Satellite TV in New Zealand - Ku Broadcasts from the Optus satellites

Kiwis have a number of options to select from when accessing satellite TV in New Zealand. TV services like Free View or Sky TV are widely recognised, and use satellite TV dish systems. Watching TV via normal terrestrial reception is also an option. There are many other alternatives to select from when one wants to watch free to air satellite TV, that many New Zealanders are simply not aware of.This article will show you what is needed and offer some useful tips about the options to watch satellite TV in New Zealand

There are three main direct methods to watch satellite TV in New Zealand.

Firstly is to go for satellite TV services that offer monthly TV packages at a cost.

Secondly Free View, which consists of the countries broadcasters (except Sky owned Prime TV) which all broadcast from the Optus D1 satellite located at 160 degrees east. Receivable on a 60cm dish.

Thirdly is called FTA (Free to air) and consist of any or all of the satellite channels receivable in New Zealand. Essentially, all make use of satellite broadcasting to deliver satellite TV channels to viewers, via the many satellite transmissions available from multiple satellites with footprints over New Zealand

Using these satellite TV services mean that you would select a TV package of your choice to watch satellite TV in New Zealand. Pay TV packages normally vary in terms of the number of TV channels from a few to over 20 TV channels. Pricing generally is tied to the number of channels that you choose – the more channels, the pricier it would be. Payment would be in the form of monthly bills and start at $49.00 and above depending on the operator and whether the content is ethnic or main stream.

For those who would rather not pay a monthly subscription to services such as “Sky TV” “Vision Asia “ or “UBI” satellite TV services, can use your own satellite TV equipment to receive FTA services such as “Free View “ which provides TV 1,TV2 .TV3 ,C4,Maori TV, Te Reo , TV6, TV7 Stratos , Cue TV, Parliament  TV  TV3+1 , and TV1 regional channels.  There is also a selection of popular radio channels to compliment the television line up.

TV One TV2 TV3 C4 Maori Television TVNZ 6 TVNZ 7 Te Reo TV3 PLUS 1 CUE Stratos
Radio New Zealand National Radio New Zealand Concert Base FM
George FM

The next category of satellite reception is termed fortuitous, due to the fact that the viewer has no control over continuity of the broadcasts. These may be altered or changed by the operator at any time. However for a lot of immigrants and over seas residents now living here this may be their only ties with their mother country.
There are satellite TV Supply and installation companies, such as ours(JX/Impact TV) that only deal with the equipment and installation. Since it is possible to receive free to air satellite TV channels to watch satellite TV in New Zealand using a satellite dish system, all one needs is to make sure that the equipment setup is done properly. The price tag on the system varies depending on the size of the dish and sophistication of the installation.
FTA Satellite Television is very appealing to viewers. Compare this with some of the monthly subscriptions and you would definitely see the vast difference in terms of the value you are getting.
There are several categories of” TVRO “which stands for “television receive only”. Many of the New Zealand satellite operators have opted to broadcast from the Optus D1 satellite located at 160 degrees east.

Figure 1: shows the footprint of Optus D1. This satellite when used in half transponder (27 MHz) format provides 49 to 51 Dbw to all of New Zealand a reduction of 3 to 4 Dbw lower than the published full transponder operation.

Figure 2: Shows the footprint of Optus D2 located at 152 degree east which is used by UBI and Globe Cast to distribute programming to Australia and New Zealand simultaneously. The actual signal to New Zealand for half transponder operation (27 MHz) would be 47 to 48 Dbw over all of New Zealand. (FREE TO AIR CHANNELS INCLUDE 3 NEWS/DOCUMENTARY CHANNELS OVER NEW ZEALAND!)

Figure 3: Shows the footprint of Optus C1 located at 156 degree east which is used by Optus Aurora distribute programming to Australia and New Zealand simultaneously (CHANNEL 7 & SBS). The actual signal of the (54 MHz) full transponder has a lower signal to New Zealand than either of the other Optus satellites.

Optus D1: NZB footprint map Optus D2: NANZ footprint map Optus C1: NANZ footprint map


The Optus cluster of Satellites located at 160, 156, and 152 degrees east provide down link frequencies in the Ku band ranging from 12,250 to 12750 GHz. They can be configured to provide coverage NZ/NZ, ANZ/ANZ. Apart from Half Transponder operation a fourth configuration is used for News Feeds and programme distribution between New Zealand and Australia and Australia and New Zealand. these broadcasts (SCPC) use only 9MHz of satellite capacity and produce signal strengths some 6 to 8 Db lower than the full transponder operated services requiring a much larger dish for 99.9% service availability.

OPTUS C1 at 156 Degrees East


BBC World radio
Ch 7 Australia
Optus Tuning Card
SBS Australia

BBC World Service Radio, Channel 7 and SBS
Make for alternative viewing options for New Zealanders from Optus C1
Both Optus D1 and C1 can be received on a 65cm dual /dish system to one satellite receiver. Irederto 1 and 2 encryption


OPTUS D2 at 152 Degrees East

Optus D2 located at 152 east  provides television and radio channels from many countries free to air from Globe Cast and UBI Australia .These channels can be viewed by any one free of charge who has the required equipment .


Arab channels:
Aghapy TV, CTV Egypt, Al-Iraqiya TV, Salaam TV, Al Forat TV, Abu Dhabi TV, Oman TV, Press TV from Iran.

European Channels
Telepace from Italy, ERT world from Greece, BVN TV from the Netherlands, Telepadre Pio from Italy .TVR International from Romania, DunaTV from Hungary   and Russia Today in English, Kurdistan TV ,Kurd sat.

Religious TV on D2
3ABN, TBNAsia Pacific, JCTV, God TV, The Church Channel, Daystar TV, The Inspiration Network, Hope Channel, EWTN,Supreme Master TV, Apostolic Oneness Network.

Asian TV on D2
NHK World Japan, Thai Global Network, CGN Korea, Dhamma Media Channel,

Any or all of these channels can be integrated with the free view satellite service to custom make the channels of your choice. The requirement is a satellite dish of over 75cm in size .even the Optus C1 channels can be added to provide this channel line up custom made for a Dutch viewer.

 For example an english only speaking person may take all freeview channels from (OPTUS D1), the three news/documentary channels from (OPTUS D2), the two Australian channels off (OPTUS C1) adding 5 quality channels to your freeview lineup.


BVN Netherlands
TRT TV Turkey
Oman TV; Oman


SCPC - Single Channel Per Carrier satellite transmission system that uses a separate carrier for each of its channels. SCPC is used in broadcasting to provide full duplex communications.

Transponder Most communications satellites are relay stations in space, each satellite has dozens of transponders, each with bandwidth of tens of megahertz. Transponders deal with the uplink\downlink amplification and frequency shift.

Footprint An intended area on earth that the satellite broadcasts to.

GHz Gigahertz = 1,000 megahertz (MHz) or 1,000,000,000 Hz. - A unit of frequency - in this case electro magnetic waves (EM). A frequency of 1 GHz will produce a wavelength of .3 of a metre. TV1 from Waitarua transmitter in Auckland is at 55 megahertz therefore a wavelength of 5.45 metres. Prime Televsion in Auckland operates from the same transmitter at 775MHz, therefore a wave length of .39 of a metre. (Hence the difference in aerials required to pick up these land based analogue signals. VHF and UHF) Ku band satellite signals are around 12 Ghz - can you imagine how small the wavelength is?

DBw - DB or decibel is a unit of measurement that expresses a magnitude of quantity. It can relate to acoustics and/or electronics.DBw is the expression or measurement of a signal in deicbels relative to one watt (unit of power)