Quadruple Play, Cell-based PVR

Marketing fluff, profit sharing, or really the ultimate in convergence? Sprint, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Cox Communications have just signed a 20 year agreement to integrate all your media and data in a “quadruple play” of services. Sprint, the linchpin of the arrangement, is dropping a cool $100 million to provide a variety of … Read more

Dave’s Video iPod (mis)Adventures

Video iPodWe’re all familiar with the iPod – sleek design and a well-executed user interface, combined with simple sync and purchase options via iTunes. In those respects, the new video iPod performs as expected. If you have a large audio collection, the slimmer form and black option of the 5th generation iPod could be appealing. Some might even consider it a bargain – the 30BG model is only $50 more than the 4GB Nano.

Apple made a point of specifying this iPod just so happens to have video capabilities. After playing with it awhile I can tell you they’re not being modest, it’s not much of a video device… yet. While the screen is sufficiently bright and detailed, 2.5″ is on the small side for extended viewing. I also find support for only MPEG-4 and QuickTime limiting. Initially I figured I’d be able to overcome both those deficiencies, after all Steve Jobs touted all the movie trailers I’d have at my disposal. Well it turns out that the dozens of previews viewable through iTunes are not available for download to my video iPod. Why should they give me free content when they’re pimping TV shows at $1.99 a pop?

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TiVo 7.2.1 Dissected, With Pics

TiVo 7-2-1Here’s a little more info and picture pr0n covering TiVo’s last Series 2 software release of 2005.

New Feature
The year concludes with a long overdue capability…

  • Overlap Protection

Notable Bug Fix
This doesn’t impact a whole lot of TiVo owners, though it’s a welcome correction.

  • Restored serial control of DirecTV HD receivers

Minor Enhancements
These are subtle changes which may or may not be apparent… they keyword is minor.

  • Wireless Stability & Performance
  • User Interface Performance

I assume there are the typical bug fixes and tweaks under the hood, and perhaps some unrevealed enhancements preparing for future TiVo services and HME-style applications as well. One can also hope that, despite the death of the Netflix deal, the technology has been put in place to provide VOD services via new partners.

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TiVo Begins Overlap Protection Rollout

It looks like TiVo system software 7.2.1 has begun rolling out for Series 2 models. As I previously reported, the highlight of this release is Overlap Protection – a method to deal with the networks staggering the traditional beginning and ending times of shows without missing a recording. Everything else appears to be under the … Read more

WSJ Talks Ads In A Digital World

The Wall Street Journal is running an interesting article covering advertising in a digital video world… go check it out and get back to me. Oh, and do you think the author is aware you can turn off TiVo sound effects? WSJ says: There is no denying that a major transformation in television-viewing habits is … Read more

Time Warner Launches Pseudo-DVR Service

Time Warner has been talking up their pseudo-DVR service “Start Over” since first mentioned in the WSJ last year, with more details revealed this spring. Now that they’ve gotten NBC’s blessing (money talks), South Carolina digital cable subscribers will be getting first dibs next month. Start Over falls somewhere between VOD and a DVR in … Read more

World Series PITCHf/x Debut

MLB and Sportvision, the folks who brought us the the yellow first down line and glowing hockey puck, will introduce PITCHf/x today during Game 1 of the World Series. BusinessWeek says: Sportvision has been rolling out gadgets for all the major sports, including the PGA Tour, NASCAR, and Major League Baseball, for which it whipped … Read more

Studios Shun Netflix, No Downloads

Netflix has run into the studio brick wall. At this point the studios have very little incentive to move their media via third-party download: DVD sales are a huge cash cow and they own existing services Movielink and CinemaNow. I imagine both Netflix’s rumored player and their partnership with TiVo are indefinitely on hold. At … Read more