Archives For Netflix

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Right on schedule, the TiVo Premiere Fall Update has started rolling out. Beyond a raft of bug fixes, some of the more notable features, as documented by TiVo VP Margret Schmidt:

  • “What to Watch Now” available from TiVo Central
  • Press the C button in the Guide to filter by genre
  • Updated WishList screens in HD
  • 4-tuner Premieres that feed TiVo Minis no longer need to “reserve” a tuner so the Minis can watch live TV
  • TiVo Minis can now remotely manage the To Do List and Season Pass Manager of TiVo Premieres
  • new (HTML5) YouTube app with DIAL support

Interestingly, What to Watch Now isn’t yet active… and probably requires TiVo flip a switch on their end, perhaps once most units have been upgraded. Possibly related, my very solid intel had YouTube, Netflix, and DIAL arriving this fall. Yet.. Netflix is absent from both the release notification and Margret’s summary (despite one user believing he did indeed receive it). At the very least, it’s now confirmed that the Premiere is capable of running the lighter weight and more sprightly HTML5 apps – as seen on Roamio. And we continue to anticipate a Netflix announcement in the near future, with Roamio’s mildly refreshed UI expected in the Spring of 2014.

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As we inch closer to a 10/23 release of the $150 Samsung Smart Cable Box, a rumored 10,000 units are en route to the US and its user guide has appeared online. Via the aforementioned literature, the combo cable+Internet box is confirmed to sport Netflix as a tent pole app. So, while Netflix and the US cable industry continue to gnash their teeth, consumers will have another option, beyond TiVo, to roll their own best of breed video platform. Beyond that compelling nugget of intel, manual visuals appear quite similar to what we observed at the Cable Show — a unidirectional CableCARD powers its pay TV capabilities, augmented by a Samsung-provided guide, joined by a variety of over-the-top apps, plus local media playback. Further, Samsung Android devices, sporting Samsung’s AllCast app, will be capable of TV-based screen mirroring. And no mention of recurring fees for guide date. Continue Reading…

Win Walter White's Undies

Dave Zatz —  September 26, 2013

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As Breaking Bad draws to a close, the Emmy award winning series that attributes its longevity to Netflix, is auctioning off over 200 props shown onscreen. Amongst the Sony Pictures memorabilia are Walt’s iconic tighty-whiteys, haz-mat suit, and Pontiac Aztek – that’s sold as is, and will require a flat bed to get home. I imagine the relatively modest opening prices will skyrocket rather quickly once the auction goes live 9/29, but I’m still holding out hope I might pick up a bucket of Pollos Hermanos.

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I was absolutely delighted when Netflix (finally) hit my TiVo Mini. Yet others weren’t quite as enthusiastic… as outputting video at 1080p/24 not only brought down the Netflix app, it also rebooted the Mini. Ouch.

Fortunately, TiVo responded in short order and has deployed an OS update to both the newly released Roamio DVRs and the Mini:

Two important fixes in this release:

  • reboots related to Netflix with 1080p
  • reboots related to Pandora

In other TiVo update news… CEO Tom Rogers indicated that they company is still on track for out-of-home Roamio Plus and Pro video streaming to Apple mobile devices come October: Continue Reading…

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Netflix was just enabled on about 40,000 Virgin Media TiVo boxes housed in Peterborough, Crawley, Andover, Londonderry and Swindon (UK) as a pilot – with all 1.7 million deployed units expected to receive the app later this year. Beyond enhancing the experience for Virgin/TiVo customers, this deal is also notable as the first time Netflix has been offered via a pay television provider. And TiVo CEO Tom Rogers referred to the licensing complexity yesterday from a Merrill Lynch conference:

We enabled Netflix, as I said, through our retail device but because of the peculiarity of the over-the-top studio agreements, Netflix couldn’t be offered to a cable owned set-top box and still can’t be. I personally believe that’s going to be solved [...] Virgin Media, because you have a different rights situation over there, Netflix could offer itself through a cable operator owned set-top box.

Related, RCN has stated publicly they’d like to bring Netflix to their US cable customers and were “eager to reopen the dialogue” back when Netflix’s STARZ agreement had expired… yet we haven’t heard anything more on the matter. Continue Reading…

Online TV addiction: Man, it’s hard to shake

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While I’ve been quite satisfied with my TiVo Mini as a DVR extender, it shipped crippled in terms of third-party streaming apps. And, after 6 months with no movement, I picked up another Roku today. Perhaps ironically, Sam Biller just discovered TiVo has (accidentally?) published Netflix and Amazon Instant icons to our Minis. Netflix appears to be fully functional, although possibly crashy dependent on output resolution, and feels significantly faster than my Premiere XL4/Elite — although just about every other app platform is. Unfortunately, Amazon is met with a V301 error which suggests the backend isn’t active for us non-beta testers and it’s not yet known if we’ll be treated to an entirely new Amazon implementation (to include Prime streaming). But both apps are clearly on their way and this lines up with news of a scheduled September TiVo Mini update to include dynamic tuner allocation.