Telecom, TiVo, Sony partner for launch

Telecom to provide unmetered broadband for TiVo content

TiVo licensee Hybrid Television has teamed up with Telecom and Sony to deliver a series of New Zeland-first services on the TiVo platform — including unlimited TiVo downloads for any Telecom broadband customer using the device.

Hybrid CEO Robbee Minicola demonstrated the functionality, much of it developed by Hybrid and unique to the ANZ region, today, and outlined the exclusive partnership with Telecom.

Users can, of course, watch digital live TV on Freeview. Then there is more standard TiVo functionality of recording off a 14-day electronic programming guide. They can pause, fast forward and rewind live TV.

Users can also manage their content through the device and watch content from other TiVo boxes in the home wirelessly. Via home networking, users can watch content on their PC, including music and video but also pictures and other content.

That networking also allows content on the Tivo to be downloaded to a PC or compressed and loaded onto a device such as an iPod or Playstation Portable.

A web interface, being launched first in NZ and later in Australia, called TiVo Genie allows users to order the TiVo to record content from afar.

Also an NZ first is CASPA on demand entertainment. That's where Telecom comes in, allowing unmetered downloads.

“The days of late fees are over,” Minicola says.

TiVo has deals with most of the major content providers and more will be added next year, says Minicola. 756 hours of movies and TV content are available on launch, and users have to have Telecom broadband to use CASPA.

Telecom's deal is performance-based, says Telecom director of home services Ralph Brayham. There is no revenue sharing, with Telecom simply getting the broadband fee.

Sony is delivering a music service on the platform too, in the form of BanditFM. This is currently the third biggest music store in Australia, according to Sony general manager of digital brand and development Gavin Parry.

Teaming with TiVo takes the service into the lounge in New Zealand. A launch of the web service is scheduled for late November. The service features music videos and interviews but no audio only content “yet” says Parry.

The TiVo device costs $200 up front and $30 a month for two years, exclusively through Telecom. A $920 bundle of the device, wireless adapter and home networking package is available until January 2010.

The TiVo service launches November 6.

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