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From renting to digital – TV has come a long way

TV has come a long way in the last half century as this month marks 50 years since people were able to rent black and white televisions.

Since then the television industry has seen the introduction of colour TV, commercial television channels, the development of pay television services and later this year the move to digital TV.

On September 30 Hawke’s Bay and the West Cost of the South Island, including Murchison and St Arnaud, will become the first regions to go digital. The rest of the country will follow in stages with Auckland and the upper North Island the last to make the move to digital on 1 December 2013.

Back in 1962 the cost to rent a TV was a fraction of the purchase price. Someone looking to buy a 23-inch black and white television would have paid ₤130 – the equivalent of about $4500 today, making it a luxury item that not everyone could afford.

The move to digital TV will give viewers a markedly improved viewing experience especially in comparison to what was offered back in 1962,” said Going Digital National Manager Greg Harford.

Digital TV offers better pictures and more channels unlike in 1962 when viewers relied on rabbit-ears and ribbons of wire and only received one channel. 

To find out more about the move to digital TV call us on 0800 838 000 or visit

Updated on 23rd July 2015