Archives For TiVo

tivo-streams

Come Thursday morning, your TiVo is your Slingbox… with both live and recorded digital cable becoming available to us outside the home. Assuming you have TiVo Roamio Pro/Plus DVR hardware and an iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately, Android support has been pushed to 2014 and it’s not yet clear if Premiere units and the base Roamio will also receive placeshifting functionality via the TiVo Stream accessory this week. Regardless, this is a pretty dramatic move and one we never thought TiVo would make. So we’re hoping they’ve taken the last two months since Mossberg’s review to significantly improve upon his “terrible, almost unwatchable” experience… as I’ll be borrowing my wife’s iPhone for awhile.

tivo-mini-season-pass

TiVo Roamio and Mini set-tops have begun receiving updates this evening, as the folks in Alviso continue to squash corner case bugs at a rapid clip. But, beyond Roamio tuning, the TiVo Mini extender has received the long overdue feature of a full fledged recording manager UI – via the new menu item highlighted above. So, no more trips to our hub DVR/TV, as the TiVo Mini can now remotely manage those Season Passes. Less interesting is the “What to Watch Now” addition, with its suggestions and interaction seemingly more compelling on a tablet or smartphone. Meanwhile, we continue to wait on Amazon Instant and the Mini’s interface doesn’t yet feature the slight color and font tweaks of Roamio.

tivo-roamio-pro

Outside of Apple, it’s inevitable that a vendor’s product pricing drops over time. So it comes as no surprise that TiVo is offering a $100 discount on Roamio Pro hardware to folks that call in looking for a deal, lowering TiVo’s top-end unit with 3TB of storage, 6 tuners, and streaming capabilities from $600 to $500. It’s also appears non-subscribers may be offered discounted Lifetime service pricing typically reserved for existing customers – $400 versus $500. It may not be quite as good a deal as I received and still seems somewhat pricey, but a hundred bucks is a far more logical delineation between the 1TB Plus and 3TB Pro model — with the only difference being storage space. And it may be the best we’re going to get in 2013. Having said that, CEO Tom Rogers has indicated they intend to target Premiere owners for upgrades… and I could imagine some sort of Lifetime Service transfer dealio in the works as well.

TiVo-Premiere

Fear not, TiVo Premiere owners… as our platform hasn’t yet been abandoned. And, within the next few weeks, the Fall Update will begin rolling out — bringing a variety of bug fixes, a far more usable Netflix app, Wishlists in HD, and dynamic tuner allocation for a better TiVo Mini experience. Unfortunately, the new slightly tweaked TiVo UI (colors, fonts) won’t be available until 2014.

To move to the front of the Fall Update line, simply provide your TiVo Service Number here. Having recently taken the Roamio plunge, I registered my interest and plan to flip my Lifetimed TiVo Premiere XL4/Elite in short order.

tivo-roamio-box

So the plan had been wait until the new year, supposedly when Android streaming and Opera apps arrive, before considering a TiVo Roamio upgrade. Yet a highly compelling discount came my way via an industry pal and, as you can see above, I was motivated to take action.

My initial Roamio Pro experience is quite positive, starting with the lovely packaging which is in a very different league than my Premiere Elite’s nondescript cardboard marketing. Set-top box build quality feel goods and, while it won’t matter to most, the connections around back are better positioned for installation into my very tight, minimalist TV stand. Unfortunately, I’m not (yet?) digging the new RF/IR remote Continue Reading…

tplink-wr702n

For many years, I’ve relied upon a small ASUS wireless bridge (WL-330gE) for a variety of blog and personal projects around the house. And, frankly, I’m long overdue for a 802.11n upgrade… especially as I consider a second TiVo Mini – in my kitchen, lacking both coax and Ethernet connectivity. I’d originally considered having Verizon wire me up with another FiOS TV jack but, after their recent rate increases, that’s off the table. Powerline is another option, and probably a safer bet than wireless, yet I remain firmly anti-clutter.

So I briefly took a look at ASUS’ latest and greatest portable router (WL-330N), which does indeed add higher speed, greater distance 802.11n capabilities — but at $47 it was a bit more than I cared to spend for this sort of product. Not to mention, configuration of my model has always been something of a pain. Enter the TP-Link TL-WR702N Continue Reading…

fios-annual-notice

Verizon is sending customers links and literature covering updated FiOS TV fees. And, sadly, TiVo owners will be paying the price. Already the most costly provider when it comes to CableCARD rentals, Verizon has jacked up the price, once again, to $4.99/month. By comparison, a DTA set-top box runs a single dollar more at $5.99/month.

verizon-fios-fees

Unfortunately, the differential doesn’t logically scale as the cost to replace a damaged or misplaced CableCARD runs $100 whereas the DTA is $175…. leading me to believe this supersized fee for a mere PCMCIA card is both punitive, designed to encourage folks to utilize Verizon’s own equipment, and intended to offset whatever additional support costs Verizon incurs due to (their) activation/pairing issues and the like. Of course, as all who follow this space know, CableCARDs are under attack … by the very same industry that put forth this imperfect technology and, yet, without a viable replacement.

Continue Reading…