While Belkin’s WeMo is largely a closed smarthome ecosystem, with a questionable history in terms of performance and security, I found $40 for three “connected” bulbs and mini hub too good a deal to pass up. So, at the very least, the two lamps I have on old school mechanical timers will be getting an wireless upgrade (and CFL > LED). It’s probably all a little redundant with my existing Hue Lighting and Staples Connect, but … new gadgets!


If you too are similarly tempted by Wemo, visit this link and add the kit to your cart for $50 in savings plus a bonus bulb. At the checkout screen, enter SAVEWEMO (in all caps) to get another $10 off. Shipping is free, but state sales tax will be added.

Plex Confirmed For New Apple TV. No Timeline, Probably No Universal Search.


TiVo Lite Isn’t For You

Dave Zatz —  September 13, 2015 — 7 Comments

In response to TiVo’s IBC press release, we’ve received several inquiries. And I’m here to tell you: the TiVo Lite isn’t for us. Which is OK.

Incorporating technologies from Cubiware, Digitalsmiths and TiVo, TiVo Lite answers operators’ call for distinctive, next generation multi-screen experiences which can be used to improve their competitive position while also being very cost effective to deploy. Built on Cubiware’s CubiTV middleware, TiVo Lite enables TiVo’s award-winning experience on a range of low-cost STBs.

The Cubiware acquisition was all about getting a toehold in less TV-centric overseas markets with a more simplistic set-top. And, in short order, TiVo has obviously integrated the TiVo interface, if not full fledged, tricked out DVR capabilities, onto Cubi’s middleware. What we’re looking at is something akin to Evolution Digital’s TiVo-skinned DTA… which they themselves may be running Cubiware … with TiVo. Continue Reading…

Unboxing the new Apple TV

Dave Zatz —  September 13, 2015 — 8 Comments

What’s the Sonos S100?

Dave Zatz —  September 11, 2015 — 6 Comments

Could use a little help here…

A few weeks back, the SONOS S100 passed thru the FCC. Sadly, there is very little useful information to anyone outside of engineering and compliance. I’ve wondered if it could be a Boost update to integrate Apple HomeKit and Siri voice control – wouldn’t that be nifty? (Especially since I unloaded the acoustically inferior Amazon Echo.) Some on the forums have suggested the Play:5 is being phased out and this could be its replacement. The Sonos lineup is also still in need of a battery-powered portable or nightstand speaker – perhaps this Nightingale? And we still don’t know what that Sonos Playbase is all about.

UPDATE: Found something…!

A third generation DISH Hopper just broke cover at the FCC. The second gen model won CES 2013 Best of Show by building upon automatic recording and commercial skip with newly integrated Slingbox capabilities. As to the incoming model, we don’t have much to go on as the juiciest parts of the filing are confidential. Given the previously announced 4k Joey DVR extender, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suspect the Hopper 3 might similarly include UHD capabilities – it’s all the rage these days.


Continue Reading…

You getting the NEW Apple TV?

Dave Zatz —  September 10, 2015 — 78 Comments

As expected, a NEW Apple TV has been unveiled … clocking in at a comparatively hefty $149-199. Yet, with brand recognition and that shiny, shimmery interface, they’ll surely move many when they go on sale next month.


Apple TV highlights include the redesigned remote, featuring a glass covered gesture area and Siri voice control, along with what appears to be a full-fledged App Store.

Neither of these features are unique to aTV, but Apple has more reach than most and the Siri interactions go well beyond Roku and Fire TV’s universal voice search in terms of opening apps, pulling up the weather, and natural language interaction (more akin to Xfinity, believe it or not). As to the newly introduced finger tip control, having directed my Fire TV, Xbox One, and even existing Apple TV via their respective gesture-based smart phone apps … I don’t particularly care for it, finding increased utility via discrete actions and tactile feedback. But Siri does look strong. Real strong. Continue Reading…

4k Amazon Fire TV En Route!

Dave Zatz —  September 10, 2015 — 22 Comments

By way of the FCC, and my pals at Liliputing and AFTVNews, I’m pretty sure we’ve uncovered the next Fire TV … and if the filing clues are any indication, it will indeed arrive with 4k capabilities.


At the moment, there isn’t a whole lot of 4k content, plus both Amazon and Netflix preloaded onto many UHD sets. However, we anticipate much more over-the-top video and new players (including Vudu) in the coming months with a set-top box providing additional apps and audio output options than a so-called smart television might. Continue Reading…