Archives For TiVo

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?

TiVo Takes On Fear Factor

Dave Zatz —  December 29, 2005

TiVo continues to blur the lines between advertising and content (see Navy Football, CNET Reviews) with today’s debut of a new video feature called “TiVo Takes On…” The first Showcase is a 10 minute behind-the-scenes look of NBC’s Fear Factor. TiVo employee Shanan Carney, of TiVo Newsletter and video advertisement fame, does a nice job hosting the entertaining featurette (assuming you’re into Fear Factor). Based on the audio and video quality, though, I’m guessing either production was handled in-house or they need to work on their video compression. Trivia: Joe Rogan owns three TiVo units.
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TiVo’s Wireless Adapter Arrives

Dave Zatz —  December 27, 2005

TiVo’s custom wireless G USB adapter has arrived. As previously reported the adapter is compatible with Series 2 models and off-loads some of the network processing, by utilizing a “full MAC chipset,” resulting in improved throughput over, say, my Netgear WG111. The sexy little adapter retails for $49.99 direct from TiVo or less via Amazon. I’ll post photos with a TiVoToGo and Multi-Room Viewing (MRV) performance comparison as soon as mine arrives.

More visual goodness after the jump…
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Humax plans to sell 26″, 32″, and 40″ LCD televisions with built-in DVRs to American consumers. While similar models have been seen overseas, this is the first time the products will be available in the US. Unlike the reference model displayed at CES, Humax appears to be going it alone without TiVo software. No timeline has been provided.

Seagate says: Seagate Technology, the world’s leading hard drive company, today announced that Humax Co. Ltd. has chosen Seagate’s LD25 Series consumer electronics (CE) hard drive for its LCD TV with a built-in digital video recorder (DVR). Seagate’s new LD25 Series is the first consumer electronics hard drive in a compact, 2.5-inch form factor designed for non-mobile applications — an entirely new concept for inside-the-box CE storage that enables smaller, simpler, cooler-running and more cost-effective game consoles, home entertainment devices and small footprint media PCs.

Thanks to all who entered the contest! The winners are:

  • Cory G.
  • Stephen Lemanek
  • Michael Wade

To pick the winners I reverse alphabetized all entrants, using the name they published under, to create a numbered list. Then the lucky folks were identified using a random number sequencer.

TiVo Adds Video Blog

Dave Zatz —  December 7, 2005

Why stop at audio podcasting when you can serve up video? TiVo will begin providing daily Rocketboom broadcast downloads on Monday. Networked Series 2 units are eligible to sign up via this web page or through a new Showcase which will appear on TiVo units tonight.

Even cooler, TiVo is soliciting volunteers to provide content (Engadget, are you listening?) for their “VideoBlog Project” here.

TiVo says: Rocketboom is currently one of the most popular videoblogs on the internet with more daily subscribers for original syndicated multimedia content than nearly any other site, including podcasts. Now, Rocketboom is available on TiVo as part of the TiVo Video Download Trial.

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