TVNZ Ondemand now on Sony PlayStation 3

, posted: 20-Apr-2010 13:55

Just got back from a media briefing at the Sky City Club Lounge in Auckland - any eagle-eyed PS3 users would've seen that from 7am this morning, a new icon was enabled allowing them to watch TVNZ Ondemand on their TVs.  What a perfect way to convince the better half to buy a PS3!

TVNZ are making available 150 series, and 5,000 episodes to the over 105,000 Kiwi PS3 users.  Quality can be selected with either high (700kbps) or low (300kbps), with TVNZ hoping to have higher rates (up to 3mbps) available in the future.  The quality we saw was comparable to standard definition Freeview with the video running in full screen (all over wireless!).

The menus are clean and easy to use. Content has been split into different categories and is aimed at both users who are catching up on shows they've missed, plus users who are just browsing for new content.  For those hoping that ads won't show, you're out of luck - the clever boffins at TVNZ have figured out how to include ads, the first in the world to do so on such a platform.

20042010427 Above: Chang from The Edge catching up on the midday news.

The data used still counts towards your monthly internet cap - only Snap and Orcon have unmetered data.

A great partnership between Sony and TVNZ, and with the ease of use, I can see this as another basic alternative to TiVo, MySky and a customised HTPC.  For more info, I spotted Ben Gracewood and Russell Brown at the same event; they will no doubt be blogging about this as well.


Note: To get TVNZ Ondemand on the PS3 simply update the PS3's system software to version 3.10 or above to ensure sign in to PlayStation Network. After a few moments the TVNZ Ondemand icon will appear on the Xross Media Bar (XMB).

Successful marketing through social networks

, posted: 12-Apr-2010 22:44

A tweet I sent yesterday about traffic to was picked up by Rod Drury, CEO of Xero, who blogged about his ideas around promoting business products and services through social networks as opposed to the "traditional" avenues:
... social marketing is blowing up traditional advertising business models. While it may take a while, social marketing has to be a key part of the marketing strategy for any business that wants to grow cost effectively.
Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, online discussion forums etc can be a lucrative source of new business, however there needs to be a clear understanding that they are a two way street - you are no longer simply pushing your products/service to your audience (as with traditional advertising), you are inviting your audience to interact with you, and you need to be prepared for this.
The best example of social misunderstanding is on Twitter - the best businesses on Twitter respond to questions posted to them by followers - simply pushing offers or information to Twitter isn't enough.  If you are seen as actively engaging your followers, not only with their complements/queries, but also with their complaints, you will gain the respect of the online community, and help build a social following and loyalty from them.  Having a whole army of people who blog and tweet about how amazing your business is, all at no cost to you, speaks volumes.
Some industries (such as the trades) still use the Yellow Pages to find businesses (hence why we still maintain a very low key presence), however more people are turning to online sources.  It's not an overnight money maker; try experimenting with different services and develop a social strategy that works for your business (Google Analytics provides the best way to measure online success).
Blatant self promotion: If you are after Xero integration with a new or legacy system, flick me an email (we are a certified Xero Network Partner).

Add more memory for free

, posted: 1-Apr-2010 00:26

There has been a lot of development in corporate computing with new technologies such as VPS (Virtual Private Servers) and Cloud computing - both of these remove the direct link between hardware and the operating system.  The virtual space has finally come out with an exciting new development for consumers with the ability to add extra memory (RAM) to your machine.

Download More RAM is an online service which allows you to add more memory to your computer/laptop without having to install more hardware and it's free.  It's a quick and easy download, I was amazed at the results I received on my Windows XP laptop - I've included screenshots below to prove my results (click to enlarge):

The download only works on Windows based computers, Linux and Mac users will need to buy a real computer to use this site.

I'm very impressed with the site; I was able to upgrade my memory from 2.91GB to a jaw dropping 32.1GB! My laptop runs like never before, hopefully it will also help you increase the performance of your desktop/laptop.


Update: This blog post had 800 views before lunch, hope it gave you all a laugh! :)

Sky and the precioussss EPG.

, posted: 29-Mar-2010 11:00

The Electronic Program Guide (EPG) is one of the best things about switching from plain and boring analogue TV to the new(ish) and free fandangled Freeview service or pay-per-month Sky TV.  The EPG tells you what's on TV now, and what you can look forward to in the future.  No more scrambling around the living room to find the TV Guide or Sky Watch - everything you need comes up on screen with the push of a button.

The EPG also allows you to more easily record your favourite programs; since we know all the days and times, setting up reoccurring recordings is a piece of cake.  Some clever cookies were providing this data for enthusiasts who didn't want to purchase a MySky PVR (Personal Video Recorder, a smarter VCR so to speak) but use their own PVR and it seems Sky have an issue with this.

The legal minds at Sky have been busy in the last few weeks, firing shots over the bow of providers (or programs) that allow you to utilise the Sky EPG.  The EPG does not allow you to get free Sky, it purely tells you what's on.  That's it.  Sky are limiting your knowledge of what's on, for something you have to be already paying for.  It makes no sense.

Instead of providing the EPG for personal use (publishing and selling it is a different story) for free as part of their subscription or for a small monthly fee, they are more interested in ostracising the subscribers who they should be embracing.  Surely the EPG isn't that precious?  Would not publishing the EPG to everyone entice non-subscribers  to sign up after seeing all the goodies that are being shown?

Sky needs to realise that overprotection of their EPG is not harmful to their core business of selling subscriptions.  The EPG should be made freely available as it is a sneak peak as to what is on, and in no way allows one to get Sky for free.

What do you think?

Screwed by ACC – good marketing, poor execution

, posted: 26-Mar-2010 23:39

What are the odds? The week that I'm holidaying here in Christchurch someone decides to lock themselves up the top of the Cathedral in the centre of the city.  I did walk past the church mid Thursday afternoon, seeing both TV news networks setup, and wonder why a banner was hanging from the look out:


The protestor was Neville Toohey, and the banner he was hanging was publicising his website -  Neville's beef is with the ACC; his major issue is they have declined his claim for back surgery

His cause is perfect for receiving sympathy from the average Joe Blogs.  The big ogre Goliath (ACC) vs the small and helpless David (Toohey).  It would be very easy to paint ACC as the faceless, uncaring corporation trying to squash the little guy.  Everyone will rally behind the under-dog. 

Toohey brilliantly caught all our attention through a very simple and cheap act - sit in a very visible (and reasonably inaccessible for the Police) part of town with a banner redirecting people to a website with more info - he could've easily capitalised on this, but I feel he's failed to realise the full potential of his cause.

His website reads as a random ramble of information.  There's no details about his specific injury, or the steps he's taken to engage the ACC over his issues - all the information I've read about his case is through the media, why is it not coming straight from the horses mouth? Where is the link to donate to his cause? Why are there not quotes from others wronged by the "evil" ACC?

The media he has been so successful at capturing seem to be now working against Toohey, as they are reporting that ACC have been more than accommodating:

"Mr Toohey's clinical records showed back-related issues from before this ACC claim, and the nature of the incident he claims caused this injury was simply `bending over'."

She said the ACC told Toohey he had the right to a free independent review of its decision, but did not accept in the three-month time frame.

When he did request a review about eight months later, he did not appear in person or make submissions, she said.

"Accordingly, his request for a late review was declined by the independent reviewer."

I'm not picking on Toohey - his claims seem valid, and he does seem to have a warranted claim with the ACC - I do wish him the best.  My thoughts are that he was successful in getting the nation's attention through a unique means and that  it's a pity he didn't do a better job at the follow through.

(Final thought: if you were planning a 24 hour sit in, anywhere, why would you not pack some basic food and water supplies?)

nate's profile

New Zealand

I'm Nate Dunn, and I work for 3Bit, and am a moderator here at Geekzone.

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The views and opinions represented on this blog are personal and belong solely to the blogger and do not represent in anyway those of 3Bit Solutions Limited or any other company.

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