Another DirecTV 2Go Device Surfaces

DirecTV’s press conference isn’t until Thursday evening, but two manufacturers have already outted DirecTV 2Go. First was Humax with a generic looking PMC. Next up is RCA, with this sexy Lyra X3000. In addition to the DTV interface and content, these devices also handle a variety of multimedia. The Lyra is expected to hit stores this month at a competitive $399.

Details of the DTV 2Go service itself are still sketchy at this point, though it’s clear it will not be immediately available upon the Lyra’s release — a free software upgrade will be available later this year. It’s not clear what XM (XM2Go) and TiVo (TiVoToGo) have to say about their naming strategy. ;)

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Akimbo’s Not Dead Yet, To Offer Movielink VOD

Well my prediction that Akimbo would leave the hardware market in 2006 has proven false, and it’s only the fourth day of the year! A new RCA-produced box running Akimbo software will debut at $199 this spring. Unlike the existing box, a video-on-demand (VOD) library of current releases will be offered by broadband service Movielink. Sadly, like the existing box, content will not be offered in HD.

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Samsung’s New XM Portables

Samsung has introduced two new portable XM receivers, the Nexus and the Helix. Both are hard drive based devices which support MP3 and WMA audio tracks. Additionally, they both allow you to record XM content for later playback. Like the Sirius S50, the Nexus is limited to playing live satellite while docked. However, the full-color … Read more

DirecTV Partners With Humax For PMP, LCD TVs

Guess that LCD TV running TiVo software didn’t pan out, as Humax two-times TiVo and integrates a DirecTV tuner instead. First up, the 20″ SD model, followed later in the year by a 16:9 32″ HDTV. But wait, it gets better… DirecTV 2Go is official and will be powered by a Humax portable media player … Read more

Starz Expands Online Movie Options

Starz has launched Vongo, a new movie download service. What makes Vongo unique is the $9.95 all-you-can-eat subscription plan. PC downloads require a custom app that work in conjunction with Microsoft’s DRM. In addition to desktop or laptop viewing, transfers to MS mobile devices running Portable Media Center v2 are currently supported. Starz intends to expand service to Sony’s Connect download service in the near future. Their stated intention is to also offer video downloads to the iPod, but that strikes me as unlikely.

Starz originally began offering movie downloads via RealOne over a year ago. I briefly gave the service a try, but was dissapointed with an unpredictable selection of mostly older films. If the new service offers current, mainstream content, both the pricing and timing could be right to make some waves.

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2005 Reviewed, 2006 Previewed

2005 Review 2005 was the year we collectively dipped our toes into the portable media pool. Sure, there were many product introductions, price drops, and business mergers across the board but a mobile revolution was brewing. On the hardware side, Apple’s video-capable iPod obviously grabbed most of the headlines. I wasn’t overly impressed with the … Read more

TiVo Takes On Fear Factor

TiVo continues to blur the lines between advertising and content (see Navy Football, CNET Reviews) with today’s debut of a new video feature called “TiVo Takes On…” The first Showcase is a 10 minute behind-the-scenes look of NBC’s Fear Factor. TiVo employee Shanan Carney, of TiVo Newsletter and video advertisement fame, does a nice job hosting the entertaining featurette (assuming you’re into Fear Factor). Based on the audio and video quality, though, I’m guessing either production was handled in-house or they need to work on their video compression. Trivia: Joe Rogan owns three TiVo units.

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XM Goes HD

I’m no audiophile, so this announcement doesn’t do much for me. However, those of you who enjoy fully immersive music are in for a treat. Beginning in March, XM subscriptions will include two “XM HD Surround” stations and special hi-def programming. Obviously, you’ll need some new hardware to handle the 5.1 audio… but why let … Read more