Internet television in Australia

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Internet television in Australia consists of five major PPV providers, in addition to several niche television streaming offerings. Australia's five major networks all offer previously broadcast content to watch via the Internet or via podcasts - drawing on both domestic and foreign content.

Downloads from the Internet are counted in Australia, with ISPs offering download quotas which limit the amount of downloads permitted. Video files are large.[citation needed] Some ISPs offer quota free options for partnered television services, which is known as "unmetered" content.

Fetch TV[edit]

FetchTV launched a cable-like subscription service in 2010, offering English and foreign-language pay-TV channels, some on-demand content and the functionality of a personal video recorder at a cost of about $20 to $30.[1] The ABC has also held talks regarding its on-demand "iview" content being shown on Fetch TV.

iiNet launched the service in July 2010.[2] Internode also launched an Early Adopters Trial program for a select number of customers in September 2010 with plans to release to the general public late 2010/early 2011 [3] and Adam Internet announced their plans to launch the service only days after the Internode trial had begun.[4] Note that FetchTV is NOT related to FetchTV UK.

  • ISP iiNet announced an IPTV partnership with FetchTV in April 2010 to offer unmetered free-to-air and subscription channels along with a movie library and pay-per-view service.[5] It has also indicated it is researching Internet Television offerings,[6] in addition to possible FetchTV and TiVo deals.
  • Harvey Norman signed an exclusive deal with Fetch TV to sell the a one terabyte Fetch TV set top box for $379 from July 1, 2014.[7] Previously only available as part of a product bundle through various ISPs, Fetch TV is now available for a minimum subscription of $5/month including 30 free movies and an add-on entertainment pack of 31 channels for $15/month[8] through any ISP with a minimum 3Mbit/s[9] connection.

Telstra T-Box[edit]

  • Telstra have released their "T-Box" in mid-2010, initially to Melbourne Bigpond Cable customers. It is a Digital Video Recorder with Internet Television functionality - they have not specified whether this will be downloads or streaming.[10]

Bigpond Movies & TV[edit]

In Feb 2006, Bigpond Movies was launched.[11] This is a Video on demand rental (PPV) service using progressive download, meaning that the video is downloaded (rather than streamed) and viewers can commence watching once enough of the download is completed that they can view the program uninterrupted to its finish.

The service offers movies for rental and for purchase, as well as purchasing of TV shows from some networks. The service is only available on Windows PCs, certain LG and Samsung devices as well as Telstra devices such as the 'T-Box'.

  • Bigpond offers Bigpond Movies (& Bigpond TV) quota free to Bigpond customers, but not other Australian Internet users.

Foxtel[edit]

Foxtel launched an on-demand full-length internet download service in September 2009, as well as free "catch up TV" service, to Foxtel subscribers [12] (broadband-only subscriptions are under consideration). Customers can only download content from the channels they subscribe to as part of their Foxtel subscription. They will also offer streaming video beginning when they show the Olympics.[13]

Xbox 360[edit]

Microsoft Australia launch a movie rental service in November 2009 for Xbox 360 owners, via the Australian Zune Video Marketplace.[14] Movies are available in standard or high definition, and can be streamed or downloaded.

iTunes Australia[edit]

In August 2008, Apple Inc. computer began offering movies for rental and for purchase, as well as purchasing of TV show titles from ABC in the US, ABC Australia, the Disney Channel, MTV, and Channel 9.[15]

Content is provided via the iTunes Australia Store and is viewable on iTunes on Windows or Mac, as well as on the Apple TV (a set top box), iPhones, & video capable iPods.

  • iiNet and its subsidiary Westnet offer iTunes content quota free.

TiVo[edit]

TiVo is a Digital Video Recorder for Free-to-Air television. It also offers Internet features.

Blockbuster on TiVo[edit]

Blockbuster Australia was due to commence online movie rentals in March 2009.[17] This was delayed, and launched at the end of April. This service was available to TiVo set top box owners in Australia, and offered in partnership with the Seven network. TiVo discontinued its Blockbuster service on 5 March 2010.[18]

CASPA on TiVo[edit]

In December 2009, TiVo launched a new service for downloading TV shows and movies to TiVo subscribers, named CASPA. The CASPA Service was discontinued in December 2013[19] and replaced with Quickflix,[20] a third-party service.

TPG IPTV[edit]

TPG customers can access IPTV channels like Bloomberg TV, Al Jazeera and Russia Today.[21] It is the only ISP to offer streaming subscription TV channels direct to its subscribers. This is currently a free trial, and channels are sent unencrypted and viewed on customer's computers. It is only available to select TPG Soul exchanges.

Freeview (FTA) Catch up TV[edit]

Through Freeview, the free-to-air broadcasters have signed a new initiative for an industry-wide video hub - details of what content will be carried is unknown. ABC's iview technology is the frontrunner to deliver the service.[22] The FTA broadcasters currently offer some independent services, all of which use IP Address Geolocation to ensure only Australian users can view the content and Adobe Flash (except Nine's FixPlay which uses Silverlight). All videos do not stay on the service permanently and do "expire", after which they cannot be seen via the service.

  • Freeview plans a free web based offering mid-2010, for all the FTA TV channels.[24]

Quickflix[edit]

Quickflix started offering an Internet streaming service in late 2011. This service includes a limited number of television series.

Other[edit]

  • Traditional subscription television providers also offer non-Internet based PPV - Foxtel, Austar, Optus, and TransACT
  • Reeltime.tv was setting up a movie rental service to its own set top boxes. It was placed in receivership in early 2008,[25] and its assets purchased by EzyDVD to form their EzyDownload movie rental service.[26] EzyDVD was placed into receivership at the end of 2008.[27]
  • Samsung confirmed in November 2009 that it would launch its own internet-delivered TV service to Samsung TV sets in Australia by the March quarter of 2010, featuring video content negotiated globally by Samsung and with local partners such as Channel Nine and ninemsn.[24] In April 2010, Samsung announced a content deal with Telstra's Bigpond TV,[28] as did LG.[29] In June 2011 Samsung TVs with the internet@TV/SMARTtv can install the ABC TVs iview app.[30]
  • Sony launched its Bravia Internet TV in February, offering access to Network Seven's Plus7 Catch Up TV service, with plans to offer movie rentals.[31] In April 2010 Sony announced that the ABC iview would also be available via Bravia Internet TV, and the Bravia Internet TV would be incorporated into Sony's upcoming S370 Blu-ray player - although access to ABC's iview will not be unmetered even for customers of ISPs which offer unmetered browser-based iview access.[32] Access to SBS's catch-up IPTV was added in June 2010.[33] Sony is also in discussions with TV networks to feature their programming along with Sony's international content deals.[24] In addition, both services are currently available though Sony's PlayStation 3 video game console.
  • iiNet offer streamed content such as NASA TV via their iiNet Freezone to customer computers[34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Investors eye internet TV boom
  2. ^ http://www.iinet.net.au/press/releases/20100706-go-fetch.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.internode.on.net/news/2010/08/193.php
  4. ^ http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/adam-internet-does-deal-with-fetch-tv/story-e6frg996-1225932938261
  5. ^ iiNet signs partnership with FetchTV to deliver TV over internet
  6. ^ iiTV The Possibilities | iiNet Open Day
  7. ^ http://www.channelnews.com.au/home_cinema/HBQVNSFC-fast-broadband-scores-exclusive-fetch-tv-deal-for-harvey-norman.aspx
  8. ^ http://www.fetchtv.com.au/packages
  9. ^ http://www.fetchtv.com.au/get-fetchtv
  10. ^ 'T-Box' unveiled as Telstra spruiks superfast broadband
  11. ^ Bigpond Movies Online Launches | itnews
  12. ^ Foxtel launches TV downloads, live streaming
  13. ^ Foxtel ponders internet-only subscriptions
  14. ^ Full HD streaming comes to the Xbox
  15. ^ Apple Premieres Movies on the iTunes Store in Australia & New Zealand | Apple Inc
  16. ^ Tivo and Internode: unlimited movie downloads
  17. ^ TiVo with Blockbuster Downloads | PC Authority
  18. ^ http://support.mytivo.com.au/index.php?action=artikel&id=58
  19. ^ "Close Your CASPA Wallet". Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  20. ^ "Quickflix is now available on Tivo!". Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  21. ^ TPG Internet plans | The Age
  22. ^ Freeview beats off US rivals
  23. ^ ABC iview for iPad
  24. ^ a b c Freeview NZ strikes different path to IPTV, Australian networks announce IPTV hub
  25. ^ ReelTime faces final curtain | The Australian
  26. ^ EzyDownload to Succeed where Reeltime Failed | cnet
  27. ^ EzyDVD placed in Receivership | Hollywood reporter
  28. ^ Samsung to spruik pioneering of 3D TV
  29. ^ LG AND TELSTRA SET TO DELIVER BIGPOND MOVIES TO TV
  30. ^ ABC message board discussion: Samsung internet@TV widget.
  31. ^ Sony unveils Australian 3DTV and IPTV service
  32. ^ Why The iview Bravia App Will Be Metered
  33. ^ Sony enables SBS IPTV in time for the World Cup
  34. ^ http://www.iinet.net.au/freezone