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TVNZ On Demand is live

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-Mar-2007 15:41

DRM? Love DRM? Get more of it then! TVNZ is launching its TVNZ On Demand service, which provides access to library of TV shows, ranging from the last week broadcasts to old kiwi classics.

Users can access the shows in two ways: by streaming the content (which is always free), or downloading the content (which attracts a cost).

Downloaded content is paid for with PlayPoints, which can be purchased in batches of $10, $20, $50 or $100. A 30 minute programme will cost 4 PlayPoints, or  about $2. When you register you get 20 bonus PlayPoints (the site says 10 bonus PlayPoints but my experience was different).

Downloads are fast, and through Akamai servers, but the Download Manager is less than perfect in terms of user interaction. I've downloaded a 23 minute show (30 minutes without the advertising) weighing in 225MB and all worked ok. The first time I tried to play the .WMV file it asked for my user name and password, or offered the option to create an account right there.

The file played on Windows Vista and WMP 11 with no problems at all. The quality was really good even on full screen, and with no artifacts I could see.

When you "purchase" a download you are actually only purchasing the right to watch that specific file on that computer only, and for seven days - no more. A shame, I'd like to be able to have it for longer periods, perhaps do like some music store where you pay a monthly fee, and providing the subscription is current you can access and play any song in the library. This would make a lot of sense. As it is, I can see that a lot of people will be put off of having to pay $50 to buy 12 one hour shows... It can be quite expensive at the end.


To be fair, all streaming shows are free though.

The website is quite nice, and they are going to make some money with advertising I see... Not a problem seeing that somehow they need to pay for the free streaming. But they could put a bit of effort and make that welcome e-mail better looking.

All in all, a great initiative. A shame Telecom New Zealand's plans for IPTV haven't come true yet, even after a couple of years of work on their part. And I do hope the Internet infrastructure in this country is well looked after, because this kind of service will no doubt stress the networks even more...

UPDATE: There is a good discussion about TVNZ On Demand on Geekzone.







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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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