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
One of the most attractive benefits that Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, and other Internet movie services have to offer is that they're a cheaper alternative to paying monthly cable fees.
That may be one of the reasons why the cable companies are going on the offensive. The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing Co-op, a group that includes Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Sony Pictures, and Universal Pictures announced on Wednesday it plans to spend $30 million on an advertising campaign designed to "expand consumer awareness...of (rental) movies on demand."
The theme of the campaign will be "… Read more
Today's BOL happened before a live studio audience at SXSW in Austin, TX. Cali Lewis and Nicole Lee joined us on stage to discuss the state of SXSW Interactive, the on-going Google/China kerfuffle, and pharmaceutical companies' struggles to fit the risks of drugs into a Twitter-friendly 140 characters. Also, Cali Lewis nearly loses a toe.... um, sorry?Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1184
Digg 2.0 unveiled at SXSW: “faster,” “instant” http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-20000411-52.html
AT&T’s network up to SXSW iPhone … Read more
Netflix, the Web's top movie-renting service, announced Friday that it has canceled plans to hold a second contest that awards a prize to whoever could come up with the most accurate system of predicting user film choices based on their viewing histories.
In 2006, Netflix launched the Netflix Contest and offered $1 million to anyone who could improve its recommendation engine. In September, the company finally awarded the prize to a team that included three AT&T researchers. To compete, competitors studied millions of demographic data, including age, sex, ZIP code, and previously rented movies.
The Federal Trade … Read more
If I can tell you one thing about trying to TiVo Sunday night's Oscars, it's that being online during the ceremonies was definitely not a safe place to be.
This is the era of time-shifting, and I like to take full advantage of the fact that I can set my DVR to record something like the Oscars and then sit down later on and watch it at my leisure and yet still be surprised by what happens.
But just as the show was beginning, I switched over to TweetDeck to check something out on Twitter and was horrified … Read more
Wall Street is once again fretting over Netflix.
Some analysts didn't know what to do with themselves on Tuesday when the share price of the Web's top movie rental service shot past their performance expectations. Sure, Netflix continues to return boffo earnings, but after the company's share price hit $70, some brokers took a hard look at Netflix's prospects for the future, according to a MarketWatch story by reporter Therese Poletti.
What the analysts found was a Web video-on-demand segment filling up fast with competitors. That apparently spooked analysts at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Susquehanna … Read more
Netflix currently offers its streaming software through the browser, and on all three major gaming consoles. Could the iPhone be next?
The DVD rental and streaming service is at least considering it. The blog Hacking Netflix reported Monday night that some customers are being asked if they would use a Wi-Fi version of the streaming software on their iPhone.
Here is the text of one of the questions in the survey:
Imagine that Netflix offers its subscribers the ability to instantly watch movies & TV episodes on their iPhone. The selection availability to instantly watch includes some new releases, lots … Read more
As the first official 2010 HDTV reviewed by CNET, and the first mainstream edge-lit LED-based LCD produced by Sony we've tested, the KDL-NX800 series arrives with plenty of anticipation. However, before you equate "LED" with "awesome picture quality," it's worth reiterating that the backlight technology comes in a bunch of varieties--and not all are created equal. The Sony NX800 performs on a par with other like-equipped LCDs that we've tested, such as the UNB7000 series from Samsung, so people seeking a premium home theater picture might be disappointed.
In other areas, the … Read more
The hard times just keep slapping Blockbuster. The company announced Wednesday that it posted a $435 million loss for the fourth quarter.
The poor performance is especially hard, considering it happened in the fourth quarter--usually Blockbuster's best months. In the third quarter, the company lost over $114 million.
Back in September, the company announced that it would be closing up to 960 underperforming stores to increase its earnings by $50 million to $60 million. Blockbuster closed 374 U.S. stores last year and plans to accelerate its plans to shutter an additional 545 retail locations this year.
To revitalize … Read more
Netflix is cruising. The cable guys are catching on. Wal-Mart just rumbled in.
The Web's video-on-demand sector is filling up fast with some serious heavyweights. If Apple wants to make a mark in digital video that even vaguely resembles the one it made in music, perhaps the company should start treating Apple TV as more than just a "hobby." That's Apple's attitude toward the streaming-media device, said Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, who spoke at a conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.
This doesn't seem to be a good time to toy with online … Read more