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MEDIA CENTRES / MICROSOFT OR LINUX

Freeview Issues Holds Up New Topfield Linux Media Centre

By David Richards | Wednesday | 18/02/2009

Set top box maker Topfield is set to release a brand new Linux media centre that will deliver content management via a new interactive software offering. However the box has been stalled due to issues over Freeview.

Set top box maker Topfield is set to release a brand new Linux media centre that will deliver content management via a new interactive software offering. However the box has been stalled due to issues over Freeview.

The new device will come with a Broadcom chipset and allow consumers to not only store their favourite TV programmes but access and store content from the Internet. It will have a minimum of 500GB of storage and include a new version of Ice TV an EPG program that will allow users to manage TV content as well as downloaded Internet content.

Australia which has been a test market for the device is set to be the first market in the world to get the new player which has currently been put on hold while Topfield sorts out issues associated with the release of Freeview in Australia.

"We have been testing this device for several months however we have delayed the launch due to issues associated with Freeview and current economic conditions" said Topfield Country Manager Yung Kim the Country Manager for Topfield which is a Korean Company.

There are also rumours that the new device will also including ripping software that will allow users to copy their DVD collections to extended storage that can be linked to the new media centre or direct to the hard drive in the device. 

Freeview is a brand new service that is being pushed by free to air TV stations to promote 14 new digital TV HD channels. Due to go live in March users will need a set top box.

This can be a standalone Freeview box or a set top box similar to what Beyonwiz or Topfield make however issues are starting to emerge over whether Freeview will allow vendors who have recording devices to sell the service as the commercial TV stations behind Freeview don't want consumers to be able to skip through or cut our advertising.

What the Freeview consortium is doing is basically delivering a box that has an electronic program guide (EPG) this will allow users to record a program however when they come to skip through commercials the device will slow down the skipping process and either deliver one commercial or a full set.

Yung Kim said "We are currently looking at a separate Freeview box as well as our new media centre. We have not released this product anywhere in the world. One of the reasons that its release has been held up is because of Freeview issues. Without Freeview users will be able to record all TV programs, access the internet and record programs. Whether we include Freeview is undecided however we will have the Freeview program schedule via the Ice TV EPG".

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