Word on the street is that Apple TV will gain Siri-powered “universal” search with a rumored new $149 model being unveiled next week. Which would be quite curious if they also deliver a more open app platform as, suddenly, Apple iTunes video could compete directly against the likes of Amazon and Vudu. Presumably, should both come to pass, Apple would be content to take a cut of app sales (as seen on mobile) to offset the video losses.


Of course, others like Roku and Fire TV, have long featured universal search, with TiVo leading the pack — as both live and upcoming television programming are indexed, along with the ability to create a OnePass playlist from disparate sources. Apple’s search functionality would gain additional utility should their rumored streaming TV service launch… with live programming and hopefully an on demand library.

TiVo Lands Cox On Demand

Dave Zatz —  September 4, 2015 — 9 Comments

While much is gained in “going TiVo” most lose access to their cable providers large library of On Demand content. Despite the cableco often crippling transport controls in such a way that we’re forced to view commercials, On Demand provides all sorts of good stuff we may not have known to DVR. Not to mention, many with children seem to swear by this catalog.


So it’s pretty significant when a large cable provider strikes a deal with TiVo to bring On Demand to a retail-purchased DVR. Comcast led the way and now Cox has similarly implemented a back channel method of serving up video on demand … as we had foretold and to the tune of 18,000 titles. Initial Cox markets to receive On Demand via TiVo are located in southern California and Las Vegas, with all of Cox expected to be covered by the end of the year — a current list of cities and zip codes can be found here.

hue-homekitAs promised (to me personally, natch), all Hue HomeKit details will be revealed this month… and they’ve started trickling out a bit earlier than Philips had anticipated.

By way of two overseas leaks, we get a sense of the updated Hue bridge. The squarer, more sophisticated-looking unit will be available as a standalone purchase, for possibly 60 euros, enabling folks to retrofit an existing Hue household for Siri control via iPhone or iPad. Presumably, we’ll also see new Hue bundles featuring this hub. I imagine the HomeKit portion is additive — If you have Apple devices, bonus. If not, no problem, just use the existing app and functionality.

Meanwhile, I’m not overly impressed with the new dimmer, but am still awaiting brighter Hue lighting and really need some BR30s in the Lux all-white line.

TiVo Bolt to Feature 4k

Dave Zatz —  September 3, 2015 — 53 Comments

As we continue to track the unannounced TiVo Bolt, we can now confirm the Roamio-replacement will feature 4k support. What my industry source couldn’t tell me is if this applies to all models and what it might do to hardware cost. But it’ll be quite impressive if TiVo beats both Apple TV and Roku to 4k. Of course, the real world value (in 2015) is debatable with only a subset of potential customers possessing a UHD set and a very limited amount of 4k content from the likes to Netflix and Amazon. Not to mention, many of those aforementioned 4k sets possess their very own Netflix and Amazon apps… although there are those who swear by TiVo OnePass.



The Kevo smart lock, which we heartily endorse, breaks free from the phone today with the announcement of Moto360 support. Soon you can lock or unlock your doors in the presence of your Bluetooth LE Android Wear. For folks like me, who frequently stroll around the neighborhood without my smartphone, and those more exercise-oriented this seems like a pretty big win. We assume other Android Wear devices will be supported as well. Now, as to that missing Kevo WiFi link


Commercial-Free Hulu Is Here*

Dave Zatz —  September 2, 2015 — 37 Comments

Hulu just overcame one of its two biggest shortcomings in launching an ad-free tier. Whereas the Hulu we know and rarely love runs $8/month, the new offering clocks in at $12/month. I’m certainly willing to pay more for video streaming without commercial interruption, but I wonder if Hulu is 30% better than Netflix – which runs $9/mo for new customers. Sure Netflix has lost EPIX to Hulu, but they’re firing on all cylinders in regards to producing compelling original content and exclusively licensing some hidden gems. Beyond advertising, Hulu’s second significant shortcoming has been a large number of incomplete series/seasons. Not sure how the catalog looks these days but, given this new subscription option, I’m finally willing to take a look. Just as soon as the incoming TiVo app update hits…


The Google OnHub announcement led to a cacophony of polarizing views regarding this new, unexpected router. And now, after having deployed it within the Miarka house the past 24 hours, my thoughts fluctuate — I love the ease of setup and administration, but find myself perplexed by some of the performance I see throughout the house. Read on for more impressions of Google’s first router as it exists today.


Continue Reading…

By way the FCC, I have a sneaking suspicion that Amazon is set to unveil a new Fire tablet. And, unlike prior models, this mystery device (SG98EG, 2ADU6-8274) lists microSD support. Whether or not the storage expansion slot can only be accessed during engineering testing and if this is really an Amazon product remain to be seen. But please enjoy this bit of gibberish (aka Jib Wresh LLC) while we await unveiling of the “Tablet PC” … and hopefully another Fire TV or two.