Netgear partners with IceTV for PVR

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Netgear, Topfield, IceTVNetgear and IceTV have announced a partnership to deliver an electronic program guide to Topfield personal video recorders without using a PC.

Just days after of releasing an electronic program guide (EPG) for Microsoft Media Center PCs, Australian company IceTV has teamed up Wi-Fi equipment maker Netgear to bring a free-to-air EPG called iceguide to Topfield PVR owners.

By connecting a Netgear WGT634U to a Topfield TF5000PVRt via USB, subscribers to IceTV's AU$13 per month service can update the 7-day guide without having to connect the PVR directly to an Internet-enabled PC.

"Once the NETGEAR router has been updated with IceTV's firmware and connected to the Topfield, iceguide is automatically updated every day," IceTV's CEO Duncan Ross said in a statement.

However, IceTV warns existing owners that the WGT634U will no longer operate as a router after installing the new firmware. Furthermore, the update also prevents users from reinstalling previous versions firmware to restore functionality.

Another technical drawback of the new firmware is a 2MB limit on file transfers using Topfield's file manager program. While PCs can access the Topfield's hard disk wirelessly via the WGT634U bridge, digital recordings and MP3s, which generally exceed this amount, cannot be transferred. Files that are under the limit, such as screenshots and add-ons called Topfield Application Programs (TAPS), designed to enhance the PVR's functionality, can still be transferred.

IceTV sells the Negear WGT634U pre-loaded with the firmware enabling iceguide -- but with the limitations specified above -- for AU$189.

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