Hamish & Andy come to the Hubbl party: New device secures best possible endorsement

Hamish & Andy

News Corp’s Robert Thomson joins colleagues at launch of new streaming management devices

If you were launching the new entertainment product Hubbl, the best possible endorsement would be from Hamish & Andy.

That’s exactly what Hubbl has managed. The two LiSTNR podcasters and Nine TV hosts don’t come cheaply and don’t say “yes” to everything. But has any product they have put their stamp of approval on failed to take off?

Hamish Blake and Andy Lee opened and closed the launch event at Sydney’s Westpac Open Air Cinema on Wednesday night. The screen sits on the edge of Sydney Harbour at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. The site has been used by the Foxtel Group before. Once over a decade ago to celebrate a significant Foxtel milestone when a large marquee was erected on the banks of the Harbour.

Hamish and Andy

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After the comedy duo wrapped their opening, Foxtel Group and Hubbl chief executive Patrick Delany came onstage. He invoked memories of the early days of television when viewers had a choice of just four channels.

“Australians are fast and fantastic adopters of new technology, and we love it when the world’s best come to us,” said Delany.

Our minds were blown by the choices introduced by subscription TV. First 20 channels, then more than 100.

“Free-to-air went from five channels to 16 in 2008 and now has 30+.

“Then we were completely atomised by the vast array of high-quality streaming services from Australia and around the world.”

Patrick Delany onstage at Hubbl launch

Overwhelmed, frustrated and confused

No prizes for guessing that Delany soon got to the point of how Hubbl will solve problems many TV watchers have come up against.

“But with choice comes complexity. We used to go home at night, plop on the couch and watch telly for a couple of hours. Now we waste 22 days a year searching for something to watch.

“What’s driving that is not search or layouts within apps. It’s that we are all now using multiple apps free and paid, multiple sources of channels plus the internet.

We are forever going in and out of apps, in and out of inputs on our TVs. It’s hard to find and track shows and keep up with what apps you are paying for and also what we are subscribed to.

“We are completely overwhelmed, frustrated and confused.”

Hubbl is the answer to your streaming problem

Delany continued: “We took on the gigantic challenge of fusing free and paid TV and streaming plus the internet into a single experience.”

He said Hubbl wanted to make it:

1. Easy to navigate and track the millions of entertainment choices
2. Easy to watch free TV channels without a second remote or an aerial
3. Easy to keep track of the biggest hits you hear about, the new shows you discover, and to continue watching them
4. And finally, make it easy to stack streaming apps and save money

Saving the biggest claim for (nearly) last, Delany said: “Hubbl will change the living room and change Australian TV.”

See also: Hubbl reveals pricing for puck and TV, plus details of retail partners

Hubbl Glass TVs on display

Live demo worked!

Highlights from the live demo included:

Live TV guide – this is a game changer as the matrix shows every single content piece based on every single time slot.

Restart – you can start any sport or content instead of watching it mid-way through.

Watch list – Favourite things from any apps and can be added to all family members who had created an account with Hubbl.

Watch any content from wherever they are coming from regardless of the platform (as long as you have an active subscription).

Sports content – users can go deep into their favourite teams and Hubbl will pull all sports content for your team.

Voice command is very strong – makes it very easy to search, change apps etc.

Hubbl and Andy

More Hamish and Andy followed before Comcast’s global chief product officer Fraser Stirling delivered a demonstration of what Hubbl looks like onscreen and what power users can aspire to.

The formal part of the launch event then went to Hamish and Andy talking to content partners about their programs appearing on the platforms accessible via Hubbl.

Hubbl launch event guest list

All 18 apps present on Hubbl had reps at the launch event.

In addition, the audience included some real heavy hitters. Visiting Australia from New York was News Corp global chief executive Robert Thomson. He was joined by Foxtel Group chair Siobhan McKenna and News Corp Australia executive chair Michael Miller.

Seven’s James Warburton is on his farewell tour and he was at the event. He was with incoming Seven West Media chief executive Jeff Howard.

Others included Andrew Dillon from the AFL. Plus Peter V’Landys and Andrew Abdo from the NRL before they pack their bags for the Las Vegas season opener.

Content partners included Chris Taylor from NBCU, Michael Brooks from Warner Bros Discovery, Matt Stanton from Nine, James Taylor from SBS, Peter Charlton from Nova Entertainment, Jennifer Collins from ABC, Brant Harvey from Netflix, Daniel Williams from JB Hi-Fi, Kylie Watson-Wheeler from The Walt Disney Company, and from Mediaweek Danielle Long and Ricky Chanana.

Marta Dusseldorp

Making cameos with Hamish and Andy were Marta Dusseldorp (Bay of Fires), Chika Ikogwe (Heartbreak High), Richard Wilkins and Belinda Russel (Today Show), Scott Tweedie and contestants (Australian Idol), Sally Obermeder and Caroline Gaultier (RHOS), Andrew Winter (Selling Houses Australia) and Adam Liaw (SBS The Cook Up) as well as AFL player Chad Warner and NRLW player Tiana Penitani.

Other guests included Tasma Walton (The Twelve S2), Joel Creasy, Ned Brockmann, Michael Brunelli, Staar McGowan, Mitch McTaggart, Sabrina Treffiletti, AFL player Isaac Heeney, Fox Cricket experts Isha Guha and Brett Lee, Fox Sports hosts Matty Johns, Hannah Hollis, Braith Anasta, Cooper Cronk, Bryan Fletcher, Yvonne Sampson, Lara Pitt, Nathan Hindmarsh, Nico Parjarillo and pro boxer Sam Goodman.

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