Seven Media which recently announced that it will roll out the TiVo PVR service in Australia now has access to a brand new TiVo HD PVR which is selling in the US for only $299. This could give the company a distinct advantage when it rolls out TiVo later this year.
TiVo has revealed a new high-definition DVR for cable subscribers in the USA that will sell for US$299. The set top box has already been seen by executives at Seven Network and could well be launched in Australia by late this year.
If launched by Seven the set top box would give it a distinct advantage over Foxtel which has no HD PVR offering at the moment. The company has, however, announced that it will launch a HD hybrid PVR later this year.
The new DVR is designed to take CableCARDs supplied by cable operators, and it will work in any market regardless of cable provider.
The new box also can be connected to cable high-speed Internet service to deliver a range of new broadband features and services including downloads of movies and TV shows through Amazon’s Unbox service.
TiVo plans to use the box to go head-to-head with satellite TV operators in consumer electronics retail stores, using the strength of TiVo’s interface and search features, said Tom Rogers, TiVo president/CEO.
Seven Media will also launcha video on-demand service, allowing consumers to order movies and TV shows shows through the TiVo HD DVD service.
In an interview with SmartHouse Seven Media, Rohan Lund said that the primary objective was to establish Seven as a content provider and while a Tivo PVR is set to be used initally this could well move to being an IP based service with content delivered over a fast broadband connection. The TiVo service will let users download from a list of first release and popular movies. movies.
Earlier this year we wrote.
Under a mutually-exclusive agreement the Seven Media Group will role out the TiVo digital platform in the second half of this year. It will include the award-winning TiVo user interface. Seven are also urging other broadcasters and broadband content providers to create a compelling, interactive, free to air digital terrestrial television offering using the Tivo platform.
In the USA Tivo has 4.4 million digital subscribers compared to Foxtel’s 200,000 IQ customers and 1.3 overall subscribers. This has forced Tivo to invest in developing a far superior set top box to what Foxtel is currently offering in Australia.
In a rushed response Foxtel said “Foxtel welcomes Seven to the 21st Century finally dipping their toe in to the water of digital television. Foxtel is already 100% digital, with a platform that offers consumers the choice of over 130 channels, interactivity and the convenience of a fully integrated DVR – the FOXTEL iQ.”
In the release Foxtel reveals for the first time that they are set to roll out iQ2Go which will allow subscribers to upload programming on to a portable device and watch it back on the device or another TV. They also reveal that they will shortly launch the next generation of the FOXTEL iQ – a HD hybrid set top unit – that brings together broadband and new broadcast technologies giving consumers access to an even larger library of content, greater memory capacity and sophisticated search functionality. What they don’t reveal is whether the new unit will have HDMI output.
They also reveal that Foxtel is currently running a Broadband download trial which enables participants to download Foxtel content to their PC.
In a statement released to mass media Seven Media claim that the new TiVo service will be available across Australia and will include internationally recognized TiVo features like SeasonPass recordings and WishList searches and allow users to access broadband content on their TV. Through its new partnership with TiVo, Seven will deploy TiVo’s leading interactive advertising capabilities to develop new integrated interactive advertising strategies for their very substantial number of broadcast advertisers.
“Every night, the vast majority of Australians turn to free to air broadcasters for their television entertainment. The Australian television market is on the cusp of a significant migration to digital television that will greatly expand the choices available on free-to-air television ” said Tom Rogers, President and CEO of TiVo. “We are excited to play a key role in driving this transition by partnering with the top television network in the country to establish Seven’s leadership of this transformation.”
Added Rogers, “This new partnership with Seven will utilize TiVo’s content search and discovery features, TiVo’s powerful advertising capabilities and broadband video straight to the TV set. This relationship demonstrates our ability to deploy the TiVo service on the digital terrestrial, or DVB-T standard, which has now been globally adopted and will represent more than 100 million homes by 2009. It demonstrates the opportunities TiVo has to work with leading broadcasters who have substantial marketing clout to drive TiVo DVR penetration by adopting our hardware and software approaches to this globally important standard.”
Chief Executive Officer of Seven Media Group, Mr. David Leckie said, “This association unites the strengths of free to air television and TiVo to deliver new digital services to the Australian consumer. Free-to-Air television is well positioned in Australia to benefit from the TiVo service in offering viewers the chance to easily find and automatically record the programming they want, schedule their viewing time and vastly extend their overall television viewing experience.”