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DigitalLife Wrap-Up, Part 3

Dave Zatz —  October 13, 2006 — 1 Comment

So let’s review… T-Mobile’s rendition of the HTC Excalibur, branded “Dash”, hits the streets next week and kicks butt if you can put up with Windows Mobile and EDGE. Neither TiVo nor Sling put Apple fanboys first, but both will be offering support in the “near future” — if I were a gambling man, and sometimes I am, Sling’s will hit first. Both the Neuros OSD and ITVN devices caught my eye and I’m working on getting review boxes. Sony got my attention with their new LocationFree line (including receiver!) and electronic book Reader. Several of the savviest people I spoke to at the show had very positive things to say about Infrant‘s network-attached servers for media hosting. I’d like to get my hands on one, though Seagate’s rep offered me any product in their catalog. Hm! Pepper Pad still doesn’t do it for me, and neither do voice-powered remote controls.


No show is complete without tons of schwag! Most of it is junk, but I did see (and collect) some notable items. Palm and TiVo had the best stuff. At their 680 press event, Palm gave away gift bags including a 1GB SD card, nice notebook and pen, and a non-slip dashboard pad — Treo not included. TiVo had goodies too, and I don’t think they were limited to VIPs (bonus!): TiVo bubbles, mints, stuffed dolls, KidZone lanyards, and sturdy nylon sackpacks. The Alienware bag had a throwaway t-shirt and mouse pad, but they kindly included a nice leather luggage tag which I will use. Over at ShowStoppers I ended up with a 256MB Kensington USB stick, Linksys/Cisco mini screwdriver thingy, and a glowing pen from TeleNav. I thought Movielink’s boxes of popcorn were clever (and a fine source of blogging sustenance).

After the jump, check out a few more pics from the show…

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Amtrak, near Baltimore, 7AM

DigitalLife officially kicks off in NYC today. Unlike CES which is industry oriented, DL caters to gadget loving consumers. There will be plenty of opportunity to play with all sorts of stuff (they even have video game tourneys), so if you’re near NYC anytime until the 15th pick up your free tickets and get down here. If the quantity of email and calls I’ve been receiving is any indication, this year’s event is much larger than prior events and looks to be a good time.

Like most bloggers, I do have a day job and I’m into negative PTO these days… So we’ll just have to see how much I can cram into only 9 hours on the ground. To maximize my limited time, I probably won’t be updating ZNF as frequently the last time I journeyed north.

I don’t imagine we’ll see many (any?) product announcements today, though there have been rumors a new Treo will be unveiled. I plan to spend a decent amount of time with various portable devices, check out the home media hardware, and see if Orb will finally reveal their business model. Obviously, I’ll be dropping by the TiVo booth (last year I got fresh with their mascot) and I intend to hook up with the Sling guys who’ll be roaming the floor. But wait, there’s more! I also have two classified meetings, and several interesting people to touch base with… so stay tuned.

View from press office, 10:30AM

The eagle has landed: I’m all checked in and ready to go! I’ll hit the floor as soon as my hot date, Peter Rojas, arrives. Peter, of course, founded both Gizmodo and Engadget and now you can see him weekly on TV.

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As I’ve mentioned previously, TiVo’s new Series3 model does not offer TiVoToGo (TTG), Multiroom Viewing (MRV), or external storage due to the CableLabs certification process. Now we seem to have received confirmation that the group is evaluating MRV functionality, though TiVo has not yet approached them about TiVoToGo. I can’t say I’m surprised — I imagine they’re going after the low-hanging fruit first: 1. Get the S3 out the door, 2. Enable external storage, 3. Enable MRV, 4. Discuss TTG. Time will tell…

MediaPost writes: The company that decides these things, a private nonprofit organization run by the cable companies, is Cable Research Laboratories, or CableLabs. It has not been approached by TiVo about expanding the capability in the Series 3, says Jud Cary, deputy general counsel for CableLabs. “It’s not been put on the table,” Cary asserts. “We are in discussions about MRV [multi-room viewing], but TiVoToGo has not been submitted to CableLabs for review. We’ve never seen it.”

A spokesperson for TiVo would not answer direct questions about the Series3, CableLabs and DRM, but did release the following statement: “TiVo’s primary goal was to launch and introduce the Series 3 to consumers in time for the holiday season this year. TiVo has the capability and a long history of downloading features to its customers on a regular basis. We are currently working with CableLabs on several technologies centered around moving content around the home environment.”