Las Vegas, Nevada
Bad news for Australian TiVo fans today at the 2015 International CES: any chance of regular services resuming in the near future seems infinitesimal after staff at the US personal video recorder’s booth said there were no updates to current stasis that has been in effect since licensee Hybrid TV, co-owned by Channel Seven, chose to discontinue importing and marketing the famed set top box.
TiVo had a very celebrated launch in Australia in mid-2008 and initial sales and consumer feedback were excellent, but the lack of support from the other networks and restrictions placed on the device by Hybrid TV, notably lack of Foxtel compatibility, saw its popularity begin to dwindle through 2011. By 2012, Hybrid TV had essentially given up on the device, leaving thousands of local consumers upset that their purchase was no longer being fully supported.
At the TiVo stand today, where the company’s latest models were on display and receiving widespread acclaim, several company employees said there was no visibility on any change to this state of inactivity, making TiVo not so much a sleeping giant but a comatose one.
The only foreseeable way TiVo could return to Australia and be successful would be for a new distributor to take over as licensee and to import and sell the latest models, without and restrictions on Foxtel compatibility and ad skipping.
As for the new products, TiVo showcased a new 24TB hard drive at the CES this week – that’s big enough to record three years of TV programming or 5,000 movies, the company said.