Channel Master has just updated their DVR+ line with a $400 model that houses a roomy 1TB internal drive - versus the original’s bring-your-own USB storage approach that requires more clutter, more complexity. We quite like the DVR+ and believe it’s a solid option for those seeking an over-the-air recorder and coming from VCR or new to DVR (whereas we suggest Tablo to our more geeky peers). The dual tuning DVR+ is super slim and super quiet, without a fan, and comes in cheaper than the competition. While the $200 TiVo Roamio may do more, with more polish, it also clocks in several hundred dollars more when considering the service fees. And, beyond Vudu, the fee-free Channel Master DVR+ intends to close the gap with several well-known audio and video apps in the pipeline “along with some other surprises for later this year.”
DVR marketing ridiculousness continues…
First Verizon introduced FiOS Quantum DVR, touting a whopping 12 tuners for recording or feeding extenders throughout the home for live viewing. With the small caveat that two 6-tuner DVR rentals are required. Well, Comcast has upped the ante with a Gillette-worthy 15 tuner Xfinity X1 experience. Assuming you rent three DVRs (and pay the associated additional outlet fees).
Comcast, which has been touting the expanded digital video recorder in local TV ads and Internet promotions of X1, confirmed that it recently began to pilot the new option in its 14-state Northeast region, which includes systems serving parts of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Connecticut, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.
Collaborative scheduling and recording surely is a nice perk but, given the breadth of Internet and on-demand content, I wonder how many tuners the average household really needs? We’ve been making do with a single 4-tuner TiVo the last year (since replacing the other DVRs with Minis). It’s sufficient most of the time, although we occasionally experience conflict and would benefit from an additional tuner or two to feed the extenders and hit all scheduled recordings.
Microsoft OneDrive iconography will shortly be refreshed, if this trademark filing is any indication. Alternatively, Ed Bott wonders if this logo might represent a subset of OneDrive functionality – perhaps hybrid clouds, for example. Building upon the existing OneDrive logo, the three-bump background cloud is replaced by a stylized two-bump cloud profile network cable moving from background to foreground, better visualizing a virtual storage service. This follows (forced) re-branding from “SkyDrive” along with a massive storage increase for Office 365 subscribers and updated mobile apps as they attempt to expand their footprint and woo folks, such as myself, away from Dropbox and Google Drive.
TiVo’s summer update (20.4.2) has started rolling out. As expected, headlining the visual changes are a new customizable 3-column My Shows view and the release of the TiVo Roamio UI onto Premiere and Mini hardware. Along with the refreshed Premiere interface, is a bullet-worthy speed bump – already confirmed by one of our community peers. From TiVo’s new Service Updates page:
- Updated, modern design: Premiere’s HD interface has a fresh, new look and feel
- Zippier performance within TiVo menus: Navigate through Premiere menus quicker so you can find what you want faster
- New categories in My Shows: Categories in My Shows automatically organize your recordings by genre so you can find a recording faster than ever
- On-demand and web app options now in Guide: You’re no longer limited to live TV when browsing the Guide. With on-demand and web app options now included, browse shows from yesterday, today or tomorrow and watch them anytime with the click of a button
Tablo TV has just released a few new features with their 2.1.12 update. Most notable include manual recording (for shows requiring additional time like sports), a Plex Channel, Closed Captioning support, and the ability to Chromecast from the Chrome browser (and Chromebooks). You can read about all the changes on Tablo’s community post here.
Tablo recently launched their 4 tuner device last month and has been updating their software at a consistent pace. I have been a fan of the dual tuner model since launch. Looking forward to trying out these new features!
The Wink Hub ($50) that was announced just last month is now for sale at Amazon and Home Depot. This new low cost smart controller for the home promises to be the most connected hub there is and competes directly with the newly priced Staples Connect Hub. Supporting Wifi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Lutron’s Clear Connect protocols, there is reason to believe that statement might be true.
I was able to snag the Hub at Home Depot here in Indianapolis. My first online order was promptly cancelled with a call back to me saying that they had not received them. Not really believing the message (Home Depot stated they were in stock), I decided to drive to the store where I was able to pick up the Hub, the Spotter sensor, and a TCP Connected lighting starter kit.