TVNZ will “go widescreen” on all digital services from 22 September 2007.
This means television programmes that are made in widescreen will be broadcast by TVNZ in the 16:9 widescreen format on the satellite versions of TV ONE and TV2, as well as on TVNZ Sports Extra and the soon-to-be launched TVNZ6 and TVNZ7, available via the Freeview platform.
TVNZ is following a world-wide trend towards more programme content produced and broadcast in this format. As with the cinematic experience, viewers find the wider aspect ratio more pleasing to the eye.
TVNZ is now commissioning all new content in this format and it is expected that by 2008 most prime-time programmes will be broadcast on both TV ONE and TV2 in 16:9.
Through the recently-launched Freeview platform, New Zealand viewers can enjoy many of their favourite TVNZ programmes in high quality digital video; now, if they have already purchased and installed a satellite set-top-box, full 16:9 widescreen is available for free.
A widescreen (16:9) television or flat panel display is required to see the full image, but viewers with conventional 4:3 televisions can set their set-top-box to display either a 16:9 “letterbox” or a full height “centre cut-out” picture.