TVNZ have launched their TV ondemand service which is a mix of streamed clips and downloadable shows available to viewers through the internet.
It offers an initial selection of about 300 videos from 100 shows. Some of the clips are free and some are to be paid for using a credit card purchasing system called PlayPoints.
The move into viewer-selected television on the PC is a first for New Zealand.
According to TVNZ reports –
TVNZ Chief Executive Rick Ellis describes ondemand as tangible evidence of TVNZ’s determination to provide all New Zealanders with the benefits of the digital age, and to make top quality content available on every screen.
“This is how we are going to demonstrate both commercial and public value.” says Ellis. “We have had excellent support from leaders in the field like Julie Christie and John Barnett, who understand that this will give their productions the widest possible exposure.”
Among the shows on offer are New Zealand dramas Rude Awakenings and Karaoke High, which made a successful debut online last year in advance of screening on TV2. Others among the programmes to feature are Fair Go, Agenda, Eating Media Lunch, Praise Be, Treasure Island and Mai Time.
Then there are your old favourites.
Famous, and infamous, shows and clips from the TVNZ Archives are available free of charge in line with TVNZ strategy to promote enhanced public value. Reminisce over the final 1977 edition of Kiwi classic Top Town or the notorious 1976 confrontation between newsman Simon Walker and then Prime Minister Rob Muldoon.
The development of TVNZ ondemand will proceed by stages over the next four months.
Features being developed include pre-emptive downloading, which will allow viewers to pre-select material for automatic download overnight and a recommended viewing feature, which will select likely programmes of interest based on the range of material already chosen by a viewer.
There will also be interactive features designed to build an online community, such as rating favourite material, blog sites and a user-generated content area.
Initial user reviews of the site have been positive, and it is expected to grow in popularity as new features are developed and negotiations over programme rights are concluded allowing more local and international content to be added. Viewer numbers are also expected to rise as New Zealand’s broadband infrastructure is developed.
It will be interesting to see what the viewer response to this is going to be over time.