IceTV, an Australian interactive TV listing provider, today announced a partnership with Hewlett-Packard that will see the PC manufacturer bundle a free subscription to the IceTV television guide on its Media Center PCs.
IceTV follows in the footsteps of TiVo in the US, and allows users to schedule multiple television recordings on home entertainment digital recording devices, such as personal video recorders (PVR) and media centres, at the click of a button, without having to fuss about with manual programming.
IceTV's electronic program guide also fills a substantial hole in Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center operating system by providing a free-to-air programming schedule. The lack of an EPG was a major setback for Microsoft when it launched the operating system in October 2004.
"Instead of having to watch shows when they are scheduled, [with IceTV] you simply choose the shows you want to watch in advance and watch them at a time that suits you," IceTV chief executive Duncan Ross said in a statement.
The length of the bundled subscription depends on the model of HP Media Center purchased. The top of the range HP m7399 includes a 12-month subscription, six months for the m7338a and one month for the m7377a.
Subscriptions for the IceTV guide generally cost AU$3 per week and a free two-week trial for compatible media centres and PVRs is available.
The partnership coincides with IceTV seeking to raise AU$4 million through an initial public offering of eight million shares. The company is offering shares priced at 50 cents until 25 May.