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October 9, 2015


It's official: TiVo will hit Australia on July 29

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 4th 2008 2:37PM
TiVoIt's been a long bumpy road, but TiVo will finally be available in Australia by the end of the month. TiVo and the Seven Network officially announce the coming availability of the set top box this week. As expected, Australian customers will be able to pick up a TiVo for $699 at Harvey Norman and Domayne stores. If the price seems a bit high, keep this in mind: There will be no monthly subscription fees for basic service.

But it turns out that many of the features that make TiVo stand out in the US won't be available at launch in Australia. There will be no support for networking features. That means you can't connect to the internet to download music and movies. And you can't hook up your TiVo to a home PC to access your photos, music, and videos on a TV set. In other words, basically what you get is the same TiVo service US customers had 4 or 5 years ago, but with support for high definition video.

Seven may eventually add networking features via a software update, but the company would charge for such additional services.

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TiVo to launch in Australia next week

by Brad Linder, posted Jun 23rd 2008 10:21AM
TiVoIt's been a long bumpy road, but it looks like Australia's Seven network will begin introducing TiVo on July 1st. For the first 3 months, you'll be able to pick up a TiVo box exclusively from Harvey Norman, but after that it should be available at other major electronics retailers.

A TiVo box will set you back $700 AUD. While that might seem a bit steep by US standards, that's all you'll ever have to pay. TiVo and Seven will not be charging any subscription fees. Instead, Seven will pay TiVo a royalty fee fro every set top box sold.

The Seven TIVo will go head to head with the Foxtel iQ2, a personal video recorder which comes with a $10 to $15 per month subscription fee.

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Gordon Ramsay can swear, says Australia

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 19th 2008 3:21PM

Gordon RamsayTV fans in the United States are accustomed to hearing Chef Gordon Ramsay's swears bleeped and blurred out on FOX's Hell's Kitchen, but in other parts of the world, you can hear and see the whole thing.

In Australia, for example. One of the chef's other shows, Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares (where he goes into troubled restaurants and helps them get back on their feet) airs at 8:30, and Senator Cory Bernardi wanted the words banned because "there is no excuse for gratuitous bad language to be broadcast repeatedly." No excuse? Has the Senator ever seen some of the restaurants and restaurant owners that Ramsay has to deal with?

But fear not, Australian fans of swearing. The Senate there has said no to the calls to ban the words, even if Ramsay did use two words 80 times in the span of 40 minutes in one episode of the show. That must have been one dirty kitchen.

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TiVo to launch in Australia -- Without subscription fees!

by Brad Linder, posted May 21st 2008 2:07PM

TiVoAfter months of planning, the TiVo and the Seven Media Group are preparing to launch TiVo service in Australia. And in a completely unexpected turn of events, the companies have decided to eliminate the monthly subscription fee for TiVo service.

The service has been held up for a while due to program guide licensing issues in Australia. A personal video recorder isn't much good if you can't access TV listings for all the major networks. Now it looks like most of those wrinkles have been worked out, but TiVo faces competition from Foxtel, another PVR maker in Australia. In order to stay competitive, TiVo will be offering service free of charge.

In order to make up some of the lost subscription revenue, a TiVo box will cost Australian customers $500 AUD, which is about $482 US. That's cheaper than a US box with product lifetime service, but significantly more expensive than a standard TiVo HD unit with monthly service.

[via Zatz Not Funny]

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NBC okays restaurant reality show

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 18th 2008 4:43PM
Chef WhiteThere's more reality being served up by NBC: a food-based competition show in which couples vie to open a restaurant. British chef Marco Pierre White will be the judge. NBC has greenlit The Chopping Block for next season, calling it a sort of Top Chef meets Hell's Kitchen. Actually, it sounds like a twin for BBC America's Last Restaurant Standing. That one has nine couples competing for one restaurant with Chef Raymond Blanc as the judge. The NBC incarnation will have eight couples, and unlike Chef Blanc who has earned two Michelin stars for his restaurants, Chef White has three.

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Park to be named after Steve Irwin

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 23rd 2007 2:03PM

steve irwinSteve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin, who died last year when a stingray's barb struck him the chest, is having a wildlife reserve in Outback Australia named after him.

Some of the animals on the reserve include quolls, a nocturnal, carnivorous marsupial; and speartooth sharks, river sharks that resemble the oceanic bull sharks (the Wenlock and Ducie rivers border the reserve). There's also a "gallery of dry vine forests," but vines don't chomp into the heads of rats and possums like quolls do, so they're not nearly as cool. Then again, maybe vines in Australia are man-eaters like Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors. That alone could convince me to fly to Australia and check it out.

Irwin's family will manage the 333,585 acre reserve. His wife Terri and daughter Bindi have continued his conservation efforts in the wake of his tragic death. Bindi can currently be seen on Bindi: The Jungle Girl on Discovery Kids.

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John Stamos' misadventures in Australia - VIDEOS

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 28th 2007 5:38PM
Stamos is jet laggedPerhaps you've heard about John Stamos' misadventures during a pair of interviews in Australia (Brigitte mentioned them in her vlog today). Just to summarize: during both interviews -- one for a TV interview program and another that was broadcast on a newspaper's website -- Stamos looked tired and disheveled, slurred his speech a bit, and went off on silly tangents during the TV interview, like talking about how different celebrities died. He also responded to the accusations leveled against him after the tired and "zoned-out" interview he gave to The Daily Telegraph. Both videos are after the jump.

Stamos' publicity team chalked up his behavior to jet lag, and the ER star has already apologized. There is some inside dope that, based on these appearances, Aussie TV execs canceled other appearances he was scheduled to make, but that's not confirmed. And there is also speculation that Stamos was a bit more than tired, but who knows? That flight to Australia really is an ass-kicker.

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TV Squad Daily with Brigitte - VIDEO

by Brigitte Dale, posted Jun 22nd 2007 5:23PM
Hey, Brigitte here with TV Squad Daily. I'll be covering the TV stories I find interesting each day, Monday through Friday, in this video blog.

Today on TV Squad Daily:
  • Isaiah Washington just ruined his last chance at not being viewed as a jerk.
  • The Australian version of Big Brother just apologized for throwing water balloons of goo at Mexico's flag, but it might be a bit late for apologies.
  • What's this I hear? The View might add a man?
The video's embedded below, or you can subscribe to this podcast via our feed. Plus, you can also download the file directly.

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TiVo coming to Australia

by Brad Linder, posted May 29th 2007 10:20AM
TiVo Down UnderWhen it comes to personal video recorder technology, Australia has been in the dark ages. Australian law has made it difficult for companies to offer electronic program guides. And an EPG is almost as necessary for a good PVR as a hard drive.

Well the times, they are a-changing. You can get a Windows Media Center PC in Australia now, a few companies are offering set top boxes, and next year you won't have to import and hack a TiVo to make it work.

TiVo's partnered with Seven Media to bring Tivo service to Australian customers. The companies plan to design a platform that will enable TiVo boxes and software to work with over the air digital television in Australia. The platform will be available for use throughout the country.

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Beyonwiz launches dual-tuner HD PVR down under

by Brad Linder, posted May 10th 2007 10:09AM
Beyonwiz DP-S1In the market for a high definition PVR with two tuners, a 200GB hard drive, an upconverting DVD player and a media center feature for streaming audio, video and photos via Ethernet or Wi-FI?

Well, if you happen to live in Australia, you're in luck. Digital Products Group has launched the new Beyonwiz brand with the DP-S1 Personal Video Recorder.
The box works with Australia's IceTV electronic program guide, which includes a remote scheduling service. IceTV is also preparing a video-on-demand service, which won't be available for the DP-S1 immediately (it's designed to work with Windows Media Center PCs), but IceTV does eventually plan to make the service available on standalone PVRs.

The DP-S1 will set you back $1599 Australian.

[via EngadgetHD]

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Thank God You're Here, Aussie style - VIDEO

by Richard Keller, posted Apr 21st 2007 12:31PM

Australian Thank God You're HereI've been thinking . . . yes, yes, you smell something burning. Ha, ha. Done laughing? Thank you. After watching a few episodes of Thank God You're Here, I got to thinking about some of the commentators on my review of the premiere episode who said that the Australian version of this program was much funnier. So, using our trusty pal YouTube, I was able to turn up a plethora of clips from the Down Under version of TGYH. And, after viewing a number of them I can truly say that it is funnier. Well, in most cases, that is.

Once again, it comes down to how the unscripted actor reacts to his or her unknown environment. Most of the Aussie TGYH clips I watched had performers who took control of the situation and messed with the scripted actors. Then there were others who just seemed to be thinking for the right answer to the question the scripted actors were giving them. In the American version of the show it seems the improvising actors are not grabbing onto the whole scene. They're still thinking as actors rather than going with the flow of everything. There are exceptions, though, like Kevin Nealon in the second episode, and Harland Williams this past week.

Don't take my word for this, though. View these two clips from the Australian version of TGYH and let me know if you think they are funnier or not. Both scenes were used in the American version of the series, with Edie McClurg and previously mentioned Harland Williams.

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Controversial Australian TV guide company to offer video on demand

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 12th 2007 1:00PM
IceTVIceTV offers Australian subscribers access to electronic program guide information. Sounds simple enough, but Australian broadcasters are less than happy about that fact. The country has a law that considers program guide data to be the property of broadcasters, making Australia one of the most PVR-unfriendly countries around, because a good PVR requires access to television listings.

So what does IceTV do? It one-ups things by planning a new service that will allow IceTV subscribers to download TV shows and movies. The company is working with movie studios to secure content, but those deals won't engender any good will from the already annoyed Australian broadcast companies.

The service will initially work with PCs running Windows Vista and Windows XP Media Center Edition. Mac compatibility is being held up due to DRM issues, but should be available in the future.

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NBC sets premiere date for improv series

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 26th 2007 8:22PM
dave foleyAs Julia mentioned last month, NBC is launching a comedy improv series with an impressive guest list (details below). Thank God You're Here is adapted from an Australian improv series that's part game show, part Whose Line is it Anyway? Contestants will have to choose doors where a comedy sketch is taking place. The guest will be welcomed with the line, "Thank God You're Here!" and they will have to improv their way into the scene. Judges/hosts will be Kids in the Hall's Dave Foley and In Living Color's David Alan Grier.

Guests scheduled to appear include Jennifer Coolidge, Fred Willard, Bryan Cranston, Jason Alexander, Wayne Knight, Ana Gasteyer, Chelsea Handler, Joel McHale, George Takei, Tom Green, Nicole Sullivan, Tom Arnold, Fran Drescher, Shannon Elizabeth, Paul Rodriguez, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Mo'Nique, and Alanis Morrisette.

I have always been a sucker for Whose Line is it Anyway?, so I'm going to give this one a chance for sure. Thank God You're Here premieres on two Mondays, April 9 and 16 at 8 pm, before moving to its permanent timeslot on Wednesday, April 18 at 8 pm.

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Waiting for your overseas TV

by Brett Love, posted Feb 26th 2007 1:01PM
Ny Name Is EarlThere is an interesting article over at The Register about how long Australian TV fans have to wait to get programming from the US. A recent survey of some 119 shows reveals that the average delay for the programs is 16.7 months. As if they are putting videotapes on a rowboat and paddling them across the pond.

To be fair, that 16.7 months number is skewed a little bit by the inclusion of Antiques Roadshow which wrecked the curve with an 11 year delay in being broadcast. Still, there are many more popular shows that still have long delays once they leave their country of origin. Some of the average delays listed are: CSI: NY (9.3 months), Grey's Anatomy (4.9 months), Heroes (4.2 months), House (5 months), and Third Watch (22.1 months).

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The Real World eyes Sydney

by Julia Ward, posted Jan 8th 2007 4:09PM
Sydney Real WorldReality Blurred is reporting that ads for production assistants have popped in Australia for a possible Real World production down under. While the ads aren't always the best indication that The Real World will be taking up residence in your town, they do come courtesy of the show's production company Bunim-Murray.

The Real World hasn't been abroad since their lackluster London and Paris seasons, but seeing how dramatically the show has changed since the seminal Las Vegas season of debauchery, a trip to Sydney is bound to play like an over-privileged college kid's junior year abroad. They'll be lucky if the brain trust they send down there does anything but marvel at the lower drinking age and the availability of beer other than Foster's.

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