Archives For HDTV

took a super brief look at Roku TV back at CES, but CNET is now out with a more thorough once over as pricing and timing have been revealed. And that pricing is extremely competitive, with the 32″ TCL running a mere $229. While that’s pretty darn good for a 720P smart TV with WiFi, CNET wonders if budget sets from Vizio might provide better picture quality, given local dimming… along with providing their own raft of apps. Of course, no one comes close to Roku’s breadth (even if the vast majority of their 2,000 over-the-top “channels” hold no appeal). Yet, at launch, the Roku TV doesn’t much compel me. In fact, they seemed to have overlooked some very interesting cord cutter interplay. Continue Reading…

4SeTV

Because one video stream is never enough, a start-up company called 4SeTV is planning to introduce a $99 retail box that lets users display up to four TV channels at once on one screen. The company is launching a Kickstarter campaign for the device on August 19th, but it’s also making the rounds with cable operators to see if there’s any interest in tying the hardware to a subscription service. Calling its product “the industry’s first personalized mosaic mode device,” 4SeTV says its technology works with both cable stations and over-the-air broadcasts.

The hardware part of the 4SeTV product is a small box that connects to your home router and an HDTV antenna. (Presumably the box can also be connected to a cable set-top.) You control the video interface through a mobile app, and then have the option to cast it to a networked television set. The company says the software will work with Internet-connected TVs, but also with the Google Chromecast.

I can think of very few occasions where I’d want to watch four different channels at once. But pick your favorite sports season and maybe there are enough times when multiple games are on to make mosaic mode worthwhile. For more info, check out the 4SeTV demo video. Continue Reading…

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…

Channel Master has just updated their DVR+ line with a $400 model that houses a roomy 1TB internal drive - versus the original’s bring-your-own USB storage approach that requires more clutter, more complexity. We quite like the DVR+ and believe it’s a solid option for those seeking an over-the-air recorder and coming from VCR or new to DVR (whereas we suggest Tablo to our more geeky peers). The dual tuning DVR+ is super slim and super quiet, without a fan, and comes in cheaper than the competition. While the $200 TiVo Roamio may do more, with more polish, it also clocks in several hundred dollars more when considering the service fees. And, beyond Vudu, the fee-free Channel Master DVR+ intends to close the gap with several well-known audio and video apps in the pipeline “along with some other surprises for later this year.”

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Tablo TV has just released a few new features with their 2.1.12 update. Most notable include manual recording (for shows requiring additional time like sports), a Plex Channel, Closed Captioning support, and the ability to Chromecast from the Chrome browser (and Chromebooks).  You can read about all the changes on Tablo’s community post here.

Tablo recently launched their 4 tuner device last month and has been updating their software at a consistent pace. I have been a fan of the dual tuner model since launch. Looking forward to trying out these new features!

tivo-pick-me-heart

In the wake of Aereo’s Supreme Court smackdown and cessation of service, CEOs from the likes of TiVo and SimpleTV have taken to the press to pitch their case as an over-the-air replacement. But Aereo’s primary benefits can’t be replicated by these guys.

First, Aereo positioned their rental antennas where the company obviously received a strong signal. Which isn’t necessarily the case for our dwellings located in urban canyons or on the far side of the digital cliff. Second, with a shared, centrally managed infrastructure, Aereo didn’t saddle customers with the expense of hardware (or long term commitments), running only $8-12/month. Continue Reading…

Mohu Channels TV adapter

Via Mohu’s Kickstarter update:

Some of our backers who have received and installed their Channels devices are commenting that they are receiving less OTA channels than they previously had prior to installing Channels. We are an OTA company and, as you would image, this is of great concern to us. Rest assured, the tuner inside Mohu Channels is the highest quality tuner available today bar none and we are aggressively pursuing the cause of this issue. For this reason, we put a hold on further shipments of Channels. We want to be absolutely certain that any device that leaves our factory is 100%. We ask for your patience and understanding. If you have not received your tracking information at this point, please note that we are holding shipments until we have a resolution.