Archives For Industry

A trusted source indicates that Spotify, the highly regarded music streaming service, will soon follow in Snapchat’s footsteps with an unexpected foray into hardware. While details on the upcoming “wearable” were not provided, several job listings seemingly provide clues.

Sr Product Manager-Hardware
We are looking for a passionate and seasoned Senior Product Manager that will join the Platform & Partner Experience team working to build frictionless and creative Spotify experiences via fully-connected hardware devices. You will be leading an initiative to deliver hardware directly from Spotify to existing and new customers; a category defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles. You will define the product requirements for internet-connected hardware, the software that powers it, and work with suppliers/manufacturers to deliver the optimal Spotify experience to millions of users. Above all, your work will affect the way the world experiences music & talk content.

Product Manager – Voice
As a Product Owner for voice you will be responsible for the strategy and execution of Spotify’s voice efforts beyond our core apps. Our tribe is responsible for all Spotify consumer experiences outside of Spotify’s core iOS and Android applications. We focus on areas like desktop, TVs, speakers, cars, wearables, headphones and partner application integrations to make Spotify available wherever our users are. Voice is quickly becoming a key interaction mechanism for control of digital devices and services. Aspects to be considered in this role include voice input and feedback, content resolution, technology choices, and data protection.

Director of Product, Natural Language Understanding

(Remember when Slacker Radio was an actual piece of hardware? Good times!)

As I indicated back in November when the TiVo 20.6.3 software update starting rolling out, “the cool stuff” wasn’t quite ready and this revision was mostly “unremarkable” bug fixes. However, one item I was unaware of until recently is the launch of a significantly enhanced screen reader (as displayed in the SD settings above) to meet a December 20th FCC deadline. I’m no expert in this area, but TiVo’s accessibility feature seems quite comprehensive in providing the visually impaired audible cues inui menuing, during playback, and while perusing the guide.

Video content information, setup options and configuration changes are now optimized to interacts with Screen Reader. Your TiVo is programmed to read menus, program descriptions, channel numbers and similar selected options in a way that is optimized to interpret acronyms and similar formatting. The entire guide is not audible, so not all visible text will be read.  Only one program at a time, when a show is highlighted/selected, is audible. Program information displayed on the screen, but not necessarily from the Guide, is also audible.

The TiVo Screen Reader is toggled by holding down the TiVo Bolt, Roamio, Premiere, or Mini remote’s A button for two seconds, so feel free to take it for a spin. Just be aware that the screen reading doesn’t have its own volume adjustment and that PCM audio will replace Dolby Digital — you’ll have to manually flip it back if/when moving on from the Reader.

Similarly, Roku also launched an “Audio Guide” in November… that seems decidedly less well-rounded than TiVo’s implementation in my brief test. While Roku supposedly provides advanced customization, it wasn’t available on my TCL television. Continue Reading…

Remembering Blake

Dave Zatz —  August 11, 2016

While others are better suited to pen a remembrance, I too have fond memories of Blake Krikorian – who most know as the guy behind the Slingbox.

We first connected the summer of 2005 on AVS Forum… which is an unusual place to find a company CEO geeking out (and taking on trolls). I had a bone to pick since Windows XP Slingbox support wasn’t sufficient, given what I assumed (wink wink) was a potential customer base of folks in corporate settings running Windows 2000.

In October of 2005, shortly after this blog got going and well before Sling Media hired me, Blake agreed to hop on a call for a recorded interview. Being the least productive blogger ever and given the poor audio quality, I never ran the conversation. Not to mention his handlers probably wouldn’t have appreciated me airing much of our fun, frank, and wide-ranging 60 minute chat. However, the prescient clip below highlights Blake’s focus on the consumer experience and foreshadows Sling’s ultimate acquisition by Echostar that led to the DISH Hopper with Slingbox — and the industry’s “TV Everywhere” trajectory as a whole.

 

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  April 22, 2016

A periodic roundup of relevant news…

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  April 19, 2016

A periodic roundup of relevant news…

amazon-echo

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  March 23, 2016

A periodic roundup of relevant news…

amazon-cable-tv

vizio-speakers

Unlock The Box?

Dave Zatz —  March 22, 2016

After years of fits and starts, we finally find ourselves on the cusp of a CableCARD successor as the FCC has proposed the pay television industry “unlock the box”– providing customers broader access to programming via hardware and experiences of their choosing.

As a long-time industry observer, I’ve found much of the press coverage unsatisfying – marred by a lack of situational awareness and heavily influenced by lobbying groups on all sides. Sadly, as a blog hobbyist (with a new baby), I can’t give you the polished 4000 words this topic demands. But I can provide one man’s rough yet somewhat educated and largely unbiased opinion, both textually below and via the new LPX Show podcast embedded right here – along with my pals Brad Linder and Mari Silbey.

A Very Brief Primer Continue Reading…

Who are the cord cutters?

Dave Zatz —  January 11, 2016

Amongst the festivities as Channel Master released Sling TV to DVR+ during CES, the over-the-air entertainment company shared some interesting market data.

After two years of success with DVR+ and building a strong customer base, we are pleased to be able to share some insights about our customers, their needs and habits. […] we think you may find some of these facts surprising because they are in contradiction to what many of us have been led to believe about cord cutters.

The most fascinating portion of the analysis indicates cord cutting isn’t all about broke millennials. And, as I’ve argued all along, the motivation to drop traditional subscription television doesn’t appear to be solely financial. Rather, it’s likely about perceived value.

Our customers skew toward Gen X and Boomers. While we have Millennial crossover, the majority of our customers are age 35 and up with significantly more disposable income than Millennials, and they still don’t want a pay-TV service.