Up until now, there have really only been two DVRs that offer both content to watch and video on demand content in Australia: The Foxtel iQ and TiVo. A company called FetchTV is bringing a third player into the mix, with a little bit of help from iiNet.
Fetch TV is a DVR that incorporates three digital tuners to receive all the current free to air TV channels. But where it stands apart from all the other offerings on the market is the fact that it also offers subscription content served over the interwebs.
FetchTV will offer both linear subscription channels as well as video on demand programming options. So far, they've announced that they have content from Discovery Networks, National Geographic, MTV Networks, Fox International Channels, E! Entertainment Television, BBC World News, CNBC, ABC, Roadshow Entertainment, Disney Media Distribution, MGM and Lionsgate. Apparently subscriptions will cost under $30 a month and will be completely unmetered on iiNet.
As well as the included VOD content, there will be new release pay per view movies, just like Foxtel and TiVo.
The worst part about this announcement is that the product isn't actually available yet. iiNet has said it will commence trials this month, but the URl they gave in the press release doesn't work.
Still, this could be a very exciting play for the VOD DVR market, especially if FetchTV can somehow hop into bed with the likes of Yahoo!7 Plus and NineMSN's Fixplay.
Australian First: iiNet Gets Set to Play FetchTV
12th April, 2010: iiNet (ASX: IIN), Australia’s third largest ISP, today announced its partnership with FetchTV, confirming it will be the first ISP to deliver the world-class digital TV service directly to Australian lounge rooms over an iiNet customer’s ADSL2+ broadband connection.
“iiNet and FetchTV are set to change the face of Australian television forever. FetchTV allows people to easily tailor their viewing experience, making it the perfect transition into the world of digital TV. It’s amazingly practical, but simply put, people will love it because it’s really cool,” says iiNet CEO Michael Malone.
The partnership means iiNet customers will soon be able to access Free-to-Air digital channels, a range of subscription channels, a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) and an Electronic Program Guide (EPG); all completely quota-free as part of the iiNet Freezone.
On top of all that, the FetchTV service offers unmetered Video on Demand (VOD) content with a basic subscription. The VOD content includes a continuously updated library of movies, TV shows, documentaries, kid’s programs and more. The service also offers Pay-Per-View new release movies - ready for instant viewing.
Truly the icing on the cake, iiNet’s FetchTV offering includes market leading features including 3D TV capability, in-built single and multi player games, access to a selection of social networking web applications and even the ability to receive messages regarding your iiNet services to your TV screen via the set-top box – all for a very low monthly cost.
iiNet will now offer customers broadband, phone and TV from a single provider, with all their communication and entertainment services included on one convenient monthly bill.
FetchTV CEO, Scott Lorson said:
“FetchTV has been developed to satisfy the entertainment needs of the 70% of Australians who have elected not to take up the existing and expensive subscription TV alternatives.
“We are delighted to team up with iiNet to introduce FetchTV to the Australian market, given their proven network reliability, reputation for product innovation and award winning customer service. The team at iiNet has been heavily involved in the development of the FetchTV service, and they share a common passion and commitment to innovation and differentiation.”
Mr Malone added: “Digital TV delivered over broadband has proven extremely popular in France, the UK and Hong Kong and Australians are going to love it too. We’ve beefed up the capacity of our iinetwork to handle multicast transmissions; team this with top notch network reliability, superior infrastructure and a guaranteed Quality of Service and we’ve got all the right ingredients to deliver this new breed of entertainment experience.
“iiNet, like FetchTV, is an Australian-founded and owned business with a passion for giving the big guys a run for their money. We’re all for competition in the market – it drives further development and improvements in any industry”.
Trials are set to take place over the next month or so, iiNet’s TV service will be available to customers shortly thereafter.
To register your interest, or to find out more about iiNet’s digital TV offering, check out the iiNet website: www.iinet.net.au/fetchtv
Otherwise, stay tuned.
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FetchTV and partners usher in new era in Australian TV
FetchTV announces foundation partners ahead of commercial trial
FetchTVtoday announced the introduction of a new and unique subscription-TV service for Australian households, unveiling iiNet as its first ISP partner and announcing a host of content agreements with major content providers.
The FetchTV service will offer the full range of Free-To-Air (FTA) digital channels, quality subscription channels, new release pay-per-view (PPV) movies in High Definition (HD), leading interactive and social networking applications, and an advanced personal video recorder (PVR), all for under $30 (RRP) per month.
FetchTV will be available via leading Australian ISPs, delivered to the customer’s TV via a standard broadband connection and a FetchTV set top box (STB). Programming will be available in broadcast quality (including HD where available) and will be unmetered .
The CEO of FetchTV, Scott Lorson said: “FetchTV is an entirely new breed of entertainment proposition, designed to meet the needs of the 70 percent of Australian households who have elected not to take up existing subscription TV services.”
“FetchTV brings together the full selection of FTA channels, the best of subscription-TV, the most popular interactive and social media applications, and access to new release PPV movies, all for less than $1 per day. The programming will be unmetered, meaning customers will be watching their favourite shows, not their download limits.”
FetchTV is a wholesale provider to leading ISPs wishing to include a premium and highly differentiated TV service in their bundled offerings.
Today, FetchTV and iiNet announced a long-term partnership that will see iiNet become the first ISP to offer the FetchTV service to its customers, with a commercial trial set to commence this month. Additional ISP partners will be announced shortly.
Scott Lorson said: “iiNet is one of Australia’s leading ISPs and is recognised as a true innovator in broadband communications. iiNet has been a strong industry advocate for the development of a wholesale subscription-TV aggregation model, and has been a key collaborator in the development of the FetchTV service. We are very proud to have iiNet as a foundation partner, and are delighted that they will be the first to introduce FetchTV to the Australian market.”
Michael Malone, CEO, iiNet said: “This is what our customers have been telling us they are looking for. The solution we’ve developed with FetchTV will change the subscription-TV market in Australia for the better, as well as allowing customers to move painlessly to digital FTA TV.
“We have seriously considered the full range of options and the FetchTV solution is clearly the best. We feel very confident in launching this service against what’s currently on offer in the subscription TV market.
Of the decision for iiNet to launch an IPTV service, Michael added, “We know we have the service credentials, the technical and network capability and now, in this partnership with FetchTV, we have a killer set top box packed with killer content.”
Today FetchTV also unveiled a large number of foundation content partnerships including: Discovery Networks, National Geographic, MTV Networks, Fox International Channels, E! Entertainment Television, BBC World News, CNBC, ABC, Roadshow Entertainment, Disney Media Distribution, MGM, and Lionsgate. Additional content partnerships will be announced in coming weeks.
Programming will be available as traditional linear channels or via comprehensive video on demand (VOD) libraries for popular genres such as kids, news, movies, science fiction, documentaries, biographies and general entertainment.
The FetchTV basic package will include at least 20 channels and genre based VOD libraries for viewing at any time for no extra cost, the full range of free-to-air digital channels, access to a PPV new-release movie library, as well as interactive applications. Subscribers wishing to add to the great range of content in the basic service, will also have access to additional channels and VOD libraries on an “a la carte” or tiered basis, meaning that customers will only pay for what they want.
The Australian foreign language market will also be well catered for with comprehensive packages of foreign language channels designed to meet the unique needs of Australia’s nearly one million households who speak a language other than English at home.
Lorson continued: “Our open platform will allow partners, be they content providers, free-to-air networks, interactive applications developers, or ISPs to deliver compelling content and services to the TV screen. We are creating an ecosystem that will promote new levels of innovation and competition in the market, and allow our ISP partners to introduce exciting new services to Australian consumers.”
Leading PVR Technology
The FetchTV Set Top Box is arguably one of the most advanced PVR's in the world today, with specifications and features that include:
o Broadcom 7413 400 MHz dual core processor - supports 1080p HD content playback, which is 3D TV capable
o Three DVB-T tuners - providing the ability to watch and pause live TV, whilst recording two other programs at the same time
o A 750 GB Hard disk - sufficient storage for 440 hours of Standard Definition (SD) VOD content plus up to an additional 330 hours of SD recordings
o Digital audio-visual –interfaces which support HDMI, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound & a range of analog audio-visual connections
The inclusion of three digital tuners in the STB makes FetchTV an attractive migration option for the 39 percentof TV owners who are yet to transition from analogue to digital television.