Author Topic: So, what is the future of IceTV Interactive?? Time to share.  (Read 5569 times)

Offline RoderickGI

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So I have built a HTPC, have been using Windows 7 Media Centre for a few weeks, with IceTV Interactive installed, I'm getting my antenna upgraded to support my DigitalNow Quad DVB-T Receiver, and I'm looking for Media Centre software to use long term. Why? Well because WMC isn't the best Media Server, and Microsoft seem to be losing interest in developing it.

I have no interest in W8 Media Centre at this time, since there are more choices on W7, hence I'm posting in this forum.

One of the issues in selecting new Media Server/Centre software is finding a good overall solution, including TV/DVR/PVR capabilities, either in an All-In-One solution or with well integrated, mature components. Part of that solution must be a great EPG, with reliable program data. So okay, IceTV is a great source of Australian EPG data, so I should use it. IceTV Interactive works well with WMC. But I don't want WMC. IceTV can also supply XMLTV format data to lots of other solutions...

But what is IceTV doing about supporting other solutions better? I see that at one time IceTV was on the WMC bandwagon and going full steam ahead:
http://forum.icetv.com.au/iceforum/index.php/topic,2698.msg15628.html#msg15628

There was even going to be a native plugin, and Windows 8 MC support:
http://forum.icetv.com.au/iceforum/index.php/topic,3348.msg17421.html#msg17421

But then something went wrong and IceTV took a U-turn on WMC in 2012. Perhaps IceTV saw the writing on the wall for WMC, and realised that they were backing a dying product?:
http://forum.icetv.com.au/iceforum/index.php/topic,3348.msg17848.html#msg17848

It was seven months ago that you couldn't reveal anything Luke. So what is the position now? Surely you can share something, which may be relevant to my Media Server / Centre software selection?

Please.

Are you partnering with someone to provide a PVR solution?
      If so, what will it be, how will it work with IceTV for scheduling recordings, what web and/or streaming components will be provided?
Perhaps building a native plugin for some other application?
      Which one, how far along are you, can we see anything yet?

You get the idea. IceTV IS a great source of EPG data, but these days I don't want to have to build up a solution from lots of little, hard to integrate components, as I did with my old Topfield. Share a little about IceTV's plans for the future. Or point me to where you already have shared.

Thanks.

Offline RoderickGI

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Re: So, what is the future of IceTV Interactive?? Time to share.
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2013, 01:42:20 PM »
So, one week and 32 views later, but not one comment...

I guess IceTV Interactive doesn't have a future. Well maybe it is just that no one can talk about it. But the boat is sailing. New applications, or new functionality in old applications, are being delivered right now. If I don't understand how IceTV Interactive may fit in, it won't be part of any future solution for me. Maybe IceTV will be just an EPG data provider. Even in that area the over the air EPG and other solutions may provide a sufficiently good solution.

Come on IceTV, share some insight into our future relationship!

Offline RoderickGI

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Re: So, what is the future of IceTV Interactive?? Time to share.
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2013, 10:00:49 AM »
Well, two weeks now and still no response.

Perhaps no one from IceTV is monitoring the forums any more. (It is pretty quiet around here.) That is sad.

Perhaps there is no good news to share, and sharing anything would be worse than saying nothing. That is even more sad.

Offline Heinz

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Re: So, what is the future of IceTV Interactive?? Time to share.
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 09:47:55 PM »
Hi, allow me to introduce myself. I am the CEO of IceTV. I had your comment in my inbox to reply to, but been on the road to communicate our plans. So forgive my delayed reply. Not sure if you had an opportunity to view this article, which should address some of your points:

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/computers/blogs/gadgets-on-the-go/tv-gets-mobile-as-icetv-plans-digital-recorder-with-mobile-streaming-20130716-2q0ue.html

Wait, there's more: http://www.dtvforum.info/index.php?showtopic=136328
http://www.pcmediacenter.com.au/forum/topic/47079-why-you-would-pay-for-icetv/?hl=icetv

In late September, we're inviting our most loyal customers and our most active blog contributors to an "IceTV Day" in Sydney. We're going to rub shoulders, get to know one another and critique our product strategy. We have the most amazing, experienced people here at IceTV and we're going to be "in touch".

Do you want to be part of this?!

Regards & success, Heinz

Offline RoderickGI

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Re: So, what is the future of IceTV Interactive?? Time to share.
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 06:26:57 PM »
Thanks for the response Heinz, and welcome to your new position as CEO of IceTV.

I was getting a little concerned about the lack of response, but now I am blessed with your first post on the Forum. Excellent!

Unfortunately I won't be able to join you for the get together in Sydney, unless something changes radically at my end. I am located in Melbourne. However, I may be able to provide some comment on your product strategy, although it would be from my selfish point of view.  :)

Thanks for the links. I had seen both forum threads previously, but as they are other people talking about what you are doing, I was hoping to get a more direct answer. Mind you, the likes of Peter Gillespie and others who have been around PVRs, EPGs, and such in Australia for some time do have quite a bit of credibility. I have been using PVRs since the Topfield TF6000PVRt was introduced, along with TEDS Suite with IceTV EPG data for most of that time. I've kept an eye on all developments and discussions along the way, and lamented the lack of a simple solution for many problems, along with many other people. The SMH article was of more interest.

In summary, it seems that your strategy is to introduce an IceTV branded PVR, which may fix many ongoing issues with PVRs, but also continue providing EPG data in XMLTV form to people who wish to use just the data. I'm not sure how IceTV Interactive fits into that scenario for users who do not have a compatible PVR or use Windows Media Centre. I have moved beyond simple and constrained PVRs and now use a Home Theatre PC. I looked at, and read much about WMC, but decided I needed to look elsewhere to find a better user experience. It also appears that WMC may have a short life span remaining. Hence my comments about WMC in the first post of this thread.

It looks like I will be going ahead with J River Media Center as my new Media Server, Manager, and delivery application. It is still a little green in the ease of use area, but it has great potential, and excellent sound and video reproduction. As it covers Music, Images, Movies, Video and TV recording, it meets my breadth of requirements. In the Australian environment, however, it still needs an EPG data source, as I do not wish to rely on the inband EIT EPG data. Of course, IceTV Interactive doesn't integrate with it, so I am just using the XMLTV feed, as I did with TEDS Suite.

So, there is an opportunity for IceTV to provide better integration with more Media Center solutions, including open source solutions such as XBMC, Media Portal, and of course J River Media Center. There is some overlap between existing or planned capabilities of such MCs and IceTV Interactive. That could be competition or cooperation. I would like to see cooperation, as J River don't have very deep functionality in the TV area, particularly in series recording, program selection via keywords or rules, etc. Even TEDS Suite did that far better than J River does. But the likes of Argus and Big Screen EPG are also providing an equivalent, though different solution to the problem of automatic scheduling of recordings. There is also only daily importation of EPG data in J River, with virtually no control over when and how that happens, and there is no timely update such as Freeview claims to support. Padding of recordings also leaves a lot to be desired.

Perhaps there is an opportunity for some technology sharing, with the cooperative development of an outstanding integration solution? Your cloud based EPG management is still unique, and has appeal, but it will be over-run by the ability of smart phones to connect to a home server over the internet and set, change, delete scheduled recordings, and indeed view content, unless IceTV makes their capability ubiquitous and irreplaceable beforehand.

Anyway, enough of that. If you wish to share more of your future product plans in a more definitive form, I may make some contributions, if I think I can add value.

Thanks again for the response. IceTV is still a high value proposition for me, and anybody who needs EPG data in Australia, so please do lead it to bigger and better things.

Rod

Offline Heinz

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Re: So, what is the future of IceTV Interactive?? Time to share.
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2013, 08:16:00 PM »
Hi Rod,

Wow! Thank you for giving your time sharing your thoughts. Your thought leadership is really appreciated.

I'll ask our Chief Technology Officer, Luke McFarlane, to give you a call and discuss.

How do we best contact you?

Cheers,  Heinz


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