Viewers who set their older analogue devices to record the Kiwis in the Rugby League World Cup final overnight will be out of luck when they turn on their sets today.
An estimated 284,000 households in the upper North Island will wake up this morning to find their old VCRs, analogue DVD recorders and hard drive recorders no longer work after this morning's digital switchover.
The older-style recording devices, which were still being sold until about a year ago, are not compatible with the new digital broadcasting method.
Freeview general manager Sam Irvine said VCRs, DVD and analogue hard drive recorders would not record the digital signal unless they were plugged into a digital receiver that was switched on and tuned to the programme they wanted to record.
"There's a hell of a lot of them sitting in people's homes," he said. "People who don't upgrade their VCRs or analogue recorders are going to lose the ability to set their devices to record their favourite shows, or watch one channel while recording another."
Irvine said viewers could continue to watch shows they had recorded but needed to upgrade to a digital recorder such as MyFreeview, about $79, for future broadcasts.
"That means escaping to the bedroom to watch Campbell Live or The Crowd Goes Wild while the rest of the family is watching Shortland Street in the lounge will no longer be possible," Irvine said.
Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss was due to turn off the final analogue broadcast at 2am at the Waiatarua tower in Auckland.