While the first broadband content for the Australian TiVo is a fairly prosaic weather widget (see the video below), details are emerging about additional features that will follow. The Australian is reporting that Seven Media Group has done a deal with video chain Blockbuster to give TiVo owners a free movie every week, delivered via broadband. By March 1, 2009 TiVo owners will have access to a catalog of over 100 movies at any one time. This will be a combination of free, advertising supported films form Seven’s library and some video-on-demand releases offered as pay per view by Blockbuster. It sounds like this will be a revolving list of films, a different arrangement from the system in the US with Amazon, Jaman, CinemaNow, and, soon, Netflix.
As in the US, there will also be interactive broadband games available to TiVo users. But, unique to Australia, there will also be basic food and grocery shopping services offered over TiVo. That’s curious, I’m not sure if that kind of service is popular in Australia. Despite buying pretty much everything online, groceries have never been something I’ve bought online. Though I know some people who use services like Peapod, and I hear grocery delivery is more common in cities.
Something else the Australian TiVo will offer is pizza ordering. Now that I can understand, and it is something I’ve suggested TiVo do in the US. I order pizza online via the web from my local Papa Johns, and I order online from other places that offering. Ordering via the web is just easier and more accurate than calling in an order, in my experience, especially when you can pay via credit card. It shouldn’t be hard to write an order front end in HME for the sites. Different vendors could do it themselves, but users would have to manually add them to their TiVo so it would be more valuable of they just showed up on every TiVo like Fandango for movie tickets. C’mon TiVo, you know it is a good idea – skim a little fee on each pizza. But I digress…
It sounds like the focus for broadband content and services on the Australian TiVo will be advertising supported, with pay-per-view on some of the premium offerings. The ad-funded content will work much like ad-supported content on the Internet with short breaks of no more than to ads before, in the middle, and at the end of the program. As broadband rates can be high in Australia, and bandwidth caps much lower than in the US, they’re approaching ISPs to offer an unmetered download service for TiVo devices, to be called TiVo Uncapped, separate from the home’s standard Internet service.