As first disclosed at CES, Yahoo is moving into the PC DVR market in addition to providing other couch-based multimedia functionality. But why reinvent the wheel, when you can buy it? Congrats, Meedio — you’ve escaped ShowShifter’s fate! Back at CES, Thomas Hawk learned Go TV would be a free offering similar to Google’s method of buying up and distributing Picasa. I assume Yahoo will ultimately leverage the Meedio platform to interface with their music services and perhaps offer movie downloads. So I guess we can end speculation that Yahoo will buy TiVo… or can we?

Meedio says:
Today is a big day for the team here at Meedio; we have sold most of our technology to Yahoo!

David Brott, Jeff (beergeek), Kenny (fasttech), Pedro (flea0) and I are joining Yahoo!’s Digital Home team. We’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Yahoo! in the past few months and we love the way they are developing the best, most user-friendly services for the Digital Home.
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Slingbox On Symbian?

Dave Zatz —  April 17, 2006

The Sling folks allude to some enticing news with this job opening…

Sling Media says:

Job Title: Tech Lead, Mobile Embedded Software

Essential Responsibilities

  • Directly participate in design and development of multimedia/networking software products using J2ME, BREW and Symbian operating systems/platforms.
  • Architect multimedia software frameworks for Sling Media mobile software products that address the requirements of Slingbox client software.

Guest review by Thaed, a tech enthusiast from Cleveland, Ohio.

Can a video camera be the greatest piece of technology available today? I can tell you this is the type of wonder that this device instills in me. It’s almost like I bought something from the future. It seems that sophisticated. The button on the right starts recording in HD (720p) and the button on the left takes 5 megapixel pictures. The switch in the middle zooms in and out. The zooming mechanism is the only moving part. The camera writes its data to an SD card. I bought a two GB version. The viewfinder is the clearest I’ve ever seen and the camera is light and fits perfectly in my hands. The combination of ease of use and portability make it easily the best video camera and digital camera I have. It is a first in so many categories. It’s the first digital video recorder that got the still camera part right. It’s the first HD camera I’ve ever used. It’s the first tapeless video camera I’ve had. It does things like allowing you to make panoramic pictures by sweeping the video or extracting decent stills from video. It has a long battery life and it will use the new four GB SD cards.
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CNET’s weekly holiday tech downloads must have been successful, because they’ve announced an expansion of VOD segments — this time ad supported. They plan to launch 2-3 hours of monthly programming, broken into 15 minute segments, beginning in June. Neat, I guess… but where’s my TiVo movie download feature?

CNET Announces CNET TV; Cox Communications, TiVo Inc., and TVN Entertainment Sign on to Launch CNET TV On-Demand; CNET to Bring On-Demand Experience to Its Web site

SAN FRANCISCO–April 17, 2006–CNET, a source of information and inspiration for a world gone digital, and a property of CNET Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNET), today announced “CNET TV,” a new video-on-demand (VOD) service that packages a selection of CNET’s popular video content for distribution on television and online. CNET TV will launch initially with partners Cox Communications Inc., TiVo Inc., and TVN Entertainment, as well as on CNET in the second half of the year.
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PC Mag chimes in with a 3.5/5 review of the current iteration of MovieBeam. It’s not as critical as HD Beat’s take, but it’s probably also not as accurate focusing on convenience while discounting HD compression issues. MovieBeam is making a retail push as you can see from the pic I snapped yesterday at Best Buy.

PC Magazine says: As media companies struggle to find new, secure ways to distribute video digitally, MovieBeam is using old-fashioned broadcast TV—albeit with a little tweaking—to offer a video-on-demand service. The MovieBeam Player ($199.99 direct) holds 100 recent Hollywood movies, which users can rent at any time. It takes a digital version of a film and piggybacks that data onto a conventional television broadcast signal. The player then receives that signal, reassembles the video file, and stores it on its 160GB hard drive. When you want to watch a movie, you select it and are charged from $1.99 to $4.99. You can watch any movie you “rent” as much as you want in a 24-hour period. It is more convenient that schlepping to the video store or waiting for your favorite films to arrive via Netflix, but most people won’t find it worth paying $200 plus rental fees.

Jim McMurry has reported success at running the SlingPlayer within Parallels, a free-during-beta virtualization software for Intel Macs. If you have a copy of XP lying around and can’t wait the 2 or 3 months until Slingbox natively supports OSX, you’ve got your solution. Jim’s Slingbox is controlling & streaming his Dish Network DVR 510 and he has enabled Parallels audio output.

Jim says: I decided to make a project out of getting Slingbox setup today. Not knowing for sure if it would work on OSX, I got everything setup using only OSX and Parallels VM running Windows XP. Overall the video is pretty awesome for a player running inside of a VM on Parallels. Full screen inside Parallels (not full screen Parallels, but Slingplayer fullscreen inside Parallels) works very as well.

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The first HD DVD player is now for sale at my local Best Buy (Washington, DC), though they have no DVDs to go along with it. In fact, they didn’t even have a sample HD disc in the demo unit. The Toshiba HD-A1 is pretty bulky, even larger than the initial batch of first gen DVD players, but the remote is sexy. At $499 with a questionable improvement in picture quality, potentially restrictive HDMI requirements, and unhacked copy protection I’ll be on the sidelines for at least a year. By the time I get onboard, perhaps dual HD DVD/Blu-ray players will exist or maybe one format will have been decided upon… Yeah, right!
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