IMG 1.9.7 is slated to hit the “legacy” Verizon FiOS set-top hardware (that pre-dates the VMS Quantum DVR) beginning tonight in Buffalo, NY and PA, with the rollout expected to take a month or so… according to a source and imagery posted to DSL Reports. And boy what a massive update it is, headlined by all new “flat” visuals. Some releases notes: Continue Reading…
By way of The Donohue Report and the FCC, we learn that Comcast is poised to launch a voice-control remote for the Xfinity X1 platform. Whereas Amazon’s Fire TV remote similarly incorporates a microphone, Comcast’s offering extends well beyond search … inheriting functionality from the Xfinity mobile app. While holding down the microphone button, some sample commands from the user manual:
- WATCH CNBC
- FIND The Voice
- SHOW ME all Eagles games
- SHOW ME all kids movies on HBO
- RECORD The Biggest Loser
- LAUNCH Pandora
- WHAT SHOULD I WATCH?
- WHAT’S ON NOW?
It’s not yet known if all new Xfinity X1 rentals will be bundled with the voice activated remote or if it’s an optional accessory (for a fee). But it’s certainly a welcome addition, even if it doesn’t also possess Roku’s handy headphone jack.
While Roku remains our go-to streaming player, gifting still leaves something to be desired. And, as the company eclipses 10 million units and pressures streaming partners, Roku continues to solicit credit card information for the small number of apps that require it and to take a cut of every M-Go video rental or purchase. Of course, this isn’t unusual given Apple and Amazon streaming devices that also have credit cards on file. But, for whatever reason, it seems out of place on Roku and not everyone is comfortable or capable of complying. Whereas the company once suggested folks that object create fake PayPal accounts, they now direct customers to a non-publicized link. Instead of registering new Roku boxes via the standard workflow, by going through the link below, customers are provided a convenient “Skip” button to bypass the payment form.
TiVo is once again testing the market with free DVR hardware. And, this time around, it’s the 4-tuner TiVo Roamio that handles cable and over-the-air (but not at the same time). Instead of charging $150-200 at $15/month, TiVo is giving away the Roamio … for those willing to commit to two years of service at $20/month. You can bet their motivation is to reduce the barriers to entry, as they’re similarly experimenting with via the new $50 Roamio OTA model. Yet, given retail distribution via the likes of Best Buy and Walmart, this particular offering may remain an online exclusive. Civilians can check out the promotional pricing here, while our military counterparts have additional options to consider here.
Ever since the original release of Tablo TV, Nuvyyo has been addressing launch bugs by providing incremental updates. Back in July, they added additional features such as manual recordings, Closed Captioning support, and Plex support. Yesterday, Tablo TV released their 2.1.16 update with some new features that makes this little box one of the best OTA DVRs out there:
- Smart Scheduling – This prevents your Tablo from recording duplicate shows. Previously, if you set Tablo TV to record all shows, it would do just that, even if the show had already been recorded. This is a great feature if you are trying to capture all those Big Bang Theory shows
- Auto Extend Live Recordings – Recordings that are marked as “live” (think sports and specials) will automatically be extended. Tablo will add 50% of the total scheduled time, up to 2 hours. No more missing the rest of the Bears game!
- Auto Delete – Oldest recordings will be automatically deleted, unless they are marked as protected.
- Resume Playback for Recordings – This is a big one for cross device usage. Tablo TV will now remember where you stopped watching a show, and then resume on a different device. For example, you start watching a show on your Roku in the Living Room. You decide to head upstairs for the night and grab your iPad/Android tablet. The show will then resume playing where you stopped on your Roku. Tablo states that that this works on all platforms that they support!
- Watched Indicator – You now have the ability to mark shows as watched. Unwatched episodes will be designated by a blue dot, partially watched episodes by a partial blue dot and watched episodes will have no indicator. Watched indicator will be available on iOS, web and Roku only.
While I’d been vaguely familiar with a prior version of Roku’s service menu, I hadn’t yet stumbled upon the one associated with their newer user interface… Until a co-worker mentioned he’d had some issues resulting in Roku support directing him here. While there’s not a whole lot of interest for most of us on any sort of regular basis, I do believe it’s my digital media civic duty to document its existence. So, to bring up the Roku Secret Screen:
- Click the Home button 5 times
- Click the Fast Forward button three times
- Click the Rewind button twice
It’s not Konami Code difficult, but remember to use the transport controls versus the directional arrows. And I should probably warn you that selecting the wrong option in this menu could possibly brick your device… although I doubt that’s likely.