At long last, HBO has announced release dates for the second seasons of Deadwood and Entourage! Still no word on Rome or Ricky Gervais’ Extras. We watch most television through Netflix these days (no commercials, no scheduling, compressed seasons), and have been anxiously awaiting these discs. Speaking of Netflix television, we’re in the midst of a Sleeper Cell marathon this weekend.
I may doubt the necessity of 1080p and HD DVD at these prices and with limited content, but the fact is I’m down to a lone standard definition setup (the 9″ kitchen TV doesn’t count) holed up in the bedroom.
I picked up this 32″ JVC about 6 years ago when Consumer Reports recommended a similar model. The picture quality can’t compare to current technology, but I’m having a hard time letting go of a fully functional TV. Maybe I’ll take it off the surge protector and hope for an electrical storm.
The 80 hour DVD-burning Humax model replaced my Toshiba SD-H400 DVD-playing unit a few months ago. As the guy who wrote the book on TiVoToGo, I can tell you burning DVDs directly from the TiVo is a more efficient and joyful experience. (Assuming you can live with commercials. If you can’t, see this.) The TiVo is fed directly by analog cable which I output to the TV via S-Video and analog audio cables.
I’m not traveling much these days, so I don’t use the Slingbox regularly. However, my mom doesn’t have a cable drop in her computer room (formerly known as the ‘dining room’) and has been enjoying TLC and Discovery fed to her PC over the Internet. I use TiVo’s video pass-thru to provide the entire range of channels to the internal Slingbox tuner — essentially splitting the cable feed so Mom can’t change my channels or control the TiVo. Occasionally I fire up the laptop SlingPlayer in bed when my fiancé must watch Skating with the Next Top Celebrity American Idol Stars.
Buffalo Wireless Bridge
The Slingbox only provides an Ethernet jack and TiVo still doesn’t support WPA which led to this wireless bridge and Linksys USB -> Ethernet adapter. Incidentally, TiVoToGo and Multi-Room Viewing transfers are quicker than using a typical wireless adapter such as the Netgear WG111 I replaced.
What are Guru Guides, you ask? I have no idea. The obvious guess is some sort of VOD or HME-based informational content. If that’s the case, the bigger question is… who provides it? Does this have any relation to CNET TV?
UPDATE 1: gonzotek over at the TiVo Community Forum speculates Guru Guides may be an adult version of KidZone in which TiVo partner organizations or individuals provide content selections based on area of expertise or personal preference. I think he’s on to something…!
UPDATE 2: Greg noticed noticed a new TiVo support page which describes Expert Picks as a feature that allows you to receive and record recommended viewing programs from another brand, celebrity, entity, or individual that you trust. So which is it TiVo… Guru Guides or Expert Picks?
UPDATE 3: TiVo updated their support page to reflect Guru Guides, rather than Expert Picks. Guess that’s settled!
Years of experimentation went into creating the perfect DVD envelope. In 1999, Netflix started out with a heavy cardboard mailer. With only 100,000 subscribers, costs weren’t a concern yet. Then the company experimented with plastic envelopes, which proved not to be recyclable, and padding, which added too much to postage costs. Both top-loading and side-loading envelopes made an appearance.
As you know, TiVo came away with a huge patent victory versus Echostar last week. The judge hasn’t yet ruled on increasing damages for willful infringement, and not only hasn’t an injunction been awarded but apparently TiVo hadn’t even requested it as of Wednesday. Could settlement/licensing talks be going on outside of court? Regardless, TiVo’s legal team is tooting their horn this morning…
Apr 21, 2006 08:45 ET
Irell & Manella Trial Team Secures $74 Million Patent Infringement Verdict for DVR Market Leader TiVo
Jury’s finding of willful infringement by EchoStar means damages could be trebled
LOS ANGELES, Calif., April 21 — In a closely-watched trial involving one of the most popular forms of technology in the home entertainment market, law firm Irell & Manella LLP represented TiVo Inc. in its $74 million patent infringement verdict against EchoStar Communications Corp.
On April 13, a Marshall, Texas jury concluded that EchoStar had willfully infringed TiVo’s patent on its “time-warp” technology for digital video recorders (known as DVRs). Despite two weeks of testimony about complex technology and patent issues, the jurors needed only two hours and fifteen minutes of deliberations to reach the unanimous verdict.
The finding of willful infringement exposes EchoStar to potential treble damages. In addition, EchoStar faces a potential injunction that would preclude it from further distribution of infringing DVRs. TiVo’s general counsel Matthew Zinn noted after the trial that an injunction would be even more meaningful than the sheer dollar award.
If you’re a photogenic Slingbox owner living in the DC area, check out this television opportunity posted to the Sling Community.
We have an interesting media opportunity coming up, and I would like to recruit a greater DC-area Slingbox owner to get a chance to participate in it! Here are the requirements:
- You must be a Slingbox owner, and have it installed in your home/apartment, which must be located in the greater DC area
- You must use BOTH SlingPlayer for Windows and Mobile software
- You must be congenial/charismatic enough to appear on nation-wide television
This will be for a prominent, nationally aired TV show. Taping will occur late this month or early next month. Just think, you could actually watch yourself on your Slingbox!