When Lifehacker recently discussed the pros and cons of Freeview, the still-nascent plan to promote digital TV via extra free-to-air channels, some commentators pointed out that accessing these channels won't require a Freeview-branded set-top box — any digital TV or set-top box would do. While that's true, it turns out Freeview will have one nasty brand-enhancing trick up its sleeve. Ty Pendlebury at CNET reports that the electronic program guide (EPG) for Freeview won't be compatible with current TVs and boxes — you'll need a Freeview box to access that, though some manufacturers may offer firmware upgrades to make it possible. The lack for many years of a decent and comprehensive free EPG was unquestionably one of the reasons why media centres haven't been as successful in Australia as elsewhere, so it's disturbing to say the least to see the industry perpetuating its small-minded view of sharing programming information with newer platforms.
Freeview Doesn't Want To Share Its EPG
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