Technology the star at Foxtel upfronts

Technology the star at Foxtel upfronts
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Technology took centre stage at Foxtel's 2013 glitzy program reveal last night, with an expansion to the Go app and improvements to the electronic program guide on the way.

Although the event, fronted by Thor star and Foxtel ambassador Chris Hemsworth, was meant to be a reveal of the programming line-up for the year, in reality there were very few shows "unveiled" which had not already been released to the media.

However, the pay TV provider will expand its Express From the US offering to include more shows, as it looks to exploit ever strengthening links with American studios and discourage piracy.

These will include new HBO shows like Boardwalk Empire series six and Game of Thrones season three, which will not be seen on free-to-air TV for five years under the terms of a deal inked last year.

CEO Richard Freudenstein also unveiled new studio deals with Disney and MGM, meaning the movie channels will now have access to the majority of Hollywood blockbusters first run.

Local production Wentworth, "inspired" by iconic show Prisoner, has also finished filming, with the first previews shown last night, and an April air date mooted.

Other new local shows signalled included Chef Matt Moran's Paddock to Plate, a remake of 70s classic The Devils Playground, and Aussie Pickers, as well as parading the latest contestants for Australia's Next Top Model which started filming on Monday.

In terms of technology, the main reveal was a "sexier" EPG, which will allow people to scroll back up to 26 hours to watch or record shows they have missed, with Freudenstein promising by March there will be 3,400 hours of content on the On Demand service.

The impressive Foxtel Go app has also been broadened out, with Fox Sports handles added to the mix, and it now available on iPhones and iPod Touch, having been downloaded 360,000 times already.

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