Foxtel has stopped marketing its troubled iQ3 set-top box as the pay TV giant scrambles to iron out bugs that have plagued the video recording device since it was launched just over a year ago.
Foxtel’s websites are now pushing earlier iterations of the box, the iQ2 and even the iQ1 with some offers, while all promotion of the much-heralded iQ3 box has been quietly removed.
As revealed by Fairfax Media on Monday, Foxtel’s owners News Corp and Telstra have postponed a planned $8 billion initial public offering until 2017 due to the sheer volume of work that needs to be done to prepare their structurallychallenged pay television joint venture for a sharemarket listing. Stabilising the iQ3 is one of many items on that list.
The box, which connects to cable, satellite and ADSL broadband , was a year late when it was launched in March last year.
It provides a much slicker user interface and easier-to-navigate electronic programming guide than the iQ2 with improved functionality .
However, customers have at times complained of various problems such as picture and menus disappearing; frozen screens; remote control unresponsiveness; programs being deleted or not recording properly; and needing to reboot the iQ3 multiple times a day.
While Foxtel has issued software updates to correct many of the problems, some customers are continuing to report problems with the box.
A spokesman for Foxtel, told Fairfax Media: ‘‘ We have and are continuing to make software updates to improve stability and features of the iQ3 box.
‘‘ We are confident that any problems some customers have experienced either have been addressed or will be in the near future.’’
The development comes as new Foxtel chief executive Peter Tonagh accelerates plans for a much cheaper and smaller, socalled ‘‘ puck’ ’ device that could offer multiple entertainment services, including Netflix , over the internet to users who don’t want to pay for the full Foxtel cable and satellite service.
Foxtel already faces competition in the puck market from its own 50 per cent shareholder Telstra and from Fetch TV.