At a media briefing event earlier today, the Sony Computer Entertainment New Zealand director of sales and marketing, David Hine, said he hopes to eventually rectify the absence of an EPG for three major local channels on its PlayTV peripheral.
Launching today in New Zealand, PlayTV essentially provides Digital Television Recorder (DTR) functionality to the PlayStation 3, enabling owners to watch, pause and record live digital television on their console. Typically, DTRs can make use of an Electronic Programming Guide (EPG). The EPG provides a full programme schedule for any given network and allows the user to schedule automatic recording of one-off shows or entire seasons at the click of a button.
At the time of launch, however, EPGs for Prime, TV3 and C4 are not available on Sony's PlayTV. The user can still view each network via PlayTV, but programme schedules and other information are not available.
The Prime EPG has historically been rather troublesome for both Freeview and TiVo DTRs. The National Business Review speculates, however, that the lack of support from Mediaworks is a snub due to Sony's partnership with TVNZ to support the broadcaster's Ondemand service on PlayStation 3.
However, Hine confirmed today that discussions continue to get the absent EPGs on board with PlayTV. "We're working with both Mediaworks and Prime going forward," he said. "We're great supporters of both networks. We're still developing conversation around that."
The outlook is rather good, then, for those who want DTR and on-demand functionality on their consoles, especially after SKY's admission yesterday that it is actively pursuing local iSKY support on both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Game Console is now in possession of one of the new PlayTV units, so stay tuned for our first impressions in due course.