Archives For davez

The TiVo Hydra experience has seen a number of updates, since its October release, but they’ve primarily been focused on squashing (numerous) bugs. While that work continues, TiVo has begun rolling out their first “feature update” to existing Hydra owners — beginning two weeks ago with 5000 randomly selected boxes and now expanded to the general TiVo populace.

There are a number of visible changes, but the headline feature relates to the continued deprecation of textual lists in favor of a newly unveiled, graphically-intensive, dual-axis navigation. Another possibly notable revision is an update to the “mini guide” that closes the gap on the abandoned pioneering “Live Guide.”

As one pal told me, if you already appreciate the Hydra experience you’re gonna enjoy it that much more. If Hydra isn’t your thing, the 21.8.1 update won’t move the needle much… and I personally see no reason to give Hydra another go our home at this point. Our TiVos work just fine and predictably within the Encore HDUI. Although I do wonder if Hydra will be a pre-req when the delayed native Alexa integration hits.

(Thanks Daren, Mikey!)

An Arlo Baby with 7″ touchscreen display just popped up on Best Buy for $350, which represents a $100-150 premium over the Arlo Baby itself. Like all Netgear Arlo products, the camera feed can be viewed from both Apple and Android devices, so what’s obviously new and notable here is the bundled tablet. Sadly, the production description doesn’t provide a whole lot of insight – but here are the relevant bits:

This Arlo Baby monitoring system includes a 7-inch touch-screen display for real-time footage viewing.

The 7″ color LCD display lets you clearly see the full-motion video to ensure your little one is safe.

I’m just going to go ahead and assume it’s a heavily skinned and slimmed down lower-resolution Android affair. But, really, the bigger question is: Will this product actually see the light of day? While there’s been a year of display-related chatter, to compete with the traditional baby monitors, Arlo staff recently posted a note to their forums suggesting they’ve pulled the plug:

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We often jump on newly released gadgetry, as we’re wont to do, and my co-conspirator Adam Miarka just picked up the recently unveiled Tablo Dual Lite over-the-air DVR given his dissatisfaction with Plex DVR playback (as run from his Synology DS218+ NAS). The Tablo primarily records shows his toddler requires (hello Daniel Tiger and Ready Jet Go). While Tablo hasn’t yet provided a feature to offload recordings, Adam is running the community-produced Tablo Ripper from a Windows laptop to hoard move recordings from his smaller Tablo external drive to a Plex directory on the more capacious and aforementioned NAS. Tablo Ripper can be run as a service and does integrate with commercial skip software, but Adam’s keeping things simple by running on demand (and PBS doesn’t show a whole lotta commercials). From the NAS, Adam streams shows to his Apple TV Plex app and I suspect he’ll eventually get around to Plex iOS downloads for network-free mobile entertainment before the family heads out on their vacation.

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One of the best bang-for-your-buck televisions last year was the TCL P Series, combining exceptional visuals (given the price point) and a top flight app platform in Roku. Unfortunately, the company cancelled plans for multiple sizes, simply shipping a single 55″ set that was occasionally unavailable due to demand (and perhaps production bottlenecks). TCL has now reloaded with the 2018 iteration, rebranded as the 6 Series to avoid Vizio lineup confusion, and early reports from CNET and Chris Heinonen are promising. And, beyond quality, the 2018 model is available in two sizes… with immediate Amazon availability:

As my household’s primary entertainment these days consists of children’s programming and cable news, this sort of set is right up my alley. OLED just wouldn’t get frequent enough appreciation to justify the expense. However, as with the 2017 model, the 2018 VESA mounting points are too low on the television to fit well into our family room. As such, I’m waiting to see how the 2018 Vizio range and Best Buy Fire TV televisions, stack up.

While Best Buy often functions as an uncompensated showroom for online sales, given massive Alexa and Fire TV displays, the big box store is clearly a valued Amazon retailer. As such, the two companies have announced a significant partnership expansion that sees Best Buy replacing Roku on Insignia house-brand sets with the Fire TV experience. Also, interestingly, Best Buy will not only sell these televisions in-store but optionally through Amazon.com for the first time.

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Hot on the heels of Philo announcing plans for Fire TV and Apple TV apps comes testimony word that AT&T will soon launch Watch. To hit the $15 price point, these two over-the-top streaming services provide fewer channels and do away with sports-centric programming that drives up licensing costs. For comparison, Sling TV starts at $20/mo … with ESPN. And most bundles run significantly more (although include a broader channel lineup, with local networks in many markets, and additional features like unlimited DVR from YouTube TV @ $40/mo). On the flip side, Philo will provide access to bundle networks’ dedicated apps and corresponding library of on-demand content — even the skinniest of bundles may be more appealing and cost-effective than individual network subscriptions. Sorry CBS All Access ($6/mo).

Apr 11