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Ice TV is set to cut a deal with a major vendor to deliver a new EPG service in Australia, and is looking to float..

Ice TV, which is currently raising capital to expand its business, is set to deliver an EPG service on the new Intel Viiv platform. It is also in negotiations to potentially deliver the new Google Video service into Australia.

Ice TV is a unique company that has developed an electronic program guide service spanning all commercial TV stations, along with the ABC and SBS. This guide can be used on both Microsoft Media Center PC’s and non Microsoft media centres.

In the past both Microsoft and Intel have failed to deliver an EPG in the new range of Microsoft Intel-powered media centres because of politics and, above all, Microsoft’s relationship with PBL which also owns NineMSN and Channel 9. What PBL fears is that the introduction of an EPG system would allow consumers to skip advertising in popular TV programs.

Microsoft Australia has as result of a relationship with PBL, which is a 50 percent partner with Microsoft in NineMSN, deliberately isolated Australian consumers from a full EPG service. Yet, in the USA, Europe and Asia, Microsoft delivers an EPG capability in its Media Center software.

Ice TV Managing Director, Duncan Ross, is currently working with several media centre manufacturers such as Altech to deliver an Ice TV EPG service.

Said Ross: “We are looking to expand our product offering into new services such as IPTV downloads and as such we  are going to the market to raise additional capital to fund the expansion. During the past six months we have looked at launching a Tivo-type service in Australia as well as possibly taking on the new Google Video download service. We are also talking to Intel about delivering the Ice TV EPG service on the new Viiv platform.”

He added “We have not decided yet as to whether we float or take in private equity capital. We are in an excellent position to expand our services across both our existing EPG service and new IPTV type download services.”

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