1 Terabyte for Foxtel iQ3

By David Knox on March 15, 2013 / Filed Under Pay TV 24

2013-03-15_0044Foxtel’s next generation of the iQ PVR, to be known as iQ3, will have a 1 Terabyte hard drive.

The iQ3 will have eight times more memory than the iQ2 and allow viewers to watch one show while recording up to four others.

But it won’t be launching in 2013.

Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein revealed the details at yesterday’s ASTRA Conference in Sydney.

In addition to announcing the new Foxtel Play subscriptions available from June, he remarked on a number of other matters.

Here are some select excerpts from his speech:

ANDROID
We plan to launch Foxtel Go on selected Samsung Android devices in June and on PCs and Macs shortly afterwards.

REGIONAL VIEWERS
We are working hard to align technology and services between metropolitan and regional customers. As an example we have recently launched a video on demand service for MyStar customers.

This service went live on March 1st and on that weekend alone over 5,000 movies were downloaded.

UPDATE EPG
As I flagged earlier, there is another fantastic innovation we are soon to launch, the ability to go backwards in the electronic program guide to watch or record programs you have missed.

So if you are at work and hear about that great program you missed last night, you can go home, go back in time and watch it. This is a perfect example of a seamless combination of broadcast and broadband to create a better viewing experience.

SOCIAL TV
Further, in the area of enhancements to Foxtel subscriptions we have done a deal with zeebox, a world leader in this space, to allow our customers to have a multiscreen experience with Foxtel.

Through the zeebox platform viewers will be able to engage with content or discuss it with friends through social media.

As part of this partnership we will refresh our TV Guide app and develop it as a companion viewing experience, so look out for our new app later this year.

ON DEMAND & MOVIES
I’m also pleased to announce that later this year we will launch a stand-alone subscription video on demand movie service that will enable subscribers to pay a monthly fee to watch a wide selection of the best movies from around the world. We will be releasing details of the product in the next few months.

By the end of this year movies will be available in a variety of different forms, in addition to the 13 linear channels of the Foxtel Movies service, we will also offer:

• a massive library of On Demand movies at no extra cost;
• premium moves On Demand for rental;
• linear channels and catch up on Foxtel Go;
• linear channels and catch up streamed through Foxtel Play; and
• a stand-alone subscription video on demand movie service.

IQ3
We have spoken for some time about iQ3. I can report that the vendors have been selected, specifications finalised and development work is well underway.

iQ3 will be a truly revolutionary box. It won’t be launched for a little while yet, but as we are building one of the most technologically advanced set top boxes in the world, we want to get it right before we launch it.

iQ3 will have 10 times the processing power and eight times more memory than our most advanced current box. There will be eight satellite or cable tuners and, in the satellite version, two terrestrial tuners.

With today’s iQHD you can watch one program while recording two others. The new iQ3 will allow you to watch one show while you record up to four others.

Foxtel’s iQ3 will have capacity for a one terabyte hard drive. It will use the latest generation WiFi technology to enable easy connectivity to the customer’s gateway router. The inclusion of Bluetooth technology will also allow us to support the latest remote control devices.

BROADBAND / TELEPHONY
There has been lots of talk about Foxtel launching broadband and telephony services. Indeed, Telstra’s CEO David Thodey has publicly indicated support for the idea of a Foxtel triple play.

While I’m not in a position to make an announcement today I can confirm that it is under active consideration.

We believe that a triple play offering makes a lot of sense for our business and our customers as can be seen from the success of other subscription broadcasters which have adopted this model around the world. Together with iQ3, it would place Foxtel firmly at the centre of the broadband connected home.

24 Comments »

  1. todd March 17, 2013 at 8:28 pm -

    David (or anyone else), I was wondering if you know if/when Foxtel subscribers in Canberra will be able to watch FTA channels through Foxtel? I know someone with Austar/Regional Foxtel who can view all FTA channels…

  2. MattJ March 17, 2013 at 8:22 pm -

    Here is a point i’d like to mention as a friend recently said to me. We as subscribers ‘Rent’ the IQ box from Foxtel. We basically have paid the $200 or so to get the box and get it installed. We pay our subscription and at the end of our contract we have to return the box. So we don’t OWN the box.
    When this new IQ3 box comes out, they (Foxtel) will want us, the subscribers to PAY for a new box. Aren’t and shouldn’t we be entitled to get a upgrade to the latest equipment? Same goes with renting other products. When the new one comes out we’d get the updated one… One hopes i’ll be able to get the IQ3 box for free with out an upgrading fee… i’d like Foxtel to contact me and say hey, IQ3 box is great – why don’t you swap your current one for the new one. Makes sense to me no?

  3. Josh777 March 16, 2013 at 1:50 pm -

    sky.com/products/kit/compare/
    directv.com/technology/genie_receiver
    I’ve been doing some research and it looks as if Foxtel are heading way in front of it’s sister company Sky U.K. as it currently only has two inbuilt tuners (which all IQ/MyStar’s are currently built with), but the new Sky+HD offers a 2TB harddrive but at the cost of $70 (49 pounds) it’s not really worth it.
    But then you look at the DirecTV Genie (1TB) which has 5 in-built tuners, offers Picture-In-Picture (PIP) to watch 2 shows at once, record and watch in 4 rooms room with just the one PVR using the Genie Mini, real-time scoreboard for all leagues, access to YouTube and connects to Facebook and Twitter available for free with the Premier pack (equivalent to Foxtel Platinum HD). Think Foxtel need to think about these sorts of innovations before they go commissioning the STB that has 4 years in the making that could be out-dated before it reaches the customer.

  4. johnjet March 15, 2013 at 8:22 pm -

    E-mail link to register for IQ3 not working. Typical Foxtel e-mail – links never seem to work.

  5. Kuttsywood March 15, 2013 at 8:16 pm -

    I personally think, that when the iQ3 finally is revealed: existing satellite iQ and iQ2 subscribers and all subscribers with Austar’s MyStar, should be offered a dual satellite/terrestrial iQ3 upgrade for free, and would be charged at the same monthly cost as a standard iQ2.

    Offering free upgrades, would not only please existing subscribers, especially in former Austar areas (not to mention the simplicity of Foxtel advertising one PVR brand nationwide, along with eventually not offering the Mystar, Mystar HD, iQ and iQ2 for new satellite subscribers) and could also possibly attract new subscribers…

  6. Clint March 15, 2013 at 7:02 pm -

    IQ2 already has a 1tb option. You just have to ask for 1. We’ve had ours since late last year.

  7. cnrmlj March 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm -

    The foxtel CEO said on media week there would be an upgrade path so people could move across over time. In other words it will be really expensive at first for those who can’t wait and will get cheaper over time to keep demand up.

  8. johnjet March 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm -

    I got an email today, saying that I can register my interest for IQ3, as I’ve shown interest in getting it.

    And the stand alone subscription movie subscription service sounds pretty good, if they can get the right price worked out for it.

  9. Secret Squirrel March 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm -

    Doesn’t the current iQ HD have a 320GB HD? If “memory” refers to HD space (rather than RAM) then 1TB will, at best, give 4 times the recording capacity – and that’s allowing for some of the HD being reserved for the system and other functions.

    The difference in wholesale price between 1TB and 2TB is well under $20 for a single unit (so less for bulk purchase from the supplier). As Bazza alludes, 1TB has been the current standard in serious devices for a while now. If this isn’t going to be released for at least another year, 1TB is going to be yesterday’s tech.

  10. quokka March 15, 2013 at 1:11 pm -

    Won’t be exciting to most of you, but Terrestrial Tuners on the satellite box…Yay…finally.

    @Bazza…and how do I watch FoxSportsHD on a Topfield 7170?

  11. BigVic March 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm -

    Hoping before the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

  12. Qubec March 15, 2013 at 11:43 am -

    Great to finally see a memory upgrade, which has been long overdue since the launch of the so-called HD channels. But a 2014 release is far too long away and I imagine a cost increase will be forced onto those wanting to upgrade as well. As if it’s not expensive enough as it is! And a subscription on top of a subscription for On Demand movies? Stupidity!
    It feels like this is just playing catch up with current technology rather than forging the way for something really new…

  13. Gonzo March 15, 2013 at 11:32 am -

    Thank $%^& it’s wireless!

  14. Pertinax March 15, 2013 at 11:08 am -

    Presumably the IQ3 is a replacement for the IQ2.

    Currently an IQ is $10/month and HD IQ2 is $20/month plus $75 for HD installation. There will presumably be some similar pricing plan.

    Eventually Foxtel will want to dump the SD IQ system and have everybody with an IQ3 HD network or wireless GO with the NBN for on demand. It is reaching the point where it will be uneconomic for them to support multiple systems.

    And quite frankly with the extra sport channels and duplicates channels their SD channels are being overcompressed to the point where the picture is full of digital artifacts. VHS would be better.

  15. Bruce Banner March 15, 2013 at 10:36 am -

    Being able to record shows that have been in the past is fantastic, I am always missing things I forget to record.

  16. bill March 15, 2013 at 9:46 am -

    @Bazza
    …and not get about 80 channels.

  17. David Knox March 15, 2013 at 9:04 am -

    The USB function known as I2GO was promised for 2009.

  18. Bazza March 15, 2013 at 9:02 am -

    Or you could buy a Topfield 7170 right now (or last year, or the year before that), have 1tb of storage, do season passes, have an accurate EPG, record 4 things at once, etc etc…
    All with no obscene upfront cost nor ongoing monthly fee.

  19. bill March 15, 2013 at 8:55 am -

    The big thing is the price, I don’t reckon there’s a snow flake’s chance of it being free

  20. Josh777 March 15, 2013 at 8:49 am -

    @ Craig – I know that the MyStar’s were built with a USB slot for future use, with Austar coming up with this idea to create a USB that could transfer programs from the MyStar to your computer. However, the realised the amount of copyright issues with the plan resulted in it not being possible. So with this, I doubt very much you will be able to transfer recordings. However, I do hope that it is a free upgrade for existing subscribers but I sincerely doubt it.

  21. Craig March 15, 2013 at 8:22 am -

    About time!

    I mean 1Tb HDD is cheap now with many computers coming with 2Tb so it’s about time they upgraded the iQ. Also love you’ll be able to record more shows at the same time.

    My only questions are when will it come, will it be a free upgrade for those with iQ or MyStar and will there be any way to transfer existing saved shows/movie to the new iQ?

  22. Josh777 March 15, 2013 at 8:06 am -

    Foxtel said the IQ3 was going to be released before the London Olympics, and yet now it’s not till 2014 – what a joke! I hope they have enough produced so all existing subscribers can be able to replace their current PVRs (especially Austar subscribers) otherwise they will be a laughing stock.

  23. Petulia01 March 15, 2013 at 6:10 am -

    I cannot wait for the IQ3.

  24. tihsamikah March 15, 2013 at 5:31 am -

    I know your just taking the media release, but its not “memory” rather secondary storage.

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