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Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  May 4, 2015 — 5 Comments

firefox-tv

This is what Firefox OS looks like on TVs
Firefox OS is an operating system designed around the technologies used in the Firefox web browser. The first commercial devices with Firefox OS software were smartphones. But it can also run on tablets, TV sticks, and TVs. Now the developers of Firefox OS at Mozilla are giving us a closer look at how the operating system works on TVs.

Comcast Spent $336 Million On Failed Merger
The uncertainty of the now dead Time Warner Cable merger certainly didn’t hurt Comcast’s broadband growth. According to the company’s latest earnings report, Comcast continued to slowly bleed video subscribers (8,000 lost on the quarter) but added 407,000 high-speed Internet subscribers.

Summer TV Preview 2015: 15 New Shows You Need to Know About
Kids are leaving school. The weather is getting warmer. Superhero movies are about to take over our theaters. Basically, everything is getting worse — except your upcoming slate of new TV shows.

Alternatives to Windows Media Center (Make your own Home Theater PC)
For more than a decade Microsoft has made that by offering Windows Media Center. But when Windows 10 ships in the summer of 2015 it won’t include Media Center. The good news is that there are still some solid options available for Home Theater PC (HTPC) enthusiasts.

verizon-bundles

I’m failry certain we’ll never get to à la carte cable. Certainly not in the next several years… given the current content hegemony that requires channels on certain tiers and/or bundling of multiple properties. Having said that, industry has taken notice as consumers look to exert more control over their content choices and seek more value from their entertainment expenditures. And Verizon announced a new permutation of FiOS… that, interestingly, most closely resembles Sling TV.

Double play plans start at $55/month with both existing or new Verizon FiOS customers choosing the data speeds they want, including the base 34 Custom HD channel lineup, with the possibility to add “channel packs” for $10/pop. Triple play, for voice, is also an option. The new plans do not require a 2-year agreement, as so many other FiOS packages do, but the most interesting aspect is, of course, the ability to more finely tune the stations you receive. Continue Reading…

All about bundling vs à la carte, content selection, and fees.

Some people, for example, believe probably incorrectly that we are on a path to interplanetary teleportation. Should we include the estimated bandwidth for that as well?

-FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly

As Radio Shack fights for its life, the once pioneering tech retailer has undertaken a number of positive maneuvers recently. From “interactive” store remodels rolling out nationwide to embracing the smart home, featuring Insteon, Radio Shack is reasserting their relevance in this space – as a destination for geeks and civilians alike. Heck, they’re even Apple Pay friendly.

The most interesting development in my mind is Radio Shack’s take on the Best Buy Geek Squad with “Fix It Here!” – the in-store servicing is capable of handling a variety of smartphone repairs, including screen and battery replacement. Given the high cost of unsubsidized smartphones and sometimes specialized tools or parts (if not skills), this is a valuable service (that I hope to never experience). But, to further put in in perspective, a co-worker cracked his screen a few months back and found someone local online… But, upon arriving at the repair person’s home, he was totally wigged out and bailed. Instead of replacing the phone at great expense, as he did, a convenient and legit operation like Radio Shack’s, would have been appreciated.

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  October 16, 2014

A periodic roundup of relevant news…

nexus-player

Google and Asus release first Android TV device for $99
The Nexus Player, which was announced in conjunction with the Nexus 6 phone, the Nexus 9 tablet and Android Lollipop on Wednesday, is being manufactured by Asus and will be available for pre-order starting October 17 and go on sale on November 3.

HBO’s Over-the-Top Service: Here’s What We Know
HBO has shaken up the media biz with its plan to launch a standalone over-the-top service next year, making the pay-TV titan the first major cable programmer to be marketed to consumers who do not pay for a traditional MVPD subscription.

PlayStation TV Launches, Sans Netflix
While Sony’s new paperback-sized device is primarily a gaming machine, it also serves as a media streamer with initial support for apps, including Sony’s Crackle video-on-demand service, anime app Crunchyroll and the music concert and documentary service, Quello.

Introducing InstaWatch from VUDU and Walmart
Exclusively from VUDU and Walmart, InstaWatch gives you a digital copy of every eligible DVD or Blu-ray that you buy at Walmart stores or on Walmart.com—automatically.

Plex app coming to select 2013/14 Vizio HDTVs
we’re happy to say that we can lend at least some of you a hand. We’re thrilled to announce our brand new Plex app for VIZIO Smart TVs, available today for Plex Pass subscribers! Once the Plex Pass preview period ends, the app will be available to purchase for a one-time fee

Supreme Court Halts Aereo's Flight