The SEVEN Network will launch the TiVo digital video recorder this month in an effort to stem the migration of free-to-air viewers to pay TV.
TiVo digital video recorders (DVR) will be sold in Harvey Norman stores from July 29 for $699 without a pay-TV-style subscription fee, Seven said in a presentation.
The company said it aimed to benefit from the move to digital television and gain more accurate ratings data and new advertising methods by selling the Tivo.
"There's been a lot of conjecture about how free-to-air television will rise to the challenge of technology," Seven chief executive David Leckie said.
"We now have... the world's best DVR. You don't need to subscribe to Foxtel.
"This is about expanding the television experience of seven out of 10 Australians who only choose to watch free-to-air television."
Viewers will be able to plug their television aerial into the TiVo DVR, which has two high definition tuners, enabling a person to record two programs while watching a third pre-recorded show.
The TiVo can record up to 60 hours of standard programs or 20 hours in high definition.
A broadband connection will allow the TiVo to download upgrades to the internal system, as well as access online content - such as video files - in the future.
The TiVo also allows viewers to catch up with programs as it stores the preceding 30 minutes. Viewers can pause and rewind the program if it is live, and fast forward through recorded sections.
Tivo's interface gives viewers the ability to record programs by specifying a show, or those with a particular actor or director, or in a particular genre. The DVR can be set to record remotely through the internet or mobile net.
Harvey Norman will sell the TiVo exclusively as launch partner until it is made available to other retailers before the end of the year.
Seven owns TiVo Australia and has a licensing agreement with the US-based TiVo company, which was founded in 1997. Seven also has a partnership with wireless broadband provider Unwired, which provides expertise in sales, retailing and distribution.
The broadcaster is aiming to tailor advertising to specific viewers with the information it gains about viewing habits. Seven also hopes to tap new advertising methods, such as creating margins on the screen that contain ads.
"The interactive advertising solutions will come in time," Seven's network director of sales James Warburton said.