Archives For Cord Cutting

TiVo Bolt Clears The FCC

Dave Zatz —  August 16, 2015 — 51 Comments

As TiVo Bolt nears release, the clues continue to trickle out. Most recent is an FCC filing that identifies three models. As two of those very same three DVR units appeared in a CableLabs certification report, it seems safe to speculate that we may be looking at two CableCARD models and one over-the-air “Aereo Edition” Bolt. By comparison, there are currently four Roamio SKUs… two of which don’t actually “roam.” Beyond standard DVR capabilities, might this TiVo shortcoming to be resolved with all Bolt models optionally streaming video to smartphones, tablets, and perhaps other end-points down the road?

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tivo-boltFrom the little we’ve seen thus far, TiVo appears to have done away with the traditional set-top box enclosure (as they did away with their in-house industrial design team). And not only may the Bolt be white and curved (?!), thanks to the FCC filing we also learn the Roamio replacement clocks in substantially smaller than existing hardware — to the tune of 40% less volume (according to one forum member’s math).

Continue Reading…

As the story goes, Apple is supposedly working on a streaming television service – perhaps something akin to DISH’s Sling TV or more likely Sony’s Playstation Vue, given rumors of local affiliates. Yet, the rumored service is now rumored to be delayed,

Without enough content deals in place, Apple has scrapped plans to announce the service at a Sept. 9 event in San Francisco, which would have coincided with the beginning of the new network TV season, the people said. The main stumbling block is the price of content. Just as Apple once convinced music labels to sell songs for a lowly 99 cents, it wants to offer a package of popular channels for $40 a month, the people said.

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The primary sticking point (rumored) appears to be securing favorable terms in regards into retransmission of the local affiliates like CBS and NBC. While it wouldn’t work for all households, given location or construction, the idea of an Apple TV with ATSC tuner and antenna to pull down those locals and commingle the content alongside a Sling-esque library could be an effective solution for many. Which, of course, wouldn’t have the elegance and simplicity of an online-only service. If anyone can pull this off, it’s Apple (or incumbent Comcast, but probably not Verizon). Continue Reading…

While we generally caution against purchasing hardware soon to be replaced, this TiVo promotion deserves special consideration if you’re in the market. Purchase a four-tuner Roamio OTA or a refurb Roamio, capable of handling OTA or CableCARD tuning, for $50 direct from TiVo and get Lifetime service for a highly compelling, extremely discounted $250.

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It’s really quite the deal. However, the TiVo Bolt could be just weeks away… and we do anticipate it will replace the Roamio. As to DVR differences, it’s safe to assume a modest bump in specs and the possibility of integrated Stream capabilities. So if beaming live and recorded video to mobile devices is on your wishlist, it may be worth waiting for the Bolt with less favorable pricing.

Xbox One’s media center capabilities continue to shift away from the original, but perhaps misguided, promise of HDMI pass-thru and IR control. After recently adding over-the-air HDTV tuning, and as foretold, Xbone will receive DVR capabilities in 2016. Continue Reading…

Picking up Aereo’s assets back was one of TiVo’s more inspired marketing moves. But I wonder if it’s being squandered…

Since the deal closed, TiVo has sent out several waves of email campaigns to Aereo castaways… that may not be resonating, as TiVo, in its current form, isn’t much of an Aereo replacement.

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Harnessing Portlandia to tug on those cord cutting heart-strings, TiVo ratchets up the rhetoric today as they move into aereo.com with an impassioned 237 word plea. Some highlights: Continue Reading…

By way of the US Patent & Trademark office, we see that TiVo has submitted not one but four applications for a “TiVo Bolt” trademark. As their “late July” Aereo news announcement approaches (and assuming they’re still on schedule), I figured there was no way in hell TiVo could launch an online video subscription service to rival Sling TV as they target cordcutters… but, they seem to open that very door via verbiage found in the most interesting of the filings:

Subscription television broadcasting services; cable television transmission of personalized and interactive television programming

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And the rest: Continue Reading…

Comcast launches hardwareless in-home streaming service with cloud DVR

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While I’ve been a fan of Showtime, often preferring their original content to HBO’s, my primary ding against the Showtime Anytime streaming service has been stereo sound. With the launch of Showtime’s new Internet streaming service this week, that does not require a cable subscription, I reached out to Showtime’s PR team. And the good new is that 5.1 surround sounds it coming to these services “very soon”. I expect this will apply to both native Apple TV and Roku Showtime apps, but the fascinating Hulu Showtime linkage remains a question for me given Hulu’s own auditory limitations.