Channel glitch sparks viewer panic
'It's not just in Timaru'JOANNE BENNETT
Timaru television maintenance companies have been inundated with phone calls from the public wondering where their Prime TV channel has gone.
Sky head of corporate communications Kirsty Way said Prime TV used to be broadcast over two different frequencies, and one was cut at midnight on Sunday.
"To broadcast twice was not a good use of resources," she said.
Timaru TV and Aerials, one of four aerial companies in Timaru, has fielded hundreds of calls from Freeview customers.
Technician Nigel Goodman said that people with older Freeview boxes were affected.
"It's not just in Timaru," Mr Goodman said.
"A lot of people are having the same problems throughout the country."
Households with new boxes probably haven't noticed the change as they have the ability to switch over automatically.
"Anything over three years old usually won't automatically support the update," he said.
He estimated that about half of Freeview box owners would need technical attention, with a small minority of very old boxes needing to be replaced.
"A lot of people are needing help, but someone who knows what they're doing should be able to tune it themselves," Mr Goodman said.
Sky has removed the Prime service from the Kordia transponder 12.456GHz. The Freeview SI will now point to the Prime service on the Sky 12.707GHz transponder.
Freeview nationwide product suppliers Dish TV have had four staff working 12 hours a day to cope with public support, according to Mr Goodman.
Freeview general manager Sam Irvine said all Freeview-approved boxes (those that carry the Freeview logo) would update automatically.
"We don't exactly know how many people are affected, but there are 300,000 satellite-registered homes, and we certainly haven't had that number of calls."
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