TiVo Australia Revs Up Home Media Engine

The good news is it sounds like TiVo is finally embracing HME and encouraging developers, the bad news is this is TiVo Australia. As regular readers are likely aware, I’ve repeatedly expressed frustration with the way TiVo has handled HME in the US. I’m happy to see TiVo Australia encouraging HME developers, and I wonder if that signals any change for the US as well, though I’m not getting my hopes up. I also wonder if this means there’ll be an update to the HME SDK, which has long languished.

The currently available SDK was last updated over a year ago, on 10/2/2007, and that’s an experimental release. The last official release was over three years ago, on 10/31/2005. The SDK is woefully out of date, even the experimental release has iffy HD support and there is no support for recently added features, like streaming video, which are possible as the hacker community has reverse engineered how to do it. I do hope the Australian developers will get an updated SDK so they can create some great applications, and they won’t be hobbled by the same lack of support as US developers. The good news is any application developed for Australia will probably work on US TiVos as well, so hopefully we’ll see some cool new applications.

Picked up from Gizmodo Australia.

Press release:

TiVo® media device opens up to local developers
Amateur and professional developers invited to expand the free games and services available on the Australian TiVo media device

iDEF, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 13 November 2008 – Today at the International Digital Entertainment Festival, Hybrid Television Services (ANZ) Pty Ltd, the exclusive licensee of TiVo® products in Australia and New Zealand issued an invitation to anyone interested in building games and broadband applications for the media device to get involved with TiVo.

The Australian roadmap for the media device includes enhancements to the free Games and Services Packs in coming months. Today, local developers are invited to submit concepts for both games and services for distribution on the TiVo platform in Australia.

The media device’s open Home Media Engine (HME) platform uses Java programming, making it easy for developers to reach a growing audience of TiVo fans with their games and applications. Both amateur and professional developers who attend the breakout sessions at the eGames Expo (www.idef.com.au/egames_home.php) this week will be able to learn more about the product roadmap and revenue model in addition to understanding what is required to develop for the TiVo platform.

Hybrid TV CEO, Robbee Minicola, commented: “Every TiVo media device in Australia comes with a free Games Pack, with Sudoko joining the list in the coming weeks, and our Services Pack recently launched with the new Sunrise Weather application.”

“Our goal is to continue to add advertiser-funded services and games for our customers to enjoy without a pay-per-use or subscription cost. The games we have are traditional, low-to-mid skill based, nostalgic games that the whole family will enjoy. Australia has some of the most talented developers in the world and the opportunity to work with local talent and showcase their work through the TiVo media device will achieve the trifecta: great experiences for our customers; advertiser sponsorship in a viewer-engaged environment; and a revenue opportunity for our partner developers.”

Developers who are unable to attend the eGames breakout session can register their interest in developing for TiVo in Australia by emailing developers@tivo.com.au.

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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