FreeTV Australia EPG from Jan 1, wants to block ad skip / fast forward

freetvaustralia.jpgOur latest instalment in the long running “they just don’t get it” series, the electronic program guide that has been coming together (slowly) from the free-to-air networks via FreeTV Australia is now looking to lock out any players that allow 30-second jumps or fast forward speeds of 60x or more. If you don’t agree to modify your DVR to meet this requirement, you can’t have their EPG.

IceTV is breathing a lot easier with this news, because (a) almost no international DVR manufacturer (which pretty much means ALL DVR manufacturers) will be changing their systems just to suit a not-so-open EPG and (b) if they do, users will still have plenty of reason to buy into IceTV’s offering.

IceTV expressed their opinion in a letter to subscribers, giving a nod to the fact FreeTV’s EPG will be good for people viewing digital through an integrated tuner or on a basic set-top box while emphasising that their position is all about the consumer hippie free love “do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be” thang.

How the FreeTV EPG will block such usage is anyone’s guess. If it is a free over-the-air 7-day EPG, will they try and sue anyone using it who offers slip / fast forward features? That’ll be tough to police. [FreeTV, IceTV]