Verizon’s FiOS TV Heads East

Herdon, VA is the second community to receive Verizon’s TV offering beginning this week. Verizon’s FiOS TV provides television service over fiber optic lines utilizing both traditional broadcast technology and IPTV. They appear to be using the Motorola 6412 as the dual HD tuner hardware platform.

Unlike Verizon’s original deal in Texas, all of Fairfax County, VA has given Verizon the go-ahead to provide video to all residents, regardless of city jurisdiction. Additionally, state law in Texas has been modified which has resulted in Verizon being granted a state-wide license to offer television programming. I sure hope my state and local governments get on the ball – I’m oh-so-ready to dump Comcast.

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XM + Napster Beta Begins

XM + NapsterXM and Naspter have begun beta testing their co-branded service. This new service provides a single interface for listening to over 70 XM stations and linking the currently playing artist to Napster’s artist/album information and downloadable selection of MP3s. New XM/Napster integrated players are also on the way. XM subscribers can find out more and download the software here.

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Official TiVoToGo on iPod, PSP

TiVo has announced software facilitating the transfer of shows from Series 2 units to both the iPod and PSP. While many techniques already exist (VLC, Videora, PSP Video 9), an officially sanctioned method along with tech support is a welcome addition. Unlike the currently supported conversions to Microsoft portable devices, this new method will embed … Read more

First Blu-ray Disc, Charlie’s Angels?

The first high definition Blu-ray feature length film is in the can. Is Sony’s library so poor that they had to go with Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle? Then again, it can’t be any worse than Stealth. Despite their poor taste in content, the disc will be shipped to manufacturers for next-gen player development. Perhaps Netflix … Read more

Cisco Buys Scientific-Atlanta

Networking giant Cisco just picked up Scientific-Atlanta, one of the largest manufacturers of set-top boxes, for nearly 7 BILLION dollars. The deal, and Cisco’s intent, is especially interesting when combined with Cisco’s earlier acquisition of KiSS, maker of networked home entertainment gear. So how long before we see a cable company DVR with built-in cable … Read more

Netflix Declares Blu-ray Winner

A next generation DVD format war isn’t good for consumers or the industry. When I spoke with Steve Swasey, Director of Corporate Communications, in September he stated Netflix was concerned about a fragmented market and hoped for consolidation. Neflix CFO, Barry McCarthy, touched on this topic during an investor conference call yesterday. In addition to … Read more

HD CableCARD Coming To Windows MCE

Thomas Hawk got the scoop on Microsoft providing HD CableCARD support for the Media Center Edition (MCE) of Windows Vista in 2006. Even though they’re using the existing one-way standard, this is very exciting news which extends encrypted digital cable beyond the TV. It makes me wonder if TiVo is sitting on the sidelines waiting … Read more

Veiled Threat or Veiled Bride?

Veiled Video

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

Think broadcast flags on steroids. That’s what the MPAA has in mind by embedding a digital information stream directly inside the images you watch on television. The motivation of the MPAA is to place the same sort of broadcast flag mechanism as CGMS-A in a location that requires no special procedures or equipment of the video distributors to enable. Here’s how we bypass this trivial protection and why such weak protections are our friend, not our enemy.

Veil Technologies
is mentioned as a specific technology provider to accomplish this task in a MPAA draft resolution being circulated. If the draft becomes law, then consumers will be confront Veiled video within 12 months of its passage. Making devices to bypass Veil could land you in jail for 5 years for a first offence.

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