View Full Version : TiVo coming to Australia and New Zealand - Official

30-05-2007, 07:53 AM
it's official, TiVo are going to launch in Australia and New Zealand in 2008

Read the official press release here


I'm lining up now to buy a machine or two. :-)


30-05-2007, 10:52 AM
Interesting news - wonder what the capabilities will be?

Probably only DVB-T, but additional analogue (for FoxTel etc) would give it an edge over something like the BeyondWiz SP-1 which appears to be the king of Digital PVRs this week.


30-05-2007, 11:53 AM
They have an Australian site already www.mytivo.com.au

But limited details so far.


30-05-2007, 01:54 PM
Can you mod the Series 3 Tivo's? Does this mean the NTSC problem can be worked around?

Darren King
30-05-2007, 02:48 PM
Highly doubtful. There are hardware measures as well as software ones in Series 2.5 and Series 3 that will not allow this, and all current software used in all 2/2.5/3 does not allow use without a valid subscription.

30-05-2007, 03:28 PM
The obvious question is how this is going to affect oztivo - it would be likely that we would become illegal?

01-06-2007, 02:07 AM
How it will it effect OzTiVo is currently unknown.

As to becoming illegal, I personally feel TiVo will Request our emulator be shutdown.

Reality is we just don't know yet.


01-06-2007, 05:53 AM
As to becoming illegal, I personally feel TiVo will Request our emulator be shutdown.

Hard to say, but here's a business model that could work, but somehow I doubt if they will have the imagination for it.

Leave OzTiVo alone, and let us continue supporting Series 1. I suspect many of our users will be in the line to buy a new machine as soon as they are released, because we are already sold on the benefit of a TiVo. We will also be evangelists for other users. Even if new people bring series 1's into Australia and use them on OzTiVo, they are likely to find they like them and move up to the real thing.

Of they could offer an Australian image for the series 1, which will let you do GS and connect to their server, and pay their subscription?

However, as I said, it all seems unlikely, and I think Peter's guess is what will happen.


03-06-2007, 03:34 PM
In reality you are providing a television guide service. What machine you have at the other end is really my business not yours.

So I guess there may be some loopholes in respect to that. You provide a machine which has television guide, I download it for my Sony playstation (well that's my story), theoretically you are not providing a TiVo service (as such). Although some highly paid lawyer fresh out of uni will probably dispute that with some technical jargon which nobody can decipher.

Will be interesting, I personally may even take 7 up on the offer, and still keep the series 1 for my kids programs. They get a subscriber, I get a new series 3 machine.

03-06-2007, 05:18 PM
TiVo coming here will have no direct effect on our guide service, which already serves plenty of non TiVo users via our XMLTV feed.

The issues possibly under threat is the community slice generator, emulator and OzTiVo image. Putting the image problem aside the worst that will happen is people will need to make their own slices from any source they choose, and either upload direct to their TiVo or run thier own emulator.

Ugly, but not impossible.

As for you expecting to buy a series 3 unit locally, I wouldn't be expecting too much yet. They have only stated support for DVB-T, but have not mentioned HD. So most likely SD only at this stage.


04-06-2007, 05:40 PM
Here is an interesting bit of the tabloid...

TiVo connects you to the world of entertainment from free to air broadcasters & the internet. Your TiVo will bring you the best entertainment from TiVo's content partners - some of the leading names in Australian entertainment. Through TiVo's online scheduling you will be able to instruct your TiVo to record your favourite shows from anywhere you have access to the web.

Just reading that seems to indicate to me that they will not offer any programming guide from the Pay TV channels (and why should they if they are in competition). So it might just be a TiVo service for 5 channels and that's about it? (ok maybe 15 with all the Digital ones, granted, but that would just mean a million repeats).

Darren King
04-06-2007, 05:58 PM
Correct. That subject has already been mused over on the OzTiVo email digest, and at present it looks exactly like that.

In fact I would even go as far as saying that unless all FTA parties start to agree with one another then it might not even be a full FTA guide data service either! :eek:

And at that, with their love to want to make shows run overtime I want to know how they think a paid for service will meet consumer expectations to record things to a schedule :eek: :eek:

05-06-2007, 03:53 PM
So the question arises.. should we all panic and sell our tivos? :(


Darren King
05-06-2007, 05:55 PM
Why? Here are the facts:

1. There has been nothing further mentioned since the press release a week ago. For all we know this could be a hoax to see how much it can stir up the OzTiVo community! Or it could be just a clever way to gauge consumer response.

2. Neither nzTiVo or OzTiVo have been approached with a "cease and desist" order. Maybe Series 1 is not on their radar? I doubt very much that TiVo would make hobby hacked Series 1 units compatible with their offerings. Until TiVo and Seven make the next move we don't know (and frankly I don't care!)

3. It's not like the Series 1 needs tethering to anything to continue to function. Sure, a nice "on tap" guide data service is nice but you can either DIY (ah, the good ol days of "screen scraping"!) or you can run the TiVo guideless.... Unlike, mind you, the Series 2 units that will be on retail offer with the newer firmware that ARE useless without a valid subscription. (keep that in mind if after a period of time Seven and/or TiVo decide that it is not a financial success and pull the service).

I've actually got some questions for those at Seven Media:

1. Why is it, that after years of the industry shunning PVR's with Guide Data that it is now suddenly the next "must have" gadget?

2. Furthermore, how are all you media moguls going to agree on a system that satisfies all your empires? Last time I looked you lot are in competition and such a "joint effort" across the whole board would be as successful as everyone agreeing on what to have for lunch.

and 3. After years of chopping and changing TV program lineups at the last moment and continually running overtime as a measure of stopping people from switching channels, how are you going to now handle having to stick to a regimented guide schedule? If people are paying for the service then I am sure you will be legally obliged to honour that service without the blatant disregard you now show for keeping to any proper schedule.

Anyone from TiVo or Seven Media that wishes to break their silence knows how to contact the major contributors in nz/OzTiVo. You are most welcome to have a chat about the future whenever you like.

Until further is known personally I'm just taking the "nothing changes" attitude. Adopting the "Chicken Little" approach at this juncture is very much over-the-top :)

05-06-2007, 07:46 PM
I agree with Darren on most points, just wish to add a few more.

1. They haven't given any details about New Zealand plans yet. So no current issues for New Zealanders, so no panic :)

2. Expanding on Darren's 3rd point. Even screen scraping is not potentialy on the horizon. Minnie will continue to provide xmltv data, which as a worse case senario will allow people to make their own slices at home. This is what the Canadian users did before TiVo arrived, and continue to do now.

Adding to my last comment, TiVo made no threats to the Canadians and even though the situation is different here I hope there will be little difference.

Let's just wait and see.


05-06-2007, 07:54 PM
Thanks Darren and Pete :)

Professor Yaffle
13-06-2007, 08:55 AM
I am interested to see what hardware they plan on bringing over. The downloadable content stuff and DVB only sound a lot like series 3 but for terrestrial and without HD. Are they going to include any analogue support for external STB's, if they are it is more like a Series 2. Either way, I guess it is going to be hardware specifically for this market (and possibly other non US territories).

As for the guide data, they made it work in the UK. All digital terrestrial broadcasters must provide guide data to a central source, this data is then broadcast over the air in the DVB multiplexes and can be picked up by any STB. Obviously this system would screw tivo's subscription plans though.

Also I am sure however that Tivo will be able to license universal guide data for all the channels it wants to support from somewhere, the same place that tv guide websites and Windows Media Center get it from (I assume WinMCE can get guide data in Aus/NZ, I have to admit I dont actually know).

13-06-2007, 08:15 PM
We can only guess as to the final specs, but it's fairly certain the box will be a upgrade of the current TGC units & will share similar architecture between the Australian, New Zealand, & UK versions.

To fill you in regarding guide data, MCE has not included EPG here in Australia as they were unable to. Most users roll there own guide. There is one commercial guide supplier who has been taken to Federal Court by one of the FTA stations for breach of copyright. When I last spoke with the guide supplier (icetv) they were still awaiting the verdict, but felt confident.

Also the EPG supplied over the air by the FTA broadcasters leaves a lot to be desired. Sometimes you get only the next couple of hours, other times you get a few days.


17-06-2007, 04:53 PM
A little more info has become available.

In short:
Box cost around $400
Subscription cost around $10 per month
commercial skipping not available
EPG available for all FTA channels
EPG unlikely to be available for Foxtel
likely to be packaged with an ADSL2+ service
movies and other content available by download


17-06-2007, 08:03 PM
Still not an attractive service really. As Darren mentioned previously, not much point in a time based recorder if you can never guarantee you will run on time (Golden Point in NRL springs to mind instantly, along with other sporting events). And since a lot of people have PayTV, pretty useless having just 5 channels of guide data.

18-06-2007, 04:01 AM
Timing isn't a huge problem as TiVo does have hard padding as standard, and may even include some form of softpadding.

I agree FTA isn't enough on it's own, but the hopes are that this system (using Engin ADSL2+) will be an option to pay TV through it's download capabilities. New release movies will be available for (paid) download, as will other free and paid programming via the net. Making this TiVo more like an offline IPTV box.


PS. At least with channel 7 behind it the shows might run on time, at least on one channel :)

18-06-2007, 11:19 AM
Timing isn't a huge problem as TiVo does have hard padding as standard, and may even include some form of softpadding.

I agree FTA isn't enough on it's own, but the hopes are that this system (using Engin ADSL2+) will be an option to pay TV through it's download capabilities. New release movies will be available for (paid) download, as will other free and paid programming via the net. Making this TiVo more like an offline IPTV box.


PS. At least with channel 7 behind it the shows might run on time, at least on one channel :)

Is it possible that since this has a legit EPG, it can sync with the broadcast EPG to get the the amended end of show correct?

... or am I dreaming here?

Cheer Nick

18-06-2007, 06:54 PM
Is it possible that since this has a legit EPG, it can sync with the broadcast EPG to get the the amended end of show correct?

... or am I dreaming here?

Cheer Nick

I was hoping the same thing, but as I mentioned about the NRL and their Golden Point. It could run anywhere from 1 second to 20 minutes over depending on the game itself. (granted NRL is on Channel 9), but you get the picture. (pardon the pun)

06-07-2007, 03:35 PM
A bit more on the subject as of today, still no good if you can't run on time.

Lara Sinclair | July 06, 2007
THE digital TV take-up looks set to rise, following the commercial television industry's decision to launch a free electronic program guide (EPG) covering all free-to-air channels within three months.

The service will enable consumers to automate recording of TV shows on all free-to-air networks using digital recording platforms and make it easier for people to watch shows when it suits them.

Nine and Ten, as well as regional players such as Prime and WIN, have backed Seven's TiVo digital video-recording platform, which will have access to the EPG.

But Foxtel will not get access. Subscribers to its iQ DVR will need to use a free-TV-approved service to record Seven and Ten programs, which are unavailable on Foxtel's digital platform.

13-07-2007, 01:30 AM
Seven Network's director of digital media, Rohan Lund is interviewed by the SMH. Giving details of potential on demand video that will be available. Also hints at a reasonable monthly service fee of $10.00

http://www.smh.com.au/articles (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/07/11/1183833584857.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1)


19-08-2007, 05:52 PM
What if this never happens? Tivo did the same thing to Canada years ago and they still cannot purchase units or get true warranty support.
Here is a random story from 2005 which reminds me of the Australian announcement

19-08-2007, 11:34 PM
What if this never happens?

Then nothing changes :)

But realistically unlike Canada, the agreement here is for both support and distribution using 2 separate companies. TiVo themselves will not be here.

The distribution company is currently advertising for a PR manager to co-ordinate the launch of TiVo & the support companies had advertised for software engineers to fine tune for local needs.


20-08-2007, 11:13 AM
More news today.

TiVo will fail, says pay TV exec
Lara Sinclair | August 20, 2007
PAY-TV sales company Multi Channel Network has cast doubt on the future of the digital video-recording platform TiVo, which is backed by the Seven Network, telling advertisers the venture may never get off the ground.

Full story here TiVo will Fail (http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,22273329-15306,00.html)

20-08-2007, 12:11 PM
PetesTrash: Ahh, that sounds more likely then.

pjpete: That article makes me angry and I'm not even in Australia. I'm going to link this thread over on TCF- Tivo UK forum and see what they have to say about it "bombing"

Darren King
20-08-2007, 12:53 PM
Actually despite the article making you "angry" regarding the comments about UK TiVo there is no denying that Seven clearly *don't* have the TiVo deal all sewn up. They are hinging the success based on having an EPG agreement and people wanting to use the TiVo for broadband rich media. Unfortunately none of which is concrete.

It was less than a year ago that the networks were squabbling about the use of *any* PVR in Australia and having access to EPG for the purpose of setting up automatic recordings.

It is also clear that to get any of this broadband rich content you are going to be forced to take a package deal of a TiVo and subscription from Engin to deliver this service which looks at this stage to be ADSL2+ based. Only problem here is that not everyone can get ADSL2+ (heck some can't even get ADSL!). Case in point is that I am in a growth corridor here in Melbourne and nobody is even game to install ADSL2+ equipment 60km out from the CBD. More importantly not many warm to this "bundling" lock in arrangement idea that seems to drive ISP's these days.

I'm not knocking Seven, TiVo or Engin. Actually I think it is a bold move to introduce TiVo in a country where monopolisation and empire building stifles a lot of new technology. However apart from the few press releases and the couple of employment vacancy offers all I have seen so far is a lot of hot air and nothing substantial to say that TiVo will see the light of day in Australia. And even if it does based on the sales model being portrayed I am less convinced that even if it does get off the ground that it will be the success that Mr Ian Smith says it will.

Put it this way: I'm not going to be the first in line to purchase one when they are finally released. I'll be happy to wait and use my old faithful Series 1 - with or without guide data - to record next years Olympics.... or even my el cheapo $160 twin digital tuner PVR I picked up about a month ago.

20-08-2007, 09:48 PM
The same article was posted to the OzTiVo mailing list today.

It's not exactly surprising that someone from a competing company plays down TiVo potential impact. I expect to see a lot more negative comments from people associated with Foxtel as Rob is.

Rob's role at BskyB was in interactive advertising, and just as he left BskyB announced their suprise at how lucrative this market segment was. He now runs the same dept at MCN providing the red button content for Foxtel.

Should TiVo become successful here it will be taking revenue from both MCN and Foxtel.

As to TiVo in the UK it was a mistake, TiVo Inc was already stretched in the US and they entered the market too early with a box that was too expensive with only 40hours on basic. They gave up after only 2 years.

The price when TiVo was first launched into the UK was GBP400 which was fairly quickly dropped to GPB299. That is still a lot of money for most people, add to that the need to cable it to a phone line, it was just too difficult. But realistically unlike Australia, the UK is not known as a country of early adopters.

Marketing was left to 2 retailers, with limited funding from TiVo.

Another benefit for the US which the UK did not have was there were more than one DVR released at the time (replay & microsoft) so consumers were better informed of the potential of DVR's in general.

The situation here is TiVo is not involved hands on at all. Marketing and Distribution will handled by Engin, who are already successful in building their VOIP business. They have already appointed a new CEO who has triple play experience. And Seven providing content. Both companies have deep pockets and both are currently on a high.


03-09-2007, 01:56 AM
Megazone has covered the bias of the article nicely in his Blog.



Darren King
03-09-2007, 06:54 AM
That blog puts a lot into perspective and is well written.

The only sticking point that I personally have is this trend to "bundle" items. I'd prefer to simply buy a TiVo from my local retailer, subscribe and hook up to my current ISP.

However with the Seven/Engin partnership deal I have a gut feeling that to subscribe will mean having to pledge some sort of allegiance to Engin.

Time will tell I guess.

03-09-2007, 01:06 PM
I agree with the issue of bundling espically if you are happy with your current providor.

I don't what options will be available, but bundling is needed because most people are currently on plans of <500mb a month which is not enough to download movies, and alot of them are on 256k plans which will make the downloads a pain.


15-09-2007, 06:12 AM
Recent article about the Aus TiVo here: http://www.itwire.com/content/view/14429/532/

20-09-2007, 08:32 PM
So all up it's a Channel 7 Hard Disk Recorder at best with a few 9 and SBS shows thrown in. Not a great advertisement really for such a powerful device.

20-09-2007, 08:56 PM
I don't understand your post?

All FTA channels will be available via Dual Digital tuners in SD and HD where available.

Also new release films will be available on demand via ADSL connection.

Amongst many other features.

What's wrong with that?


16-11-2007, 10:16 PM
The www.tivo.com.au website seems to have been updated. It now lists some of the features we can expect. There is not heaps on it but it has got a little on the on-line aspect which uses something called universal swivel switch plus a parental control called kidzone. Also we are getting the mp3 playback, picture viewer and web scheduling.

07-01-2008, 03:19 PM
Here: Get Involved With TiVo (http://www.tivo.com.au/testtivo/)

08-01-2008, 08:44 AM
http://www.tivolovers.com/2008/01/07/tivo-looking-for-testers-in-australia/ talks about the Get Involved stuff.

09-01-2008, 04:40 PM
New article, with a bit more detail about the features on the Australian version from www.theage.com.au (http://www.theage.com.au/news/articles/tivo-offers-a-taste-of-things-to-come/2008/01/09/1199554709370.html)