Archives For TiVo

NetflixNetflix has run into the studio brick wall. At this point the studios have very little incentive to move their media via third-party download: DVD sales are a huge cash cow and they own existing services Movielink and CinemaNow. I imagine both Netflix’s rumored player and their partnership with TiVo are indefinitely on hold. At least Netflix is in good company – based on the missing movie downloads, we can assume Apple is experiencing similar frustrations.

Reuters says: Netflix Inc. will postpone a test launch of its online movie download service indefinitely because of problems obtaining licensing agreements from Hollywood studios, Chief Executive Reed Hastings told analysts on a conference call on Wednesday. Hastings said the company would continue enhancing its infrastructure and developing technology to deliver online movies so the service “will be ready to launch when the content climate begins to thaw.”

Update: You can find the conference call audio here. Be sure to listen in about 1:22:15 – when asked about TiVo they respond, “no work going on,” “no content,” and “no point.” Ouch! Well it’s safe to say this deal is dead. Once the studios join us in the digital revolution, they’ll beef up their own services and partner with large stable companies that have a proven track record (sounds like Apple).

TiVo Pimps Fandango

Dave Zatz —  October 18, 2005

Another day, another HME application. Movie downloads? Nah, just movie ticket downloads.

If you were paying attention about 10PM EST last night, you would have caught a glimpse of Fandango‘s ticket ordering service. You know, for the one or two movies a year that might sell out. Put in your zip, buy some virtual tickets, show up at the theater to wait in line for real tickets. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work… a “Can’t Run” error spared me from the $1.25 ticket surcharge.

Fandango
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TiVo Apps.TV Launched

Dave Zatz —  October 17, 2005

While the website isn’t officially owned or operated by TiVo, www.apps.tv is live and offers third-party Home Media Engine (HME) applications directly via broadband to Series 2 TiVo’s running 7.2x – no PC or Mac required. The current selection is small; However, a central clearinghouse of apps is a convenience that should encourage development and adoption of HME.

Apps.TV

Apps.TV

DigitalLife Wrap-up

Dave Zatz —  October 16, 2005

TiVo Software
TiVo server-based HME apps, show overlap recording intelligence, and bug fixes expected next month with the release of system software 7.2.1 for Series 2 units.

TiVo Hardware
TiVo-branded wireless adapter with secretive X factor processing is on the way.

Netgear DAVE 700
2nd generation media streamer worth a closer look when released.

Creative Zen Vision
Every feature you would want in a PMC, except a practical screen.

Akimbo
By integrating VOD programming into Microsoft’s MCE, they have a fighting chance at survival.
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VCR HeadstoneI managed to corner some more TiVo folks here at DigitalLife and take some interesting photos.

What I conveniently called system software 7.3 yesterday turns out to be 7.2.1, for those of you keeping score. I looked closer at the “Overlap Protection” feature and while it may be overdue, it’s a very welcome enhancement. Basically if the network schedules a show to end at 9:01, your 9:00 show isn’t recorded. With “Overlap Protection,” on by default, both shows will be recorded with the higher priority show gaining the extra time. As seen in the picture below, you can manually change which show gets priority.
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TiVo LogoTiVo still has a few (minor) tricks up their sleeve this year…

Within the next month or so we can expect a Series 2 software update, which I’ll conveniently call 7.3. It enhances HME functionality, adds show overlap prioritization, and contains the requisite under-the-hood tweaks and bug fixes. In hardware news, a TiVo branded wireless adaptor will be available for sale.

As previously reported Tivo-hosted server-based HME applications will go live. Many of the initial TiVo-produced HME apps will provide similar functionality as Galleon, but without the need for running Java programs on your PC. I got to see a few in action… While I can’t say I was impressed with the little games (TiVo is no XBox), the Podcasting feature is useful and well executed for a first generation widget. TiVo has identified, categorized, and linked to quite a few Podcasts, but you have the ability to manually enter the location of any others you might fancy. The audio content is streamed via your broadband connection through the television.

In order to programmatically compensate for the networks’ strategy of staggered start and end show times (9:01 for example), TiVo will be introducing a configurable “Overlap” function in 7.3.

First spotted this summer in Vegas, I can now provide a few more details on the mysterious dongle of 2005 (not to be confused with the presumably abandoned 2004 TivoToGo dongle shown at CES). TiVo will begin selling a branded wireless G adapter which should result in fewer networking hassles, such as hardware compatibility. Nice enough, but not so exciting… The much bigger news is this dongle “offloads” some of the “heavy lifting” currently performed by Series 2 hardware – meaning both Multi-room Viewing (MRV) and TiVoToGo (TTG) will be noticeably quicker.
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Live From DigitalLife

Dave Zatz —  October 14, 2005

Both TiVo and I are here at the Javits Center in NYC! Bob Poniatowsky, of Tivo Product Marketing, graciously answered some of my intrusive questions – stay tuned for the details. Additionally, Netgear has a new media device on the horizon which I’ll be reporting on. Akimbo, Orb Networks, and some of the Slingbox folks are also here – so we’ll see what else I can dig up.

And yes, I did see TiVo’s VCR coffin. The mortuary music is definitely over the top, though it hasn’t discouraged the decent sized crowd from picking up free boxes.

TiVo
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