Television body Free TV has announced that Networks Nine and TEN will transmit a free seven-day guide for all digital TV viewers from November 19 2007.
In what is a win for consumers, most digital receivers and PVRs on the market should be able to receive and use the guides.
Initially, Free TV announced that tuners would need to be able to receive and decode encrypted program data. At the time, Free TV was unclear which, if any, of the tuners currently on the market would work with this system.
However, according to news site ITWire, existing digital tuners may require a firmware update to receive the new guides, which may mean returning the device to the manufacturer
While two of the three networks begin broadcasts on Monday, the Seven Network is expected to commence from 1 January 2008.
For country viewers, WIN Television has already begun broadcasting its seven-day EPG, with Prime and NBN starting on Monday 19 November and Southern Cross on 26 November.
"This initiative will also accelerate take-up of free-to-view digital television, which given the rate of adoption, is now certainly in more than 30 per cent of Australian homes," Julie Flynn, Free TV CEO, said in a press release.
The release added that although the data is now free, broadcasters still retained their copyright, meaning that court cases such as ICE TV versus the Nine Network could still occur.
Free TV were unavailable for further comment.