New PVR ‘not as good as IQ but much better than TiVo’

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Digital Product Group general manager Jai Kemp has stated that whilst their new Beyonwiz PVR is not as all-encompassing as Foxtel IQ, it is much better than the newly launched TiVo device.

The Beyonwiz DP-P2 was released earlier this month, with the supplier boasting that its line input function allowed users to record Foxtel programming. This is a feature that other PVR manufacturers have struggled to provide, despite strong consumer demand, according to Kemp.

In response to this launch, Foxtel shot back at their new competitor, with general manager (Box Office, new media and pay-per-view), Brendan Moo eager to protect the pay TV provider’s market share.

“Only the Foxtel IQ2 is specifically designed to work with the Foxtel service, allowing subscribers to get the most out of their subscription.

“Other third party PVRs are not designed to work with the IQ2 or the Foxtel service,” said Moo.

When asked for specifics, Moo cited the electronic programming guide (EPG) as a popular feature lacking on the Beyonwiz. This is somewhat irrelevant, however, as the EPG will still appear on the screen, and shows can still be programmed, it’s just that you cannot record onto the PVR as seamlessly as you can with IQ.

Kemp, therefore, is not especially flummoxed. In fact, the Australian entrepreneur is happy to concede that for users who especially want high-level interaction and recording with Foxtel, “IQ’s the way to go,” said Kemp. “We’re not disputing that”.

Kemp continued to explain the difference.

“[The Beyonwiz] works like a VCR. It’s not an as effective as IQ, but it’s an option for people who don’t want to spend the extra money. This box lets you do what you used to do on a VCR, but now on a PVR,” said Kemp.

Whilst Kemp is prepared to concede that the Beyonwiz is not as proficient as Foxtel IQ service, he is adamant the product is superior to the heavily promoted TiVo product.

“We out-feature TiVo by a long way,” said Kemp.

In fact, Kemp thinks that not only is the Beyonwiz a better product, it will use TiVo as a launching pad for increased success. This is due to the increased consumer awareness of PVRs caused by the protracted launch of TiVo.

“TiVo has thrown a s…load of marketing dollars at PVRs and are building the market,” said Kemp. “We haven’t got the marketing dollars but we’re happy to jump on the back of what their doing”.

The Beyonwiz DP-P2 is currently available, with an RRP of $999. Foxtel IQ2 costs $200 to install and then between $10 and $24.95 per month, depending on one’s plan. TiVo will be released on 27 July 2008, with an RRP of $699.

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