Internet TV gets interesting: iiNet and iView announcements set to change Aussie TV habits?

Xavier Verhoeven
12 April, 2010
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FetchTV to launch in Australia:

iiNet has announced it will be partnering with FetchTV to bring digital TV over customers’ ADSL2+ broadband connections. The partnership means iiNet subscribers will be able to access free-to-air digital channels as well as subscription-only channels, a personal video recorder (PVR), electronic program guide (EPG), and video-on-demand (VOD) content including movies, TV shows, documentaries and children’s programming.

“iiNet and FetchTV are set to change the face of Australian television forever. FetchTV allows people to easily tailor their viewing experience, making it the perfect transition into the world of digital TV. It’s amazingly practical, but simply put, people will love it because it’s really cool,” says iiNet CEO Michael Malone.

The service is popular in the UK and elsewhere, and is set to be trialled here over the next month or two, becoming available to all customers shortly after.

iiNet’s FetchTV offering is set to include a huge range of extra features on top of the basic IPTV (internet protocol television) offerings: it will include pay-per-view new release movies for instant viewing, 3D TV capabilities, built-in single and multiplayer games, access to social networking sites and other web applications.

“FetchTV has been developed to satisfy the entertainment needs of the 70% of Australians who have elected not to take up the existing and expensive subscription TV alternatives,” says FetchTV CEO Scott Lorson. “The team at iiNet has been heavily involved in the development of the FetchTV service, and they share a common passion and commitment to innovation and differentiation,” he adds.

There are no details yet on pricing for the service, though it promises all of this for “a very low monthly cost”. To register your interest, or to find out more about iiNet’s digital TV offering, check out the iiNet website:

ABC iView comes to lounge rooms:

In other internet television news, the ABC has announced its TV catch-up service, iView, will soon be available on Sony’s new range of internet-connected BRAVIA televisions and Blu-ray players, launching next month.

“Australians enjoy using iView because it gives them convenience and choice. Now, those benefits can be accessed directly on a television screen, as well as on a computer or via the Sony PlayStation 3,” says ABC director of television Kim Dalton.

ABC iView is undoubtedly the best internet offering from Australian networks, and it’s great to see the service expanding to televisions. However, this move requires a change in the way content is formatted and in the short-term means that some of news content will not be available at launch.

The ABC’s statement also suggests that accessing iView on a BRAVIA TV will be metered, even in households connected via an ISP that offers unmetered access to iView on a computer, so purchasers should be warned that heavy use of the service might help them quickly exceed their monthly download quotas.

iView joins the previously announced lineup of Yahoo!7, SBS, Billabong and YouTube services that will be made available through BRAVIA Internet Video in the coming months.

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