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NineMSN and their parent company PBL have found themselves in an embarrassing situation after it was revealed that the Company is openly promoting the use of an EPG while taking legal action against EPG content provider Ice TV.

PBL who own the online web site NineMSN and the TV station Channel Nine are currently suing local Australian Company IceTV in an effort to stop them producing an electronic program guide (EPG) for media centres. At the same time they are openly promoting the use of a media centre EPG on their web site Nine MSN.

In a story titled Watch TV On Your PC NineMSN openly encourage consumers to use an electronic program guide on their media centre PC. This is the same type of EPG service that PBL lawyers have told the Federal Court is carrying content that they say is in breach of PBL Copyright.

PBL who have refused to comment on the story which appears under the Digital Living section of the NineMSN web site are facing the possibility that EPG services could strip them of valuable advertising dollars as consumers skip through commercials using an EPG service. In both Europe and the USA free to air TV stations are openly providing a service to EPG providers but not in Australia where free to air TV stations have dominated the media landscape.

The EPG battle turned nasty when IceTV announced that they were floating their Company on the stock exchange in an effort to raise $4 Million dollars. Just days before the float on the ASX PBL struck taking legal action against the small NSW Company.

Ironically PBL has not taken action against www.epgstream.net which is offering a free EPG guide to media centre owners. They claim that they already have nearly 2,000 users of their service.

Amanda Miller a spokesperson at NineMSN said ” We cannot comment when PBL is involved in legal action on this issue. We will however investigate the issue”.

Late last week leading comsumer electronics Company LG launched several new screens with built in hard drives. They also showed for the first time a controversial TV commercial that openly advocates consumers to use their new hard drive technology to remove TV commercials. Ironically the TV commercials are scheduled to run on the Nine Network. 

 The NineNSN Digital Living story states boldly that for one-touch recording: Press the RECORD button on the remote to record a TV show you are currently watching. The recording automatically stops at the show’s regularly scheduled end time.

Auto-record: Automatically schedule recording based on any four parameters: category, programme/movie title, actor, or director.

Record TV programming from the guide: Schedule a single episode or series recording, with or without reruns, while browsing and searching the guide.

Watch recorded TV from DVD: View previously transferred Media Center-recorded TV content from DVD on a stand-alone DVD player or another computer

Pause and rewind Live TV: While watching TV, press PAUSE on the remote control to “freeze” the programme for up to 30 minutes. When you’re ready to start watching again, you can skip ahead, rewind, and fast-forward through the recorded show. A pause buffer automatically captures the last 30 minutes of live TV, so you can rewind any time you’re watching.

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