Today’s Woot is a Microsoft portable media player (PMP) for under $135. True, it’s a fake brand (Enza Dream’eo? Could there be a worse name?) and the unit may die at any moment — but 20GB with a roomy 3.5″ screen at about half the price of an iPod is a decent deal… as long as it supports the audio/video formats you need. (TiVoToGo, using the free version of the TiVo Desktop software, has you covered with .tivo -> .wmv conversions.)
Archives For Deals
It’s that time of year again! No, not the season of giving… Rather, it’s the season of trampling your neighbors to get the best deal for yourself at the Walmarts of the world.
I’ve put together a small list of what I want, where to get it, and at what cost. The odds of my succeeding are very low due to massive competition and the fact that I’ll be driving across several states to two different locations over the next four days. My top priority, based on need and attainability, is the LCD.
Xbox 360 @ $100
42″ Vizio Plasma HDTV @ $1000
17% savings (off already great price)
19″ Samsung LCD @ $130
APC UPS 350VA @ $20
Nintendo Wii @ $250
Nintendo Store, NYC
The newly opened TiVo Community Store is running a great promotion: Get the TiVo Series3 for $680 after applying a 15% off coupon. No tax and free shipping! The secret word of the day is TCDEAL. You better hurry, because this offer expires Sunday.
I just received a limited time promotion TiVo affiliate email: Now through 10/31 you can pick up a new 80 hour Series2 TiVo including 1 year of service for only $125. This is the lowest I’ve ever seen the 80hr model offered for (and cheaper than the YWCA deal)… wonder if they’re finally closing them out? (In favor of the Series2 dual-tuning model, which is somewhat compliant with next year’s “no NTSC tuner without ATSC tuner” FCC mandate.)
If this had been available a few weeks ago, I could have saved $30 on my mom’s unit. I’m still getting her up to speed… the first lessons have covered VCR controls (pause, ffw, rewind), instant replay, and using the guide. We’ve also gone over the Live TV button as a means to recover if she ever gets lost. Maybe this week we’ll move on to recording!
If you pick up a unit, remember firstname.lastname@example.org referred you. ;)
If you’ve got some free time and programming skills, Netflix has a job for you… www.netflixprize.com.
Reuters says: Online DVD rental company Netflix Inc on Sunday announced that it would pay $1 million to the first person to develop software to improve the accuracy of Netflix’s movie recommendation system by 10 percent. Netflix’s Web-based recommendation system “learns” what kinds of films subscribers like by asking them to rate the films they watch. The system then recommends lists of similar titles, unique to each user.
Seattle Post says: The differences will be tracked by a program that quantifies how well the recommendation systems predict which movies will be liked or disliked by a profiled consumer.
Over on the TCF, I spotted a Slingbox for $139 Buy.com deal. This is the lowest price I’ve ever seen — which may or may not have to do with the rumored introduction of new boxes later this week. Don’t tell the authorities, but Mom (1,000 miles away) has been “watching TV” on her laptop in the kitchen via my Slingbox. Maybe she should take advantage of this opportunity and get her own.
OK, so the headline isn’t entirely accurate… More like: “Mom tires of resisting, Dave orders TiVo for her.” When visiting last month, I failed to convince her she needed a DVR. Well being somewhat manipulative, I might have accidentally changed her homepage to ZNF. Between the numerous questions I answered and the new fall season, she’s decided she might need a DVR. We could have gone the cable company DVR route, though when I mentioned that possibility she said, “Comcast, they suck.” Like mother, like son? TiVo.com/baseball is still active — get an 80 hour unit for $12.95/mo or a DT for $30 upfront plus $12.95/mo. I figured the single tuner unit (it’s a “digital VCR”) would be easier for her to wrap her mind around, so that’s where we’re starting. Mom is higher tech than she realizes and runs WPA… so initially, I’ll have her on dialup instead of messing with a wireless bridge or reconfiguring her network security.