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Igloo FAQ

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Dec-2011 16:45

Just received the press release about Igloo, the new TV service coming to New Zealand in early 2012, results of a partnership between Sky Television (51%) and TVNZ (49%). Here is the FAQ for this service:

  • What is Igloo?
Igloo is an exciting new pre-pay telly service which offers Kiwis more choice and flexibility than ever before. It’s the first of its kind. 

Igloo comes with an easy-to-install set top box with no long term contracts and no termination fees! You pay for what you want to watch when you want to watch it. This is pre-pay TV! 

Igloo offers a great range of free to air channels and pay television channels, plus over a 1,000 pay-on-demand titles to choose from and live pay-per-view sporting events too. 

Even if you don’t buy the 11 channel pack you can still use your Igloo set top box to watch all of the free to air channels, and you can still purchase any of the great live pay-per-view sporting events and/or rent any of the 1,000 plus video-on-demand films and TV episodes. That’s just great flexibility. 
  • Why do we need another TV service?
Because Kiwis have asked for it. We’ve just completed 6 months of research where we asked Kiwis about every part of their TV experience, from what they wanted to pay, to what they wanted to watch, even down to the look and feel of the set top box and we took all of that research and created Igloo. 

Kiwis want an option between SKY and free to air television – that’s exactly what Igloo is. New Zealanders told us that – as long as it’s flexible and on their terms – there is a market and there is an opportunity in the 50% of households that don’t currently subscribe to pay TV. 

Kiwis want a lower price point, more flexibility, and they want choice in the form of additional ‘quality content' to the free to air channels that they currently receive. We think that Igloo meets all those needs head on. 

Igloo is aimed at people for whom TV viewing is occasion-based; they don’t want a long term contract. Consumer research showed us that people want flexibility and choice without the big price tag. That’s a perfect description of Igloo. 

  • Cost?
The retail price of the set top box is yet to be confirmed but we are aiming to sell it for under $200. 

For around $25 Kiwis can receive 11 channels of great content for 30 days on top of all free to air channels (in Hi Definition when available). 

There is also access to a video-on-demand library of more than 1,000 titles to rent from and great live pay-per-view sporting events. 

The Igloo box also comes with live pause, a handy home media player and so much more. 

This is really the simplest, most flexible, no termination fees, pre-pay model. 
  • How many channels?
Igloo offers a 30 day pack of 11 linear channels. Plus all the free to air channels. 

Our 11 channels are: 
  1. Vibe
  2. UKTV
  3. BBC World News
  4. BBC Knowledge
  5. Kidzone24
  6. MTV Hits
  7. National Geographic Channel
  8. Animal Planet
  9. Comedy Central
  10. Food TV
  11. TVNZ Heartland
The selection of these channels was very much informed by the research we conducted amongst our target market. We are offering a broad range of quality content which will please lots of people – from news junkies who love the BBC, to music lovers, from drama fans to wholesome shows for kids, plus all sports buffs can purchase live pay-per-view sporting events. 
  • Will you release more channels in the future?
No additional channels will be launched in the foreseeable future. 
  •  Contracts?
No long term contracts, no termination fees. That is why this is such a flexible option. You can opt in and out of paid content whenever you want, paying through the set top box, via the website, or via our call centre. 

Flexibility and simplicity came back time and time again in our consumer research. And we modelled Igloo on these consumer insights. We believe Igloo is exactly what Kiwis want. 
  • Where can I buy it?
Igloo will be available at high street retail outlets nationwide and also online through our Igloo website 
  1. 8.      How complicated is installation?
Easypeazy, out-of-the box self-installation. All you need is a UHF aerial on the roof and a TV – no matter how old it is! 
You should not need a technician but if you do we are happy to help. 

We have put a lot of research into ensuring that Joe Public can pull it out of the box and hit play. 
  • And for those that fail?
If people have any problems we’ll have an Auckland-based call centre team ready to talk them through it step-by-step. 

And if they can’t nail down the issues then people have the flexibility to call in a third party to help them with the installation. 

At launch we will have an Auckland-based customer support team ready to take  calls. 
  • Any video on demand?
Yes, we will launch with over 1,000 films and TV series. 
  • How much to rent an On Demand title for a 48 hour period?
It’ll vary between $4 and $7 per movie and $1 and $3 per TV episode. 
  • Can I purchase sports?
You can purchase live pay-per-view programmes such as big rugby games or a netball game. You don’t need to have bought a channel pack to access sport content. Prices will be announced later. 
  • Will the film download to my hard drive like MYSKY?
No, it will stream over the internet. 

After purchasing a film you will have 48 hours to watch it as many times as you wish. 
  • Can I live pause?
Yes you can by simply plugging in a USB stick. 

A USB stick allows you to live pause and also to buffer for up to four hours depending on the size of your USB stick. 
  • Will the system have parental locks on it to prevent children seeing inappropriate films?
Yes, there will be a parental lock for all Igloo channels. 
  1. 16.  Will streaming eat into my datacap?
Streaming will use your data. 

However, to put that in perspective, a full feature film is only 2GB and, according to our research, most Kiwis have a datacap of at least 20GB per month. 
  • If my internet connection drops out will I lose the film?
No you won’t lose the film. The system will handle the fluctuations in internet speed. 

You have 48 hours to watch the programme as many times as you want. 
  • Launch?
Igloo will launch in the first half of 2012, to offer a great alternative in time for the beginning of the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in September 2012. 
  • Will free to air channels be available?
Yes all free to air channels (in Hi Definition when available) come standard with Igloo plus so much more whenever you want it. 
  • Will there be an alert function where you can book programmes and the EPG will tell you when they are about to start?
Yes, reminders are available for all channels. 
  • How many free to air channels will you offer?
All of them, the Igloo box can tune to all free to air channels, including regional free to air ones. 
  • Will you add more pay channels in the future?
We are happy with our launch line up and there are no plans to change the channels but as with every new product we’ll need to see how it is received by customers so future changes are possible. 

Other related posts:
Xbox One at TechEd New Zealand 2013
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Great Geekzone event, wish we could do more of these with other tech companies

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Mauricio Freitas
New Zealand

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

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