amazon-fire-tv-update

Just a few short weeks after launch, Amazon has rolled out their first Fire TV update. Sadly it doesn’t include expanded voice search functionality, an updated Netflix app, or Prime browsing (as promised). In fact, Amazon has yet to even update their support page with new 51.1.0.2 software versioning. So we’re left to assume this is merely a minor maintenance release… but pleased to see the new platform is worthy of Amazon’s ongoing development.

tivo-3col-options

With TiVo’s minor spring update behind us, the company has turned its attention to perhaps the most dramatic interface update since the launch of their original HDUI in 2010. It appears the primary objectives are improved UI consistency and completeness, along with additional discovery and organizational options. As RCN’s Jason Nealis alluded to just a few days ago, TiVo “plans to have the UI better present content from across these different sources in much more of a one stop shop” and a bit earlier had mentioned “some very cool enhancements coming down the pipe.”

Indeed, TiVo’s summer update is slated to bring the sharper Roamio interface to Premiere and Mini hardware, as TiVo VP Margret Schmidt had suggested several months back. Further, we see minor UI tweaks throughout. Yet, Continue Reading…

gboom-vs-jambox-mini

There is no shortage of Bluetooth speakers today. From pocket-able speakers such as the JBL Micro Wireless to extravagant models like the Harman Kardon Aura, there is a size and price point that seems to fit everyone’s need. With so many options, you really must ask yourself what’s the primary purpose of the speaker you’re buying. Does it need to be portable? Do you need extra charging abilities for devices? Do you need big booming bass or do you want a more natural sound? How loud does the speaker need to get? Answering questions about how you want to use the speaker will help narrow the field and the more happy you will be with your purchase.

So where does the G-Boom fit? If you are looking for a rugged speaker that can be moved from room to room or outside in the harsh environments of a backyard BBQ, the G-Boom just might fit the bill, especially at the $99 price point. Continue Reading…

tivo-glitch-slide-pro

TiVo’s minor spring software update was plagued by a few issues, including an inadvertent software rollback affecting ~200 DVRs and potentially resulting in some tedious cleanup. Well, kudos to TiVo for voluntarily squaring things with those subscribers.

Due to an operational issue, some TiVo boxes were inadvertently sent an old version of software which may have changed your channel lineup, your “To Do List“, and your “My Shows“ list. We have since mapped the correct software version to your DVR but you may still have to reconfigure your channel lineup, To Do List, and My Shows settings. As an apology for the inconvenience, TiVo is sending you a complimentary Slide Pro remote, free of charge.

In other TiVo software update news, it sure looks like the company is preparing to replace their ancient Amazon Instant experience with something a bit more modern… and unsuitable for the SDUI. Prime, please?

A change is being made to your Premiere Series DVR that we want to make you aware of. Soon the Amazon Instant Video application will be removed from standard definition (SD) menus on your DVR and going forward will it will only be available in high definition (HD) menus.

(Thanks Sam, Barrett, and Andrew!)

By way of CableFAX and TiVo VP Tom Elan, we learn TiVo is once again expanding their cable operator offerings:

The other one that’s cool is a hybrid set-top box. It’s essentially combining broadband with DTA technology. By adding broadband you get all of the economic advantages of DTA and the simplicity… but then all the benefits of broadband. So we can bring Netflix down to a low-cost set-top box product. It’s a non-cable card product, so it avoids the cost and complexity of cable cards and yet you get the full power of the TiVo experience and the OTT experience combined with the operator’s linear experience.

It just so happens that we have a few friends at The Cable Show and the esteemed Alan Wolk shot the above photos at the TiVo booth, which we believe could be the referenced box. If so, this wouldn’t be the first time TiVo partnered with Evolution Digital, given a few other cable-centric offerings including the original TiVo DTA. Sadly, this sort of simple, inexpensive solution will never make it onto retail shelves until the industry, with or without the FCC’s encouragement, develops and agrees upon a CableCARD successor.