Cloud-based DVR service roll-out to invite users initially
Live TV streaming service Aereo is going to expand its service to Boston, Massachusetts. Over 4.5 million people in the Boston metropolitan area will be able to use Aereo, which includes a cloud-based DVR as part of the service, and will be the second city that Aereo will operate in, after its initial launch in New York City.
Existing Boxee Box used for new tier, monthly fee for unlimited playback
Boxee has unveiled a new free offering for its cloud-based digital video recorder. A rebranded Boxee TV, now called the Boxee Cloud DVR, provides five hours of DVR playback per month on a new free plan for users of the hardware. Unlimited, indefinite storage remains available for purchasers of a paid tier.
Mini media extender funnels content from existing TiVo DVR
TiVo has started selling a compact set top box that expands where pre-recorded content can be played. The TiVo Mini, working over a home network, connects to an existing TiVo Premiere 4 or Premiere XL4 DVR, and can access the same live TV, recorded shows and other features that the main box can receive.
Cloud-based TV, DVR service could launch mid-2013
A project by Intel to roll out a virtual cable TV service with per-channel subscriptions and a cloud-based DVR service has hit longer delays than previously thought, with the negotiations with media companies being the main cause. Recent reports suggest that the discussions pushed the service's potential launch from the end of 2012 to mid-2013 or as late as the fourth quarter.
Counter-suit by Dish filed to preemptively declare skipping legal
Fox, NBCUniversal, and CBS have all filed suit independently against Dish Network over the new AutoHop service, which with the right set-top box allows viewers to automatically skip commercials, assuming the recorded content isn't watched on the day of broadcast. The broadcast networks call the DVR technology a violation of their copyrights, a danger to quality programming, and an assault on their financial ecosystem. In an effort to counter the separate legal attacks, Dish has filed a countersuit against the three, plus ABC, in an attempt to establish the legality of advertisement skipping.
TiVo Premier Elite DVR official, not yet available
TiVo has made its quad-tuning Premier Elite DVR official. The device is fitted with four tuners allowing for four channels to be recorded simultaneously on its 2TB hard drive. Users have the ability to record up to 300 hours of shows from Netflix, Pandora, Hulu Plus, Blockbuster, Amazon and YouTube.
Will provide control, program guides
The official TiVo iPad app should be at the App Store by the end of January, the company has announced via Twitter. Although not providing more details on the matter, it also adds that the prospect of Android and iPhone apps is being investigated. The iPad app will require a connection to the same network as a TiVo set-top.
New 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives
Hitachi GST has added two new drive families to its consumer hard drive range aimed at the growing digital video recorder (DVR), IPTV set-top-box (STB), video surveillance and emerging hard-drive embedded TV markets. The new drives include the 3.5-inch CinemaStar 5K2000 family, which comes in 2TB and 1.5TB capacities, and the 2.5-inch CinemaStar C5K750 family which comes in 750GB, 640GB and 500GB capacities. Each has been developed to meet the specific needs of the A/V market.
Videos can be streamed to iPhones, iPads
Elgato has released the EyeTV HD, a new DVR peripheral for Macs. The device lets users record HDTV captured from cable and satellite signals. Receivers are mainly connected via a component input; the EyeTV outputs to a Mac via USB, and can also ingest video from composite and S-Video sources.
Push notifications configurable for e-mail, shows
Comcast has announced that its iPhone app now allows users to remotely control their DVR systems directly from the handset interface. myDVR Manager mimics the on-screen programming guide of a typical set-top box, with content arranged by channel or category. Subscribers can modify existing schedules, cancel recordings, or add new items.
Portable sound provides mixed results
MacNN has reviewed the iLive IS108B, a portable speaker system with a built-in iPod dock. The unit folds up into the size of a paperback, and can be powered either through AA batteries or an AC adapter. A clock display is situated in the dock, which fits many different iPods.
Extends Mac content to set-tops
Verizon has introduced a Mac version of Media Manager, its media extender software for FiOS TV subscribers. The program is meant exclusively for FiOS DVR set-tops, and lets users listen to iTunes music on a TV, including specified playlists. Images can meanwhile be shared out of iPhoto libraries, viewed by event and/or in slideshow form, the latter with music if assigned in advance.
Denies some expected features
Apple is unlikely to turn the Apple TV into a DVR set-top, despite analyst suggestions and hints in patents, says research firm Caris & Company. Analysts from the firm are said to have met recently with Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, who immediately tried to dispel rumors. "While some have wondered whether Apple might ultimately try to integrate traditional cable set-top box (decoding) functionality into its Apple TV product," a Caris investor note reads, "Mr. Oppenheimer pretty much killed that concept and said that it just doesn't fit Apple's business."
DirecTV iPhone app
DirecTV has launched an app that allows customers to control their home DVR systems from an iPhone or iPod touch. A search function can be used to find shows up to 14 days in advance, or the content can be browsed by channel or date and time. The listings include additional information such as show descriptions, length and rating. Users can record single shows, an entire series or Pay Per View content.
EyeTV 3.1 update
Elgato has released an update to EyeTV 3, its Mac-based DVR software. Key to v3.1 is the addition of a TV Guide schedule for North America, which covers broadcasts up to 14 days in advance and provides associated cast, rating and genre information. A year of the schedule will be free for new and existing EyeTV 3 owners, but subsequent years will cost $20 each.
Sony HDD video recorder
Sony has announced that owners of a compatible Bravia TV can purchase the BRX-A320 DVR, which has a 320GB HDD for recording up to 27 hours of HD video and 55 hours of SD, or up to 249 hours of content in LP mode. There is just one HDMI port in the device, though users can still record SD content thanks to one of four selectable recording modes. In the name of space efficiency, the DVR can mount on the back of the compatible Sony TVs thanks to a mount purchased separately.
i.TV has released the latest version of its TV and movie guide for the iPhone and iPod touch. The update now allows users to remotely program their DVR systems, view a variety of streaming content or purchase movie tickets. The DVR functions require a TiVo account and allow configuration of the frequency, quality and priority of recordings. The additional streaming content includes television shows, previews, movie trailers and YouTube videos. Users can purchase tickets from MovieTickets.com and securely store payment information for later use.
Toshiba upscaling DVRs
Toshiba Japan on Thursday introduced three new DVRs with the company’s proprietary eXtended Detail Enhancement (XDE) near-HD quality upscaling technology that was first introduced in the XD-E500 DVD player. The newest models to use the technology are headed up by the RD-X8 DVR, which comes with a 1TB hard drive to record TV from its digital TV tuner. In addition, it will burn dual-layer DVDs and supports both MPEG-4 and AVC/H.264 formats. Of the new additions, the RD-X8 alone has Deep Color HDMI outputs.
TiVo teams up with EW.com
DVR maker and service provider TiVo announced on Wednesday it will partner up with Entertainment Weekly to provide viewers with content that is always available. Under the new agreement, Entertainment Weekly’s What to Watch recommendations will be automatically recorded on TiVo’s Internet-connected digital set-top boxes. Users will also be able to download Entertainment Weekly video content via TiVo, including Just a Minute, Ausiello TV and Idolatry, in addition to behind-the-scenes video from photo shoots.
Panasonic Blu-ray DVRs
Panasonic updated its DIGA-series Blu-ray DVR recorders, which were released late last year, announcing today it will soon launch the three recorders that include the 1TB capacity DMR-BW930, 500GB DMR-BW830 and 320GB DMR-BW730. All will support the web-based BD Live bonus content, record HD programming onto their onboard hard disk drives and be able to burn Blu-ray AVCHD format (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) videos onto blank Blu-ray discs at 6X speeds.
TiVo integrate YouTube
TiVo on Thursday announced that its Series3 and TiVo HD DVRs will soon support YouTube content, allowing users to browse and view videos on the Google-owned service. In the future, TiVo hopes to introduce a login interface, which would let users access their YouTube accounts, videos, channels, and playlists. Tivo expects to have the update delivered over "the next few weeks" for the aforementioned players.
Iomega's 500GB DVR drive
Iomega today announced the release of its DVR Expander drive, made to work with TiVo and Scientific Atlanta DVRs and more than triple their TV program storage capacities. The 500GB DVR Expander interfaces via an eSATA connection, capable of 1.5GBps transfer speeds, and can hold up to 300 hours of standard-definition TV programming or 60 hours of high-def programs.
Hitachi's CinemaStar HDDs
Hitachi on Wednesday unveiled a pair of new hard drives to add to its CinemaStar line, with the C5K320 and the 5K500. The former is a 2.5-inch hard drive with up to 320 GB capacity, while the latter is built around a 500GB, 3.5-inch hard drive. All of Hitachi’s CinemaStar hard disk drives are designed to extend the recording capacity of DVRs in home theater setups, but can also work with media center PCs.
TiVo brings Disney VOD
DVR provider TiVo on Wednesday announced it will offer videos on demand from the Walt Disney Studios library, with some of the content made available in high-definition. The service will be available for all subscribers with Internet-ready Series2 and Series3 terminals via CinemaNow.
TiVo made it clear movies in standard definition will be available for a 24-hour period, although how many HD movies will be available and if the timeframe for watching them will differ from the SD offerings was not specified.
NBC on Vista TV recording
Recent interference with Vista Media Center recording was accidental, NBC says. TV viewers last week reported being unable to record episodes of American Gladiators and Medium, and instead receiving messages saying that DRM restrictions had been enabled. This triggered a number of of online complaints, including concerns that NBC was attempting to deter the use of DVRs, which allow people to skip unwanted advertising and other distractions.
TiVo lifetime subscription
The subscription-based TiVo service has quietly brought back its Lifetime Service subscription plan on a permanent basis, extending what was originally a temporary deal. When it originally launched, the service offered similar lifetime subscriptions that were ultimately phased out in July 2003. The lifetime service is receiver-specific, though it is possible to transfer it from an older receiver to another one for a fee of nearly $200 that also maintains a one-year subscription to the TV recording service for the older device.
Ruling disappoints Dish
In response to the ruling against the Dish Network, the company writes that it is disappointed with the court's rejection for an appeal, but that it will not affect current or future customers. According to the note, EchoStar has already developed and deployed a new version of the DVR software to customers as an automatic download. Dish claims the new software does not infringe on patents held by Tivo Inc.
TiVo vs. Dish resolved
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has once again denied an appeal by the Dish Network in light of a legal victory by TiVo, filings show. TiVo contends that Dish DVRs violate a software patent it holds, connected to split recording and viewing; the latter company has protested this however, and fought not only the initial verdict of a lower court, but also the outcome of its first federal appeal. In the wake of this second appeal, the Federal Circuit's decision is final and Dish has little to no legal recourse.
Apple TV to become DVR?
Apple may be aiming to eventually transform the Apple TV set-top into a full DVR, new filings with the US Patent and Trademark Office suggest. Submitted in October 2006 but only just made public, the filings depict a unique interface for the Apple TV, able to browse and record live TV programming, in addition to downloading movies and TV shows sold through iTunes. Such features would put the Apple TV into direct competition with TiVo, whose set-tops can not only record TV but buy movies through Amazon's Unbox service. Recently, the company announced that it would support YouTube content, much like the Apple TV.
TiVo Tru2Way/OCAP set-top
DVR maker TiVo is preparing to support Tru2Way technology, according to a financial statement released by the company. Fomerly known as OCAP, the technology enables two-way interaction over cable set-tops, including services such as games, chat, web browsing and shopping. The technology will only be available in in the form of an upcoming standalone device, however, and not as an update for present set-tops like the TiVo HD or Series 3.
DVRs boosting viewers
Digital video recorders (DVRs) are increasing the amount of time people spend watching TV, says the Nielsen research group. While DVRs can theoretically make people extremely selective, it appears to simply be enabling people to watch more programming they would ordinarily miss, due to inconvenient timeframes. A study specifically contrasted viewing from November 2005 -- before much DVR penetration, Nielsen says, although it did not track DVRs at the time -- and November 2007.
Archos 405 updates to 30GB
Archos has dramatically increased the capacity of its 405 media player, an announcement reveals. Although last year's model had just 2GB of hard drive space, the player now holds 15 times that capacity at 30GB. This should theoretically be enough to hold 40 movies, 300,000 photos, or 15,000 songs.
The player is equipped with a 3.5-inch screen, and is able not only to output to TV, but act as a miniature DVR unit through a DVR Station Gen 5. The new 405 should be on sale in the UK by the end of February, for £200 ($388); no North American plans have been mentioned, but the majority of Archos' products are sold on the continent. [via Pocket-lint]
TiVo vs. Dish Network
A federal court has upheld a ruling in favor of TiVo in its case against the Dish Network, the Associated Press writes. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is supporting a lower court's verdict, which holds that the Dish Network violated one of TiVo's software patents. Specifically the patent addresses split recording and viewing, one of TiVo's signature features, although neither TiVo nor Dish are the sole users of the concept.
No Canadian DMCA in 2007
The Canadian government will not debate the creation of DMCA-like legislation until at least 2008, writes legal expert Michael Geist. Amendments to the country's Copyright Act were expected for discussion in the House of Commons this month, but this can no longer happen, according to the press secretary for Industry Minister Jim Prentice. The bill will not be introduced tomorrow, and as parliament is breaking for the Christmas holidays after Friday, the soonest the legislation can be reintroduced is late January.
2TB Tivo Series 3
WeaKnees.com has recently unveiled upgraded Series 3 TiVo DVRs, featuring both an internal and external hard drive, each rated at one terabyte. The hard drives work in tandem to provide 292 hours of HD video storage – up from TiVo's current 20 to 30 hours – or 2800 hours of standard definition video. The units come with cables, a backlit, programmable remote, and a six month warranty for parts, labor and technical support. WeaKnees.com is selling the upgraded TiVos for $1800, and are offering a $200 mail-in rebate
TiVo Series 4 Hint
TiVo may have tipped its hand and revealed the next generation of its digital video recorder, according to the company's third-quarter results briefing. The device maker says that it has made a deal with the cable TV industry that will let TiVo's hardware tune any signal that supports the OpenCable standard in both directions. This will allow an upcoming DVR to access video-on-demand services and other features that have previously been impossible to implement in the past, the company says. Today, TiVo's Series 2, Series 3, and TiVo HD models all support only one-way analog or digital tuning, forcing users to visit non-interactive channels.