The BBC is planning to launch a PVR service called iMP (Internet Media Player.) It will be using Microsoft DRM, and will only work on Windows PCs. It will have a rolling 14-day schedule (one week previous and one week ahead) and will use some sort of a P2P backend for content delivery.
Why am I almost positive this will fail miserably?
BBC ponders P2P distribution [theregister.co.uk]
More details of BBC iMP revealed - All content DRM'd [digital-lifestyles.info]
Joe Clark, an expert on captioning and accessibility issues, recently got a new Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8000 PVR for his Rogers Cable system in Canada. He's been keeping track of it on his accessibility blog and recently found that the box crashed and lost information a week before Feb 29th, this year's leap day. Slashdot noticed as well and it seems to be a date bug in the box's software, similar to a y2k bug.
This is wicked cool technology. Andrew Grumet, the guy that developed the RSS module for his TiVo has continued hacking away and come up with a pretty sophisticated recommendation system for it.
Check out the app here: Program My TiVo!
You put in a title, it searches TV listings and then lets you leave info on who you are and why you suggested it. It's a pretty cool use of technology and a great example of clever hacking.
c|net has news of TiVo repeating their $50 rebate offer and also unveiling new 140hr units. It's interesting to see TiVo cutting into the crowded upgrade market by offering a TiVo with significant storage. It's a bummer they stuck below the 137Gb limit imposed by the operating system (I'm assuming it's a 120Gb drive reporting the lowest quality recording time).
Orbit Satellite seems to be selling the Hughes HD-DVR250T, showing a price of $999 and a status of "waiting list". It's probably still a few weeks from shipping but it does appear that they're taking pre-orders on it. Hopefully the price will come down in the coming months for both existing and new customers as well.
Remember the TiVo To Go feature announced at CES last month? It looks like TiVo is doing some quick market research before they ready their betas. They're hosting a New Features Survey open to all. If you ever considered taking video off of your TiVo to archive or share with a friend, by all means take the survey today.
They ask about several features including the ability to move programs from your TiVo to your PC, the ability to burn DVDs on your TiVo or on your computer, the ability to edit video on your tivo to cut portions out, and the ability to move videos from your computer to your TiVo.
The New York Times has a fascinating article about the evolution of the TiVo remote control. Almost everyone that I have spoken to about the remote raves about it (I personally am a fan of the SVR-2000's remote over the Philips one), and this article goes in depth about what it took to make it. Lesson learned? Don't let engineers design the remote control and let your designers go crazy -- it gives us an insight on how far the TiVo design team actually reaches.
"There tends to be this conservatism in the design process," he said. "I encourage young designers to go off and scare me.''
Some of the results fell under the category of "Be careful what you wish for." One sketch was of a remote that looked like a horned toad. Another resembled an ice scraper for a windshield.
Akimbo Systems is getting set to launch their television-via-internet service. They're working with a smattering of sites that provide video (including, of course, a porn site or two) that are instantly accessible via your television, thanks to a big silver box.
It's an interesting attempt to circumvent the cable/satellite/over-air broadcast model entirely by using the internet in a new way, and it's great to see a new company innovating in the space. However, unless they sign on some pretty significant heavyweight content providers, they'll have a tough time luring customers with their current offerings (which seem too niche and not that extensive). They're also limited to DRM-laden Windows Media 9 video, so don't expect to be playing your own DVD backups captured as MPEGs anytime soon.
Poopli sounds like a long overdue service for owners of certain models of ReplayTV units. They used to allow the sharing of shows between friends, and Poopli helps turn strangers into friends by letting users request a program while the folks that have them can send their programs to others.
I always knew ReplayTV had the chance to become a great big TV version of Napster and Poopli looks to be the missing part.
Andrew Grumet, who earlier posted code to read RSS feeds on his TiVo, has announced a new proposal for sharing your recordings with others, using RSS as the xml data format.
It's a really compelling solution to a classic problem: I have five friends with TiVos and I'd love to know what they are taping and I'd be happy to show them what I like (just like Amazon's friend features that show purchases and reviews by your pals). Currently I get this done via conversations in person or email, but it'd be great if there was an automatic way to accomplish this within our TiVos themselves.
With the recent hoopla around social software, it'd be great to see this project get some legs and get adopted by TiVo for a future OS. I can't see any reason to block this adoption, it's not about sharing files with others, just sharing playlist of your to-do lists and recorded programs among friends. If anything, this would cause me to watch more TV and I'd be happier with my TiVo since I'd be finding new compelling programs.