Sky, Freeview and Satellite

Sky, Freeview or satellite

Sky Digital

For listeners who have difficulty receiving National or Concert, or who want to receive National in better than AM quality, both services are also available on the Sky Digital network.

National is on Channel 421 and Concert is on Channel 422. For more information visit the Sky website.


RNZ National and RNZ Concert are both available on Freeview.

Freeview is available either by UHF aerial or by satellite. Satellite allows the service to reach 100% of the country while the terrestrial service that carries RNZ National and RNZ Concert is available to about 86% of the population. At this stage RNZ Concert is not available on Freeview HD (Terrestrial UHF) in Taranaki.

A Freeview or other digital receiver is required to convert the digital signals into pictures and sound. All new TVs have Freeview HD terrestrial receivers built in, or you can buy a separate receiver to connect to your older television. Some TVs have a built-in satellite receiver.

Consumers have to pay a one-off cost for the receiver, and an aerial or satellite dish if they don't have one, but after that it is free, there is no ongoing subscription.

Freeview decoders are available nationwide. They come with an electronic programme guide listing all the available channels; there are approved installers, and technical support is available.

On both forms of Freeview:

  • RNZ National is on Channel 50.
  • RNZ Concert is on Channel 51.

RNZ National is available in stereo on the terrestrial Freeview HD service.

The Freeview website has more information.

Watching Checkpoint on Freeview

Checkpoint with Lisa Owen can be watched live on Freeview HD Channel 50, and Face TV on Sky Channel 083.

Problems getting Channel 50

There are three main reasons you may be having difficulty receiving Channel 50:

  1. RNZ’s Channel 50 is broadcast on Freeview terrestrial/Freeview HD. This means that an aerial is required for reception.
  2. Now that RNZ can be viewed on Channel 50, you will need to tune your television to find that channel (if the TV was already tuned to Channel 50, it may still be playing audio only; it will need to be retuned to find audio and video.) Some TVs will do it automatically; people using Freeview boxes may need to retune manually. Some devices, such as Samsung TVs, will prompt you to retune or update, please select "update" in order to receive Channel 50 with video. You can find a guide to how to retune your set here.
  3. If you are seeing an image showing a jagged blue line and hearing an interview, this means that the interview currently being broadcast is audio only. Not all of Checkpoint will be visual – for example, if Lisa cuts to a reporter who’s not on camera, there will just be audio, with this audio icon on the screen. Once the interview is over, video coverage will resume on your screen.

Please note: Freeview satellite Channel 50 remains audio only, as does Sky Channel 421.

For more information on how to use Freeview HD, there is a handy FAQ section on the Freeview website.

You can find further technical advice from

Freeview HD also has a free call centre which can give you step by step assistance. Call 0800 FREEVIEW (0800 373384), or you can email their help team on Their contact hours are 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

Audio and video clips from Checkpoint will be uploaded to the RNZ Checkpoint page and our Youtube channel once each show is broadcast, and these will be available to watch or listen again at any time.

Free to Air Satellite Reception

The Sky and Freeview transmissions of National and Concert can also be received by using suitable satellite equipment with no ongoing subscription fees. The transmissions are in DVB compatible, 'Free to Air' format. The Optus satellite provides reception to all of New Zealand including the Chatham Islands.


  • Satellite - Optus D1 160E
  • Transponder 5L
  • Frequency 12519 H (Horizontal)
  • Symbol Rate SR 22500
  • Forward Error correction Fec ¾
  • PCR for both: 8190
  • National: Audio PID = 1151, Service ID = 1101
  • Concert: Audio PID = 1152, Service ID = 1102.


  • Satellite Optus D1 160E
  • Transponder NZ12L
  • Frequency 12456 H (Horizontal)
  • Symbol rate SR 22500
  • Forward Error correction Fec ¾
  • National Audio PID = 659, Service ID = 1929
  • Concert Audio PID = 660, Service ID = 1930.