Archives For TiVo

DirecTV Extends TiVo Agreement Into 2018

Sadly, the initial fruits of their renewed labor haven’t been very compelling, leading some to wonder if DirecTV is doing the bare minimum to avoid costly licensing. And is it coincidental that TiVo’s Time Warp patent protection expires in 2018? Regardless, hope these guys have a higher def whole-home TiVo solution in the works for DirecTV subscribers. Given THR22 scarcity, there may indeed be something new in the pipeline…

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.

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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…

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…

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.

tivo-cablecard

As TiVo turns the software corner, not only have they banished the poorly performing and ill-supported Adobe framework in favor of Haxe, but they’re leading the charge (as proposed by RCN and given the FCC’s apparent indifference) to replace unwieldy, antiquated cable hardware with a more sensible digital approach… with a little help from their cable allies. How TiVo hopes to evolve beyond the dastardly CableCARD and SDV tuning adapter:

Comcast, TiVo Working On Non-CableCARD Approach
TiVo and Comcast have agreed to collaborate on a two-way, non-CableCARD security platform that would enable TiVo boxes bought at retail to access Comcast’s full lineup of linear programming as well as the MSO’s video-on-demand service.

TiVo Crafts ‘Embedded’ Switched Digital Video Tech
the embedded SDV implementation uses a proxy in the network, enabling the TiVo box outfitted with the updated software client to communicate through an IP channel and access channels in the switched tier [...] is initially in place to support TiVo devices deployed by the company’s MSO partners

tivo-firetv

In relation to TiVo’s summer update, the DVR pioneer has disclosed that they’ve moved large swaths of their code base from Adobe Air/Flash to Haxe - resulting in significant performance improvements. Based on the stellar document and YouTube video dug up by BigJimOutlaw, the two year project clearly benefits them (and us) on a number of levels, including less reliance on the resource-intensive Adobe, who has waffled in both the mobile and set-top space.

Beyond shedding light on what TiVo developers have been sidetracked with, the slide of hypotethical video endpoints displaying Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One, and Smart televisions surely intrigues… along with the related Haxe Fire TV demo (below) and TiVo Roku renders shown earlier this year, TiVo seems intent upon extending their experience to non-TiVo hardware. Make it so! Continue Reading…