back to article TiVo hits pause button in Australia

Just over a week after a much-publicised kick-off in New Zealand, it has emerged TiVo's A/NZ partner Hybrid TV has wound back operations to a skeleton staff. Sources have told The Register an asset sale for the video-on-demand platform could be on the cards. Robbie Minicola, CEO of TiVo Australia’s licensee Hybrid TV, has …


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  1. John Tserkezis

    I'm sorry, but you sound surprised?

    It's hardly surprising that they're likely either shutting down or greatly slowing operations.

    Back before TiVo was available in Australia, it was considered a half-way decent PVR.

    It had a cult following in the 'hacker' circles where people where buying the 2nd hand US versions and knobbling them to work in Australia.

    That way, you got a nice PVR with plenty of "unofficial" support, all for a very reasonable price.

    Albeit only around those who either could, or knew someone who could do the hard/software mods.

    Then came the official TiVo for Australia, and everyone found it was a cut-down, featurless, overpriced abortion.

    Especially in light of by that time, what was already available on the PVR market blew the TiVo out of the water in respect to value for money.

    1. Mark 65

      Add to that

      The fact that there's fuck-all worth recording on Australian free-to-air tv and it can't play networked media without the owner shelling out more cash so as to make it vastly overpriced compared to the competition and it's fate was sealed.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    I wonder why...

    ...given the massively over-priced data-capped plans offered by most Australian ISPs.

  3. baswell

    Only way to watch FTA

    Tivo is really the only way to make watching free to air in Australia bearable. It's actually really, really good.

    Too bad Hybrid TV never bothered to tell anyone, beyond some expensive spots showing people marching through the street claiming that it was a "TV revolution".

    Mainstream media reviews criticising the device for being always on and not having a display on the front - the reviewers thus entirely missing the point - probably didn't help much.

    Shame, I just hope they don't turn off the service.

    (I never bought anything on demand, but season passes and recommendations are fantastic)

  4. Andrew van der Stock

    Too few features, EPG work of fiction

    I've owned three Oztivo's, of which two are still in use today. That allowed me to record Foxtel, and was easily the best way to deal with Foxtel's utterly broken UI.

    In the US, our two series 2 Tivo's could record four Direct TV shows at once between them. With US stations ALWAYS starting and finishing on time, you could guarantee a show would be recorded. Made dealing with the 500+ channels of crap much easier.

    Coming back to Australia, we bought the new Tivo, but it's nearly impossible to make work due to the incorrigible fiction of Channel 9 schedules. So we don't watch Channel 9 any more. Channel 7 is not much better - they can't seem to work out how long 30 minutes is in their newslots and this hampers both start and finish times, even though they are the official Tivo partner in Australia.

    Tivo downloadable content is a joke. In the US, we could get ANYTHING from Amazon at Amazon prices. Here? Not so much.

    Coupled with the inability to record off our Foxtel satellite dish, the Tivo is in our bedroom. The Foxtel IQ2 in our loungeroom is atrocious. It's like Foxtel heard about Tivo from a drunk technophobe, and tried their best with Elbonian developers, and failed. One example - the IQ2 can only search two days ahead. That's it. For months, that didn't work either. The EPG is six and bit days ahead, and still can't cope with Channel 9's outrageous fibbing. If only the Tivo could record Foxtel.

    A great system stymied by crap scheduling, lack of truth in EPG, and no access to iView / watch it again type of things from the FTA and Foxtel.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not much use to us... being the people of Tully that currently don't have any electricity :)

  6. AndrewG

    Tivo Good..Aus VOD crap

    Tivo with a digital antannea is brilliant for FTA stuff and a TV with a USB input allows me to watch the stuff that hasn't hit FTA - Although I've been pleasently surprised this year by how quickly US/UK first run stuff is turning up on some FTA channels.

    What always amazed me was the crap that Tivo expected you to pay for in the VOD market, In the entire VOD list and over a years looking, I think I've only ever seen about 4 things worth downloading from it.

  7. Andrew 47

    "Just a week after a much publicised kick off in NZ"?

    Um, No.

    Tivo launched well over a year ago, exclusively through Telecom NZ. It has been a miserable failure in the NZ market, overpriced at launch, crippled by our ludicrous broadband caps (although Tivo downloads are apparently unmetered on Telecom). The only publicity it has had recently has been the media pointing and laughing.

    Mind you, a number of early Tivo adopters discovered that Telecom was not separately metering Tivo data for quite some time, were enjoying uncapped broadband for months while paying for 10 Gig plans.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I really like it.

    I'm in Oz, and have had a TiVo for ages. The kids can use it easily, and to them it *is* TV.

    I too hate the fact that the networks over-run the advertised time of shows. I don't blame TiVo for that, it's the networks that do it. I've just set the TiVo to always record for a few minutes extra by default. Problem solved.

    The seasons pass and wishlist search are great, it's quiet, the wife likes it, and it hasn't skipped a beat since I first plugged it in.

  9. Neoc


    Let's see - I've been a FOXTEL customer for *years* (at least 8) and when I asked it turns out that new customers could get IQ/IQ2 for free on install.... and I had to pay a 200$ "upgrade" fee. Screw 'em.

    Free-to-air PVRs are a joke - as was pointed out by someone else, the FTA. EPG is inaccurate and only 2 days ahead of transmission. So I gave up, bought a multi-tuner card to place in a spare Linux Box (my fileserver - CPU was being wasted) and installed MythTV. While the original setup for MythTV was, well, horrible (some things you can only work out by trial-and-error, the installation guide providing you no more support than the on-screen prompts) it means I now have a free-to-air PVR which will (1) record up to 4 shows at once, (2) has an EPG two WEEKS in the future, (3) will allow me to specify the number of minutes to start/stop the scheduled recordings before the EPG times and (4) will, with some tweaking, auto-magically physically rip out the adverts from the video file (90% of the time).

    SInce it's also a uPnP server, I can watch the result on my TV via a WDTV device.

    TiVO, FOXTEL, *learn*!

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Imagine that...

    ...paying money to watch TV.

    My goodness.

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