Archives For Remotes

ps4-remote

Sony is set to correct a massive PS4 shortcoming with a full-featured universal remote. Not only does it utilize Bluetooth for console control, but IR is included to operate your TV and soundbar – or whatever else, given its four device capabilities. I’ll go ahead and make a few assumptions that core apps, such as Netflix and Playstation Vue, will be natively supported and that those unlabeled multicolored buttons are programmable (to create shortcuts to, say, launch that aforementioned Netflix). Of course, the comparatively svelte PS4 will now need a tuner accessory and DVR capabilities like Xbox One. ;) Whereas I’d expect something like this to run something like $50, Best Buy has it up for pre-order at $30 with an anticipated October 12th delivery (while Amazon has it shipping October 27th).

I tend to avoid most gadgety Kickstarters, given their poor track record in delivering high quality products on time, if at all. But Sideclick deserves some special attention — as this accessory meets a real need and they’re far enough along in development that they’ve been able to send some review samples out.

sideclick-animation

As those of us with Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV are well aware, their respective diminutive remotes don’t control our televisions. And not all situations should require a Harmony investment. Enter Sideclick, a clever modular accessory that consists of an IR learning remote and a replaceable cradle custom fit for your particular streamer. What you lose in ergonomics and beauty, you presumably more than make up for with less clutter and improved convenience.

Looks like they’re shooting for an early 2016 launch, running about $30 for a remote and cradle bundle, with replacement cradles running perhaps $8 a pop. I personally don’t feel the need to pre-order, especially with new Apple TV and Fire TV hardware on the horizon. But color me interested.

Continue Reading…

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  May 6, 2015

xfinity-voice-remote

Comcast Announces new Xfinity remote with voice control
You don’t have to learn a new language or speak like a robot. Just press the blue button, say what you want to watch and it appears on screen. It’s easy, just like watching TV should be.

JetBlue to Offer Amazon Prime Members Free Wi-Fi to Stream Video
Amazon is taking to the skies in its battle with Netflix: The e-commerce giant announced a deal with JetBlue, under which Prime members will have free, unlimited access to in-flight Wi-Fi — fast enough to stream video right to their seats.

TiVo Survey Indicates Majority of OTA Cord Cutters Come From Satellite
TiVo Inc., a leader in monetizing over the air signals for operators, today released the findings of an in-depth survey of Over The Air (OTA) TV consumers revealing that a materially higher percentage of cord cutters are coming from former satellite TV service subscribers.

Cable companies want you to pay twice for On Demand with Hulu Plus deal
In another sign that operators are increasingly willing to bring over-the-top streaming services directly to their subscribers, Hulu has announced that it has reached agreements with five multichannel operators to offer Hulu’s subscription streaming service to their customers.

DVR Love Is In The Air

Dave Zatz —  February 13, 2015

In honor of Valentine’s Day, both TiVo and DISH have taken to social media to promote their respective remote control finder alerts. Sadly DISH “can’t help you find love with the push of a button” … whereas TiVo proclaims “even our remote finder is a turn on” that “heightens the mood” (while retrieving it from your partner’s blouse). Food for thought when choosing your next provider and set-top box. Continue Reading…

As we’ve reported for several months, TiVo has been poised to release a slightly refreshed Mini … with an RF remote. And, while sources had indicated the folks in Alviso were tracking for a March delivery, the TiVo Store has just been updated with the new DVR extender model. While there could be under-the-hood changes in regards to manufacturing cost savings or performance improvements, we know for sure the remote has been updated (in addition to the centering of “TiVo Mini” lettering):

tivo-mini-rf

The addition of RF allows you to mount the Mini behind a TV or stick it in a cabinet without worrying about remote control line-of-site as you would with the former IR TiVo peanut. Even better, the TiVo Mini’s recent price reduction remains in play (at least thru May) making it an even greater value to both Roamio and 4-tuner Premiere owners — $150 up front gets you both the hardware and Lifetime Service.

tivo-mini-v2

TiVo Revises Roamio Remote

Dave Zatz —  October 18, 2014

tivo-slide-pro

By way of the FCC, we learn that TiVo intends to refresh their Roamio remote. And, as this is a “permissive change” filing specific to the original TGN-RC30 hardware, the in-place upgrade is likely driven by component availability and cost, perhaps with some performance improvement.

  • Change of PCB pattern size
  • Change of Component size, shift of component.
  • Add component, delete component.
  • Antenna location shift
  • Antenna Chip size change and location shift

Meanwhile, as previously revealed, an RF remote will likely be bundled with the next iteration of the TiVo Mini and, coincidentally, I just received a new TiVo Slide Pro remote (pictured above)… because my Mini has had trouble receiving IR commands deep inside the TV stand. Fortunately, the Slide Pro does include learning capabilities and I’ve programmed the power button to simultaneously control both TV and 5.1 Vizio soundbar. And, once Amazon Instant and Vudu hit in the next couple weeks, I’ll surely put that QWERTY keyboard to work.

By way of The Donohue Report and the FCC, we learn that Comcast is poised to launch a voice-control remote for the Xfinity X1 platform. Whereas Amazon’s Fire TV remote similarly incorporates a microphone, Comcast’s offering extends well beyond search … inheriting functionality from the Xfinity mobile app. While holding down the microphone button, some sample commands from the user manual:

  • WATCH CNBC
  • FIND The Voice
  • SHOW ME all Eagles games
  • SHOW ME all kids movies on HBO
  • RECORD The Biggest Loser
  • LAUNCH Pandora
  • GUIDE
  • WHAT SHOULD I WATCH?
  • WHAT’S ON NOW?

It’s not yet known if all new Xfinity X1 rentals will be bundled with the voice activated remote or if it’s an optional accessory (for a fee). But it’s certainly a welcome addition, even if it doesn’t also possess Roku’s handy headphone jack.

tivo-ondemand-remote

By way of the TiVo Community, I learned that, despite cessation of service, Charter-branded TiVo remotes live on.

And why this might matter to you is the handy On Demand button, in relation to Comcast’s completion of the TiVo Xfinity On Demand rollout to retail DVRs. Yeah, TiVo’s On Demand interface is still old school and you may not care for that Charter logo, but I’m betting one will be corrected and the other you’ll tune out. Which I why I reached out to my pals at TiVo retailer Weaknees to learn more.

The back story isn’t so interesting, but the team kindly offered up the pair of remotes we’re giving away. Entering is as easy as it gets — simply leave a comment if you want in. We’ll choose two winners at random in a few days. Should you fail to win, Weaknees has additional ebay inventory of new On Demand TiVo remotes for only $15 a pop. Good luck!