You know the feeling: you've set your PVR to record your favourite show, but when you finally watch it the last 10 minutes are missing, Those recordings rely on accurate information being sent by networks to electronic program guides (EPGs) -- yet incredibly, if you ask TV executives if they think they do a good job of providing accurate data, the response turns out to be an overwhelming "yes".
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Having dominated the US market for personal video recorders (PVRs) throughout the early 2000s, hopes were high for TiVo when it launched in Australia, backed by the Seven Network, back in 2008. But Tivo never got any significant traction, and almost five years down the track, the service appears to be close to death. You can't even buy a new TiVo recorder anymore.
Electronic program guides (EPGs) aren't much use if the networks don't provide accurate information about when programs are actually due to start and finish. Networks are doing a poor enough job that ACMA has decided to start publishing monthly monitoring guides tracking just how accurate the information provided by the networks actually is.
Ice TV has long had an iPhone app, but the subscription electronic program guide is now showing a bit of Android love. The company has issued a beta version of its Android app, letting you access upcoming show lists and schedule recordings direct from your phone.
Foxtel's search function on its electronic program guide has been missing for some time. Now the pay TV company says the problem is finally being resolved.
Foxtel's "next generation" upgrade last year bought heaps of features to the pay TV platform, but seems to have sidelined one obviously useful function: the ability to search an A-Z listing of programs.
To date, TiVo's main offering in the video-on-demand space has been movies in partnership with Blockbuster. That's about to expand dramatically however, with the release of new higher-capacity TiVo-branded PVRs and a host of download options.
If you're a Foxtel subscriber, you'll want to hope that you've got a generous download allowance with your ISP. The pay TV provider is launching its new downloads service on October 1, but while there's plenty of content, there's no announced deals in place for cap-free downloads. Here's all the news from today's Foxtel press launch.
Ice TV has temporarily cut the price of its 12-month subscription from $99 to $69 in a deal being promoted as a celebration of its recent court victory over Channel Nine. Existing users can also extend their accounts under the deal, so it's an option to consider if you're happy paying for your electronic program guide. (The promotion expires May 22.) Ice TV
Last week's legal victory by Ice TV doesn't just mean that the paid-for electronic program guide (EPG) service can continue -- it might also lead to a much wider range of free information online covering everything from train timetables to racing form guides and telephone directories.
Freeview has so far managed to do a pretty good job of convincing the tech-savvy that it hasn't got a clue, so it's good to see the commercial network digital TV conglomerate doing something right for a change.