Free-to-air Digital TV by early next ye

Viewers throughout New Zealand will soon have access to free-to-air digital television, it was announced during a press conference in Wellington on June 15th.
A Hybrid system is planned using both Terrestrial and Satellite Broadcasting to cover the whole country as soon as possible. The DTT coverage is expected to be 75% and will hopefully be extended to cover the whole population when funding permits. The replicated signal available from satellite will enable the whole population to receive the new channels but the view at present is that having to rely on a satellite only broadcasting is too risky. Satellite failure would be catastrophic to broadcasting and for this reason Terrestrial broadcasting is still seen as the major means of digital TV delivery in the near future.
Six of the channels will be operated by TVNZ, six by CanWest and the remaining six by other operators. It is expected that 75% DTT coverage will be achieved in 12 to 18 months and analogue switch off in 6 to 10 years.
The majority of the conference can be viewed by clicking a link on the TVNZ website.
Source: TVNZ
Item added: 16th June 2006 (modified 7th July with additional input direct from TVNZ)