TiVo 7.3 is 7.2.1 And Other News

VCR HeadstoneI managed to corner some more TiVo folks here at DigitalLife and take some interesting photos.

What I conveniently called system software 7.3 yesterday turns out to be 7.2.1, for those of you keeping score. I looked closer at the “Overlap Protection” feature and while it may be overdue, it’s a very welcome enhancement. Basically if the network schedules a show to end at 9:01, your 9:00 show isn’t recorded. With “Overlap Protection,” on by default, both shows will be recorded with the higher priority show gaining the extra time. As seen in the picture below, you can manually change which show gets priority.

Read moreTiVo 7.3 is 7.2.1 And Other News

TiVo Software 7.3 and Hardware Dongle

TiVo LogoTiVo still has a few (minor) tricks up their sleeve this year…

Within the next month or so we can expect a Series 2 software update, which I’ll conveniently call 7.3. It enhances HME functionality, adds show overlap prioritization, and contains the requisite under-the-hood tweaks and bug fixes. In hardware news, a TiVo branded wireless adaptor will be available for sale.

As previously reported Tivo-hosted server-based HME applications will go live. Many of the initial TiVo-produced HME apps will provide similar functionality as Galleon, but without the need for running Java programs on your PC. I got to see a few in action… While I can’t say I was impressed with the little games (TiVo is no XBox), the Podcasting feature is useful and well executed for a first generation widget. TiVo has identified, categorized, and linked to quite a few Podcasts, but you have the ability to manually enter the location of any others you might fancy. The audio content is streamed via your broadband connection through the television.

In order to programmatically compensate for the networks’ strategy of staggered start and end show times (9:01 for example), TiVo will be introducing a configurable “Overlap” function in 7.3.

First spotted this summer in Vegas, I can now provide a few more details on the mysterious dongle of 2005 (not to be confused with the presumably abandoned 2004 TivoToGo dongle shown at CES). TiVo will begin selling a branded wireless G adapter which should result in fewer networking hassles, such as hardware compatibility. Nice enough, but not so exciting… The much bigger news is this dongle “offloads” some of the “heavy lifting” currently performed by Series 2 hardware – meaning both Multi-room Viewing (MRV) and TiVoToGo (TTG) will be noticeably quicker.

Read moreTiVo Software 7.3 and Hardware Dongle

Live From DigitalLife

Both TiVo and I are here at the Javits Center in NYC! Bob Poniatowsky, of Tivo Product Marketing, graciously answered some of my intrusive questions – stay tuned for the details. Additionally, Netgear has a new media device on the horizon which I’ll be reporting on. Akimbo, Orb Networks, and some of the Slingbox folks are also here – so we’ll see what else I can dig up.

And yes, I did see TiVo’s VCR coffin. The mortuary music is definitely over the top, though it hasn’t discouraged the decent sized crowd from picking up free boxes.

TiVo

Read moreLive From DigitalLife

TiVo Goes To War

DirecTV starts peddling their new DVR this week, but in the long run will it be competition or commission for TiVo? If TiVo is able to prevail in defending their “time warp” patent versus Dish Network, with court proceedings beginning this week, they should be able to work out royalty arrangements with other DVR providers… … Read more

DirecTV’s $30 Million Ad Campaign, No Tivo

DirecTV R15As Michael Buffer once said, “Let’s get ready to rumble!” DirecTV will begin pushing their own DVR next week with no guarantees, though certainly more leverage, of extending their contract with Tivo past 2007. Features of the forthcoming R15 DVR were previously disclosed on TV Predictions.

New York Times says: DIRECTV, the satellite television operator, is introducing a $30 million advertising campaign on Monday to promote its highly anticipated digital video recorder.

The campaign, created by the New York office of BBDO Worldwide, is DirecTV’s first widespread public effort to distance itself from TiVo. Of DirecTV’s 14.7 million customers, 2.3 million now subscribe to TiVo. DirecTV, which pays TiVo a monthly fee of $1.13 per TiVo subscriber, hopes those users will switch to its own service.

DirecTV’s standard DVR, originally set to be released this past June, will be introduced in late October, and another model featuring high-definition service will be introduced in mid-2006. The standard DVR will feature up to 100 hours of recordable space, compared with TiVo’s 70 hours.

DirecTV will continue to support the TiVo service without marketing it, and both services will be priced at $5.99 a month. The company’s current contract with TiVo is set to expire in early 2007. DirecTV has not said if it will continue the contract after that.

Read moreDirecTV’s $30 Million Ad Campaign, No Tivo

Tivo’s New Beta, Hosted Apps

Tivo is beginning to test hosted Home Media Engine (HME) applications as described in this recent email correspondence. FYI I did not receive the email and I am not part of the Beta group. Hi there! Thanks for filling out the beta application at www.tivo.com, we appreciate your interest in TiVo’s Beta Programs! When you … Read more

Dump A Video Tape, Get a Free Tivo

Tivo continues their trend of interesting promotions. Next week they’re hosting a long-overdue funeral for the VCR in New York City. By contributing a video cassette to the casket, you’ll be rewarded with a free Tivo (and a one year service commitment). Tivo says: As the curtain rises on one of the country’s ultimate consumer … Read more

TivoToGo On Gameboy Micro? You Betcha!

Nintendo has rebranded their Play-Yan multimedia device for the Gameboy Micro with updated software. The Gameboy Micro’s 2″ screen pales in comparison to the luscious PSP display, but support for MP3’s and MPEG4 video in such a compact device is very cool indeed. The unit works by reading data off of an SD card, which … Read more