Archives For TiVo

Let me get this out the way first… Yes, it’s significantly faster than your typical wireless adapter. How fast, you ask? 60% faster! Now your mileage will vary depending on your current TiVo hardware, network hardware, and network configuration. Having said that I tested TiVoToGo (TTG) using different TiVo models against various adapters and the results were generally about 60% faster.

The adapter itself is solidly constructed. The base is brushed silver metal with enough heft and a non-skid rubber backing to stay put. The design is clever in elevating the antenna for increased reception. That antenna portion of the adapter is dark grey plastic with a TiVo logo and looks nice next to my TiVo units and furniture. Lastly, the adapter is bundled with a light grey USB cable, as it doesn’t hang directly off the back of the unit. At fifty bucks, the price is comparable to most wireless adapters. I can’t image TiVo is making any money off this thing given the smart design, solid construction, and next generation wireless chip. For the moment, TiVo’s online store is the only place to purchase one.
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TiVoToGo For Mac Lives!

Dave Zatz —  January 7, 2006

Megazone gets the scoop again… A TiVoToGo Mac application exists and is on display at CES. While it’s an internal, pre-alpha build, it appears to transfer shows. Presumably the Mac decryption module has been built, as MacOSX recognizes the files as MPEG-2. Recently, Bob Poniatowski has stated Mac support drop mid-2006.

(photo from megazone, the only TiVo blogger at CES)

Here’s something to chew on…

Yahoo’s forthcoming Go TV will offer a variety of video, movie, and TV related services. That in itself is not so interesting. What is interesting is Yahoo claiming they will provide “full PVR functionality” and “full TV tuning capabilities” “directly on your TV.” Both the press release and official site lack the kind of technical details we’re looking for… but I find it extremeley interesting that they’re using TiVo’s trademarked phrase “trick play” in the announcement.

We already know Yahoo! and TiVo have buddied up, so it wouldn’t be a huge stretch to expand that partnership. There’s not much concrete here, but plenty to speculate on… use those comments wisely.

Yahoo says:

  • Full Personal Video Recorder (PVR) functionality, including trick play features and access to the PC for storage of content
  • Full TV tuning capabilities to control your TV channels

TiVo Central Online Beta

Dave Zatz —  January 6, 2006

TiVo is beta testing the latest version of TiVo Central Online (TCO). The highlight of the website update is the ability to view upcoming television programming within a grid guide specific to your location and cable/satellite provider. Additionally, you can filter content via a personal color coding scheme. As with the current TCO, online scheduling is supported.

Overall, it’s a slick inerface that’s highly usable – a definite improvement over the current TCO and is even superior to Yahoo’s listings. For the geeks in the house, AJAX is powering the dynamic rendering.

The beta webpage can be found here: http://www3-beta.tivo.com/tivo-tco/index.do

You might want to check it out sooner, rather than later… no telling how quickly it will be yanked after this post goes live. ;)

TiVo’s Series 3 HD Lives!

Dave Zatz —  January 5, 2006

Megazone’s been quizzing the TiVo folks all day and has tons of details on the forthcoming Series 3. Well, except for a concrete date (mid-late 2006) and price. All in all, exciting news if TiVo delivers.

megazone says: The unit has two CableCARD slots on the back and it will support Multi-Stream (CableCARD 2.0) or Single-Stream (CableCARD 1.0) cards. If you have multi-stream then you only need one card, but as long as only single stream cards are available you can use two of them. Yes, it supports digital and analog cable, digital ATSC OTA, and analog NTSC OTA. The unit has front panel controls clustered on the right, and a nice display in the middle with a very cool feature – it displays the title of the show(s) tuned at the time, so you always know what it is recording at a glance. The remote ls also sleeker – a slick update of the Series2 peanut with minor changes for HDTV (such as an aspect button). But the big change is that the remote is backlit! TiVo will also be selling an external SATA drive for easy storage expansion, and they have that on display here too.

Photos provided by megazone…


Series 3 Front View


Series 3 Front Panel


Series 3 Rear Panel
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TiVo is now accepting applications for beta testers of their new software. TiVo Desktop 2.3 allows the conversion and transfer of TiVoToGo content to both iPods and PSPs as reported in November. So go kick the tires and let me know what you discover!

Register here: http://research.tivo.com/transfers/

2005 Reviewed, 2006 Previewed

Dave Zatz —  December 30, 2005

2005 Review
2005 was the year we collectively dipped our toes into the portable media pool. Sure, there were many product introductions, price drops, and business mergers across the board but a mobile revolution was brewing.

On the hardware side, Apple’s video-capable iPod obviously grabbed most of the headlines. I wasn’t overly impressed with the technology, but Apple put portable video into the palms of the common folk. Neither the Creative Zen Vision nor the Archos AV500 are perfect, but they’re good examples of full-featured portable media players that debuted in 2005.

Two media devices, both sexy, did impress me in 2005: Sony’s PSP and the Slingbox. I’m not much of a gamer, but the world has never seen this sort of graphical power and luscious display in such a compact form factor. Combine that with WiFi and a low $250 price point — the PSP’s a winner. Sony’s ongoing firmware/functionality updates earn them brownie points. The Slingbox could be the slickest device you don’t need. By leveraging your home video sources and your broadband connection, SB allows you to view your content on any Internet-connected PC worldwide. Not only did they introduce the place-shifting category, they nailed the functionality on their first try.

On the content end of things, iTunes video and TiVoToGo were the big news items of 2005. While both services have short-comings, it’s the first time mainstream consumers have had access to portable content outside that travel DVD player for the kids.

2006 Preview
What about 2006 you ask? We’ll see mobile media go mainstream as Apple commits to a full-fledged videoPod and expands their content offerings. TiVo and others will assist by automating content acquisition, conversion, and synchronization. 2006 will be the year video-on-demand, via broadband, gains a toe-hold… Microsoft, Apple, and TiVo will experiment with renting movie content for PC, TV, and portable playback — maybe Netflix will even find partners and recommit. Akimbo will be the odd man out, either moving solely to software and service (see ReplayTV) or being acquired. XM will offer video, but no one will care.

As with 2005, in 2006 microdisplay prices will continue to plummet and confusion will continue to shroud CableCARD. On a personal note, TiVo’s stand-alone dual tuner HD DVR is overdue in my living room… will I get some love in 2006? I’d also like to see Verizon’s FiOS TV in my neighborhood — Comcast has absconded with enough of my cash. Will local and regional jurisdictions step up to the plate and issue Verizon licenses to operate?