Australian electronic program guide IceTV has been placed into voluntary administration, with the future of both its continued service and the Skipp PVR, its first foray into hardware, remaining unclear.
IceTV was founded in 2005 as an independent electronic program guide for Australia. The subscription service worked with compatible personal video recorders allowing for features like keyword and series recording. In April this year the company announced its first hardware device, the AU$599 Skippa, a triple tuner PVR with automatic ad skipping capabilities. The device was to be the first in Australia to offer such a feature.
The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that the administrators were appointed on Tuesday. Over 1,500 Skippa boxes are currently in the warehouse awaiting delivery to customers who have already paid. The administration action means it's unclear if delivery will be occurring.
A letter from the administrators, TPH Insolvency, to customers said that the company intended "to trade in the normal course" while an "urgent sale of business campaign was conducted." If a buyer could not be found, the letter warned, the company was likely to "be unable to continue trading."
Sources speaking to the SMH said the Skippa manufacturing partner was still awaiting full payment from IceTV. IceTV was contacted for comment by CNET but did not reply.
IceTV forum comment threads were full of speculation regarding the company, with many forum users indicating a belief that the Skippa had been a "deliberate scam."
Around 500 Skippa PVRs had already been delivered, however the device will only work with the IceTV EPG, not any of the free-to-air guides, meaning that existing units may stop working if IceTV cannot continue its service.