Product Placement Expands In DVR Era

The 1/30 issue of Business Week reports a 22% increase in product placement television advertising. I’m sure we’ll see these methods continue to gain ground as DVR adoption grows. Ultimately we’ll be left with product placements, graphic overlays, and long-form opt-in commercials. Top product placement offenders, 9/19/05 – 12/25/05: Amazing Race: Family Edition (CBS) 2,037 … Read more

TiVo Adapter Winner!

Tim McKee, a software engineer in Nebraska, has won the super speedy TiVo adapter. As with my last giveaway, entrants were reverse alphabetized and the winner was randomly chosen. For more details on the adapter, check out my review. To answer a common question, according to several reports on the TCF, yes the adapter is … Read more

Quoted In New York Times

Several weeks ago the NY Times contacted me… they were considering a TiVoToGo article if they could get enough info and locate a few real world examples. So I got the writer up to speed on TTG and put her in touch with some of my online TiVo buddies — and here we are! Fortunately, … Read more

OCAP – Who’s Capping Whom?

Justin Thyme, industry insider and crackpot, provides anonymous analysis and commentary.

There’s been a lot of discussion and curiosity about the relevance of OCAP in being able to watch TV your way. I’ve attempted to put together the picture as I see it. I have no clear idea of a solution to the problem presented — all I’m doing is attempting to describe the situation. Although it has rather vast implications, the essential details are simple. How this struggle plays out affects consumer electronics manufacturers, such as TiVo, in profound ways.

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CES & Macworld Cravings

I don’t know about you, but not much got my juices flowing. You’ve seen one TV, you’ve seen them all — except for that 103″ monster plasma. Sadly, I didn’t actually get to Vegas this year… I waited too long to finalize plans and missed my opportunity. However, that won’t stop me from listing the gadgets I want in 2006.

In no particular order…

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Lucent’s DVR Sleep Detector

Lucent brainiacs have filed a patent application for a DVR sleep detector. They envision a DVR-integrated “apparatus” which pauses TV playback once an individual has fallen asleep. Upon regaining consciousness, DVR playback resumes. The application covers both video surveillance and physiological monitoring to determine wakefulness. No word on how they’ll handle those risqué folks who watch TV together.

Lucent says:
[0011] The sleep detector may comprise an electronic camera for forming images of the viewer, and pattern recognition means connected to the electronic camera to monitor the physical condition of the viewer. For example, the pattern recognition means determine whether the viewer’s eyes are open or shut. The apparatus may further include logic means connected to receive output from the pattern recognition means to distinguish normal blinking from the onset of sleep.

[0012] Alternatively, the sleep detector may comprise a device wearable by the viewer for monitoring the physical condition of the viewer. For example, the wearable device may include one or more of an accelerometer, a heat flux sensor, a galvanic skin response sensor, a skin temperature sensor and a near-body ambient temperature sensor.

[0013] The sleep detector may be connected to the digital video recorder via direct electrical connection or via a remote-control type interface.

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Slingbox Mac Support On The Way

Ask and ye shall receive! In my experience the Sling folks have been tuned in to their customer’s desires from day one. For example, over on AVS Forum we said we needed W2K support — a week later we had it. So when numerous people requested Mac support, Sling was listening. Today a Mac OSX … Read more

TiVo Wireless Adapter Review & Raffle

Let me get this out the way first… Yes, it’s significantly faster than your typical wireless adapter. How fast, you ask? 60% faster! Now your mileage will vary depending on your current TiVo hardware, network hardware, and network configuration. Having said that I tested TiVoToGo (TTG) using different TiVo models against various adapters and the results were generally about 60% faster.

The adapter itself is solidly constructed. The base is brushed silver metal with enough heft and a non-skid rubber backing to stay put. The design is clever in elevating the antenna for increased reception. That antenna portion of the adapter is dark grey plastic with a TiVo logo and looks nice next to my TiVo units and furniture. Lastly, the adapter is bundled with a light grey USB cable, as it doesn’t hang directly off the back of the unit. At fifty bucks, the price is comparable to most wireless adapters. I can’t image TiVo is making any money off this thing given the smart design, solid construction, and next generation wireless chip. For the moment, TiVo’s online store is the only place to purchase one.

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