lyve-perspective

With the amount of pictures that I take every year, making sure they are backed up and easily accessible is a primary concern of mine. In the past, I have been burned by losing all my digital photos from a drive crash. Once that happened, I vowed to never let it happen again. Now, at any given moment, my photos are backed up via a local NAS, Dropbox, Google Plus Photos, and Amazon Cloud. Prices have come down for online storage that it is actually affordable to store 80+ gigs up in that beautiful cloud.

lyve-screen

Lyve ($300) brings yet another solution to the mix. Think of it as a centralized place that sucks in all your photos from a mobile phone, tablet, computer, etc. You can even just pop in an SD card or attach a USB drive and have it transfer photos directly to the device. On top of the centralization, Lyve also then presents your photos and videos in a streamlined view. All of this done within a small white box with a touchscreen interface. Safe to say, I was definitely interested in the product when it was announced.

Now Lyve has finally shipped. And we wanted to give a quick unboxing before a proper review. Stay tuned for our impressions!

DISH Hops onto PS3 with $7/Mo Virtual Joey App

nest-ads

Google, by way of the WSJ:

We expect the definition of “mobile” to continue to evolve as more and more “smart” devices gain traction in the market. For example, a few years from now, we and other companies could be serving ads and other content on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.

Netflix to expand…

Dave Zatz —  May 21, 2014

netflix-bwlogoIn a pair of back to back public communiqués this week, Netflix has announced their intentions to expand both their geographic coverage and programming breadth. First, at a finance conference, CFO David Wells indicates the streaming service will “expand the content library meaningfully” via additional “four- and five-star” video — which has been Netflix’s biggest knock and why I’ve been more reliant on the effectively free Amazon Instant Prime streaming in recent months. Beyond, content and as expected, Netflix will increase its European footprint to include Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg later this year.

AT&T To Acquire DirecTV

Dave Zatz —  May 19, 2014

As widely rumored, AT&T has formally announced their intention to purchase DirecTV for $95/share.

This purchase price implies a total equity value of $48.5 billion and a total transaction value of $67.1 billion, including DIRECTV’s net debt.

While this transaction, should it be approved, would result in one of the largest pay television providers, I see it largely as a defensive maneuver on AT&T’s part in an industry where they should be on the offensive with more forward thinking plays as linear television looks to contract. Further, it’ll be interesting to see how DirecTV’s negotiations with the NFL evolve given new ownership, with deeper pockets and potentially broader distribution potential … and if they are granted exclusive rights.

tivo-t6-roamio

RCN has hopped onto the TiVo Roamio bandwagon and is now the leasing 6-tuner DVR under less Shakespearean “T6″ branding … for a whopping $45 a month. Given existing Premiere Elite “Q” $30 pricing, in light of the additional two tuners, increased recording capacity, and built-in iOS streaming, we suppose RCN had to go there. But the break-even point on a retail TiVo purchase versus rolling with a rental is seriously improved in this scenario. (Thanks Sam!)

Share Your Vudu Movies

Dave Zatz —  May 14, 2014

vudu-dave

We’ve long pined for the day we could legitimately share our legally acquired digital content, similar to how we often recycle physical media, without piracy or loaning out HBO credentials as so many do. Well, the UltraViolet consortium, consisting of a large number of movie studios, obviously sees some value in keeping their customers happy — perhaps as a way to cut down on theft and grow their digital ecosystem. And Walmart’s Vudu is the first provider to implement their new licensing.

Share My Movies by Vudu allows us to grant access to our cloud-based video library to five others. And, instead of messing with passwords and the like, invites are handed out via email address – as similarly implemented on Slingbox. This makes me a whole heck of a lot more more likely to purchase Blu-rays (with digital copies), knowing I can have my mom tune into any worthy flicks via her Roku. As we saw with UltraViolet’s disc-to-digital initiative, I anticipate other UltraViolet services like Flixster and Target Ticket will eventually offer similar sharing capabilities.