Sharp Updates Aquos DVR Line

Dave Zatz —  September 29, 2005

Aquos DVRBet you didn’t know Sharp had a line of DVRs… I didn’t! What separates the new models from the old is the use of dual HD tuners. The deluxe model features a beefy 500GB of storage and all feature DVD burners. Too bad Sharp doesn’t sell these units in America with a channel guide… yet.

Sharp says: Sharp Corporation announces the introduction into the Japanese market of four new models of its AQUOS Digital HDTV Recorders. The DV-ARW15 and DV-ARW12 feature BS and CS110° digital HDTV tuners, plus two terrestrial digital HDTV tuners, and can record two broadcast programs simultaneously*1 to the hard drive even when the two HDTV programs overlap.

(Via Engadget and HD Beat)

DirecTV Partners With XM

Dave Zatz —  September 29, 2005

DirecTV with XMSeems natural that DirecTV would partner with XM at some point, given Dish’s Sirius dealings. DirecTV is charging customers a total of zero dollars for this enchancement.

DirecTV says: As part of DIRECTV’s dedication to offering the best in entertainment to its customers, beginning Nov. 15, 2005, 72 channels of XM’s quality music, children’s, and talk programming will be available via DIRECTV, nearly doubling its current audio programming lineup at no additional cost. In addition to music channels and children’s programming, XM will provide XM’s Major League Baseball “Home Plate” talk radio channel, and its High Voltage channel, featuring talk radio stars Opie and Anthony.

Sling BoxThe Slingbox crew just released version 1.05 (beta) of Sling Player, the PC desktop client for controlling and watching your video feed.

Jeremy Toeman, VP of Product Management, elaborates on the update:

  • The geniuses in our engineering department have figured out how to squeeze even more throughput out of your network connections, which results in streaming improvements by as much as 300%.
  • We’re bringing your remote TV experience to a whole new dimension with these easy-to-use, fully customizable buttons that let you set up your favorite channels right in the SlingPlayer UI.
  • For TiVo, Replay, Echostar, Motorola, Scientific Atlanta, UltimateTV and other cable/satellite receivers, we have improved our IR code libraries and virtual remote controls.
  • Play around with all the input settings, including brightness, contrast, audio volumes and even hue.
  • Sling LinkSling Media currently ships the Slingbox without an integrated wireless adapter or USB port. If your living room isn’t hard-wired for data, connecting requires the purchase of a network bridge. SlingLink attempts to capitalize on that oversight as a branded HomePlug Powerline network adapter. I prefer the Sling folks focus on providing wireless support, either built-in or as a USB accessory, with Slingbox2 rather than peddling uncommon network gear.

    Sling Media says: With Intellon’s HomePlug standard technology, SlingLink adapters allow consumers to quickly and easily connect Sling Media’s Slingbox – an award-winning product that allows consumers to access their living room television experience at any time, from any location in the world – to a home network, by simply plugging the adapters into existing electrical outlets. With SlingLink adapters, every outlet in a home can have the same broadband connection available. This is especially important where the TV or cable connection is not located in the same room as the customers’ home Internet connection.

    DRM Coming To ReplayTV?

    Dave Zatz —  September 27, 2005

    ReplayTVYou know it’s inevitable… all content across all media will be locked down. ReplayTV is next up as their parent company is licensing encryption technology from Certicom. As Tivo To Go files are encrypted, so too shall ReplayTV’s. The race is on – will the DRM arrive before ReplayTV is sold off like Rio? I’m holding out hope the SlingBox folks will buy up and integrate ReplayTV. Without DRM.

    CBC says: A growing need to protect digital content like music and films from pirates and hackers has created a major new opportunity for Certicom to sell encryption technology to electronics manufacturers, the firm’s CEO says. A recent contract with the Japanese firm that makes consumer electronics under the Denon, Marantz, McIntosh and ReplayTV brands is just the first of what will likely be a major new market for Certicom, Ian McKinnon told shareholders at the annual meeting Thursday.

    Tivo Makes You Lazy and Stupid

    Dave Zatz —  September 27, 2005

    PC Magazine’s John C. Dvorak blames societal problems on large hard drives and TiVo. After all, it couldn’t have anything to do with ranting and raving columnists… right?

    DvorakPC Mag says: With the TiVo, you don’t have to pay close attention to your TV anymore. If something happens, you can simply go back to watch it in detail, and then fall back into the zombie-like state abetted by this convenient tool. […] These devices are perfect for putting the public in a stupor. […] It’s difficult to prove that hard-drive technology in both the computer and TiVo is directly responsible for this. Yet laziness and global stupidity are not driving these developments. Rather, these developments are driving laziness and global stupidity.

    Rent My DVREarlier this year Micke Langberg launched Rent my DVR, an online marketplace to buy and sell television programming. By scanning a web listing of television shows, one chooses what they’d like to receive. If a request is filled, the show can be downloaded for about 25 cents through a custom “P2P” application. Conversely, a person can scan open television show requests and agree to provide them. The provider receives payment of also about 25 cents upon delivery of a show. Langberg, based in Sweden, is vague on the technical details such as networking protocols used and the source of guide data.

    When asked about the legality of his product, Langberg responded, “I can’t see that there should be any legal concerns related to our service, since it is exactly the same thing as asking your neighbor to record a TV show for you.” While he was adamant that BitTorrent plays no part in the equation, I can’t help but wonder where shows originate.