From Sunday all Foxtel iQ boxes will start receiving a software upgrade with new features to the onscreen Foxtel iQ Guide. It will be fully rolled out by November 15th.
iQ2 set-top-units already received the upgrade from October 1st.
The new software will upgrade the iQ Guide and offer the iSuggest and Record Me features.
Foxtel has sent through a lengthy explanation of the features as follows:
iSuggest brings posters and recommendation functionality to the new iQ Guide. It brings the TV Guide to life with posters and recommends from 200 outstanding television programs and movies at any one time – available to iQ and iQ2 subscribers from November 15, 2009.
iSuggest lets subscribers browse through rows of TV show and movie posters to discover new shows they will love highlighting Foxtel programming across all genres, refreshed many times a week so there’s always something new to send to the Planner for record.
iSuggest provides a poster for each program or movie, the summary, and a star rating which gives subscribers more detail than just the title helping them choose the shows they want to watch.
Selected programs are categorised into four portals – Foxtel, showtime, Movie Network Channels and Foxtel Box Office – making the best movies and shows easy to find.
The Foxtel portal is broken down into the following categories for easier navigation through iSuggest:
* Must See: Recommendations, new to Foxtel, exclusives, world and Australian premieres, and first-run shows on Foxtel.
* Sports: Sports programming and magazine shows.
* Knowledge & Adventure: Best of documentaries and news specials.
* Drama & Lifestyle: The best of entertainment including drama, comedy, food and lifestyle shows.
* Kids & Music: Family friendly programming and kid’s shows, rated ‘G’ and ‘PG’.
* HD: Showcasing the best of Foxtel’s High Definition programming.
The three dedicated movie sections in iSuggest – showtime, Movie Network Channels and Foxtel Box Office – recommend from over 50 movies at any one time. It’s like having an interactive movie store on the iQ with
Subscribers love to build libraries of movies in their Planner, and iSuggest is the perfect navigation tool to find the movie and record it to watch at any time, as many times as you like.
iSuggest can be accessed through the TV Guide by pressing the green button, and also through a dedicated listing on the Active menu. Once subscribers select the show they want to record, it’s easy
From November 15, 2009 Foxtel iQ and iQ2 subscribers will be able to record shows with the touch of one button whenever they see a program promo which has the Record Me icon.
Record Me is the ultimate convenience – subscribers see a promo for a show they love, press one button, and it’s sent to the Planner for record. This means subscribers will no longer have to go into the TV Guide to search for programs to record, but will simply press the green button on the Foxtel remote control during a promo with the Record Me icon and the program will appear instantly in their Planner for record.
The Record Me icon will appear when a promo has a recordable program linked to it. The subscriber simply presses the green button on their remote and the confirmation icon appears when the item is in the subscriber’s Planner. The subscriber will have to press the back button on their remote control for the icon to disappear from the screen. When the subscriber next enters their Planner, they will see their program booked.
The software that runs Record Me is so sophisticated, it’s able to detect when there is a recording clash in the Planner and automatically select an alternate program recording time.
Over 20 popular Foxtel channels from a range of Foxtel programming genres will have Record Me functionality assigned to selected programming and the number of channels supporting Record Me will continue to be added to in 2010.
Foxtel’s new iQ Guide enables the following handy features, enhancing the Foxtel Next Generation service and making it easier for subscribers to find what they want to watch, when they want to watch it.
Posters in iSuggest: The new iQ Guide includes posters and recommendation functionality in iSuggest. iSuggest is a new interactive television features that displays up to 200 posters at any one time of shows Foxtel recommends divided into categories separating TV shows from movies. To get to iSuggest press green in the TV Guide or go through the Active menu.
Channel View: Currently subscribers can only view what is on a particular channel in a horizontal grid, the new vertical channel view will enable the subscriber to clearly view the program titles and times in a vertical list. The subscriber will also see programming across only one channel in this view. Enter Channel View by pressing the Green button in the TV Guide top level menu and navigate through channels in this view by using left and right arrow keys on the remote, or the keypad on your remote.
Create your own Guide: My Favourites is an area of the TV Guide where subscribers can save shortcuts to their favourite channels creating their own personalised TV Guide filled with only their favourite channels. Subscribers can now save up to 50 favourites, which can be viewed in either the grid view or video view simply by pressing the Red button after entering My Favourites. Subscribers enter the My Favourites section of the guide by pressing the Yellow button after entering the TV Guide at the top level menu.
Live Viewing Window: This video view functionality lets subscribers continue to watch their program while searching for new programs to record. To enter video view, press the red button in the TV Guide and the last live program watched will play in a quarter screen view. To close video view and return to the grid, the subscriber simply presses the red button again. The subscriber can also set video view as a default in their TV Guide settings.
Planner Viewing Window: The new iQ Guide is specifically designed to empower subscribers to find the shows the love and watch them either live from the planner or recorded to the iQ disk drive. Features like iSuggest, Record Me, Foxtel’s Online Guide and Remote Record make recording shows and movies incredibly simple. With lots of shows in the Planner, subscribers need the tools to find the show they feel like watching. Foxtel has provided search and an optional viewing window in the Planner that is similar to the Foxtel Box Office HD On Demand service, so when you move through the Planner the new iQ Guide starts previewing recorded shows in a quarter screen window.
This video view playback is in the Planner search menu and will playback the recorded item highlighted in the grid. As the subscriber scrolls through their list of recordings in their Planner, the video will change. This video view is set as default in the Planner Search menu and can be changed back to grid view by pressing the red button.
Orange or Blue Colour Swap: Currently, the iQ has a blue and yellow Foxtel Guide and the iQ2 has an orange and grey Foxtel Guide. The new Guide lets subscribers choose from either colour schemes for both the iQ and iQ2. Subscribers go to the TV Guide Settings in the Set Up menu and choose which colour scheme they prefer, or which one works best with their television.
Planner Search: By default all items in the Planner appear in alphabetical order with video view. Subscribers can enter Planner Search by pressing “0” and using the following search items:
Time remaining: For recorded Foxtel Box Office movies and Main Event programs that have been purchased the subscriber will see in the status field a green background and a countdown of the remaining rental period they have to view the program. The subscriber can also see what is fully recorded and part recorded.
Fast Find Buttons: The TV Guide has been updated to include:
* Red button – Search
* Green button – iSuggest
* Yellow button – My Favourites
The new Guide functionality will be delivered automatically to every Foxtel iQ and iQ2, meaning all iQ and iQ2 subscribers will not be required to do anything to receive the new features. As the automatic download will happen progressively starting from October 1, 2009, all current and new iQ and iQ2 subscribers should be able to access the new Guide functionality, plus iSuggest and Record Me by November 15, 2009.