Archives For HDTV

Wired is out with their annual Vaporware Awards. As with last year, TiVo has made the list… this time placing tenth for failing to deliver a stand-alone HD model and a Mac version of TiVoToGo. While it’s true they didn’t surface in 2005, I’m hopeful we’ll see both in 2006.

Wired says: High-def TiVo and TiVoToGo for Mac

The little elves at TiVo have been idle of late. Readers complained the company has failed to release two updates to its product line — a high-definition TiVo that can be used with cable, and TiVoToGo for the Mac. Reader Kyle Johnson wrote: (The cable-card) high-definition TiVo (was) announced at CES 2005, probably will be re-announced at CES 2006.” Reader David Rosen said: “If the cable companies have anything to say, this is never gonna happen.” Of TivoToGo for Mac, one reader said: “We’ve been getting nothing but nebulous promises out of TiVo for months.” And reader Aaron Ouellette said: “Tap, tap, tap, we’re still waiting.”

TiVo’s Series 3 HD Lives!

Dave Zatz —  January 5, 2006 — 15 Comments

Megazone’s been quizzing the TiVo folks all day and has tons of details on the forthcoming Series 3. Well, except for a concrete date (mid-late 2006) and price. All in all, exciting news if TiVo delivers.

megazone says: The unit has two CableCARD slots on the back and it will support Multi-Stream (CableCARD 2.0) or Single-Stream (CableCARD 1.0) cards. If you have multi-stream then you only need one card, but as long as only single stream cards are available you can use two of them. Yes, it supports digital and analog cable, digital ATSC OTA, and analog NTSC OTA. The unit has front panel controls clustered on the right, and a nice display in the middle with a very cool feature – it displays the title of the show(s) tuned at the time, so you always know what it is recording at a glance. The remote ls also sleeker – a slick update of the Series2 peanut with minor changes for HDTV (such as an aspect button). But the big change is that the remote is backlit! TiVo will also be selling an external SATA drive for easy storage expansion, and they have that on display here too.

Photos provided by megazone…

Series 3 Front View

Series 3 Front Panel

Series 3 Rear Panel
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CableCARDThomas 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 for the multistream, bi-directional CableCARD 2.0 or if they’re also pushing forward. It’s much easier to upgrade a computer than it is a proprietary set-top box, so TiVo could be holding out. I also wonder what this means regarding the future of software like SnapStream’s BeyondTV. Unless they too are able to harness encrypted cable, their days could be numbered.

Microsoft says: Microsoft Corp. and Cable Television Laboratories Inc. (CableLabs®) today announced they have reached an agreement that will allow Microsoft and PC manufacturers to bring to market digital-cable-ready Windows® Media Center-based PCs in the holiday 2006 time frame. “This agreement is an important milestone for our customers who want access to high-definition digital cable content on their PCs and a major step toward enabling a solution for the delivery of that content,” said Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of the Windows eHome Division at Microsoft. “The cable industry is very interested in having the PC serve as another means to allow consumers to enjoy cable programming,” said Richard R. Green, president and CEO of CableLabs. “By working with Microsoft and the IT industry, we have come up with a solution to enable consumers to enjoy the wide range of entertainment options they want.”

SageTVWith the release of Media Center V4, SageTV has added over-the-air (OTA) HD support. QAM is not supported, though BeyondTV also lacks that functionality in their upcoming v4 offering. Fully integrated European and Canadian guide data has been added to the upgrade, along with additional media and playlist support.

SageTV says: With the addition of HDTV recording and programming guide support, SageTV Media Center now enables Windows users to record a single show or whole season of their favorite standard and/or high-definition television programs on PCs equipped with the appropriate tuner cards. Users can also pause, rewind and fast-forward live or recorded cable, satellite or antenna TV shows, and record multiple shows simultaneously because of the application’s multiple tuner support. HD and standard definition programs can also be streamed to any PC on the network using SageTV Client, and to any TV in the house with the SageTV Media Extender scheduled for release by the end of the year.

Sharp Updates Aquos DVR Line

Dave Zatz —  September 29, 2005 — Leave a comment

Aquos DVRBet you didn’t know Sharp had a line of DVRs… I didn’t! What separates the new models from the old is the use of dual HD tuners. The deluxe model features a beefy 500GB of storage and all feature DVD burners. Too bad Sharp doesn’t sell these units in America with a channel guide… yet.

Sharp says: Sharp Corporation announces the introduction into the Japanese market of four new models of its AQUOS Digital HDTV Recorders. The DV-ARW15 and DV-ARW12 feature BS and CS110° digital HDTV tuners, plus two terrestrial digital HDTV tuners, and can record two broadcast programs simultaneously*1 to the hard drive even when the two HDTV programs overlap.

(Via Engadget and HD Beat)