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Freeview executives who last night launched their new Freeview electronic program guide have admitted that they recently held talks with Telstra about the possibility of putting Freeview software on the new Telstra T Box, the plan was rejected.

Freeview CEO Robin Parkes has also admitted that she has also held talks with Samsung in an effort to get them to support Freeview devices. In the past several vendors including both Panasonic and Samsung have refused to sell Freeview endorsed devices due to the “restrictions and limitations” that the software places on a consumer’s ability to skip advertising or fast forward through programs. 
At a function attended by several free to air TV executives, who are the owners of Freeview several new personal video recorders from the likes of Strong, Beyonwiz, Humax, Bush and Uniden were revealed. The new PVR offerings which incorporate new Mheg5 technology restrict fast forwarding and allow the TV stations to install advertising to a screen when a user is fast forwarding through a program.
Missing from last night line-up of Freeview endorsed devices were TV manufacturers who to date have not confirmed that they will be manufacturing TV’s or set top boxes incorporating the new Freeview technology.
“We have spoken to several vendors about the new Freeview including Telstra who have their new T Box unfortunately they were not able to adopt it due to technical issues. We have also spoken to Samsung who already have Freeview compliant TV’s in the UK about launch Freeview compliant TV’s in Australia. We are still waiting on a decision”.
With the old Freeview system which was based on a Mheg4 architecture both Sony and Sharp sold Freeview endorsed TV’s.     
A total of seven manufacturers showcased their EPG devices at last night’s Freeview event including Beyonwiz, Bush, Grundig, Humax, Magic TV, Strong and Uniden.

 
The new equipment, that will carry the Freeview EPG logo, has already started launching in stores and according to Freeview executives additional product will progressively be introduced into the Australian market as new devices are certified. 
Freeview CEO Robin Parkes said: “Over the past 18 months, we’ve gone from just five channels, to a brand new digital environment where viewers in metropolitan areas are able to access 16 channels. Now we’re able to launch an electronic program guide to make navigating through the amazing array of content even easier for viewers. 
“Three in four households – or 74% of Australians – have switched to Freeview digital TV already. These viewers have switched knowing that free-to-air TV now offers viewers more channels and more choice than ever before. But there are still some viewers that haven’t switched and to whom this proposition hasn’t compelled them to switch. So, enter the Freeview EPG – yet another reason for consumers to make the move to digital.”
The new Freeview EPG’s collate program data from all free to air networks networks for simultaneous transmission in a consistent format, while new MHEG 5 technology also means that the Freeview EPG will have video streaming and text capability, allowing consumers to continue to watch TV whilst navigating the EPG. 
Other key features of the Freeview EPG are:
· Seven day on-screen program guide
· CRID system (Content Reference Indicator) – allowing intuitive recording of shows (with PVRs)
· Program reminder functionality
· Detailed program information
· Parental Lock system
· One touch recording (with PVRs)
· Watch and record different channels at the same time* 
· Pause and rewind live TV (with PVRs)
· Record a TV series using the ‘series link’ functionality (with PVRs)
· Ethernet connection
· Common “buttons” for remote controls from each manufacturer.
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