TVNZ to live stream free-to-air channels

TVNZ has started live streaming its free-to-air channels along with its Duke on-demand service via a revamped tvnz.co.nz web site, and has promised to make the service available on Apple TV and on Google’s Chromecast.

CEO Kevin Kenrick said TVNZ would also extend the amount of time programmes were available online. “We’re giving people more time to watch episodes before they expire, more box sets and more stacking of episodes one after the other, so viewers can watch at their own pace,” he said.

Support for Chromecast will be added in July followed by an Apple TV app later this year, but only for third and fourth generation versions.

The service will be available on iPhone from the iPhone 4 onwards and on iPads that run iOS9 and above. Also supported are Samsung Smart TVs from 2012 onwards, Playstation3 and Playstation4, Microsoft Surface and Xbox One and Android devices running Android 4.3 and above.

TVNZ’s general manager technology, Greg Montgomery, told Computerworld that TVNZ OnDemand had an average weekly reach of 240,000 viewers and 1.5 million streams.

He said support for other devices would depend on market developments. “We are always looking at what the next partner device might be, but sometimes it is hard to know what the next 18 months might bring.”

Montgomery said the company was also looking at technologies that would enable better delivery of video over services with limited bandwidth. “We want to have something that works for the mainstream viewer rather than just the few,” he said.

“There are new innovations from Apple and from companies like Brightcove: dynamic ways of deciding what compression they can use based on the style of content.  A talking head would require less bandwidth to get the same quality than a sports action sequence.  We want to take that on as we can but it is possibly 12 months before we can make that mainstream.”

Brightcove technology has underpinned TVNZ’s OnDemand services to Android and iOS devices since 2012 and Brightcove provided the technology behind the relaunch of OnDemand in 2015. The company has just announced the launch in ANZ of its consulting arm, Brightcove Global Services, appointing James Cooper as director of global solutions.

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