The Hybrid SmartStreet Project, designed to show people the real benefits of the National Broadband Network (NBN), was launched in Tasmania this morning.

An initiative of Hybrid TV, the Australian licensee of TiVo, and the Tasmanian Government, the Hybrid SmartStreet Project will run for 12 months, and be open to “existing fibre-connected homes on the TasCOLT network currently serviced by TasTel Community Telco.”

Those households who are eligible, and opt to join the program, will receive a TiVo media device, plus access to TiVo’s content services – movies, TV and music, plus services developed specifically for TiVo, such as weather information and games. It’s the aim of the project to create awareness that the NBN is not just about fast internet, it will bring home to people just how connected to new entertainment experiences and services you will be, and not via the small computer screen in your home office, but in the loungeroom on the big screen.

Tasmanian Premier, David Bartlett, says “Many people do not understand what the NBN is – let alone the impact it will have in our own home. People want to understand the ‘why’ and the ‘how is it better than what we have today’. Our aim is to demystify what the NBN means, remove technological jargon from the equation and enable Australians to understand how a product such as a TiVo can be turbo-charged by an internet speed up to 200x faster than the average internet connection.

“A National Broadband Network is not about faster web browsing, or quicker emails. It is about high resolution video content delivered outside the PC and onto the television – as entertainment, as education and a variety of services in the home never before experienced over broadband – let alone a television. We are proud to partner with the Tasmanian Government on this journey of exploration and learning. Premier Bartlett understands the importance of this mission and we look forward to sharing our findings with the rest of Australia in the lead up to the reaslisation of our broadband connected country.” said Robbee Minicola, CEO of Hybrid TV.

“This Project is another important step in realising our goal for Tasmania to be the most connected place on the planet by 2014. We were the only State in the nation to commit to the $5 million bond required by the Commonwealth to bid to be a part of the National Broadband Network process.

“The debate now has to move from broadband infrastructure and rollout schedules – to showing people what can be done as a result of having it. The NBN has to move from the minds of technology boffins to the kitchen tables of working families. At every step – we have put up our hand in Tasmania and said we are ready to be digital leaders – the Hybrid SmartStreet Project is yet another example of our proactive stance in building a connected future”, said Premier Bartlett.

CASPA

TiVo also today launched its new content and service platform, CASPA. At launch CASPA will have more than 1,000 hours of on-demand movies, TV and music content, plus under the Hybrid SmartStreet Project, Government and community service information in the areas of education, health and emergency services.