The new TiVo which has been launched by Seven Media is in its infancy. It's a brand new offering that is currently being sold via Harvey Norman stores for a one off price of $699 and the only capability of this device right is to manage free to air content while also offering an image management and display capability.
From an ease of use prospective the TiVo comes with a sleek new management interface which is a big improvement over the poor Foxtel interface we have had to endure for several years. However Foxtel has improved their software interface for their new iQ HD PVR, changing it from blue white and yellow to an easy to read grey black and orange.
After spending a weekend running the two systems in parallel, hooked up to the same 52" Sharp LCD TV the TiVo software is superior from a functions prospective in that it offers more capability and above all a higher level of personalisation. It has features such as 'Season Pass' and 'Wish List' which allows a user to search for your favourite programme by category whether it be sport movies or a crime series through to being able to search by director or actors or by typing in their name and looking for a TV program.
One of the key requisites of the new TiVo is that one has to have broadband, this I believe is important as it eliminates making a choice between satellite and cable. It also allows for an easier install.
For example with a Foxtel install one can end up waiting two weeks or more for a technician to arrive to do a PVR install whereas with the TiVo offering it's a simple case of walking into a Harvey Norman store, taking the PVR home and plugging it into a broadband Ethernet port.
30 minutes later and after running an extremely easy install procedure one is up and running however it can take more than an hour for the electronic program guide to populate and fully install to the PVR.
What is offered on the Foxtel HD service is a vast improvement over the previous iQ model. The software is cleaner and easier to read and access. The TiVo offering is easy to navigate and laid out for novices.
All Foxtel have to do is improve their database capability to allow for better searches and improved customisation and they will be up their with the TiVo offering.