CNET Australia, responding to an article in MISAustralia / Financial Review, breaks down why they feel that the talk of Freeview in Australia is just a smoke-screen and not a real threat to Seven Network’s deployment of TiVo. The MIS/FI article certainly is full of weasel words like “understood to have said” and “is believed to have”, without citing any hard facts or sources to back up the speculative statements. It really comes across as written by someone with a bias towards Freeview, looking for an angle to pile some FUD on Seven’s TiVo plans.
CNET certainly seems to feel that way as well, breaking down the Australian DVR market and why they feel TiVo will still be a strong brand.
We’re not apologists for TiVo, but we don’t think it’s an amazing idea, given that the marketplace is going to be crowded with plenty of different options come the middle of the year — Foxtel iQ2, TiVo, IceTV, etc. We don’t think “branding” the already available EPG will make much of a difference to whether TiVo launches or not.
The Freeview board is only meeting for the first time this Friday, so their plans are still hazy. It sounds like they’re starting off with nothing more than a branding exercise. They’ll be putting the Freeview brand and logo on their existing EPG and digital channels, and only later will they be offering actual Freeview DVR hardware. It sounds like an effort to forestall adoption of TiVo, which Seven is planning to bring to market in June, as well as slow adoption of the Foxtel iQ2 DVR. Since the Freeview camp won’t have hardware to compete, they’re going to rely on pushing the brand without hardware to back it up and FUD about the competition.