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Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  July 29, 2015 — 7 Comments

A stitch in time saves nine…

TiVo’s out with price cuts across their line

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First, now is probably not the time to buy a Roamio OTA. With TiVo planning a “late July” announcement in regards to their recently acquired Aereo trademark, it’s best for cord cutters to hold off… unless another amazing deal comes along. I also wouldn’t recommend the base Roamio, as it lacks streaming and MoCA bridging — especially when those features, plus 2 additional tuners and 500GB more storage, can be had for just fifty bucks more — assuming you’re OK with cable-only and a warrantied refurb.

Continue Reading…

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If you’ve been looking to expand your Sonos speaker collection or are just getting ready to ease into the addiction of top flight, whole-home audio, Sonos has got a deal for you. The smallest of the Sonos speakers, the Play:1, normally runs $199 a pop. However, as part of a limited time offer, Sonos is offering a “2-Room Starter Set” of two black or two white Play:1 wireless speakers for $349, shipped free. The Play:1 may be the least powerful entry in the Sonos lineup, but it’s the most aesthetically pleasing and subtly fits into more locales – including “high humidity” environments, like your steamy bathroom. In fact, once I finish unloading my sonically-challenged Amazon Echo novelty speakers, I intend to add a few Play:1s for streaming more online music to more locations around the home.

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Who knows if this is an extra special promotion, merely a pricing mistake, or the end of the line for the Slingbox 500. Irrespective of reason, Sears is offering up the device once known as Sling TV for more than half off at $140. New, not refurb, and shipped free. At $300, the Slingbox 500 makes no sense. But with this fire sale pricing, you benefit from the same wireless connectivity found in the lower-end Slingbox M1 along with (sometimes frustrating) HDMI pass-thru and a few TV-based perks your Roku or Fire TV probably does much better. Despite the now ad-compromised experience, Slingbox remains the most versatile solution to stream your video within or beyond the home. Should this deal appeal, you better act fast… as I suspect it’ll be gone as quickly as that $300 TiVo OTA with Lifetime Service.

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.

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(Thanks Sam & Drew!)

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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…

Get Two Free Audible Books

Dave Zatz —  March 3, 2015

audible-trialAmazon’s Audible is currently running a nice promotion — 2 free titles of your choosing, with no further commitment. Of course, they hope you’ll stick around beyond 30 days, at which point a $14.95 monthly fee kicks in. But, it could be well worth it assuming the same “Gold” plan I’m on. Beyond 1 credit/book per month, I also receive NYT and WSJ daily. Audible is supported by a variety of apps and platforms; I generally stream iPhone to car speakers over Bluetooth, although downloads are also an option… to overcome the glaring absence of Sonos integration.

Details:

  • Includes two free audiobooks with your free trial.
  • Choose from 150,000+ best sellers, new releases sci-fi, romances, mysteries, classics, and more.
  • After 30 days, get 1 book each month, $14.95/month
  • Cancel easily anytime. Your books are yours to keep, even if you cancel.

TiVo Lands On Woot

Dave Zatz —  February 21, 2015

tivo-woot

Ahead of any potential CableCARD successor, while they aren’t prepared to advertise with Sonos money, TiVo maintains their retail ambitions in bringing the entire lineup of set-tops to Woot today.

  • Roamio Pro (Refurbished) – $380
  • Roamio Plus (NOT Refurbished) – $250
  • Roamio (Refurbished) – $100
  • Mini (Refurbished) – $100

Assuming you’re in the market for a TiVo Roamio DVR and that you don’t qualify for the apparently ongoing 10 year customer appreciation bundle, the $250 Roamio Plus is a good deal – 6 cable tuners, mobile streaming, and a terabyte of DVR storage goodness. And you can very simply turn that Plus into a Pro at any time down the road with a 3tb drive for less than the $130 cost differential illustrated above. The Plus also stands out as the only new, versus “factory reconditioned,” piece of hardware in the listing. Of course, a TiVo DVR will also require service – either monthly, as low as $12.50, or Lifetime, up to $500. Also worth considering are the refurb first gen TiVo Minis for $100 a pop … but Amazon has them brand new, shipped free, and shipped faster than Woot for $115 as second gen models, with RF and a small performance boost, hit the shelves for $150 MSRP.

(Thanks Rob!)