Ice TV

This service works reasonably well (except when TV stations change their scheduled programming without notifying Ice TV - something beyond their control). Most of the site is relatively easy to use unless you are using the site with multiple PVRs. Fortunately most things work without you needing to use the help desk as they are slow to respond and not very helpful. You can get this service from icetv.com.au.

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Pros

Cons

Review

This is one of the few PVR services available in Australia (the main alternative being TiVo although FreeView have announced that they will also be introducing a similar service). The web site works with one or more PVR devices that you have purchased and have installed in your home and connected to the internet. To use it you simply log into your account on the web site and select the shows you like to watch (either from the current week's TV guide or from the page listing future shows) and specify whether you want it to record just the one show or the entire series and which device to record it on. The shows will then be recorded for you automatically even if the scheduled time gets changed provided that Ice TV have been notified of any changes, you don't try to record more shows at the same time than your device allows, and you have sufficient space on the hard drive in the device to make the recording.

The site is relatively easy to navigate and as well as the default display that shows all channels for a six hour period and the ability to change the period and/or restrict the display to a particular network or individual channel, it also categorises the shows into genre. There is also a search function you can use to search for shows during the coming week.

To record a show you simply click on the entry in the guide and select to "Schedule New Recording".You will then be given the opportunity to select whether to record just the single episode or the entire series, which device to record it on (if you have more than one) and if you specified to record the series whether you want first runs only or all episodes including repeats. There are also a number of advanced options that can further restrict what gets recorded.

The "My Week" tab allows you to see what shows you have set to record during the coming week, one device at a time. The "My Shows" tab provides you with a list of all the shows that you currently have selected to record - again by device. The "Most Popular" tab shows which shows are the most popular to be recorded via Ice TV - useful since they are probably also the ones that you are more likely to want. The "New Shows" tab lists shows that haven't started yet or which started very recently - allowing you to choose programs long in advance of their actual broadcast. The site also sends out weekly emails advising you of new shows starting in the coming week as well as some of the more popular movies. Overall the site is easy to use for selecting which shows that you want to record up until the time you add a second device. The way that the site has implemented multiple device support makes it far harder to work out what shows you are going to record because you can't see a list of recordings for multiple shows at the same time and if you change the device while setting a recording it doesn't even switch to displaying that device so you can confirm that it has set.

The web site also has a"Store" tab at the top alongside the "My Account" and "TV Guide" tabs. If you do purchase through this option then you need to be aware that with at least some of the devices on offer Ice TV is simply acting as an agent for the supplier. While you pay Ice TV, the order is passed to a third party who then supplies your order. If there are any issues with the order you can expect to be referred to the third party to get it resolved. The main benefit of being able to buy through Ice TV is where you already have an account with them (where they have your credit card details in connection with renewing the account) and so you can make your purchase without having to hand out your credit card details to the actual supplier.

Suggestions on how Ice TV could be Improved

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