Seven to launch crippled TiVo

Seven today confirmed that the TiVo HD digital video recorder will be sold in Australia for AU$699 from 29 July, but users will have to buy a software upgrade next year to unlock its full suite of features.

TiVo HD DVR

Seven yesterday confirmed that the TiVo HD digital video recorder will be released in Australia for AU$699 on 29 July, but users will have to buy a software upgrade next year to unlock some of its features.

TiVo and Seven representatives unveiled the TiVo HD box at a press conference in Sydney, but streaming music and photos from your home network and TiVoToGo, a feature allowing users to transfer recorded shows to an iPod or PC, won't be available until early next year.

General manager of TiVo Australia Mark Hughes said the software upgrade would be bundled into an additional charge.

Further enhancements such as video on demand are expected to be rolled out over the next year.

Unlike the US subscription model, no monthly fee is required to access TiVo's features, which include an eight-day electronic program guide (EPG), pausing live TV, a recommendation service and recording digital free-to-air channels to its 160GB hard disk.

TiVo claims the unit is capable of storing at least 60 hours of standard definition TV or 20 hours in HD.

A broadband connection is required for daily downloads of the EPG, via an Ethernet port at the back of the box. A wireless network adapter will also be sold separately.

While TiVo has a local website, customers will be directed to Yahoo7's website for scheduling recordings online.

Seven's sales director James Warburton said TiVo will be sold and distributed through Harvey Norman and Domayne stores at launch, with Unwired providing customer support.

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