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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…

verizon-symmetry

As my two year subscription comes to an end, Verizon is courting me with free HBO and an upcoming boost in FiOS upload speeds to match download numbers:

Dear Customer: Thank You! The free speed upgrade is part of Verizon’s continuing commitment to recognize customers for their loyalty. Customer upgrades to equalized download and upload speeds will continue throughout the fall, starting with customers enrolled in My Rewards+ or who join the program now. When completed, more than 95 percent of existing FiOS customers will enjoy the upgrade equalizing their Internet download and upload speeds.

comcastic

Both Comcast and Verizon are good homes for TiVo owners. Yet, my FiOS Internet remains cap-free (compared to Comcast’s indecision on the matter) and I’m permitted to stream HBO GO via Roku – factors that led me to Verizon in the first place. Of course, Comcast isn’t ready to give up on my business having enabled TiVo Xfinity On Demand across their footprint, with a slightly better channel lineup, and weekly mailers offering attractive promotional rates (including a $200 gift card). But do I really want to go to the hassle of making a change … in light of Verizon’s Slingbox-loving upload increase? Hm.

tivo-flash

Until now, the best way to get a deal on TiVo Roamio hardware was to cozy up to a reseller. Well, for what looks like a short while, their preferred pricing is now available in a more convenient manner via TiVo’s “summer flash” sale… with a few caveats. The base Roamio model with over-the-air capabilities is not available, perhaps so as to not undercut Best Buy, and the Pro model isn’t worth the $200 surcharge given low drive prices and a simple upgrade path. Which puts the $600 TiVo Roamio Plus in the sweet spot – 6 tuners and Lifetime service, shipped free. Of course, the upfront costs are hard to swallow for many (despite ultimate savings for cable subscribers over time) and I can’t recommend 4-tuner Premiere owners upgrade given similar capabilities in light of improved performance. But for those on older platforms, seeking more tuners, will benefit from native iPad playback, or simply awaiting a deal, this is probably as good as it gets over the near term.

mohu-channels-with-remote

After something of a rocky launch, Mohu Channels shipping will resume for Kickstarter backers. Tuning and heat-related issues in the Android-powered, cord cutting widget were not hardware-based and have been resolved via software adjustments:

The issue was caused by noise induced on the signal path from the tuner front end as it traveled to the processor. The problem was resolved by changing the frequency of the intermediate carrier to a less susceptible frequency.

The Electronic Program Guide, which is the information collected from the OTA broadcast signal for the program lineup on each channel, would stick in an endless loop, causing the microprocessor to overwork

Further, beta time shifting is a go! Continue Reading…