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Why Did TiVo Fail at Quora

Pretty interesting little thread at Quora I stumbled upon asking Why Did TiVo Fail? The best answer so far is from a former TiVo employee that makes it clear TiVo didn't completely fail (heck, it's going on 15 years old now) but did miss a ton of opportunites and he describes that he describes one by one.

July 25, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Google Chromecast released


Google released the Chromecast today for just $35, a small item that connects via HDMI and runs a virtual AirPlay-like service, allowing you to send video from apps and Chrome browsers to your TV. Getting video from the Internet to your TV isn't the easiest problem to solve (I can do it in one of three somewhat clunky ways), but a simple plug 'n play option for $35 seems like a great solution. The video above shows a few common uses.

I've ordered one myself and I'm curious how useful it will be, and I expect to post a review in a few weeks after I get it up and running. Last year's kickstarter PocketTV was also a HDMI smart tv adapter that I haven't heard much about ever since it got funded, so it might be an uphill battle for Google Chromecast.

July 24, 2013 in News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Boxee sold to Samsung (plus a download of the old Mac Boxee software)


Boxee is one of my favorite video apps in my home theater and I'm actually glad to hear they've been acquired by Samsung. The software Boxee created looks and works great, and is simple to use (here's my old review of the Boxee box). Samsung's own connected TV apps are another story entirely. 

Samsung's software design is mostly poor, buggy, and hard to use, while Boxee's team comes from the world of nice looking easy-to-use websites and I have high hopes that they can make a bunch of user interface improvements on Samsung apps/devices as a result. In my perfect world, Samsung would scrap their SmartTV apps and instead let you run an instance of Boxee on every new Samsung TV. Boxee is really great for managing downloaded video, running various web video apps to watch stuff on your TV, and for browsing the web on your TV.

Boxee Software for the Mac

In early 2012, Boxee stopped developing their Mac/PC app when the Boxee box by D-Link took off. They also quietly removed it from their site, which annoyed me because I found the D-Link Boxee box eventually stopped working reliably for me and I replaced it with an old Mac mini. I tracked down the last release version of the Mac OS X software when I set up my Mac mini, and have been running it ever since. Now that Boxee has been acquired, I'm providing a link here in case anyone else needs a copy of this old software to run on home theater connected Macs:

Boxee (87 Mb .dmg)

(Google Code has this version and others for Linux and Windows here)

July 7, 2013 in News | Permalink | Comments (0)