The TiVo Premiere is finally here, and I've gotten a chance to live with it for the past week. Thanks to a late CableCard installation, I'm not quite ready to wrap up the review on the product, but I've seen enough to share some detailed impressions. And it is, in many ways, a tale of two TiVos. Or, more specifically, two sets of prospective TiVo customers. TiVo newbies--those who have suffered with "generic" DVRs from their cable providers and are coming to a real TiVo for the first time--will find themselves getting an all-in-one digital box that's an easy-to-use and elegant gateway to a wide range of TV and online video and audio entertainment. Meanwhile, TiVo die-hards are likely to be disappointed: the TiVo Premiere is merely an evolutionary step-up from previous Series3 and TiVo HD models, not the sort of game-changing product that the original TiVo was. It adds an updated, high-def user interface, universal search option, and faster operation--and not too much else. … Read more
Two weeks after the release of the My Passport AV, an external hard drive designed specifically for use with digital content players and recorders, Western Digital announced the internal version of the same hard drive, the 2.5-inch SATA WD AV-25.
The company claims the new AV-25 hard drive differs from other internal hard drive by providing greater reliability, with a mean time between failures of 1 million hours. It's engineered specifically for demanding, always-on multimedia-streaming applications, and runs cool and quiet.
Apart from that, WD says the AV-25 hard drive meets the requirements of the AV/DVR and surveillance markets by offering universal compatibility, low power consumption, and the capability to simultaneously record multiple audio and/or high-definition video streams.
Other features of the new AV-25 hard drive include:… Read more
The Moxi Mate is a multiroom extender that works exclusively with Moxi DVRs. It's currently available separately for $300, or in bundles with Moxi's DVR.
Connect one or more Moxi Mates to other TVs in the house--and provide them with an Ethernet connection--and you can access recorded programming and (after a February 2010 firmware upgrade) live TV from the main Moxi unit. But there are some important caveats. As Moxi's PR rep told us in an e-mail:
"Each live stream requires access to one of the Moxi HD DVR's tuners. For recorded TV, the number … Read more
TiVo announced its fourth-generation DVR with much fanfare at a March 2 media event in Manhattan--at the top of Rockefeller Center, to be specific. Media invitations to the event included the teaser: "The DVR was just the beginning."
What TiVo delivered was...an incremental update of its existing product. If you look beyond the slick new enclosure, the biggest improvements were an improved interface (using, for the first time, Flash-enhanced HD graphics and the full range of the wide-screen real estate); an enhanced search system (it simultaneously searches TV listings and Web-based video sources); and the addition of Pandora's music service.
The backlash was swift: "It's a big pile of disappointment and missed opportunity," said Matt Burns at CrunchGear. "[G]iven TiVo's inaugural role and leadership in [the] space, not to mention the tens of millions spent annually on R&D, I have to say I'm somewhat underwhelmed," proclaimed tech blogger Dave Zatz.
"It may be too early to say TiVo's dead, but it's not [too] early to see it's bleeding from a self-inflicted foot shot," tweeted Gizmodo's Wilson Rothman (though the Gizmodo coverage was decidedly more upbeat). CNET's Molly Wood (see embedded video) says she'd like to buy one, but she cautions: "I don't know that this is going to save TiVo."
Is the TiVo Premiere really that bad? To be clear, we won't know for sure until we can conduct a hands-on review (the product ships in April). Even the live demos at the TiVo launch event weren't really enough to draw a conclusion: with a DVR, you need to live with it for a few weeks (minimum) to fully experience its ups and downs. Still, we can draw some early conclusions from which features TiVo chose to include--and which the company omitted.
Here's the primary grievance list against the new TiVo:… Read more
We stayed on the rails pretty well in this episode, but there's a whole long thing about cake toward the end that the chat room dubbed "nerd freestyle" and, well, we love that. In other news, new TiVo underwhelms a bit (other than the remote) and Viacom goes all anti-Internet with "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report." That's the cake part.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) Episode 1177
TiVo unveils Series4 ‘Premiere’ DVRs with enhanced online integration http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10462438-1.html?… Read more
NEW YORK--TiVo on Tuesday officially announced two new DVRs that offer an updated user interface and enhanced integration and search capabilities for online video. The TiVo Premiere and TiVo Premiere XL models will cost $300 and $500, respectively, when they ship in April; like all previous TiVo models, they'll also require a monthly, yearly, or lifetime service fee as well.
The new Premiere models, details of which had been rumored and leaked in previous weeks, are the first Series4 models from the DVR manufacturer. The fourth-generation products boast an updated interface and feature set.
The highlights: … Read more
There might not be a TV in every room in your house, but it wouldn't be surprising if there were.
As of November, according to media researcher Nielsen, 29.9 percent of TV-owning households in the U.S. have four or more televisions--that's very close to one-third of the 115 million domestic domiciles that have at least one television set.
Among the other, relatively impoverished TV households, 25.1 percent have three sets, 28.3 percent have two, and 16.7 percent have a measly single TV.
As you might expect, that many televisions translates to some lofty … Read more
Update (Dec. 22, 4 p.m. PT): Sorry, folks, the tuner is sold out--at least for now.
For several years I've relied on free over-the-air digital signals to bring high-definition TV into my house. And I've paired those signals with Windows Media Center for free DVR goodness.
The key bit of hardware in that equation is a TV tuner, and right now Meritline has the deal to beat: a Mygica U6012 Hybrid USB TV tuner for $29.99 shipped.
Because this is a "hybrid" tuner, it can pull in the aforementioned over-the-air HD signals (aka ATSC), … Read more
Update #2 (1:30 p.m PT): Sorry, folks, looks like the LiquidTV is sold out. It's worth checking back periodically, though, just in case Nero releases more stock.
Update: Use coupon code AP-4210-BJ6C to get an extra $4 off! Thanks to reader ThaBigGuy for the heads-up.
My unofficial motto: cheap things come to those who wait. Witness the Nero LiquidTV TiVo PC, currently on sale for just $39.99 shipped. Just two months ago, it seemed like a bargain at $69.99. And it originally sold for $199.99!
In case you're not familiar with it, TiVo … Read more
When we last heard from upstart DVR maker Digeo, the company had been bought out by networking and communications company Arris. Thankfully for owners of Digeo's Moxi DVR, though, it appears that the company's new corporate godfather is doubling down on the video recorder product line: It's debuting an updated version of its DVR with a triple tuner and initiating a round of price cuts on existing model (and related bundles).
The full details:… Read more