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Pay TV company Foxtel has taken a big stick to the free to air TV companies who have deliberatly been putting programs to air outside of their advertised time in an effort to disrupt electronic program guides that are being used to record TV programs which consumers then Ad Skip.

Effective as of next week Foxtel users of the iQ1 and iQ2 HD set top boxes will be able to record up to 20 minutes outside of the advertised start and finish times of the free to air TV stations and them skip through the commercials.  Already over 100,000 homes have the Foxtel set top boxes which will From this week start receiving a software upgrade delivering new features to Foxtel’s Electronic Program Guide (EPG). The first upgrade was delivered in September last year – enabling the four tuner functionality to record two shows while watching a third show live.”

Yesterday the head of Panasonic’s Audio Visual division Paul Read said that it was “ridiculous” that consumers were not given the right time to record programs by the free to air TV stations. At the time he was talking at the launch of new Panasonic Blu ray recorders that allow consumers to record 10 days of HD TV programs.

The only problem is that the buffer either side of a TV program is only 10 minutes which means that consumers will miss the start and finish of some commercial TV programs.

FOXTEL Executive Director of Sales & Product Development, Patrick Delany said, “The iQ2 has experienced dramatic take-up as its key features add even more value to a subscription with stand-out functionality such as increased hard disk drive space, Four Tuner functionality, and the capability to display High Definition images.

The great thing about our iQ and iQ2 is that we continually evolve them by means of over the air software upgrades around every six months. “From this week all FOXTEL iQ2 set-top-units will start receiving a software upgrade delivering new features to its Electronic Program Guide (EPG). The first upgrade was delivered in September last year – enabling the Four Tuner functionality to record two shows while watching a third show live.”

 

Delany continued, “Our subscribers have found it frustrating when programming runs over time and the recording cuts off the last few minutes. The iQ and iQ2 record from start and finish times provided by the channels, and if these supplied times are not accurate the recording times cannot be accurate.

Our latest iQ2 EPG upgrade combats this by allowing subscribers to add 20 minutes of additional recording on a show by show basis so you don’t miss the crucial ending to your favourite show or sports match.”

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