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This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. The opinions expressed within are my own and should not be attributed to any other Individual, Company or the one I work for. I just happen to be a classic techie who is passionate about getting things to work as they should do (and are sometimes advertised and marketed as being able to?) and when I can I drop notes here to help others falling in to the same traps that I have fallen in to. If this has helped then please pass it on - if you feel that I have commented in error or disagree then please feel free to discuss with me either publically or privately? Cheers, Dave
Thin Clients, VDI and Linux integration from the front lines.... Raw and sometimes unedited notes based on my experiences with VMware, Thin Clients, Linux etc.

After coming back to Australia from UK we were a bit disappointed finding that the FoxIQ was not all it's cracked up to be - at the moment it looks like the best bet is quite possible the Topfield 7000, with Dual HD Tuners and HDMI, it sounds like a good chance?

TiVo coming to Australia in 2008 - but will network squabbling kill it?  

By Adam Turner   
Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Forget Topfield. Forget Beyonwiz. Forget everything. TiVo could finally drag Australian television into the 21st century and change the way we watch the idiot box forever. I'll be sitting on my money until I see exact what the TiVo has to offer in Australia.

 The TiVo service will be available across Australia and will include TiVo features such as SeasonPass recordings (recording every episode of a show) and WishList searches (recording everything featuring a certain actor, director or sports team). All of these features are dependent on access to an electronic program guide so the TiVo can scan the schedule to see what's on.

Pricing is yet to be finalised but users are expected to pay for the box and then pay a small subscription fee for access to the electronic program guide that is so essential for the Personal Video Recorder to work. And that's where the problems start.

Currently Australia's television networks refuse to share their program guide in an electronic format that Personal Video Recorders can understand. Most DVD and hard drive-based recorders have the ability to extract a seven day program guide from the broadcast signal, but the networks only broadcast what's on now and what's on next. Even this is often wrong.

Efforts to provide third party EPGs for use with Media Centre computers and PVRs such as those from Topfield and Beyonwiz have been met will legal threats from the networks. The Nine Network is currently suing Australian EPG provider IceTV, claiming it is infringing Nine's copyright by distributing copies of its programming schedule. The fact you can't claim copyright over a simple list of facts hasn't deterred Nine.

Meanwhile Foxtel offers it's own TiVo-like device called an Foxtel iQ box. Nine is happy to share it's program guide with Foxtel, but that's to be expected considering Nine's owners - the Packer Family - also own 25 per cent of Foxtel. Seven and Ten refuse to share their program guide information with Foxtel, knobbling the usefulness of the iQ box.

Now Seven has dipped its toe into the PVR market, it shouldn't expect any cooperation from Nine. As a result we'll probably be left in the ludicrous situation where the Foxtel iQ doesn't work properly because it doesn't have the Seven and Ten program guides, the TiVo doesn't work properly because it doesn't have the Nine program guide, and third party providers like IceTV are being dragged through the courts by media giants like Nine.

The TiVo will be dead in the water without access to a full EPG, but now the two big network have a bargaining chip in the EPG poker game. Perhaps Nine and Seven can strike a deal, swapping EPG data for the TiVo for EPG data for the iQ box. It would be nice to see them put their petty squabbling aside for the sake of the Australian viewing public but, based on their track record, don't count on it.

There was a very interesting comment on this?

Or you can go open-source...
written by saschawenninger, June 21, 2007

...or you just forget about all this petty squabbling and go the open-source route by getting your own TiVo, which has been possible for a number of years now.

About 2 years ago, I bought a second-hand first-generation TiVo from the US on eBay (USD 50), shipped it to Australia, installed a network card and the open-source OzTivo operating system on it.

Like the original TiVo software, OzTivo (www.oztivo.net) is based on Linux and has all the same features as the original first-generation TiVos. It's 100% free (as in beer *and* as in speech) and also completely legal. It can also download programming guides (free to air as well as pay TV) to enable season passes, wishlists, etc. and gives you a fully-functional TiVo *without* DRM restrictions or other limitations often imposed on DVRs by TV networks.

Take a look at www.oztivo.net or on google to find out more.

Regards,
Sascha 

Posted on Sunday, July 1, 2007 3:16 PM Real Cool Stuff | Back to top


Comments on this post: TiVo coming to Australia in 2008 - but will network squabbling kill it? or do you want an open-source Tivo?

# re: TiVo coming to Australia in 2008 - but will network squabbling kill it? or do you want an open-source Tivo?
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Getting a series 1 Tivo isn't a whole quatum leap better than sticking with the VCR most people already own. You're still lumbered with cruddy analogue reception in a 4:3 aspect ratio, hardly 21st century. All it really gives you is the EPG and the associated benefits of that. (which is nice, but only half the story)

They also require a pretty high learning curve and a more advanced knowledge of technology, as you will have to "tweak" the unit, both its software and hardware, to get it functional.

Getting proper EPG support, whether in the new series of Tivo to be released, or by convincing the FTA channels that our existing digital STBs & PVRs should be allowed to receive the data, is the more elegant path.
Left by Bazza on Oct 06, 2007 7:55 AM

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