Archives For DVR

IMG 1.9.7 is slated to hit the “legacy” Verizon FiOS set-top hardware (that pre-dates the VMS Quantum DVR) beginning tonight in Buffalo, NY and PA, with the rollout expected to take a month or so… according to a source and imagery posted to DSL Reports. And boy what a massive update it is, headlined by all new “flat” visuals. Some releases notes: Continue Reading…

fiber-composite-tv-boxes-v2

Google Fiber beta invites are rolling out, shedding light on upcoming hardware consolidation. Via kcjak:

Just got an email from Google Fiber saying we’ve been selected into their test program. Test includes replacement of the hardware, which will combine the network box and storage box into a single unit, as well as upgrade of WIFI to 802.11ac. New Google Fiber app, as well, but currently supported only on Android platform.

We’re not entirely surprised as we’d previously documented incoming TV Box updates and recently stumbled upon this public image – picturing, for the first time, the v2 extender in the lower left. But cramming the Google Fiber router and television hub into a single, refreshed Storage Box is news, perhaps shedding light on Google’s ongoing service intentions. Continue Reading…

Comcast-Labs

While Comcast dicks around with TiVo, to presumably avoid costly Time Warp licensing and FCC scrutiny, the cable giant continues to crank away on their preferred platform – the X1, which has been deployed across 100% of their footprint and sees 20,000 new installs every day. And now, in possibly a first for a cableco, they’re ‘going Google’ by making pre-release features available to subscribers via “Comcast Labs”

Comcast engineers have added a subsection under “Settings / Preferences” called “Comcast Labs,” designed as a sandbox to beta test new features before they go live. Comcast Labs [...] serves as a playground where customers can test innovation before it receives the final stamp of approval. [...] beta features will be given a thorough test-drive to aggregate user data in order to determine whether they get the green light to officially launch on X1.

Continue Reading…

channel-master-1tb-dvr

Channel Master has just updated their DVR+ line with a $400 model that houses a roomy 1TB internal drive – versus the original’s bring-your-own USB storage approach that requires more clutter, more complexity. We quite like the DVR+ and believe it’s a solid option for those seeking an over-the-air recorder and coming from VCR or new to DVR (whereas we suggest Tablo to our more geeky peers). The dual tuning DVR+ is super slim and super quiet, without a fan, and comes in cheaper than the competition. While the $200 TiVo Roamio may do more, with more polish, it also clocks in several hundred dollars more when considering the service fees. And, beyond Vudu, the fee-free Channel Master DVR+ intends to close the gap with several well-known audio and video apps in the pipeline “along with some other surprises for later this year.”

Xfinity-15-tuners

DVR marketing ridiculousness continues…

First Verizon introduced FiOS Quantum DVR, touting a whopping 12 tuners for recording or feeding extenders throughout the home for live viewing. With the small caveat that two 6-tuner DVR rentals are required. Well, Comcast has upped the ante with a Gillette-worthy 15 tuner Xfinity X1 experience. Assuming you rent three DVRs (and pay the associated additional outlet fees).

From MultiChannel:

Comcast, which has been touting the expanded digital video recorder in local TV ads and Internet promotions of X1, confirmed that it recently began to pilot the new option in its 14-state Northeast region, which includes systems serving parts of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Connecticut, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

Collaborative scheduling and recording surely is a nice perk but, given the breadth of Internet and on-demand content, I wonder how many tuners the average household really needs? We’ve been making do with a single 4-tuner TiVo the last year (since replacing the other DVRs with Minis). It’s sufficient most of the time, although we occasionally experience conflict and would benefit from an additional tuner or two to feed the extenders and hit all scheduled recordings.

tivo-pick-me-heart

In the wake of Aereo’s Supreme Court smackdown and cessation of service, CEOs from the likes of TiVo and SimpleTV have taken to the press to pitch their case as an over-the-air replacement. But Aereo’s primary benefits can’t be replicated by these guys.

First, Aereo positioned their rental antennas where the company obviously received a strong signal. Which isn’t necessarily the case for our dwellings located in urban canyons or on the far side of the digital cliff. Second, with a shared, centrally managed infrastructure, Aereo didn’t saddle customers with the expense of hardware (or long term commitments), running only $8-12/month. Continue Reading…

gfhd200

Google’s investment in Sage TV continues to bear fruit as the team is apparently hard at work preparing their second generation Google Fiber set-box. Continue Reading…