It’s good to have friends, and Cablevision appears to have earned a few in their ongoing network DVR legal battle. Several trade and lobbying groups, representing companies such as the Consumer Electronics Association, AT&T, and Verizon have chimed in… Last week’s joint Amicus brief reads:

Network-based services may prove to be both cheaper and technologically superior, providing better service at reduced costs to consumers. But these benefits that many consumers now take for granted could disappear if this District Court decision is not overturned or significantly revised….The District Court’s decision could chill technological progress aimed at providing consumers the best and most flexible solutions for delivering the video content they want.

Of course, there’s still no telling how this will (continue to) play out in court and Cablevision is the one who stands to lose big bucks in a protracted legal battle. As I’ve said before, the network DVR is a sensible idea but Cablevision’s got some powerful, deep-pocketed foes from the broadcast and content industries.

eye-fi.jpgCNET reports that this fall Eye-Fi will launch a Wi-Fi enabled SD card for digital cameras. Their $100, possibly 2GB, SD card will retain the form factor of traditional cards and only use battery power when transmitting photos. Eye-Fi hopes to have about a dozen online photo sharing sites signed up by launch.

It’s an interesting concept… I’m not sure how well WiFi enabled cameras sell and how frequently that networked functionality is used, but I do believe there’s a market for this service. Though the biggest challenge in this venture is getting the interface right – How/where do I configure the card and how do I initiate transfers? Looks like they’ll at least offer a web configuration portal

(via jkOnTheRun)

verizon-logo.jpgI was all set to blast Verizon for manipulating my parents into buying their DSL service when my dad gave me the surprising update: Verizon had admitted to making a mistake and fully refunded my parents’ money. Yup, you read that right. Full refund.

Here’s the story in brief. My parents have had trouble with Comcast in their neighborhood (it works great in mine) and decided to make the switch to DSL when Verizon told them it was available. Unfortunately, when they made the switch, Verizon’s broadband proved flakier than Comcast’s. They lost their Internet connection constantly and nobody could explain to them why the service was so unreliable.

Fast forward to a few weeks later and some savvy support technician finally figured out that my parents’ house was outside the recommended distance from a Verizon hub. In other words, they’d been sold a service that was virtually guaranteed to fail. Continue Reading…

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I didn’t find much of interest reading the WWDC keynote today… I’m not a developer and most of the Leopard features are a rehash of what we already knew or not so grand. ZFS has been a no-show so far. And Safari on Windows? Yawn. Now a Windows port of iPhoto – that would have been exciting. Or how about a .Mac photo and video sharing YouTube/Flickr mashup.

However, in the aftermath of the keynote and the apple.com site refresh, at least one interesting nugget has turned up. Front Row, under Leopard, gets a makeover:

When you summon Front Row in Leopard, you’re greeted by an elegant interface much like the one on Apple TV. Finding and enjoying whatever you wish couldn’t be simpler. Just click the Apple Remote (included with most Macs) to step through the options: music, movies, TV shows, and photos. You can even view slideshows of iPhoto albums on other computers in the house.

Makes perfect sense to me. I’d suggest Microsoft do something similar in merging their Media Center experience and Xbox 360 blades… but without the banner ads currently plastered all over my console.

Continue Reading…

stanley-richard.jpgJericho actor Brad Beyer (aka Stanley Richmond) had an interesting conversation with OnMilwaukee.com:

The biggest problem with our show is that so many people were watching it on the Internet or Tivo (which doesn’t count toward Neilson ratings), so I think the fans are now aware to watch it when it’s on.

Doh! I thought this was some rogue comment in the saving of Jericho, but after reading more from CBS execs (on Brent Evans & PVRWire) it’s clear they blame DVR usage and plead:

Please watch “Jerichoâ€? on broadcast television.

While I’m pleased to see the show renewed for at least 7 more episodes, I think CBS is a bit misguided on this point. If they need a larger audience, they can help themselves by not scheduling directly opposite American Idol and taking a 2+ month mid-season hiatus. Prior to the nutiness, I would have also suggested advertising – but they’ve gotten a ton… 25 tons to be exact. And it wouldn’t hurt to figure out how to track time-shifted viewing. DVRs aren’t going away. Quite the opposite: Their penetration and usage will continue to increase.