iQ boxes for everyone: Foxtel

By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Foxtel will make the iQ PVR box the centerpiece of its new high definition service arriving mid-year and will seek to move its entire 1.5 million-strong subscriber base to iQ boxes, the company announced today.

Foxtel chief executive and managing director, Kim Williams, today said Foxtel’s simple strategy was ‘iQ for everyone’.

The pay TV broadcaster said internal surveys revealed around a 90 per cent satisfaction rate with the current iQ service.

Foxtel’s iQ personal video recorder box allows users to record and store recorded content on its internal hard disk drive and enables pausing and rewinding of live television.

Foxtel today announced its four new HD channels will be launched in the middle of 2008, but subscribers who want access to the Foxtel HD+ service will need an iQ2 box with 320GB hard disk drive and four integrated tuners.

Users will be able to store approximately 30 hours of MPEG4 HD video on the iQ2 box.

One of the iQ2’s tuners will be dedicated to automatically downloading content pushed out by Foxtel including Box Office HD pay-per-view movies, which will be stored on the iQ and can be unlocked by the user when the hire fee is paid, allowing 48 hours of access.

Foxtel will also rollout a second generation iQ to replace its standard definition box, which is currently in use by around 20 per cent of Foxtel customers.

A similar initiative to move all subscribers to Foxtel Digital took 34 months following the announcement in 2004, which Foxtel claimed was the fastest migration of a viewing base to digital anywhere in the world.

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