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523 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 75

  Reply # 437123 9-Feb-2011 08:36 Send private message

Until today people still think they have to have a Telecom broadband plan to use TiVo. This just kills the whole thing for a lot of uninformed people.

Not surprising really. Even today at it says "To receive the whole service a TiVo owner will need to be a Telecom Broadband customer"........ "Anyone can purchase a TiVo media device through Telecom, but they will not enjoy the whole TiVo experience such as unmetered content and services (e.g. movies & TV shows) without Telecom broadband." 

73 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 437129 9-Feb-2011 08:44 Send private message

But seriously, I brought mine purely as they were the best, most reliable, and cheapest PVR on the market (apologies to those that paid full price).

I would be happy just to go back to the Freeview EPG rather than no EPG at all. Software patch perhaps or more difficult?
Agreed - I am on the $10x36 deal so far cheaper than HTPC.  Especially since I reduced my broadband plan by $10 as the need for such a large cap was reduced ;)

How much can it cost a hybrid employee to convert the Freeview EPG to a Tivo EPG.  Cant be two much so they must be able to survive on the smell of an oily rag for a decent period of time while they wait on someone who sees value in it.

However, considering TVNZ is hobbling the service in NZ, would they block another company taking it over (who would unhobble it)?

545 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 24


  Reply # 437745 10-Feb-2011 13:36 Send private message

Australian TiVo owners won’t be left in the lurch - a major NBN deal is brewing.

The rumour mill has gone into overdrive this week, with speculation that TiVo’s Australian backer Hybrid TV is at death's door. Hybrid TV shed jobs as part of a December restructure, and now there’s talk of an asset fire sale - with several ISPs and IPTV services picking at the carcass. The fact that Foxtel will be available via Telstra’s T-Box in May is another major kick in the guts for both Hybrid TV and the Freeview consortium.

Talk of Hybrid TV’s demise is scary stuff if you’re a TiVo owner, because the Personal Video Recorder is little more than an expensive paperweight without its backend support. Most PVRs extract their Electronic Program Guide from the broadcast signal, perhaps with the option to tap into the IceTV online guide. Unfortunately Australian TiVos are completely reliant on the EPG downloaded from Hybrid TV. Without this service, the TiVo loses its mojo and can’t automatically record your favourite shows.

Even if Hybrid TV did go under, it’s hard to believe that Australian TiVo owners would be left in the lurch by the Seven Media Group. Seven and the other commercial networks have proven time and again that they don’t give a stuff about viewers, but money talks. The backlash from TiVo’s powerful retail partners - and Seven’s major advertisers - such as Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi would be severe. They’ll certainly make themselves heard - for example, former JB Hi-Fi chief executive officer Richard Uechtritz was appointed to the Seven Group Holdings board last year. Then you’ve got ISPs such as Internode which are also TiVo retail partners. Too much time, effort and money has been sunk into the service locally to see every Australian TiVo end up on the nature strip.

I’m also told that TiVo customer service (or what’s left of it after the cutbacks) is running the line;  "Customers will not be impacted. The TiVo service will continue to be provided to consumers throughout Australia and New Zealand". Unfortunately key players such as Hybrid TV CEO Robbee Minicola are refusing to comment on the issue, which naturally fuels speculation that the end is nigh. Minicola isn’t afraid to tell it how she sees it, so if she’s keeping her mouth shut it must be for a good reason.

While it’s clear that all is not well in the TiVo camp, industry sources tell me that a major deal is brewing and we can expect an announcement from Hybrid TV by the end of the month. Rather than offloading assets to local ISPs or cutting deals with existing providers such as Fetch TV, there’s talk of Hybrid TV striking a deal with a major new services player targeting the National Broadband Network. Details are sketchy, but the usual list of suspects would obviously include cashed-up players from Singapore, Malaysia and China.

Then again I know that a major multi-national consumer electronics brand, with a taste for IPTV, is set to make a key announcement around the same time. Other sources tell me that TiVo's white knight is a well-known name that wants to build on Hybrid TV's vision for the CASPA content delivery platform, expanding across multiple devices. I can't say much more at this point, but it's going to be very interesting to see how things play out.

Such an NBN deal makes sense for TiVo, as Hybrid TV’s struggling CASPA content delivery platform needs a major shot in the arm from fibre to the home if it’s going to be a serious player. Whether it comes soon enough is another question.

Even if this NBN deal doesn’t pan out, I doubt Australian TiVo owners will be left without an EPG. Hybrid TV’s Australian partners will view TiVo as too big to fail.

481 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 53


  Reply # 437752 10-Feb-2011 14:01 Send private message

It's a pity that NZ barely gets a mention, but at least we do. Anyone wondering where that article and comment came from can check here:

693 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 8

  Reply # 437780 10-Feb-2011 14:57 Send private message

Another article out this week re: TiVo Aus, with NZ mention.
So TiVo might end up useless but it is at least getting cheaper.

TiVo cutbacks could cause price drop
By Ty Pendlebury on 08 February 2011

The distributor of TiVo in Australia could be set to halve the price of its recorder following a significant restructuring in December 2010, and may also be looking to offload its assets to a competitor.

TiVo distributor Hybrid TV is set to drop the price of the TiVo 320 Media Device to AU$299 in order to "clear out stock", according to an industry source, after dropping the price to AU$499 in November.

Meanwhile, The Register has reported that Hybrid TV reduced its workforce by 80 per cent in December 2010 and is in "advanced talks" to sell its CASPA online service and assets to FetchTV.
The price of the TiVo 320 Media Device could drop to AU$299 following local cutbacks.
(Credit: Hybrid TV)
In January, Hybrid TV's Robbee Minicola told CNET Australia that "nothing is happening to TiVo in the Australian and New Zealand market", and said that price drops were due to the strength of the Australian dollar.

"Why would the number one PVR exit the market?" Minicola said at the time. "Nothing is going on with Hybrid TV ... it's just business as usual," she added.

Minicola also told CNET Australia in January that TiVo would continue to support existing customers, saying that despite the recorder's withdrawal from the UK in 2003, existing TiVo customers continued to receive service. TiVo re-entered the UK market through Virgin Media at the end of 2010.

TiVo went on sale in July 2008 as a 160GB recorder and was upgraded to 320GB a year later, but some criticised the device for its inability to archive recordings without paying an extra AU$200 for the networking package.

Hybrid TV was unavailable for comment.

1163 posts

Uber Geek

  Reply # 437792 10-Feb-2011 15:18

If it goes down under and the system becomes unusable, if it was purchased through telecom, telecom would need to provide refunds, as it is advertised as having all the features as shown at . This includes the 2 week EPG, which can only be delivered when connected to the internet. I am unsure about who would need to provide the refund on the HNP if you paid extra for it. However it would all be covered by the CGA, so has to be fit for purpose. I would be really disappointed if it did exit NZ, as it is a great device, but has been poorly marketed in my opinon. For $360 if you are a telecom cusomter is a great deal, but many people don't even know that it is that cheap or what it even does.

73 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 437800 10-Feb-2011 15:41 Send private message

Price drop to A$299 - it already droped to the in NZ if you did the $10 x 36 month deal

693 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 8

  Reply # 437803 10-Feb-2011 15:46 Send private message

CJPhoto: Price drop to A$299 - it already droped to the in NZ if you did the $10 x 36 month deal

Article must refer to the advertised price in-store as opposed to the special secret price for Telecom customers as AU$299 is circa NZ$390

In NZ instore advertised price I think was $499 and the super secret Telecom customer price was only $360.


1163 posts

Uber Geek

  Reply # 437812 10-Feb-2011 16:02

CJPhoto: Price drop to A$299 - it already droped to the in NZ if you did the $10 x 36 month deal

Article must refer to the advertised price in-store as opposed to the special secret price for Telecom customers as AU$299 is circa NZ$390

In NZ instore advertised price I think was $499 and the super secret Telecom customer price was only $360.


They did send a glossy ad showing it was $360 with telecom bills in december, so it wasn't that secret. Would be interested in knowing how many people now have tivos, because it could be too large to fail in NZ. It could also be a big setback for freeview numbers in NZ, so I am sure freeview would want it to keep going.

693 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 8

  Reply # 437819 10-Feb-2011 16:07 Send private message


They did send a glossy ad showing it was $360 with telecom bills in december, so it wasn't that secret. Would be interested in knowing how many people now have tivos, because it could be too large to fail in NZ. It could also be a big setback for freeview numbers in NZ, so I am sure freeview would want it to keep going.

Ahh OK, I have paper bills turned off so I haven't seen that flier.  Last year it was a secret price that people here had to ask about as it wasn't advertised publicly.

I would consider a second one for the boudoir if it came down to around $300.


1163 posts

Uber Geek

  Reply # 437820 10-Feb-2011 16:08

JimmyH: And two more things.

2. Wireless network adapter is available, for $89. So far so good. Except the Tivo can record HD video, and the wireless adapter is wireless G, not N. I shudder to think how long it would take to transfer, say, a two hour film in HD to a home network (if you had purchased the outrageously priced HNP access key to allow this).

It actually doesn't take that long, a few hours. I just leave the computer on and do transfers overnight.

939 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 16


  Reply # 437966 10-Feb-2011 20:07 Send private message

When TiVo stopped selling devices in the UK, the EPG service et al were and still are available for customers to use.

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260 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 21

  Reply # 437992 10-Feb-2011 20:49 Send private message

My version of the premature post mortem...

The Telecom exclusive was hardly a deal breaker. Neither is manual ad skipping. The HNP fee was annoying but understandable as Tivo have been cowed by countless legal battles with broadcasters and just want a quiet life.

Sky's withholding of Prime EPG was extremely ruthless but ultimately not that significant. Probably well outside the original Tivo design brief, but the ability to fall back on the broadcast EPG in the absence of internet or broadcaster approval would have largely solved this.

More of a concern is jumping on the wagon a generation too early - Tivo appear to be focused on the Premiere and have no interest in investing further in the Series 3, but Hybrid have a heavy commitment to this hardware.

Ultimately content is king, and there isn't enough of it at a good enough price. Both Seven and TVNZ have oodles of content but haven't backed Hybrid by making it available on CASPA. All I ever saw were two turgid left wing documentaries about Rogernomics. TVNZ in particular appeared to throw out any semblance of a long term strategy at the first whiff of a global financial crisis, gifting their back catalogue to Sky for a few shekels.

A time-poor geek is hardly a geek at all

693 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 8

  Reply # 440091 16-Feb-2011 08:42 Send private message

I see they have [or will be] stopping EPG data for the original TiVo's in the UK. Slightly different as this was a paid service but it does go to show that if a company pulls the plug on the back end data supply. These things just turn into paperweights. You can still manually set it to record, "Old School" if you will, like and old VCR. Day/time/channel/start -stop

Article from The Register

Long-time UK TiVo owners are up in arms because the company is to effectively stop their boxes from working to the full.

TiVo has announced that from the start of June, its old PVRs will no longer operate beyond playback of TV programmes that have already been recorded at the point.

TiVo insisted that the boxes "may" be able to record programmes manually, but there will be no electronic programme guide (EPG) and the boxes will have "limited - if any - functionality".

TiVo justified the move because the boxes, originally offered through Sky and by manufacturer Thomson, have not been sold or marketed for the last nine years. Two years ago, in 2009, it entered into a new deal with Virgin Media, which late last year introduced an entirely new TiVo-based box, tied to its cable TV network.

Quite how many TiVo users are affected by the closure isn't known, but a fair few are complaining online about what they perceive as TiVo's shoddy treatment of its UK fans.

TiVo countered by saying it hasn't been billing them for its service since November 2010, and that there is an upgrade path, of sorts.

TiVo suggested its customers hotfoot it to Virgin Media, which is not yet shipping its new TiVo box but is asking punters to register their interest in the gadget. But not everyone who has an old TiVo machine lives in an area cabled up by Virgin, which is currently available to just over half the UK population.

Should old-style TiVo users really complain about losing a service to a box that's now at least nine years old?

BDFL - Memuneh
56777 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 8599


  Reply # 440094 16-Feb-2011 08:44 Send private message

Interesting. I am currently using my TiVo as a TV tuner. Basically everything we have is on the Media Center PC. But when someone comes to our place to babysit, instructing someone on how to move around Media Centre (even though the remote control has a button "Live TV") is a bit of a task.

So I have an automatic HDMI switcher now, and if your turn the Media Centre off, it automatically goes to the next next input source - TiVo!

We always have TV signal on now (even if the TV is actually off)...

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