Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Eye on Demand | August 15, 2018

Scroll to top


News: New Zealand Television Finally Embraces iOS

News: New Zealand Television Finally Embraces iOS

Big things have been happening in little New Zealand these last weeks on the iOS front. Until recently, the land of sheep and a rather pleasant Sauvignon Blanc or two have been iOS free for catch-up television, citing Flash as a reason to deny support. This is no longer the case with both major national networks opening up their streaming services to iPads, iPhones and iPod touches.

Yesterday, the largest and oldest television network in New Zealand, TVNZ, finally released its much anticipated iOS app for both iPhone (iPod Touch) and the iPad with great fanfare. In all honesty though, they were technically pipped at the post a week or two earlier with New Zealand’s second network TV3, rolling out by stealth iOS support through the Safari browser.

Two completely different ways to access their content on Apple’s mobile devices, and both offering various advantages and disadvantages.

Generally speaking, people prefer apps for online television services and TVNZ’s first foray into iOS is both pleasant to the eye and generally functional. There is nothing revolutionary here, but it works well in its basic form, if missing a few features, which are generally defined as standard these days.

Its greatest omission would be AirPlay support, something which will no doubt drop the apps overall score in the App Store. Due to licensing issues, TVNZ have adopted a zero approach to AirPlay & HDMI-out support, a decision quite uncommon in the on-demand world and one that is already setting the Apple community in New Zealand abuzz. TVNZ have stated that they hope to offer this feature in the future, but it does beg the question as to why they agreed to such restrictive licensing policies, which is not an issue with many other broadcasters.

On the other hand, TV3’s web browser approach would probably be best described as a budget embarkation to iOS support, and it clearly lacks the clarity and sleek design of the TVNZ app. That said, there is something positive to say about function over form and TV3’s complete embrace of AirPlay possibly makes it the most accessible FTA catch-up service in New Zealand, allowing it to easily be consumed on a real television.

In any case, television in New Zealand has seen another major step in embracing on-demand and catch-up services and we look forward to see what additional improvements these two network will offer in the future.

Update: For a full review of TVNZ Ondemand, including their new iOS app, jump over to the review page.


  1. mike

    It’s now 2015 and after buying an Apple TV 3rd Generation box I find out that it doesn’t allow ‘catch up’ viewing on TVNZ On Demand OR TV3. This is bloody annoying particularly when TVNZ is telling us all we should be using TVNZ OneDemand as it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread — from what I can see if you don’t want to watch OneDemand TV on a computer, tablet or mobile phone you need to have a particular model of Samsung Smart TV — rumour has it this is due to a sneaky deal TVNZ did with Samsung. And TVNZ whinge about kiwis using jailbreaked devices to access premium content on offshore services?

    • Sadly these deals are rather common. Samsung had made a number of other exclusive deals in different countries, but usually these are only relative to the service being only on Samsung TVs (i.e. not LG, Sony or other TVs). It normally doesn’t roll over to include set-top-boxes. I believe ITV made a similar deal for instance in the UK to only have their ITV Player on Samsung TVs, but you could still find ITV Player on other boxes like Roku.

      The most recent exclusive was the new HBO Now in the US which for the first 3months will only appear on Apple products.

      All that said, these deals shouldn’t last too long, and this has certainly been long! When it drags out like this, whether it is due to an exclusive deal or not, it starts to look like TVNZ is lacking innovation. I agree with you, TVNZ and TV3 really have to get their act together and add support for more devices. Perhaps now that Netflix has arrived (which is available on almost everything), it will encourage services like TVNZ to roll out some additional platform support.

      Fingers crossed this will be the year TVNZ and TV3 wake up and get some new apps out there!