Tivo Job Openings Offer Clues

Dave Zatz —  October 2, 2005

TiVo LogoAs with recent Tivo job openings confirming support for CableCard and next generation DVD specifications, these new listings offer glimpses of what 2006 might bring us. Listing 156 confirms, despite the defection of Consumer Unit head Brodie Keast, progress continues on S3 stand-alone units with Tivo developing new housings. Listing 151 describes the expansion and enhancement of advertising technologies, perhaps via Tivo’s web page or possibly as an HME application which feeds the DVR.

Requsition 156 says: Responsible for driving TiVo’s Materials engineering strategy to improve component quality while working to identify new component sources and selection processes. Review component selection on new designs. Provide component selection input from a life expectance, multiple sourcing and cost perspectives. Determine, evaluate and recommend preferred technical specifications (ie. Package type, surface finish). Provide multiple sourcing recommendations for components.

Requisition 151 says: Provide technical skills to design and develop TiVo’s interactive advertising portal. This is a unique opportunity to be involved in the early stage of the product life cycle that will enable you to leverage your engineering expertise to make major system design decisions. This web-based software will enable the creation, delivery, presentation, and management of compelling user experiences in interactive television advertising applications.

TiVo LogoIs it just me, or is this not so exciting? I dig the idea of downloadable content via broadband, but not this particular content. It’s an interesting marketing strategy though… I don’t get CSTV, so after watching the clips and missing the game theoretically I’ll feel compelled to call Comcast and request the channel.

Tivo newsletter says: Running from October 1st-8th, look for a new menu item on TiVo Central called “Exclusive Navy Football with CSTV!” The Showcase makes it easy for you to schedule a recording of the upcoming Navy-Air Force football game to air on CSTV**, but there’s more:

  • You’ll have the option to download an additional hour’s worth of exclusive bonus content, including interviews with coaches and players, season highlights, a documentary on Navy football, and a documentary on the 1963 season with Roger Staubach!
  • Plus, you’ll even get game highlights and post-game materials a few days after the whistle’s blown.
  • ** You must receive CSTV from your cable or satellite provider in order to record the game on CSTV.

    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.