TiVo and EPG, a guide to TV programs in Australia

It was interesting to read Nick Miller’s article (SMH, 30 May 207) about TiVo being introduced to Australia in partnership with Seven Network*. ‘Time-shift’ free to air digital TV.

But you need to know need to know when all the TV shows are on to record them for playback at a different time. And not all TV channels seem to be happy to supply an electronic version of the program.

The TiVo requires a full electronic programming guide (EPG) to work properly. However the Nine Network is very protective of its program guide, recently suing IceTV, the provider of another EPG claiming it had breached copyright by reproducing the channel’s program line-up.

Ironically if you are are a Digital TV subscriber, via Foxtel or Optus, you get an electronic TV guide for channel Nine, but not for Seven or Ten. (ABC and SBS have a TV guide.)

The article states that the networks “support the concept of an industry-wide EPG“. But what about in practice? Are they going to share their programming info, or are they too protective of it?

* Planned for release in 2008.

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