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For a sneak peak at TiVo’s Guru Guide recommendation and scheduling service, check out the pre-release web pages here. The initial batch of (working!) guides include suggestions from Sports Illustrated, CNET, Entertainment Weekly, and Billboard. For the moment, you can only access Guru Guides via the TiVo webpage, though I suspect once KidZone functionality arrives (soon) we might see TiVo-based registration. TiVo has also launched What They’re Watching, a related feature of celebrity programming recommendations.

(tip via megazone)

Still no surprises here… Shortly after Cablevision announced their intentions to roll out a network DVR, studios and networks filed suit to block the service from ever seeing the light of day. While Cablevision begged for mercy and filed a countersuit, additional plaintiffs joined the fray. So where do things stand now? Cablevision has agreed to put the network DVR on hold until October when everyone gathers in court. As I wrote in March, the sticking point here is whether or not a network DVR constitutes “on demand” retransmission which would require additional licensing agreements and fees. A networked DVR service makes a lot of sense, but it will be buried… possibly before it gets to court.

Reuters says: Cablevision said in March it would launch a service later this year that allows customers to record and store programs on Cablevision’s network servers rather than on hard drives that are part of set top-boxes like those made by TiVo Inc. and others. The company said it met with lawyers for Hollywood studios and television network plaintiffs in court on Wednesday and agreed to an expedited schedule of legal actions that will allow a hearing to proceed by the end of October.

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As with most patent applications, Scientific Atlanta’s usage of the English language here is barely comprehensible. Their topic appears pretty broad — covering VOD and multi-room PVR interfaces as both separate and integrated entities, though references to communication protocols are specific to cable company transmission technologies (QAM, for example).

Video-on-demand (VOD) services, which are well known in the art, enable viewers to request various media services from an operator. The requested media services, such as movies, etc., are then provided to the viewer’s set-top terminal (STT) for viewing. In the event that the STT includes a personal video recorder (PVR), the movie or other media content instance can be recorded on the PVR for later viewing. The PVR can be used in a multi-room (MR) setting, as described in the cross-referenced patent applications. In that regard, if the viewer has a television (TV) in different rooms at the viewer’s location (e.g., home, office, etc.), then each of the TVs at the viewer’s location can access the PVR, thereby enabling MR-PVR. The various embodiments, disclosed herein, provide approaches in which MR-PVR services and VOD services are integrated to provide a consolidated interface for a viewer to select either VOD services or MR-PVR services.

Never enough time…

  • Hands-on with Bose Quiet Comfort 3 noise-cancelling headphones. (Gizmodo)
  • Ericsson enters IPTV battle. (CNET)
  • Google video player released for Mac. (TUAW)
  • Major League Baseball bullies Sling Media. (Gear Log)
  • ABC backs off on DVR ratings fight. (Broadcasting & Cable)

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So what’s a retired naturalist with plenty of disposable income to do? Have a custom cave theater built in her cellar, of course! Just don’t stand up too quickly.

(photo by Jack Bingham, via CEPro)

Beginning next month, broadband-connected Series2 TiVo units will be able to subscribe to multiple new downloadable web and television video offerings in addition to the current CNET and Rocketboom services. I’m envisioning TiVoCast will be housed in a HME subscription application, similar to the recently launched ProductWatch.

Interestingly, no money is changing hands (yet) between TiVo and the content providers who will advertise their brands while selling commercials. In return TiVo continues to differentiate themselves from generic DVRs while refining the service and looking to partner with bigger fish. You know… the kind of fish that can provide movies on demand. As with MovieBeam, I’m willing to pay for true VOD distinct from a cable or satellite provider.

(I’m surprised that Brightcove isn’t referenced…)

TiVo Inc., the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVR), today announced the launch of TiVoCast(TM), a revolutionary new service which will deliver broadband video directly to the television sets of TiVo subscribers. The TiVoCast service turns Web video into television by bringing top broadband content now only available on the PC to the TV set.

“The range and quality of broadband video is exploding on the Web, but it’s not TV until it is on the TV,” said Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo. “With the TiVoCast service, we are once again transforming the television experience by bringing the rapidly expanding array of video content on the Internet into the living room.”

“Television is still the preferred platform for watching video. The TiVoCast service captures mainstream and specialty-based content on the Web, delivering programming that is not otherwise available through the TV today and providing a wide variety of choice that will be of interest to all segments of the TV audience,” said Tara Maitra, TiVo’s Vice President and General Manager, Programming. “The TiVoCast service provides niche networks and broadband content suppliers, for which the economics of television distribution might not make sense, a way to connect with audiences in the living room via their favorite medium for watching video, TV and TiVo.”

As part of the launch, TiVo announced that it has reached new agreements with leading video content providers including the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), The New York Times, Heavy, iVillage and CNET among others. The broadband video content will include:
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