Tech News and Opinions (by Paul Spain)

NZ Tech Podcast: Tivo, Skype HD, Nikon D800, Windows Phone 8

, posted: 11-Feb-2012 21:24

This week the NZ Tech Podcast discusses NZ consumer tech bargains, Tivo, IT 4 Kids classes, a new update from Apple, Skype HD video calling, Nikon's D800, Windows Phone 8, and an interesting NZ launch by mobile game maker Kwalee.

Comment by owh, on 11-Feb-2012 23:41

You asked for Tivo feedback, here it is:

From the outset CASPA was rubbish - slow to use, expensive and drm-ridden, so it was pretty quickly ignored by most users. They say that at one point CASPA rivalled iTunes for movie content, but you couldn't tell because it was so hard to navigate.

Apart from CASPA, Tivo has hardly changed since launch - about the only improvements have been the introduction of the Maori TV and Prime EPGs. There have been very infrequent EPG outages, and the Aussie company contracted to provide the EPG occasionally makes a few mistakes in the programme descriptions due to lack of understanding of the NZ content. Otherwise the Tivo largely does its PVR job with no fuss.

Local reviews of Tivo at launch reflected this with scores of 9.5/10 being given. However later reviews appear to have been coloured by the financial situation of Hybrid TV/TVNZ rather than the actual consumer experience of using a Tivo. Media7's item on Tivo was notable for its sneering tone.

If all you're looking for is a cheap PVR that does "smart" things - such as letting you rewind live TV, making suggestions based on your previous recordings, or recording all shows featuring Matt Damon - then Tivo fits the ticket, and can be expected to do so for the foreseeable future.

However the recent success of Virgin Media's relaunch of Tivo in the UK highlights the comparatively stagnant future for Tivo in NZ. TVNZ holds the exclusive franchise for Tivo in NZ, but I doubt they have any interest in promoting it or bringing in the latest Tivo hardware. I would be very surprised if TVNZ would be willing to relinquish the franchise to anyone else because Tivo could pose a potential competitor to Igloo in the right hands. So unless TVNZ falls out with Sky it looks probable that Tivo will coast along in NZ, stuck on the now outdated hardware of the 2009 launch, with no prospect of new releases.