Archives For Cord Cutting

By way of DISH Team Summit, Facebook, and a pair of low resolution videos we learn that not only is Channel Master getting real close to launching those “Linear Channels” of Internet content on DVR+, they’re also landing a SlingTV app. I’ve taken the liberty of concatenating the two grainy show-floor quick-takes (above) but intend to ping Channel Master to see how they feel if I shoot my own video (as I did for DVR+ upon release).

As the story goes, DVR+ is a fee-free, dual-tuning, over-the-air DVR (1TB, $400). That briefly lost its luster given TiVo Roamio OTA pricing that turned out to be a limited time offer (or another marketing mistake). However, TiVo’s return to unfavorable pricing makes DVR+, with the option of Sling TV, a highly compelling solution for a number of cord cutters. Continue Reading…

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  May 6, 2015 — 9 Comments

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Comcast Announces new Xfinity remote with voice control
You don’t have to learn a new language or speak like a robot. Just press the blue button, say what you want to watch and it appears on screen. It’s easy, just like watching TV should be.

JetBlue to Offer Amazon Prime Members Free Wi-Fi to Stream Video
Amazon is taking to the skies in its battle with Netflix: The e-commerce giant announced a deal with JetBlue, under which Prime members will have free, unlimited access to in-flight Wi-Fi — fast enough to stream video right to their seats.

TiVo Survey Indicates Majority of OTA Cord Cutters Come From Satellite
TiVo Inc., a leader in monetizing over the air signals for operators, today released the findings of an in-depth survey of Over The Air (OTA) TV consumers revealing that a materially higher percentage of cord cutters are coming from former satellite TV service subscribers.

Cable companies want you to pay twice for On Demand with Hulu Plus deal
In another sign that operators are increasingly willing to bring over-the-top streaming services directly to their subscribers, Hulu has announced that it has reached agreements with five multichannel operators to offer Hulu’s subscription streaming service to their customers.

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As TiVo expands cord cutter marketing, they’ve now brought a Lifetime Service option to Roamio OTA. At least on an experimental basis. For a single $300 fee, you can now pick up a Roamio OTA bundled with a lifetime of TiVo service. Given four HD tuners, a 500GB drive, several solid apps like Netflix and Amazon Instant, the potential (for more $) to stream to mobiles devices or TiVo Mini, I’d say this is A Very Good Deal™. And it certainly undercuts Channel Master’s mostly silo-ed two tuner, 1TB $400 DVR+ — TiVo is the superior product and removing the $15/month barrier seals the deal. But you may want to act fast, as this is just one of several pricing permutations TiVo is looking at. The others, like this $400 Lifetime Service fee on top of hardware, aren’t nearly as appealing.

(Thanks Sam & Drew!)

As with Pebble, Silicon Dust has leveraged Kickstarter as a marketing tool and storefront, versus a startup fundraiser. And they’re now accepting preorders for their upcoming HDHomeRun DVR software and service. Basically, the new DVR experience will leverage existing HDHomeRun networked tuning hardware and a QNAP NAS, Western Digital MyCloud NAS, or computer for storage. The headless approach is not new (in fact, they pioneered it) and similar in concept to Tablo, yet instead of requiring USB-attached storage, your hard drive can live elsewhere on the network. Also, unlike Tablo, HDHomeRun offers both over-the-air (OTA) and CableCARD tuners… making this a whole lot more versitile for those of us unwilling to cut the cord. Given the sunsetting of Windows Media Center and the hot mess that is Simple.TV (powered by SiliconDust), it’s not so surprising they would venture into software and services to round out their offerings.

hdhomerun-dvr-bundleEarly adopters who already sport the requisite hardware can access HDHomeRun DVR software and a year service for $30, one month before the general populace – perhaps as early as June. However, Silicondust is also offering quite a few bundles should you require tuners and/or network storage. Beyond the tuner and NAS/computer software required to power the DVR experience, Silicon Dust will also make Windows, Mac, and Android (set-top or mobile) viewing clients available at launch. iOS and Kodi/XBMC integration are also possibilities down the line with a graphic indicating smart TVs and gaming consoles might also act as end-points one day (via DLNA?). Sadly, it doesn’t appear Silicon Dust will have any sort of transcoding from MPEG-2 as they’ve indicated no Roku channel given it doesn’t support “video formats used for broadcast television” (and we should expect this to impact remote streaming bandwidth requirements, if supported). Continue Reading…

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Is a list of (perhaps) 80,000 customers and a URL worth a cool million? TiVo’s about to find out… as they’ve begun emailing Aereo castaways, having closed on various Aereo assetts through bankruptcy proceedings. As you can see above, the targeted pitch is actually pretty compelling. For those who have OTA reception, anyway. At $20/month, with a two year commitment, TiVo is offering the four-tuner Roamio OTA DVR with 500GB hard drive and a TiVo Stream to handle mobile viewing on iOS or Android. Beyond television recording and streaming, TiVo also includes a variety of online apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant. While I might find this to be a good deal, our pal Todd’s knee-jerk reaction when forwarding me the email blast was: ‘dafuq?’ So I’m wondering how others feel – chime in below! (By the by, the Aereo URL has not been updated… yet.) Continue Reading…

Tablo Android TV grid guide

It’s no secret that we are big fans of the Tablo TV system. Since the launch almost one year ago, Tablo has continually pushed the little placeshifting over-the-air DVR forward via software updates to bring functionality up to speed with most major competitors.One of the later enhancements has been thumbnail previews while FF/RW a recorded show. That alone seems to have pushed the Wife Acceptance Factor to 11 as it was one of her biggest complaints while trying to use Tablo!

Back in January at 2015 CES, Tablo announced a major overhaul to their Roku app, and also announced the addition of Fire TV and Nexus Player apps. Today, Tablo looks to make good on that promise by releasing these apps. For the past few days, I’ve been using the both the new Roku “preview” and the new Fire TV app. Visually, these apps are a major upgrade more akin to today’s standard DVR interface. My current setup for Tablo is that the device is wired directly into my router.   From there, I am using a pair of Netgear 1200 Powerline adapters so my connections is wired straight to the Roku 3. For the Fire TV stick, it’s currently running on my 5ghz band of my wireless router to minimize congestion.

Roku Preview

For the updated Roku preview app, Tablo had to completely rewrite the entire code base. This involved getting special privileges from Roku to break away from their standard app template. And although the old Tablo Roku app was fully functional, the number one feature was to have a more conventional UI that included a guide screen. With this “preview”, Tablo has transformed the interface to provide this functionality. Continue Reading…

All about bundling vs à la carte, content selection, and fees.