Slingbox M2 En Route

Dave Zatz —  July 12, 2015 — 6 Comments

By way of some updated product pages Sling Media prematurely published and then pulled, but fortunately cached by Google, we see a Slingbox M2 is on the way. Like every Slingbox, the OG and still most liberating TV Everywhere solution, the M2 is designed to beam your television content both around the home and beyond to computers, set-tops, and mobiles. The obvious successor to the wireless 1080p Slingbox M1, which we quite liked … until the ad blitz, the M2 appears to clock in at the same $150 MSRP. Beyond the name, I wasn’t able to glean much from the limited description and will just go ahead an assume Echostar’s goal here is to reduce the company’s hardware expenses while improving the end-user experience. But how much demand will there be given the vast number of competitive streaming options out there, that possibly cover many people’s needs much of the time? Continue Reading…

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According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, occasional NFL starter Tim Tebow is still on TiVo’s payroll.

As Tebow answered questions, two executives with TiVo Inc. traveled from the company’s San Jose, Calif., headquarters to Beverly Hills to meet with representatives from William Morris Endeavor Entertainment […] to explore an endorsement agreement – one that Tebow and TiVo later consummated and have maintained since.

tivo-trumpAs with much TiVo marketing, I wasn’t impressed back in 2012 when they signed Tebow. However, while TiVo’s outreach remains suspect in 2015 (1, 2, 3), they do seem more targeted and I sure hope they’ve moved on from the Tebow randomness given what we expect has been a poor ROI (if their stagnant retail numbers are any indication).

As we borrow Mom’s ESPN account to catch the Wimbledon final on Fire TV

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Amazon looks beyond existing Miracast capabilities for something other than Google Cast. 
“Fling” will let you send video, audio and still images from an Android or iOS device to the set-top box for viewing. Devs can also employ “two-way communication” between the Fire TV and a phone or tablet to “engaging second screen experiences.”

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A former colleague shipped me his company’s highly regarded Playstation 4 Afterglow wireless headset to check out. Unfortunately, as an owner of the far superior Xbox One (heh heh), I’m unable to partake – and we decided to share the love.

From the (after)glowing review on KSTP:

PDP’s Afterglow wireless headset for the PS4 is awesome. I liked everything about it. […] The first thing I noticed when I put on the headset was that it was very comfortable. […] At the end of the left speaker is a flexible noise cancelling microphone. I used this a lot when I was playing with my friends and they said that they could hear me perfectly and there wasn’t any distortion. […] The audio sounds amazing.

So if you’re in need of a PS4 headset upgrade, this giveaway is for you. Simply leave a comment declaring your interest and we’ll pick a winner at random in the next couple days. US residents only, please.

Desperately Seeking a CableCARD Replacement

showtime-streaming

While I’ve been a fan of Showtime, often preferring their original content to HBO’s, my primary ding against the Showtime Anytime streaming service has been stereo sound. With the launch of Showtime’s new Internet streaming service this week, that does not require a cable subscription, I reached out to Showtime’s PR team. And the good new is that 5.1 surround sounds it coming to these services “very soon”. I expect this will apply to both native Apple TV and Roku Showtime apps, but the fascinating Hulu Showtime linkage remains a question for me given Hulu’s own auditory limitations.

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This weekend, Hulu and Roku are offering two months of free streaming to new customers. Where “new” generally means new email address. Given the imminent arrival of Showtime on Hulu (for an additional fee), I figured I’d strike while the iron is hot. However, the signup process was something of a turn off. Hulu, Roku, or maybe both require a gender and birth year to complete the registration process and surely feed their advertising initiatives. Obviously those can be spoofed if one so chooses, but I played along. However, where they lost me is Roku, versus Hulu, requiring a credit card on file.

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In addition to shortly launching a stand-alone service, akin to HBO NOW, Showtime has entered into an fascinating partnership with Hulu.

This July, Hulu brings you a new way to get SHOWTIME. Get up to 30 days free of SHOWTIME with a Hulu subscription and see what you’ve been missing! After your trial, you’ll get SHOWTIME for $8.99/month in addition to your $7.99/month Hulu subscription.

What makes this unique is a 20% Showtime streaming discount along with both on-demand and live content being accessed from within the Hulu interface. Beyond SHO’s willingness to give up some control, I wonder if this signals Hulu interest in Sling TV space — should we expect additional channel-like offerings?

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