Build The Ultimate HTPC, Get Frustrated

Tom’s Hardware has documented their “master plan” of building the ultimate home theater PC (HTPC). While they weren’t trying to accomplish anything extraordinary, they were trying to squeeze the components in a set-top sized case with minimal fan noise. Using a proprietary small form factor case limited their choices of components and, combined with quirky … Read more

Galleon, The Exclusive Interview

Galleon PodcastingI like to think of Galleon as the Tivo Swiss Army knife – it pretty much does everything. You want email, weather forecasts, or RSS feeds displayed on your Tivo? No problem. You want to schedule downloads of podcasts for streaming to your Tivo? No problem. You want better music, image, and video management than Tivo offers you? No problem. The list goes on! But don’t just take my word for it… Tivo honored Galleon as the “Most Creative Application” in their Developer Challenge.

Leon Nicholls, a Java programmer by profession, and I chatted about his work on Galleon. The software originally began life as JavaHMO – a program improving upon and, for many, replacing Tivo’s own desktop software for stand-alone Series 2 units. With the release of HME, JavaHMO was rebranded and rewritten as Galleon to enhance and simplify a variety of multimedia functions while serving even more Internet content to your Tivo. Despite spending numerous hours a week coding, testing, and responding to issues, he assures me Galleon will always remain free.

Leon had more to say about his motivation and where he sees the project going:

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DVD-Integrated DLP Projector Roundup

Optoma H10Being city-based apartment dwellers, we don’t have the space for a dedicated home theater. Therefore, projector/DVD combo units are appealing as a way to host an occasional big screen experience. Robert Heron reviewed three contenders in the 10/18/05 issue of PC Magazine. Optoma’s MoveTime DV10 was his Editors’ Choice due to accurate colors, native 16:9 resolution, and a quiet fan. HP’s ep9010 was a close second, and while it had great sound from the built-in 20 watt subwoofer the unit’s excessive weight and noisy fan kept it out of the winner’s circle.

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Tivo Job Openings Offer Clues

As with recent Tivo job openings confirming support for CableCard and next generation DVD specifications, these new listings offer glimpses of what 2006 might bring us. Listing 156 confirms, despite the defection of Consumer Unit head Brodie Keast, progress continues on S3 stand-alone units with Tivo developing new housings. Listing 151 describes the expansion and … Read more

Tivo’s New Downloadable Content, Navy Football?

Is it just me, or is this not so exciting? I dig the idea of downloadable content via broadband, but not this particular content. It’s an interesting marketing strategy though… I don’t get CSTV, so after watching the clips and missing the game theoretically I’ll feel compelled to call Comcast and request the channel. Tivo … Read more

Sharp Updates Aquos DVR Line

Bet you didn’t know Sharp had a line of DVRs… I didn’t! What separates the new models from the old is the use of dual HD tuners. The deluxe model features a beefy 500GB of storage and all feature DVD burners. Too bad Sharp doesn’t sell these units in America with a channel guide… yet. … Read more

DirecTV Partners With XM

Seems natural that DirecTV would partner with XM at some point, given Dish’s Sirius dealings. DirecTV is charging customers a total of zero dollars for this enchancement. DirecTV says: As part of DIRECTV’s dedication to offering the best in entertainment to its customers, beginning Nov. 15, 2005, 72 channels of XM’s quality music, children’s, and … Read more

Slingbox Improves Streaming Throughput 300%

The Slingbox crew just released version 1.05 (beta) of Sling Player, the PC desktop client for controlling and watching your video feed. Jeremy Toeman, VP of Product Management, elaborates on the update: The geniuses in our engineering department have figured out how to squeeze even more throughput out of your network connections, which results in … Read more