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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Google Video, What’s The Point?

Yesterday, as the press coverage of Google Video trickled in, I was psyched to see the big G enter this space. After sleeping on it, I’ve totally lost interest in the first incarnation of Google’s Video Marketplace. Google is not providing anything new here… Apple broke the seal on this category and has the distinction … Read more

TiVoToGo For Mac Lives!

Megazone gets the scoop again… A TiVoToGo Mac application exists and is on display at CES. While it’s an internal, pre-alpha build, it appears to transfer shows. Presumably the Mac decryption module has been built, as MacOSX recognizes the files as MPEG-2. Recently, Bob Poniatowski has stated Mac support drop mid-2006. (photo from megazone, the … Read more

Yahoo! To Offer PVR (With TiVo?)

Here’s something to chew on… Yahoo’s forthcoming Go TV will offer a variety of video, movie, and TV related services. That in itself is not so interesting. What is interesting is Yahoo claiming they will provide “full PVR functionality” and “full TV tuning capabilities” “directly on your TV.” Both the press release and official site … Read more

TiVo Central Online Beta

TiVo is beta testing the latest version of TiVo Central Online (TCO). The highlight of the website update is the ability to view upcoming television programming within a grid guide specific to your location and cable/satellite provider. Additionally, you can filter content via a personal color coding scheme. As with the current TCO, online scheduling … Read more