Ihug has fired its first real shot in the digital TV market with a $99 set-up offer to existing subscribers.
Meanwhile, senior executives from Telemann, the Korean company which supplies the high-speed Internet cards and set-top boxes used by Ihug, will be in the country late next week, with Korean government representatives in tow.
Ihug has worked closely with Telemann on development of the products and the Korean company appears to regard its use of them as a showcase.
The new $99 offer - representing a discount of $200 - applies only to the rental version of Ihug Digital TV's TV-only Liquid Account, which currently offers nine channels of TV and pay-per-view movies for $29.95 monthly.
The receiver-decoder set-top boxes and external dishes required for the service remain the property of Ihug,. The dishes, pointed either at the Auckland Sky or Waiatarua, can also be used for Ihug's SatNet high-speed Internet service.
IDTV's Molten Account is based on a set-top box with an ethernet port, which allows a PC to be tapped into SatNet - but both TV and Internet cannot be used at the same time. The Plasma account uses a set-top box for TV service and a PCI card for computer access to the Internet.
IDTV seems set to get its big launch around March next year, when TVNZ subsidiary BCL debuts its high-speed wireless digital backbone, which will carry IDTV to other centres.
IDTV manager Ron Theaker yesterday announced that Country Music Television had been confirmed as part of the IDTV package - with Australian and New Zealand content packed in around the core American country videos.
A number of other offerings, including the Warkworth-based Family Channel and two adult channels are in preparation.