A few years ago I scored a Freeview recorder from Russell Brown over at Public Address. He gave some out to folks who made a case. My case was that I’d written a thesis about the future of telly, and this looked like part of it, so would be keen to give it a run.
I did. And I loved it. I wrote on Public Address that yes, it changed how I watched TV, and all for the better. And yes, it was possible that I’d never watch live TV again. And – barring the occasional sports event – I didn’t.
The downside was that after a couple of years it conked out. I wasted no time whatsoever in replacing it. A couple of years later, that one conked out too. And by then (last year) things had changed. TVNZ 6 and 7 had both been chucked for scrap, and streaming had become a big deal.
So, no more telly, live or otherwise. Now, we watch the internet. With a mix of ad-free paid subscriptions and ad-rich free models, it costs roughly the same as what we used to pay NZ on Air for the broadcast licence.
Except instead of paying the NZ government, now our subs go to mostly foreign owned corporations with no interest at all in local content from Aotearoa. Which is a bit of a shame. Still, Maori TV’s on demand service seems to work OK. And that’s both cash free and ad free (almost).
I miss the Freeview recorder. I especially miss it with TVNZ 6 & 7. It was sort of perfect for a moment there. But then, it could never last, could it? A machine that enabled viewers to skip the ads that paid for the content in the first place? They’d never allow it.