Check out this over-the-top convergence of technologies! Jim Courtney monitors live stats while watching the action from his Slingbox and discussing it with fellow fanatics via Skype.

We haven’t heard a whole lot since the jury ruled in favor of TiVo. However, today the Rocky Mountain News reports that TiVo is seeking an injunction against Echostar. We probably won’t learn much more until after next month’s bench trial. Stay tuned…

“Each day EchoStar is allowed to continue its infringement, EchoStar takes subscribers that would otherwise be TiVo’s,” TiVo wrote in a document available on the court’s Web site. “TiVo is a small company with essentially one product — its patented DVR technology. If TiVo cannot deliver this technology, its current business will fail.”

UPDATE: This morning (5/24), Echostar responded in the form of a press release:

“We are pleased that the United States Patent and Trademark Office yesterday rejected many of Tivo’s patent claims as invalid. That reexamination ruling, together with the favorable decision from the Court of Appeals earlier this month (finding that the Texas court abused its discretion in connection with key trial evidence withheld from the jury), are steps in the right direction as we prepare our response to Tivo’s recently filed injunction motion. Similarly, the favorable U.S. Supreme Court decision last week in the Ebay patent injunction case will be considered as part of the long process ahead.”

I have no idea which patents they are referring to or if this development has any bearing on the case. Is Echostar posturing for more favorable licensing terms or are they intent on fighting the verdict?

UPDATE 2: TiVo fires back with their own press release…

“The level of misleading spin that EchoStar is putting out with respect to our patent case against them is quite extraordinary. We are pleased to
state that the USPTO issued its first Office Action in the reexamination.
The USPTO reexamined all 61 claims set forth in the Barton patent
confirming the validity of most of the claims, including two of the claims
that EchoStar has been found to have willfully infringed. In the Office
Action, the USPTO expressly rejected the invalidity arguments put forward by EchoStar. While certain of the patent claims were rejected by the patent office, this should in no way impact the jury verdict. We will now be given an opportunity with the patent office to discuss our claims which we believe should result in a reaffirmed and strengthened patent. We will provide a real understanding of how this process works on our earnings call after close of market today.”

Prime Time For Hi-Def

Dave Zatz —  May 23, 2006


The June edition of Wired has an interesting little article about HD hitting its stride this year. 2006 will be the first year HDTVs outsell SD analog sets. As you know, 2006 also marks the debut of HD DVD technologies… though I’m holding back. The article is relatively brief, but they do touch on a variety of topics including CableLabs, DirecTV’s HD expansion, IPTV, and the always provocative Mark Cuban. If you don’t get Wired, look for this content online June 2.

Blogging Software Updated

Dave Zatz —  May 23, 2006

After backing everything up multiple times and to various locations, I’ve upgraded WordPress from v1.5.2 to 2.0.2. Drop me a line if you notice anything out of whack.

Never enough time…

  • Download your TV; the current options. (TechCrunch)
  • users watch more than two million streams. (PVRBlog)
  • TV networks blissfully ignore TiVo problem. (CNN Money)
  • Windows Vista requires analog tuner. (jkOnTheRun)
  • Paramount embraces blogosphere. (Technorati)

Harman Kardon has unveiled the Take Control (TC) 30, a custom branded Logitech Harmony remote. So what features does the $299 TC 30 offer over the similarly designed $99 Harmony 520? A color screen, rechargeable battery with cradle, and four more activity buttons. However… If you’re in the market for a remote with those features at that price, I’d suggest picking up the Harmony 880 which has better ergonomics and larger buttons. You can also find it on sale fairly often.

In other Harmony news, the 520 is being superceded by the 550. The updated remote adds six buttons, more closely mirroring the Harmony 360’s form.

Remember that Guru Guides feature TiVo inadvertently announced with their updated privacy policy? Well, TiVo just put out a release with the details. Because Guru Guides uses the same technology as KidZone, you won’t see this feature for another few months. Initially subscriptions will be handled via TiVo’s web site, though I expect we’ll ultimately see a HME registration app as with KidZone. Reading between the lines indicates GG has the potential to move beyond television show recommendations and into BrightCove distributed video as well.

TiVo today announced the upcoming launch of TiVo Guru Guide(TM) recommendations. TiVo’s newest feature will be available to subscribers in the coming weeks. It allows TiVo subscribers to discover exciting programming and automatically record great collections of shows, recommended by editorial experts at some of the nation’s top consumer magazines and news sources. Guru Guide(TM) recommendations will create a virtual television channel from each of these authorities, while leaving the ultimate selection and choice to the consumer.

Gurus from Entertainment Weekly, Star, Sports Illustrated, Automobile, Billboard, CNET and others will offer TiVo subscribers program recommendations based on popular television categories including sports, films, music, comedies, drama and more. As an added benefit, TiVo subscribers will be able to automatically record Guru Guide recommendations via the company’s online scheduling feature.
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