Archives For TiVo

I woke up to some depressing news this AM… Leon Nicholls, the sole developer of Galleon, has decided to move on to “other interesting technologies.” TiVo subscribers are losing a great resource, and TiVo, Inc. is losing a great advocate. I’m hopeful that TiVo enthusiasts with some coding chops will pick up where he’s left off and that TiVo will do more to encourage HME development going forward.

Leon says: I think that TiVo has not done enough to keep my interest in their technology. I think that they can still do something about improving the situation, but then they have to be committed to really supporting third-party developers. They need to do much more than throwing their SDK over the wall and hoping that something will come of it. So what does this mean for the Galleon media server which is based on HME? As the lone developer of the project, its been interesting and fun playing with the technology sofar. However, the hope was that the technology would go somewhere and that TiVo would communicate with third-party developers about their roadmap. So, I’m sad to announce that I’ve decided to reduce my development efforts on the project. I might still release some bug fixes, but these won’t be as frequent as the releases in the past. I also don’t have any plans on adding any additional functionality to Galleon.

Reader-Submitted TiVo Hack

Dave Zatz —  February 13, 2006

A mysterious reader graciously wrote in with a clever hack that allows you to essentially re-record and edit your TiVo’d shows with no additional hardware or software. I haven’t tried it yet, as I do my editing and conversion on PC, but it looks interesting.

Tivo can playback and record a TV signal at the same time. This means if you have Tivo set up to record through RF, just put a line from RF in to RF out and it can record the video it’s playing back. This allows you to edit video, lower the quality of video and many more things. Just hit record and play back a video and Tivo records it with ffwds editing out parts you don’t like and at whatever quality you like.

There is also a great effect of the the screen fading to white as Tivo copies its own live signal. The picture is Tivo copying itself to white as it buffers it’s own signal and replicates faults like making a copy of something over and over again until you have nothing. The picture gets smaller (the screen should be full blue) and you can almost see the status bar has copies of itself behind it.

These are features Tivo does not have, many other DVRs have and many people request. Since I figured it out, I do it all the time. All my videos in my playlist, which are just a hand full now, are these edited videos. I have not seen this hack anywhere. Tell everyone about it.

Sling Media Responds To Story

Dave Zatz —  February 11, 2006

Blake Krikorian, co-founder and CEO of Sling Media, wrote a response to yesterday’s Marketwatch summary. As with my prior interactions with the father of Slingbox, I get the sense Blake is a stand-up guy in touch with both his customers and the market. Kudos for conversing directly with us in forums (AVS, TCF) and the blogosphere.

Blake says: hey dave,

saying that we fear commoditization is a bit much’the most critical thing for us is to stay very focused on delivering great experiences to consumers’that’s what is in our control. in terms of predicting the future, we all know that’s futile�along the way of executing to the best of your abilities, you hope to also get some breaks and make some good decisions�and if you are lucky, you come out on the winning end over the course of years�simple as that.

can we continue to the improve the slingbox? can we continue to make it easier and easier to set up? can we create additional products that consumers love and find entertaining and/or useful?�these are the things that we �worry� about.

it is semi-amusing to get hypothetical / speculative questions like �how long until you are a feature in something else? or how long until you are commoditized?��how the heck is someone supposed to answer that? i think i gave a stupid answer�but that’s the type of answer that is deserving of that type of question. at least that’s my $.02

one other thing�i just read that interview in it’s entirety.

since you and i have talked before, you know that i have nothing but the utmost respect for what tivo has done�my quote that �tivo had religious issues� was taken a bit out of context�and to say that tivo or timeshifting is a �mere add-on� to set top boxes is one of the largest understatements i have heard in long time. that certainly didn’t come from my mouth.

the quote was taken while i was explaining my *general* belief that in the �convergence space�, products over time trend towards consolidation. i also made the point that is NOT always the case�for example, my desktop pc can act as a router, but do i use it that way? of course not�my netgear router does the job wonderfully (well, usually) and is at the right price point / value ratio to justify it’s stand alone existence.

should tivo have embraced licensing their technology on more attractive terms earlier on? perhaps�did they let �religious issues� get in the way of making some of those decisions? perhaps�but i wasn’t there and i don’t know for sure�and as we all know, hindsight is 20/20.

the last time i checked, tivo was still in business, so that story aint over yet either :-)

As reported last month, TiVo’s been busy updating their online scheduling tools. The refreshed TiVo Central Online is available now and features an enhanced, customizable AJAX-animated grid guide with improved search functionality.

Blake Krikorian, the co-founder and CEO of Sling Media, had an interesting and frank conversation with MarketWatch. Bottom line: Krikorian asserts he has a several year lead until other services add Slingbox features, during which time Sling hopes to innovate and partner before their technology becomes a commodity. Of course, having a healthy awareness of potential pitfalls doesn’t necessarily mean you can evade them…

I highly recommend the article — it’s good reading.

says: “How much time does Sling Media have before your product becomes a feature, like TiVo?” I asked Krikorian, during an interview earlier this week. “A couple years, at least,” he said, with a certain acceptance that if Sling Media’s service catches on, he will not be so arrogant to try and dominate the market alone. “A technologist has to realize that one day what’s been built is a product, the next day it’s a feature,” said Krikorian. “TiVo had religious issues,” he said, suggesting the personal-video-recording pioneer failed to accept that time-shifting would be a mere add-on. Does that mean place-shifting is a feature and will one day be embedded in cable and satellite boxes too?, I asked. “It could,” he responded. “But a set-top box can get embedded into a Slingbox,” he added in jest, but certainly with the quintessential wide-eyed optimism that entrepreneurs possess.

(via PVRWire)

TiVo Hosts… Speed Dating?

Dave Zatz —  February 9, 2006

This one’s pretty amusing… TiVo is hosting a match-making singles party (free drinks!) at a “hip” San Francisco hotel. I can’t decide if this is marketing genius or lunacy.

TiVo says:
Ever wish your TiVo WishList or TiVo Suggestions could score YOU the perfect match? Come flirt with the possibility of finding your own special someone, “TiVo-style.” PLUS get 2 free drinks AND be automatically entered in a raffle for one of 14 brand-new TiVo boxes with product lifetime subscription!

The event will feature TiVo’s special version of speed dating. Attendees will wear name badges that list their favorite shows and they’ll be given a short list of other TiVo fans in attendance who share their same taste in television programs. Singles can then “fast forward” through the crowd to find their TiVo-suggested match. And guests will be given “Thumbs Up” and “Thumbs Down” stickers to privately rate their matches.

Offical TiVo Blog Goes Dark

Dave Zatz —  February 9, 2006

Thomas Hawk reports the offical TiVo blog is offline. He’s also reporting that the blog sucks… though that may be subjective. Alex Raiano, of the unofficial TiVo Blog, raises questions as well. My expectations for TiVo’s blog weren’t very high, so I’m neither surprised nor disappointed. I always felt the blog was intended as another venue for light-weight fluff… confirmed by comment filtering and 1/3 of all sentences ending with an exclamation point.

Given how the blog is being (un)used, it’s probably better to kill it rather than continue to receive this public thrashing. Perhaps TiVo will get another author involved once the winner of the TiVo Ambassador contest is announced.

TiVo Blog says: The weblog that you’re attempting to reach is currently unavailable. TypePad recently retired one of its IP addresses. Unfortunately, this weblog has hard-coded its domain name to map to this retired address.