TiVo to be key platform in Australia's development of digital television and interactive communications ...While TiVos can work with analog TV and cable (Australians have hacked analog TiVos to allow them to work here), the Australia service will use digital terrestrial TV standard (DVB-T). The announcement does not mention that viewers will be able to fast forward through ads (but not skip them). But the impetus for this is that advertisers will be able to create interactive ads.
Under the mutually-exclusive agreement, Seven Media Group will lead the creation of the digital platform to enable TiVo's digital video recorder and service, including the award-winning TiVo user interface. The platform will be available for use by other broadcasters and broadband content owners to create a compelling, interactive, free to air digital terrestrial television offering. The TiVo's digital video recorder and service, including the award-winning TiVo user interface. The platform will be available for use by other broadcasters and broadband content owners to create a compelling, interactive, free to air digital terrestrial television offering. The TiVo Service will be available across Australia and will include internationally recognized TiVo features like SeasonPass recordings and WishList searches and allow users to access broadband content on their TV. Through its new partnership with TiVo, Seven will deploy TiVo's leading interactive advertising capabilities to develop new integrated interactive advertising strategies for their very substantial number of broadcast advertisers.
From: Seven and TiVo Inc Sign Strategic Partnership to Distribute TiVo Products and Services in Australia and New Zealand, Media Release, TiVo,
The announcement also mentions "Engin will play a pivotal role in distribution and support of TiVo in Australia". Presumably this is the Australian Internet telephony company of that name. Engin distribute VoIP hardware to customers as well as sell phone services, so distributing set top boxes would fit with that business. TiVos can share the same Internet connection as the VoIP hardware to update their TV schedule and obtain some TV content.
TiVo previously announced a deal to allow the download of movies purchased at with Amazon.com. It is not clear if this will be supported in Australia.
In one way the TiVo allows conventional free-to-air TV (FTA TV) to better compete with Cable TV and Internet TV, by making it more interactive. In another way it threatens FTA TV by introducing a device which can bypass it into the viewer's home. But then a home computer with a broadband connection can already provide many TV-like services. Existing broadcasters will be hoping that viewers will not notice the TiVo is really a computer dressed up as a TV and will continue with its user friendly interface, locked into existing broadcasters.