Retailers to get hands on TiVo

Retailers to get hands on TiVo

TVNZ has finally confirmed market rumours that it is buying a share in TiVo in A/NZ and bringing the platform to New Zealand.

A website has been launched at where retailers and customers can register their interest, and TiVo boxes are to be available by this Christmas. Pricing has not yet been announced, but in Australia the devices cost A$699.

Hybrid Television Services, the Seven Network-owned regional licencee of TiVo, says TiVo lets viewers "take control of their TV experience", combining free-to-air digital television with broadband content, services and games.

This morning the Australian Financial Review reported that an announcement was imminent and that TVNZ paid $16 million for its one-third stake in Hybrid Television. TVNZ says, however, that it paid A$8 million (NZ$9.8 million) for the stake, plus TV time to promote the TiVo device.

It says broadband content in Australia includes Blockbuster movies and services and later in the year will include the ability to order pizza online. It says services like these are also intended for New Zealand, but a statement released today did not have any further details.

TVNZ has confirmed the service will be delivered in partnership with local ISPs. In Australia, Hybrid's partnership with ISP Internode allows Internode customers unlimited broadband downloads into the TiVo box.

Hybrid says the dual HD TiVo tuners are compatible with Freeview HD. New Zealand users will also be able to use classic TiVo features, including Season Pass, which allows users to record a TV series in a single click; and WishList searches, which allows viewers to automatically record every programme containing their favourite actor or director.

A once-off purchase includes a seven day electronic programme guide (EPG).

Hybrid Television Services is owned by Australia's Seven Media Group and, now, by TVNZ. Jason Paris, head of emerging business for TVNZ, says the rapid adoption of TVNZ ondemand showed that New Zealanders are keen to have more control over their TV viewing experience.

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