Archives For davez

fiber-composite-tv-boxes-v2

Google Fiber beta invites are rolling out, shedding light on upcoming hardware consolidation. Via kcjak:

Just got an email from Google Fiber saying we’ve been selected into their test program. Test includes replacement of the hardware, which will combine the network box and storage box into a single unit, as well as upgrade of WIFI to 802.11ac. New Google Fiber app, as well, but currently supported only on Android platform.

We’re not entirely surprised as we’d previously documented incoming TV Box updates and recently stumbled upon this public image - picturing, for the first time, the v2 extender in the lower left. But cramming the Google Fiber router and television hub into a single, refreshed Storage Box is news, perhaps shedding light on Google’s ongoing service intentions. Continue Reading…

Comcast-Labs

While Comcast dicks around with TiVo, to presumably avoid costly Time Warp licensing and FCC scrutiny, the cable giant continues to crank away on their preferred platform – the X1, which has been deployed across 100% of their footprint and sees 20,000 new installs every day. And now, in possibly a first for a cableco, they’re ‘going Google’ by making pre-release features available to subscribers via “Comcast Labs”

Comcast engineers have added a subsection under “Settings / Preferences” called “Comcast Labs,” designed as a sandbox to beta test new features before they go live. Comcast Labs [...] serves as a playground where customers can test innovation before it receives the final stamp of approval. [...] beta features will be given a thorough test-drive to aggregate user data in order to determine whether they get the green light to officially launch on X1.

Continue Reading…

slingplayer-chromecast

While we’d long ago heard from a reliable source that Slingbox Chromecast playback was a lock, Sling hasn’t communicated anything publicly in recent weeks … with “soon” having come and gone. However, Sling support staff has once again come through with pre-release intel:

Yes, a Slingbox M1 with the latest firmware (this would be updated during initial setup) will support SlingPlayer for Chromecast.

Having a Slingbox has always made it easy to watch your TV around the house, around town, or even around the world – on laptops, mobile phones, or tablets. SlingPlayer for Chromecast, combined with a Slingbox and SlingPlayer on your mobile device, allows you to extend your complete living room HDTV experience to any TV around your home, or to a TV in another location where you have an Internet connection. With SlingPlayer on your supported phone or tablet, you can stream your TV programs to a Chromecast device connected to a TV, and then onto the TV. And after you have established a connection with Chromecast, you can run other apps on your mobile device.

Note: This software only works with the Slingbox M1, Slingbox 350, or SlingTV/Slingbox 500

While the agent seems to suggest Chromecast support has launched, this isn’t actually the case. But we’re clearly getting real close. Continue Reading…

Next up in our buy more TiVo series are steps to hide intrusive pause menu advertising. While TiVo produces arguably the best DVR, beyond consumer sales and service, the company augments revenue by leveraging their userbase for advertising and analytics. The vast majority of these initiatives are applied with a soft touch, but pause menu ads clearly cross the line by layering paid promos atop television content. As TiVo says, Continue Reading…

marvel-unlimited-deal

To generate awareness during the San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Unlimited has gone on sale — 99 cents for a single month. While not quite “unlimited”, the subscription grants your mobile devices access a large catalog of digital comics. Having previously used the service over a year, I’d say the iPad provides the best reading experience and I found the content to be Hulu-esque given a rotating and incomplete selection. But, hey, at 99 cents it’s surely worth (another) look! I assume we’ll be on the hook to cancel prior to a recurring $10 monthly fee kicking in… if the value isn’t there. Continue Reading…

Arris Sling gateway MS4000 Front AngleX

The Sling-powered Arris MS4000 media streamer has found its first home(s). Regional cable providers Comporium and Service Electric are now offering up these transcoding boxes to their customers for both in-home and mobile streaming. Ideally, this sort of service is resident within one’s DVR, à la TiVo Roamio or DISH Hopper, but this accessory provides an efficient way to retrofit existing Moxi Whole Home DVR hardware. And, unlike an agnostic retail Slingbox, given tighter MS4000 integration with the source tuners, up to 4 concurrent streams can be broadcast.

I’d assumed all operators would go with a monthly rental, as RCN does with the TiVo Stream, yet Service Electric has decided to provide streaming services via a single flat fee: Continue Reading…

TiVo Elevates Opera Apps

Dave Zatz —  July 22, 2014 — 7 Comments

By way of RCN, we’ve learned that both rental and retail TiVo Roamio, Premiere, and Mini hardware will receive a minor update to surface favorited Opera TV Store apps via a new link (highlighted above) – and, thus, saving you a click. While Opera app selection and speed still leave something to be desired, it’s a decent improvement and far easier to engineer than pulling specific Opera app listings into TiVo’s native menu. But what we really want is an Amazon Instant update…