Think Secret is reporting a leak that Apple may unveil a PVR in January at the next MacWorld. They say "Kaleidoscope" could be a combination of a mac mini, Front Row, and a PVR, and be Apple's first move into the living room. Given the release of the video iPod and Front Row on the new iMac, it doesn't seem like much of a leap for Apple to do a project like this. Think Secret also has a pretty good track record on getting scoops before every MacWorld, so I'd say this rumor is quite plausable. [thanks Davis]
Quoth an NBC spokesperson,
TiVo appears to be acting unilaterally, disregarding established rights of content owners to participate in decisions regarding the distribution and exploitation of their content. This unilateral action creates the risk of legal conflict instead of contributing to the constructive exploitation of digital technology that can rapidly provide new and exciting experiences for the consumer.
And here I thought TiVo was exploiting digital technology. Perhaps the subtext is that NBC would rather exploit consumers? Regardless, eWeek spoke to two intellectual property attorneys about NBC's statement. Both say NBC doesn't have much of a leg to stand on and point to the Supreme Court of the United States' Betamax judgement as the relevant precedent.
I'm not in the HME Beta because of the non-disclosure agreement, but someone who is in the program was nice enough to email me this about recent HME programs:
They rolled out some more stuff -- Yahoo Traffic, Yahoo Weather, and Yahoo Photos, plus a TiVo podcatcher (I think it's audio only, so far).
The Yahoo! application sound about right, considering their recent partnership. The podcast client sounds like a smart idea. People frequently explain podcasting like TiVo for audio, now TiVo is like TiVo! It's also another avenue for TiVo to build it's internet distribution features.
I suspect it doesn't, but if the podcast client supports video files (MPEG-2 only I would think, given the existing TiVoToComeback feature) then the TiVo would act as a collection point for all sorts of non-TV content. Would anyone in the HME program care to comment on whether the podcast client supports video?
Slashdot is reporting that TiVo is planning a RFID-aware addition to TiVo boxes, in order to let owners have multiple profiles. Hearing that they're working on profiles is great, since everyone I know has to share a TiVo with a spouse that has wildly different viewing habits and favorites. The use of RFID is interesting, I wonder if it'll be a chip in a keychain, or maybe TiVos might come with two remotes, one for each profile.
The thought of extending profiles to other TiVos is an even better idea -- imagine being able to access your favorite shows while on the road in a hotel, or over at a friend's house (assuming someday TiVo stored or shared shows from a server). [thanks Davis]
Big news from TiVo this Monday: The Associated Press is reporting that TiVo will release TiVoToGo recordings in formats specifically for the Playstation Portable and the video iPod. There's not a lot of details aside from it being a beta test at first, but great to see TiVo embracing other formats and players.
This is kind of surprising to hear, given that the windows media DRM in other portable media players keeps the files locked up. It would seem either TiVo and Apple agreed to work together, or files destined for these new players will be unprotected.
The TiVo Community has more on this. [thanks Pete]
Robert Aitchison wrote in:
Looks like TiVo is doing more testing of their video delivery over broadband technology.
Yesterday it was an offer to see free product reviews from C|Net, today they are ramping up to offer an exclusive preview of the movie "Red Trousers" which apparently is a martial arts film by Tai Seng Entertainment.
Obviously this is only for Series2 Standalone TiVo units that are connected over broadband.
For more info see http://research.tivo.com/redtrousers/
Great to see TiVo moving towards broadband delivery of shows and movies. I bet it's no accident the film being tested is outside the Hollywood mainstream. If you thought TV and movie studios were nervous about TiVo before, just wait until people no longer need either for distribution of content. It'd be great to see TiVo continue to embrace these out-of-the-hollywood-loop films. Perhaps the award winners of independent film festivals will be available for streaming to TiVos next year?
I'd love to be able to enjoy the Sundance Festival from my couch.
Remember the 90's? No, not another nostalgia show from VH-1; think back to when stock prices could only go up, it made sense to buy a 100 pound bag of pet food online and CNET was on the TV. At least one of those is coming back: the company that put Ryan Seacrest on TV is trying to get back to its roots in the form of TiVo downloadable video.
PVR Wire is reporting that TiVo and CNET have partnered to provide short product review segments for the next 6 weeks. In order to get it, you have to opt-in to get the download from the TiVo main menu and only TiVo Series 2 owners with broadband need apply. (via)
More than just the CNET deal though, this means that TiVo is using its Internet content distribution network. While the Netflix deal didn't go through, the idea of getting video independent of the broadcast networks is still sound. I wouldn't be surprised if we see something from Yahoo! on this front too, since TiVo and Y! just announced a partnership, and Y! News is now producing a video news program.update: Dave Zatz got some good screenshots of the cnet downloads in action.
Over at the TiVo Community, user ebonovic has posted a very lengthy, comprehensive review of DirecTV's R-15 NDS based 'DTiVo killer' DVR. There are loads of screenshots and details of the signup process (no phone required, it uses the satellite!), along with testing of all the ports and even the hard drive. One amusing thing is the "TiVo Central" screen with your recordings is called "My VOD".
Over on the Snapstream blog, they've got all the details on the launch of Beyond TV 4.
Last year we reviewed the previous version. Sounds like the new version adds more custom features, divx for saving shows, and over-the-air HDTV support. I'm requesting a copy for review and will post my experiences with it in the next few weeks.
Interesting, it looks like TiVo's moving to the cellphone business model completely, offering a free TiVo box for a slightly higher monthly charge. No word on if the monthly changes after the 1 year contract is up, but great to see TiVo trying new stuff. [thanks Davis]