Just when will Foxtel deliver its next generation IQ3 set top box is a question I have been getting asked a lot lately.
The device, which Foxtel first formally announced in March of 2013, has been widely anticipated by TV fans. Originally expected to launch in mid 2014, deadlines have slowly been slipping backwards. One industry source recently told me "Foxtel will most likely hold a launch event for IQ3 in December but it's unlikely customers will receive the units until early 2015".
Speaking at the Astra conference on September 4th, Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein stated “IQ3 is in its final field trial at the moment and we expect to make it available to customers late this year.”
Foxtel had been expected to confirm launch details for the device at last weeks Upfronts event however Freudenstein told the audience “we are about to launch the iQ3, a beautiful new box with amazing functionality. We will begin rolling it out to customers in the next few months.”
When asked if the IQ3 had been delayed until 2015, a senior Foxtel Spokesperson told me,
“iQ3 is in its final user trial phase. We haven't set a release date for customers yet, but there are no significant technical issues and we will launch it once we have completed all necessary tests and we're confident that it is functioning to the standard our customers expect.”
The Foxtel iQ3 is being constructed by Pace and will have ten times the processing power and eight times more memory than the current box.
Key features will include an advanced TV Guide that combines live programming with Internet catch-up streaming services
The Box will have a one-terabyte hard drive, andincludes nine satellite or cable TV tuners built in, allowing customers to watch one show while they record up to four others.
The Foxtel iQ3 will be rolled out nationally; there are two versions of the box, Cable and Satellite. The Satellite version is designed to replace the Austar MyStar box and will include two terrestrial FTA tuners.