Tassie fibre testers get free TiVo

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Tassie fibre testers get free TiVo

Free TiVo and a year's free internet for 1000 households on test-bed fibre network.

Hybrid Television Services has announced a partnership with the Tasmanian Government to trial its TiVo device on the TasCOLT test-bed fibre network.

TasCOLT, a project co-funded by the Tasmanian Government (which invested $3.35 million of $10 million to roll out the network), was rolled out to 1050 homes in the suburbs of New Town, South Hobart and Devonport in 2005 to test the viability of a Tasmania-wide fibre network.

As of today, 135 subscribers among the 1050 homes were connected.

Digital Tasmania has a coverage map of the network. ISP services on the TasCOLT network are available through Tastel.

Today, the Australian licensee of th TiVO personal video recorder device, Hybrid TV, announced it would pay the monthly internet service fee of subscribers on this network and equip them with a TiVo media device.

In return, subscribers will be asked to allow Hybrid TV to "monitor" how they use broadband services and be interviewed on their usage.

Hybrid TV said it would compare this data with its research into other TiVo users across Australia that use their device on ADSL broadband rather than fibre.

CEO of Hybrid TV, Robbee Minicola, told iTnews the company approached the Tasmanian Government to ask it if it could demonstrate the potential of fibre-connected homes versus copper-connected homes.

"What we did was we met with the State Government and said 'you know what we'd like to do? We'd like to demonstrate how fibre-connected homes are different to copper-connected homes and how that increased speed in capacity will drive more services and entertainment into the television versus just the computer, which is typically where Australians are right now with broadband," Minicola said.

She said the idea behind the project was to get people to understand what the National Broadband Network could be used for.

"People just see it as an infrastructure thing," Minicola said. "They don't understand what they get from this broadband thing coming into their home."

Tasmanian Premier, David Bartlett, said the project would assist in figuring out what the government could do with the Federal Government's fibre-to-the-home network when built.

"The debate now has to move from broadband infrastructure and rollout schedules to showing people what can be done as a result of having it," Bartlett said.

"The NBN has to move from the minds of technology boffins to the kitchen tables of working families."

It follows Tasmania's Department of Education requesting help from the IT industry to "broaden its thinking" on how students might use the National Broadband Network.

Video on Demand comes to TiVO

Hybrid TV also launched a video on demand service for the TiVo service today, which is branded CASPA.

CASPA will launch with more than 1000 hours of on-demand movie, TV and music content, Hybrid TV said.

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