Skip to content
7 July 2023

How to get TVNZ+ on your old TV again

The best streaming devices to help the 25,000 users affected.

Tens of thousands of TVNZ+ viewers discovered they could no longer stream live TV on the app at the start of the month.

Image of a man watching TV

About 25,000 users of the app stream on a 2015-2016 Samsung TV, but copyright changes mean they can’t use it to watch anything live anymore.

TVNZ took over the rights to major sporting content, such as New Zealand cricket, MotoGP and NFL, from Spark Sport at the end of June.

“Sporting bodies and a number of content rights holders in the entertainment space are requiring certain levels of protection to prevent their material from being copied and we need to comply with this,” a spokesperson from TVNZ told us.

“Unfortunately, the change we’ve made to TVNZ+ is not compatible with Samsung 2015/2016 connected TVs.”

Our test writer Nick Gelling is responsible for our television content and says the changes mean owners of the old Samsung smart TVs will have to buy a streaming device to watch live. These devices plug into the HDMI port of your TV and use your internet connection.

“You should never expect your smart TV to keep supporting your streaming apps indefinitely. Unfortunately, it’s often smaller local platforms that drop off first,” Nick says.

“Once you start losing functionality, as in this case, it’s time to switch to letting a separate device handle streaming. You’re effectively turning your smart TV into a dumb TV.”

Nick is currently working on an article about streaming devices, so he has spent a lot of time lately looking at each of them. He says these three would be his choice:

  1. SmartVU SV11

    “This comes with built-in Freeview and is generally better at supporting New Zealand-specific channels.”

  2. Chromecast with Google TV

    “It’s much better than earlier Chromecasts because it has a remote control and navigation menus. There’s also a cheaper version if you don’t have a 4K TV.”

  3. Apple TV 4K

    “It’s expensive but works nicely with iPhones and iPads if those are your mobile devices.”

Video on demand, such as movies and TV shows, will work as normal for those affected. The TVNZ spokesperson said half of the 25,000 affected households also use other devices to stream TVNZ+ and could continue to live stream on those.

If it’s time to buy a modern TV, head to our TV test results to see which ones we think are the best.

We also have plenty of TV buying advice, including the following:

  • An easy guide to which size to buy.
  • Which brand makes the best TVs.
  • Which brands have the most satisfied owners.
  • What all those words like OLED, QLED, HDR and 4K mean.

Member comments

Get access to comment