TiVo has added to the bewildering array of consumer options for set top boxes and personal video recorders (PVRs). Television commercial breaks are flooded with advertising for personal video recorders - MySky, My Freeview and TiVo.
But technology guru Peter Griffin says consumers who do not yet have MySky could be excused for waiting while the market sorts itself out.
TVNZ has thrown a spanner in the works, buying one third of Hybrid Television Services which holds the Australasian rights to the TiVo PVR. Hybrid is operating in the Australian free-to-air market but TiVo is several months away here.
Despite scant details and the delay, TVNZ is running extensive advertising - part of the deal to buy the Hybrid stake. The result is confusion.
The PVR market is expanding rapidly, so is by nature complicated. And New Zealanders had a reasonably simple choice between Sky and MySky PVR for pay TV or Freeview and My Freeview PVR for digital free-to-air TV.
But TiVo is slipping between the two, offering the notion of advanced digital free-to-air recording and broadband download of movies.
MediaWorks, owner of TV3 and C4, says it has not been approached yet about its role and there is no arrangement for an internet service to be linked to the TiVo download service. Another complication for consumers: TiVo is only available to digital terrestrial viewers but most Freeview viewers get their signal from a satellite through a dish on their roofs.
Hybrid chief executive Robbee Minicola has been travelling New Zealand this week to find out the lay of the land and says TiVo is something special.
But, as Griffin says: "There is a lot of confusion out there and huge questions about Tivo that have not been answered yet."
WHICH WAY FREEVIEW?
Part of the problem is that the relationship between TiVo, owned by TVNZ, and Freeview, a consortium of TVNZ, MediaWorks and other broadcasters, is unclear.
Freeview general manager Steve Browning has left to run TiVo in New Zealand. His acting replacement, Sam Irvine, rejected a suggestion that the best decision for consumers was to hold off.
TVNZ spokeswoman Megan Richards also dismissed a suggestion that consumers were confused by the choices.
MediaWorks has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure the Three Plus One Freeview Channel, which shows TV3 one hour delayed, does not intrude into an advertising-free Anzac Day.
The company is defending its decision to show ads during games in the 2007 Rugby World Cup which were shown in New Zealand on Sundays.
But on legal advice it is sticking to the letter of the law with Anzac Day, when TV companies cannot run ads from 6am to noon.
TV3 marketing boss Roger Beaumont says that to avoid a breach from 6am to 7am the channel will have ads wiped and show a colour test pattern. The irony is that TV3 Plus One viewers will have another hour of ad-free viewing from midday to 1pm.
How did Rupert Murdoch-controlled Sky Television ensure New Zealand politicians killed off prospects for regulation? Lots of Nats admire Sky but Murdoch's lobbying machine goes way back before this Government and before Sky's organisation of the Parliamentary Rugby Club.
It has its foundations in the rapport between the former speaker Jonathan Hunt and the Sky lobbyist Tony O'Brien.
Parliamentary insiders say some Labour pollies dismissed O'Brien as "Murdoch's man" who spent a lot of time around Parliament.
Hunt liked him and ensured he was able to mingle with the Labour caucus. A former salesman, O'Brien was an assiduous lobbyist whose technique was to focus on people on the periphery of power and with bureaucrats who serve them rather than just with ministers.
Sky bosses were shocked when Steve Maharey - a Murdoch sceptic - slipped through a review that looked at regulating Sky. But with the Nats elected nobody expected the review would go ahead. Another job well done.
New Zealand's biggest magazine publisher - ACP Media NZ - has scrapped the Group Publisher role held by Debra Millar.
Under the change, chief executive Paul Dykzeul will take over Millar's role dealing directly with his magazine editors and marketing managers for ACP titles which include Women's Day, Australian Women's Weekly, North & South, Metro, and Next.
Dykzeul left the top job at ACP New Zealand in 1996 to spend 11 years in the Australian market.
Companies commonly spend money on websites or digital media to communicate with customers or staff but Spot On Publications insists there is still demand for the humble hard copy newsletter.
Managing director Chris Gaskell says printed newsletters do not sound original or sexy compared with viral campaigns on Twitter or Facebook, but they work.
Gaskell says the question of online or hard copy communications depends on customer preference and context.
In the current issue of Australia's Marketing magazine, the results of a comprehensive study conducted by Open Mind research analyses the channels that consumers favour when receiving club or membership newsletters, Spot On says 53 per cent preferred addressed mail compared with 36 per cent for email.
Gaskell advises against rushing to digital. "Many businesses are now covering all bases and producing both formats," Gaskell says.
Organisers for the Royal Easter Show in Auckland appeared to be pushing the barrow out with its cartoon depiction of the Queen in TV ads.
Depictions of the Queen are subject to rules under the Flag Emblems and Protection of Names Act. The cartoon monarch in the ad invites people, saying "I can't be there but my cows will be" in a reference to a herd of Waikato cows HRH owns.
I wondered if the cheeky ad signalled a more easygoing approach to depicting the Queen but the executive in charge of the act, Brodie Stubbs, said the aim of the law was to ensure that ads did not claim royal endorsement. There was no reduction in the number of companies or products that wanted to use the word "royal", Stubbs said.By John Drinnan @Zagzigger Email John