera range - come equipped with a digital TV receiver built in to them. However, for older model TVs, you will need either a UHF aerial or satellite dish, plus a set-top receiver box to be able to view digital TV.

If you already watch TV on Freeview, SKY or TelstraClear, you have already gone digital! Channels such as TVNZ6 and TVNZ7, or a Freeview compatible device like TiVo are also examples of digital TV.

Will my old TV be obsolete?

While the switchover to digital TV begins in September 2012, it doesn't mean that your TV itself will be obsolete. What it will mean is that you will need the set-top receiver box to receive the digital signal.

So, you don't need to ditch your old TV just yet… unless of course you're ready to upgrade to a new flat screen TV! If thats the case, make sure to take a look at the extensive range of Panasonic HDTV's that come with a built-in digital receiver, giving you immediate and automatic access to Freeview channels.

When will the switchover happen in my area?

The government announced in September that New Zealand will make the switch, region by region, to digital television by November 2013, beginning with Hawke's Bay and the West Coast in September 2012. For more information about the switch, visit the government's web site

Contact Panasonic NZ

To contact Panasonic New Zealand for all media enquiries:
09 272 0100

We are located at:

18 Sir Woolf Fisher Drive
Highbrook Business Park
East Tamaki

Postal address:

Private Bag 14911
Panmure, Auckland 1741