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Tuesday, 11 July 2017 13:07

As TiVo renews long-term IP licence with Foxtel, TiVo PVR death near

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Although the TiVo EPG will switch off in Australia before the end of the year, TiVo has renewed its long-term IP licence allowing Foxtel to deliver an “ultimate entertainment discovery experience".

With TiVO PVRs once popular down under, it was sad to see the mismanagement of its Australian TiVo hardware licensee ensure the brand’s failure in Australia, with the TiVo EPG switching off on 31 October.

That will see TiVo boxes lose the ability to show users a programme guide, and will effectively make TiVo boxes useless, pushing people instead to rival PVR and DVRs, such as those from Humax for free-to-air TV, or those from Foxtel or Fetch TV, both of which also have Pay TV content.

So, it was surprising to see TiVo back in an Australian context with the news from its Singaporean media agency that TiVo was renewing its long-term intellectual property licence with Foxtel.

We’re told that both companies have signed a “multi-year intellectual property (IP) license renewal” which “offers Foxtel ongoing access to TiVo’s industry-leading entertainment discovery patent portfolios.”

“Our relationship with Foxtel demonstrates how pay-TV providers around the world use TiVo’s intellectual property to reach consumers in more innovative ways,” explained Samir Armaly, executive vice-president of Intellectual Property and Licensing, Rovi Corporation, a TiVo company.

“We are proud to continue working with Foxtel, one of Australia's most innovative media companies, to enable the next-generation of entertainment discovery,” Armaly continued.

TiVo explains that it and its companies “have spent decades investing in research and development to create market-leading technologies for the media and entertainment industry".

Thus, the company’s “innovative solutions touch practically every aspect of consumers’ day-to-day interaction with their entertainment, enabling customers to build customised, next-generation digital entertainment solutions for users around the globe".

Sounds like a great way to earn money from patents and licensing, which seems to be precisely what is happening here with Foxtel.

Sadly this deal has nothing to do with current TiVo box owners getting any kind of reprieve for their PVRs – your loyalty to TiVo is worth about as much as loyalty to Windows XP.

So as TiVo prepares to go NoVo down under, get ready to buy a new box for your televisual recording pleasure before 31 October!

Thankfully you shouldn’t go povvo doing so, but it's an expense no-one wanted – while Foxtel gets the licences it needs to deliver its own customers a better content search service.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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