Archives For HDTV


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.”

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Tablo TV has just released a few new features with their 2.1.12 update. Most notable include manual recording (for shows requiring additional time like sports), a Plex Channel, Closed Captioning support, and the ability to Chromecast from the Chrome browser (and Chromebooks).  You can read about all the changes on Tablo’s community post here.

Tablo recently launched their 4 tuner device last month and has been updating their software at a consistent pace. I have been a fan of the dual tuner model since launch. Looking forward to trying out these new features!


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…

Mohu Channels TV adapter

Via Mohu’s Kickstarter update:

Some of our backers who have received and installed their Channels devices are commenting that they are receiving less OTA channels than they previously had prior to installing Channels. We are an OTA company and, as you would image, this is of great concern to us. Rest assured, the tuner inside Mohu Channels is the highest quality tuner available today bar none and we are aggressively pursuing the cause of this issue. For this reason, we put a hold on further shipments of Channels. We want to be absolutely certain that any device that leaves our factory is 100%. We ask for your patience and understanding. If you have not received your tracking information at this point, please note that we are holding shipments until we have a resolution.


By way of Mohu (and Twitter), we’ve learned that the latest cord cutting device is now shipping to all 1200 Kickstarter backers. Mohu Channels is basically a small Android box with built-in OTA tuner, thus merging over-the-air television with online video (and other web content). And in response to early feedback, some compelling new items on the roadmap… Continue Reading…


During Google’s annual developer conference today, Android TV was formally introduced as the successor to Google TV. As conveyed to me at CES and scooped by GigaOm back in March, Android TV is pretty much what we expected — rather than an Android fork, this more or less features the core Android OS with a simplified leanback UI layered atop. While it remains to be seen if the world needs yet another television-based app platform, Sony, Asus, and others have signed on to produce both set-top boxes and smart TVs.

In Google’s favor, and in the wake of Aereo’s demise, is recruitment of Silicon Dust as an early partner. Via HDHomeRun network tuners, Android TV can access both live over-the-air or cable television programming. In fact, as worded, Google and Silicon Dust may actual expose these hooks to other developers for all sorts of interesting mashups (or DVR?): Continue Reading…

Supreme Court Halts Aereo's Flight


We’re big fans of Vizio’s original 5.1 soundbar, which delivers true surround sound from an extremely compact and tasteful form – including a wireless sub that powers the rear channel speakers. As announced at CES, Vizio has doubled down on this form factor with a larger model that overcomes the original’s connectivity limitations by adding two HDMI inputs. And their $500 home theater solution is now available for purchase. CNET is quite positive with their praise of the 2014 model… other than price point, as it clocks in at nearly twice the cost of the original, and soundbar size. While the elongated 54″ bar enhances front channel separation, your TV stand may not be able to attractively contain it. Further, the soundbar is nearly half an inch taller than the original at 4.18″ — which could be a deal breaker for me as the 2013 variant already does a pretty good job of blocking my Panasonic HDTV’s IR sensor. Hm.