- Excellent up-to-date guide, Easy to use, Simple to set up, Good Value
- PIMP still needs work.
If you have a PVR device and don’t get IceGuide, you are missing out.
Price$ 13.00 (AUD)
We live in an evolving age of television. Digital television, both standard and high definition, is slowly taking over the airwaves. Until recently, finding out what program are going to be shown has been the domain of publications like TV Week or free newspaper inserts. IceTV, an Australian company, has realised there is a gaping hole in the services that digital TV is offering. The signals being broadcast by the stations are accompanied by basic information about what program is currently being shown and what is just around the corner. IceTV has taken things a leap further with their IceGuide product.
IceGuide is an electronic program guide, regularly downloaded from the Internet (it cannot be used without Internet access), which shows not only what is on now but what will be on, in detail, for the coming week and sometimes, beyond. Each program has detailed information including a synopsis, original airdate, genre, rating, run time and additional data such as closed captioning.
However, the usefulness of IceGuide does not stop at its abilities as a TV guide. IceGuide is designed specifically to be used with PVR devices and Windows Media Centre Edition (MCE) enabled PCs. Using the guide, all you need to do is press record on your remote control when the program you want is highlighted and that program will be recorded. You no longer need an astrophysics degree to understand how to program your recorder; IceGuide does it for you. Not only that, but in Windows MCE, pressing the record button twice allows you to record the entire series of one show. For example, if you tell IceGuide to record the entire series of The Simpsons, it will record that show every single time it is on. This means that not only will the new episode that Channel 10 is showing be recorded but every other episode that week and forevermore. If The Simpsons somehow ended up on Channel 7 then it would be recorded from there too; MCE with IceGuide looks for the name of the show, not the time slot. This feature is very cool and extremely useful but it should be noted that it only works with Windows MCE.
We tested IceGuide on three devices; a PC running Windows MCE, the Topfield TF5000PVRt Masterpiece, and the Xbox360 console coupled with a PC running Windows MCE. Setting up the guide was fairly simple and involved downloading a software add-on for each device. The IceGuide Web site has thorough step-by-step tutorials for compatible devices. While the IceGuide interface didn't look as pretty on the TopField as the MCE version, it certainly had all the same functionality and was a pleasure to use. However, the product really shines when used with Windows MCE.
The Xbox360 seems like the last place you would expect to run a TV guide. When your Xbox360 is connected to a computer running Windows MCE PC, the functionality of the MCE system, including IceGuide if it is configured, becomes available on your console. Programs are recorded to your Windows MCE hard drive and can be accessed either from your PC or Xbox360.
IceTV is also in the process of introducing a new element to their already brilliant service. PIMP (Personal Interactive Media Planner) will extend the functionality of IceGuide to include remote scheduling. Imagine being at work and remembering that you forgot to tape an important football match. With PIMP you will be able to log in to the IceGuide website and schedule the match to be recorded. Your Media Centre contacts the IceGuide servers periodically to check if you have added any programs and if so, adds them to the schedule on your PC. This is an innovative idea and will come at no extra charge to IceGuide users. If that wasn't enough, you will also be able to schedule programs from any 3G enabled mobile phone. The PIMP service is currently in beta trials and as such has its fair share of bugs. Users can join the open beta at the website and contribute to the debugging process, either by phone or via the forums. Once this feature is finalised, it will become a valuable and exciting addition to IceGuide.
In other countries, an EPG is nothing new. In fact, across the world, these features are provided with the signal as it is broadcast. Unfortunately, the way the Australian Broadcast standards are, we have to use a third party EPG. IceGuide is the only one of its kind in this country. That being said, it does cost money to use! IceGuide has three payment options which cost $13 for one month, $39 for three months or $146 for twelve months. For all the functionality it brings and the promise of the PIMP service, we can't recommend it enough.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Snapchat just got way easier to use thanks to a new search bar
- Microsoft is retiring the Blue Screen of Death for some users
- 2016 will be 1 second longer: Google can help you cope
- Microsoft declares summer's Windows 10 upgrade fit for business
- Stop pouting: Google’s Santa Tracker is updated just in time for the Christmas countdown
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- CCMaster Planner /SchedulerQLD
- CCSAP UX ArchitectACT
- CCSenior C++ Software EngineerWA
- FTPerformance Reporting AnalystNSW
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- FTSDLC CoordinatorACT
- CCSharepoint DeveloperQLD
- FTIdentity Access + Security ConsultantSA
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant Advanced Warehouse ManagementACT
- CCSenior Test AnalystQLD
- FTProject SchedulerSA
- FTChief ArchitectVIC
- FTJava DeveloperSA
- TPSenior Test Analyst - DETEQLD
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical Account ManagerNSW
- TPPMO SchedulerNSW
- CCJunior Project ManagerQLD
- CCTester- InfrastructureACT
- FTNational Manager of Security - We are looking for a strong Leader - Syd CBDNSW
- FTTechnical Support RepresentativeNSW
- FTTechnical Account ManagerQLD