New devices capture up to six QAM broadcasts simultaneously
Ceton Corp has announced the new InfiniTV 6 product line of CableCARD multi-tuner devices for Media Center PCs. InfiniTV 6 is available in two models, which each incorporate six QAM tuners and require only a single CableCARD. InfiniTV 6 ETH is a powerful Ethernet-based network tuner that plugs into a router or wired home network. InfiniTV 6 PCIe connects to a PC via a PCI-E slot for configurations where all six tuners are available on a single PC.
Rules allow any industry standard IP platform for cable box sharing
The FCC has asked cable operators to add support for HD video streaming into their set-top boxes for a second time, after the initial two-year deadline for conformity passes. A filing clarified rules relating to opening up CableCARD services to other devices, following a lack of movement in the industry to obey the original rule changes that took place in 2010.
Offers consumers options, will enforce changes
The FCC late Thursday posted a key set of rule changes (PDF) that should improve access to CableCARD for DVRs and other set-top boxes. The changes were instituted in response to the ongoing failure of cable companies to deliver cheaper CableCARD alternatives for consumers in addition to rental-only set top boxes. The choice should help some consumers save on paying rental fees for services that they donít need.
FCC to tackle cellphone overage fees next month
The FCC late this week published an agenda (PDF) for its next open meeting that confirmed it will tackle high cellphone overage charges on October 14. Agency officials will discuss how to combat what it has called "bill shock," or roaming and heavy use charges that can range into the hundreds or thousands of dollars above the base rate. Extra fees have become an increasing problem as smartphones like the iPhone have added data fees to voice and text messaging costs.
Firmware updates seen as unlikely
Verizon's FiOS TV network is preparing for a transition to Simulcrypt technology, which will cause problems for many CableCARD owners. The conversion is said to be necessary for compatibility with certain Cisco and Motorola devices that require the encryption standard.
Card streams four simultaneous TV streams
Ceton has finally begun shipping its InfiniTV quad-CableCARD tuner to customers who placed pre-orders. The multi-tuner PC card allows users to watch digital cable TV from their computers or dedicated media centers.
TiVo gets new UI, 1080p, Pandora
TiVo fought back in digital media tonight by launching the Series4, its long-planned overhaul of its DVRs. The new models center on a heavily redesigned, Flash-based and HD native interface that now puts online video services like Amazon VOD, Blockbuster and Netflix on a higher level than before; content available through those will appear in the same searches that spotlight regular TV shows. More Internet deals are also coming that will include Internet radio from Pandora and a mix of news, photos and status updates through FrameChannel.
TiVo's next DVR could have fully HD native UI
The TiVo Premiere if launched at TiVo's special event next month could center on an interface revamp, a tip says this afternoon. The software would finally take full advantage of HDTV resolutions. It may also include a streamlined way of loading apps and media as well as improved search.
TiVo to hold event for new DVR next month
TiVo today invited the press to a March 2nd media event in New York for what's likely a new DVR. The teaser only says that "inventing the DVR was just a warmup" and promises more at the gathering. Most observers expect the company to launch the TiVo Premiere, a replacement for the TiVo HD that scraps dial-up and other legacy features but adds in a multi-stream CableCARD slot that can record at least one show in the background while watching another.
TiVo may be clearing DVR stock for new model
TiVo today sent signals that it's ready to introduce new DVRs by listing the TiVo HD as out of stock. The move leaves just the high-capacity TiVo HD XL as the company's only real option and doesn't come along with an explanation. It comes not long after TiVo unintentionally leaked the TiVo Premiere and hinted at a seemingly imminent upgrade.
TiVo accidentally shows new DVR in guide
TiVo may have inadvertently spoiled its plans for an upgrade to its video recorders by shipping a manual for the TiVo Premiere (PDF) and its Premiere XL cousin. Packaged in with a TiVo HD, the paperwork shows a device unlike any existing TiVo DVR and would be the first to include a multi-stream CableCARD slot that would let it record more than one TV show without a second card. As a result of the upgrade, TiVo appears to have scrapped the second slot found on devices like the Series 3.
Gateways most likely to replace CableCARD tech
At least two major electronics manufacturers, TiVo and Sony, have submitted a similar idea for a standard that would replace the aging CableCARD standard. A deadline for such submissions to the FCC was earlier this week, and the majority of the ideas for the technical replacement for the failed standard share a common theme, which is that of a gateway. This would resemble a traditional cable modem with consumers seeing an IP interface with HTTP and SSL. On the provider side, the gateway would cater to a connection such as a coaxial cable, satellite signal or fiber optic line.
Samsung, Videotron bring tru2way to Canada
Samsung said on Thursday it has partnered with cable provider Videotron to bring the tru2way interactive digital-cable standard to Canada for the first time. While Videotron will provide the content, Samsung will bring it into subscribers' homes with its high-definition DVR hardware. Videotron's illico Digital TV service offers more than 350 digital channels and interactive services, and the cable provider will sell Samsung set-top boxes in all of its retail locations.
FCC would let TV boxes pipe streaming video
The FCC signaled its intent to advance the state of set-top TV boxes this week with a quietly published rulemaking notice. A request for comment (PDF) on "video device innovation" has noted that the CableCARD standard has failed to create the open digital environment for TV that the FCC had planned and that it wants input on how to spur development of replacement technology that would bring Internet access and other features to the traditionally closed-off cable and satellite TV realms.
OEM requirement lifted for CableCARD tuners
Microsoft, speaking at a Windows Media Center keynote at CEDIA, announced changes to the purchasing requirements for CableCARD tuners. The components will now be available as an aftermarket accessory, enabling customers to add to functionality to their own systems.
Comcast faces lawsuit
Internet and cable TV provider Comcast is being sued by its customer, Cheryl Corralejo, for requiring its customer to pay rental fees for its set-top and CableCARD boxes in order to view premium content and not giving them the option of buying them outright. The class-action lawsuit was filed at the end of November at the US District Court for the Eastern District of California and alleges Comcast's practice violates the Sherman Anti-Trust Act as well as business and professional codes.
LG tru2way US Deal
LG on Monday said it has struck deals with US cable providers to get support for tru2way, the new two-directional HD video standard. A memorandum of understanding between LG and six US cable providers should see the latter offer support for tru2way on their networks, letting HDTVs from LG and other set makers supply HDTV with interactive options such as video on demand or more advanced programming guides without needing a separate device.
Cannon PC CableCARD HTPCs
Earlier this week, Cannon PC announced it will soon offer its Home- and Pro A/V-series HTPCs with dual and even quad CableCARDs installed. This allows them to record up to four individual standard- or high-def programs simultaneously, as each card will effectively act as a separate TV tuner, taking the place of a set-top box. Cannon PC took the opportunity to announce a direct OEM partnership with Microsoft as well, and all of the company's HTPCs use Microsoft's Windows Media Center as the multimedia interface.
Sony Blu-ray TP and Drive
Sony has continued its succession of releases with its first major update to the VAIO TP as well as a new Blu-ray drive for computers. The updated TP home theater PC now includes a Blu-ray reader that can play HD movies at a full 1080p when attached to an HDMI-equipped HDTV or computer display; it also becomes the first home theater PC to switch to Intel's 45nm Core 2 Duo and runs a 2.1GHz processor instead of the old 1.83GHz chip. On a premium model, a dual-CableCARD tuner allows it to watch and record cable HD at the same time.
Dell XPS 420 CableCard
Dell has quietly slipped in the option for a CableCard tuner into its XPS 420 desktop. The addition gives the option of single or dual ATI TV Wonder adapters that will tune HD cable broadcasts without requiring a provider's set-top box for its copy protection features. Either option can record shows, with the premium dual option allowing users to watch one program while recording another at the same time, Dell notes.