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.

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…

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

Goodnight Oyster, Amazon Preps “Kindle Unlimited” Subscription

The Slingbox M1 has arrived and, as expected, Echostar’s smallest, lowest priced placeshifter packs WiFi… along with a variety of software enhancements across the board. As General Manager Michael Hawkey tells me, they intend to significantly grow their footprint with the $150 M1 and associated marketing: “Go big or go home.” While I can’t say for sure what the “M” stands for, amidst increased competition from all corners, their goal is to move beyond road warriors and sports fanatics (often one in the same) to target mainstream, millennials, and mobility.

Like all Slingboxen, the M1 is designed to relay one’s home television content to other parts of the house or beyond… without pesky studio agreements and provider restrictions limiting us. Also, unlike TiVo’s half-assed approach, Sling’s agnostic – operating on both WiFi and cellular networks via a wide array of platforms, including Apple, Android, and computer operating systems. Further, mobile app-powered Apple TV and Roku Slingbox video endpoints are newly improved. Continue Reading…

After a several year hiatus, Apple once again brings supplemental movie content to Apple TV in the form of iTunes Extras. It’s the sort of DVD and Blu-ray goodies you’d expect in cut scenes, featurettes, and the like. Whereas initial Apple TV models sported hard drives, over the last few years this downloadable content was only available to desktop iTunes clients given Apple TV’s small form factor. But the new implementation is cloud-based (and high def) – so content can now be streamed down to aTV, you’re not eating up local storage, in the case of computers, and studios are able to update their offerings. Come this fall, Extras will also be streamed to iOS 8 devices.

While I ebayed my Apple TV, in favor of Amazon’s Fire and assuming an upcoming hardware refresh, our pal Tim loves his… and buys lots of movies from Apple (and the UltraViolet consortium). He shot the brief video above to demo iTunes Extra and show some funky launch bugs, in relation to previously purchased content (which, fortunately, cleared overnight without intervention).

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…