Archives For Video

We’ve been quite enamored with Tablo, since our first product demo at CES 2014. In fact, our very own Adam Miarka is a highly satisfied customer of this effective bit of clever gadgetry that provides both over-the-air DVR and Slingbox capabilities. Beyond the existing 2- and 4-tuner models, CES 2015 heralds the Tablo Metro… which houses 25-mile range high def OTA antennas within the existing enclosure.

Two very small but incredibly powerful fractal antennas inside Tablo METRO capture OTA TV while intelligent switching technology enables the antennas to operate independently to capture signals originating from broadcast tower locations, even if they are located in opposing directions.

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dishworld-espn-beta

As expected, DISH is nearly ready to unveil an over-the-top Internet video streaming subscription service in hopes of displacing your current cable provider or appealing to the growing legion of cord cutters. And now, via Reddit, it seems the service will repurpose “DishWorld” branding (versus going with “NuTV“) and beta recruitment has begun.

As one of our most valued DishWorld customers, we want to give you an exclusive opportunity to try the next genertion of DishWorld before anyone else!

Soon, we’ll be announcing a new English language entertainment service, which features the best of live TV, like ESPN, TNT, TBS, Disney Channel, Food Network and so much more.

Before it’s revealed to the public, we want you to try it at no additional cost on your Roku 3 until February 3, 2015! We’ll even remove it from your account afterwards, so you will not get billed for this service.

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lg-fios-app-shutdown

By way of Kevin Hanson on Twitter and Verizon’s own forums, we learn that the television provider has discontinued their LG Smart TV FiOS app. The free streaming video app was first introduced in early 2012 as a means of providing LG owners boxless access to a couple dozen “live” FiOS channels… shortly after a similar experience had landed on the Xbox 360 gaming console. In fact, at one point, we thought FiOSTV-as-an-app was destined for all platforms, including Roku. However, given an industry move towards DLNA CVP-2 and presumed higher uptake from other platforms, we could see Verizon prioritizing development for alternate approaches. Indeed, they continue to crank away on their mobile experience, having just added three more channels (including Nick2 and VH1 Classic) and new “Dashboard view” recommendations to iPhone, iPad, and Android FiOS apps.

slingbox-fire-tv

Without a hint of marketing muscle, SlingPlayer for Amazon Fire TV was quietly introduced a day or so ago. As you’d expect, the app allows you to pipe Slingbox video to another television in the home or really anywhere in the world. Or so their new TV Everywhere campaign proclaims. While I’m not prepared to pass judgement after only a few minutes of steaming TiVo > Fire TV Stick, it does indeed work as advertised (although only Slingbox 350, M1, and SlingTV/500 models are supported).

Interestingly, unlike recent Chromecast and Roku clients, this particular Slingbox presentation does not require a $15 mobile app in the mix… and harks back to the days of the Logitech Revue and WDTV Slingplayer. However, the fee-free sensation may be short-lived given the recently introduced and persistent banner ads now found in the web player… along with pre-roll video advertisements now being injected into our streams?!

(Via our pal Arne in Munich)

mobitv-connect

Next up in the streaming stick space is the MobiTV Connect… that just passed thru the FCC. The company originally known for streaming amazingly low resolution television content to Sprint phones clearly continues to pivot. And, back in September, MobiTV told The Donohue Report their HDMI hardware would launch via two US wireless carriers in early 2015. More akin to Chromecast than Amazon Fire TV Stick, the microUSB-powered dongle is designed to be controlled via smartphone. Indeed, the FCC-published manual includes Android screenshots used for wireless pairing – with both Bluetooth LE and WiFi making appearances. Of course, much more interesting than the stick hardware itself, are the over-the-top video services that may be made available … and at what cost.

After 12 hours with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, some thoughts…

The remote feels exceedingly cheap compared to the premium clicker that ships with the full-fledged Fire TV box and I had some difficulty removing the battery cover. Having said that, a flimsy remote is infinitely more valuable than no remote… versus Google Chromecast, which requires a smartphone for interaction.

In the app department, the Fire TV UI remains somewhat unwieldy compared to Roku given its expected emphasis of Amazon services – but it’s certainly manageable, More importantly, the third party content selection is still lacking. For example, our kitchen TV is perfectly suited for CNN or Sky News (as seen on Apple TV) background noise, yet neither are available. Also missing, but expected soon, is HBO GO. I had no problems streaming Netflix and WatchESPN – both looked great. Plex also seems to be working wellContinue Reading…

google-fiber-tv-box-2

By way of retired blogger Brent Evans, we learned that Google Fiber customers have started receiving next generation hardware. An updated Fiber Jack now receives power-over-Ethernet from a new Network+ Box … that combines both broadband router and DVR storage into a single enclosure with this go around while expanding wireless capabilities to 802.11ac/n. Lastly, the updated TV Box (shown above) is smaller, squarer, and now entirely silent. Beyond feeding “cable” to the television, each dual band unit also acts as a WiFi extender. We’re hopeful that Google will ultimately enable more than 4 per home at some point, given the wireless enhancements and as Brent says this is a common complaint. Also, based on a prior FCC pop, we’re still awaiting a refreshed Bluetooth LE remote. Lastly, on the content front, Google picked up HBO GO and Showtime Anytime within the last few weeks. Score!