17 August 2001
Individualised “me-centred” television could be the result of new digital technologies, according to the New
Technologies and The Digital Future report released by NZ On Air today.
The report was commissioned by NZ On Air and written by Paul Norris and Brian Pauling of the Christchurch Polytechnic
Institute of Technology. It is the first independent research on developing digital technologies and their impact on New
Zealand broadcasting. The report paints a picture of the possible digital future for television and radio broadcasting.
“Implications of developing digital technologies will affect virtually every human activity. The convergence of the
three previously separate technologies of television, telecommunications and computers offers new options for
broadcasters,” said NZ On Air chief executive Jo Tyndall.
“This report is crucial because it gives us – all of us – options for what we should do now to prepare for the future,”
The development of broadband services, where consumers are able to have high speed Internet access, will allow the
development of video on demand and interactive services. At the same time, interactive television (iTV) allows the
viewer to receive content from the broadcaster and send messages back.
“Viewing options for individuals will be incredible as you can effectively create your own channel and interact with the
programme provider – “me-centred” television,” Ms Tyndall said.
NZ On Air may need to take a proactive role not only as a contributor to content but also in distribution and promoting
New Zealand content amongst the plethora of options.
Ms Tyndall said that while the possibilities of the application of the new technology were extremely exciting, there
were a number of issues including terms and conditions for the platforms supporting the new technologies that must be
well thought through.
“The economics of providing the services described in this report are complex and New Zealand is a very small market.
The pace of change to introduce and encourage uptake of these new technologies is also central to the debate.
“One of the key determinants of the future environment for broadcasting services for these new technologies will be
government policy, for example, in respect to funding and quotas and other decisions which are currently being taken.
“It is vital that key stakeholders think about the issues identified in this report now and a dialogue is started so
government has clear input from the industry,” Ms Tyndall said.
A full copy of NZ On Air’s New Technologies and The Digital Future report is available on the Internet, at