Cisco Buys Scientific-Atlanta

Networking giant Cisco just picked up Scientific-Atlanta, one of the largest manufacturers of set-top boxes, for nearly 7 BILLION dollars. The deal, and Cisco’s intent, is especially interesting when combined with Cisco’s earlier acquisition of KiSS, maker of networked home entertainment gear. So how long before we see a cable company DVR with built-in cable … Read more

Netflix Declares Blu-ray Winner

A next generation DVD format war isn’t good for consumers or the industry. When I spoke with Steve Swasey, Director of Corporate Communications, in September he stated Netflix was concerned about a fragmented market and hoped for consolidation. Neflix CFO, Barry McCarthy, touched on this topic during an investor conference call yesterday. In addition to … Read more

HD CableCARD Coming To Windows MCE

Thomas Hawk got the scoop on Microsoft providing HD CableCARD support for the Media Center Edition (MCE) of Windows Vista in 2006. Even though they’re using the existing one-way standard, this is very exciting news which extends encrypted digital cable beyond the TV. It makes me wonder if TiVo is sitting on the sidelines waiting … Read more

Town Renames Itself DISH

EchoStar found a willing recipient for their absurd DISH City Makeover promotion which launched in August. In exchange for selling out, all 125 residents of DISH, Texas (formerly Clark) will receive 10 years of DISH Network programming. While this promotion officially ended November 1, it appears EchoStar is willing to take on other cities. So … Read more

XM Arrives on DirecTV

XM on DTV

As previously reported, 72 XM stations were scheduled to debut on DirecTV today… and they did. Tim Bilbro, my man in the field, provided some pics and commentary: “The sound is crystal clear and stereo. The rating systems work with your parental controls as well. The display of what’s playing on screen is off on some channels.” Despite the sporadic song info synchronization issue, it sounds good to me as a free upgrade!

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TiVo’s Video On Demand Matures, Sort Of

TiVo is moving beyond short advertising clips (see Navy football and CNET) into feature length films. While the Netflix deal may have died, TiVo seems to be pressing forward with acquiring content and building out their movie distribution technology. The new trial involves requesting the 96 minute Chinese film Red Trousers by entering your email … Read more

TiVo’s CNET Content Downloads

CNET on TiVo

TiVo’s latest opt-in content downloads are a series of weekly 15 minute product reviews during the holiday season. I find this material far more compelling than the random Navy football clips last month. This seems to be a win-win situation for TiVo: another method of generating advertising revenue while hopefully entertaining us subscribers. As with other recent TiVo innovations, this is limited to networked Series 2 models.

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Harmony 360 For Xbox

Logitech has revealed a Harmony remote customized for the upcoming Xbox 360. The remote carries forward the new form introduced with the Harmony 520, but has added a row of Xbox-specific function keys mapped to X, Y, A, B. The display has also been tweaked with new green backlighting that appears to make text more … Read more