TiVo to shutter Australian EPG by 31 October

Alex Kidman 2 March 2017

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TiVo owners given carrot of discounted Fetch Mighty PVR.

It has been a long time since you could buy a new TiVo in Australia, but that doesn't mean that Australians who did invest in the series 3 TiVo models sold by Hybrid TV Australia under licence from TiVo itself haven't been using their PVRs since the service launched in 2008.

Sadly for those TiVo owners, the party is about to come to a crashing halt, with Hybrid TV announcing that the TiVo EPG service that powers TiVo devices will be decommissioned from 31 October 2017. According to an email sent out to TiVo owners, Hybrid Television has reached the end of its TiVo licence and as a result the EPG service will end.

When regular EPG updates stop flowing, which means that TiVo features such as season passes will stop operating, making the remaining TiVo PVRs into very difficult to use devices indeed. TiVo PVRs do have a time recording facility, but it is entirely manual and extremely fiddly compared to using the more familiar program selection interface.

While there was a small and passionate TiVo community in Australia using self-hacked US devices prior to launch, TiVo officially launched in Australia back in 2008 with a flurry of hype and some big expectations. At one point, then TiVo CEO Robbee Minicola had plans for TiVo devices to do everything from movie streaming to Dominos pizza ordering.

Ultimately, however, only the series 3 TiVo devices were launched in Australia, along with a Western Digital Expansion drive and a seriously limited networking add-on for offloading recordings from Australian TiVo devices. TiVo remains a strong brand in the US where updated TiVo devices offer increased capacity, resolution and a multitude of tuners for capture, but in Australia, as of the end of October, they'll be no more.

TiVo Australia's announcement of the closure does note that existing TiVo owners who have connected their TiVo devices in the last six months (or in other words, customers with TiVo devices still in a functional state) can get a $100 discount on the purchase price of a Fetch Mighty PVR, but only if purchased through Harvey Norman’s online store. If you're an affected customer you should receive an email with details of the offer.

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