Archives For Cord Cutting

showtime-hulu

In addition to shortly launching a stand-alone service, akin to HBO NOW, Showtime has entered into an fascinating partnership with Hulu.

This July, Hulu brings you a new way to get SHOWTIME. Get up to 30 days free of SHOWTIME with a Hulu subscription and see what you’ve been missing! After your trial, you’ll get SHOWTIME for $8.99/month in addition to your $7.99/month Hulu subscription.

What makes this unique is a 20% Showtime streaming discount along with both on-demand and live content being accessed from within the Hulu interface. Beyond SHO’s willingness to give up some control, I wonder if this signals Hulu interest in Sling TV space — should we expect additional channel-like offerings?

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TiVo CEO Wants Cable Companies to Embrace Cord Cutting

TiVo’s gearing up for a new round of television advertising targeting cord cutters with a pair of DVR birthing videos. Generally speaking, most ads that attempt to be clever and edgy are neither. I found the spots very mildly amusing, but think the company would have been better served with more focus on the product’s capabilities (like Virgin) – beyond a rushed description that refers to Amazon Instant or Amazon Prime Instant video streaming as Amazon Prime. (I get brevity in a 30 second spot, but this is the company that couldn’t always spell Roamio.) Further, while I don’t know if TiVo took this through a focus group, I suspect “record antenna TV” versus “record over-the-air HD” is a clearer, more powerful descriptor, plus you still have OTA in the product name and cord cutting references. They do wisely avoid TiVo Roamio OTA pricing options, as that’d consume the entire 30 seconds… not to mention, changes could be in the air. Ultimately, the commercial’s value to TiVo largely depends upon where exactly it’s shown along with the corresponding audience’s sensibilities.

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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

xfinity-voice-remote

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.

roamio-ota-lifetime

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…