Can you believe next month is Christmas? Anyway, lots of cool things happened on the TV front last month like the news that Time Warner is going to offer customers DVR-like features without the hardware and that DirecTV is going to add local HD programming to 25 markets.
While I think every home should have a DVR, Time Warner Cable has a new service for those of you who want some DVR-like features without paying for a DVR box. Acording to TMCNet.com:
Time Warner Cable on Monday will launch a new service here that will let its digital cable TV subscribers press a button to restart their favorite shows, movies or sporting events from the beginning -- for free and without using a digital video recorder.
The release continues:
The feature works via the set-top box used by digital customers.
While Start Over lets viewers rewind and pause programs, they cannot fast-forward or use Start Over to skip commercials.
And, initially, only a portion of Time Warner's programming can be restarted.
The company must negotiate agreements with the networks it carries and with content producers like Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema before it can make shows Start Over-enabled.
Personally I can't see why you wouldn't spend the extra $9 a month to a get a DVR with Time Warner Cable. This might actually be an ingenious plan to upsell customers to DVR. What do you think?
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Oct 10, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Already leading the satellite TV industry in the delivery of local HD programming, DIRECTV will offer local HD broadcast networks in 67 markets, representing approximately 74 percent of U.S. TV households, by year end when it rolls out 25 more local HD markets in the fourth quarter.
Local news, sports and popular primetime programming from ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC will be available in HD to customers who subscribe to any TOTAL CHOICE(R) programming package that offers local channels. There is no additional charge for local HD programming.
The 25 local markets to receive HD programming from DIRECTV include:
A few years ago, I decided that satellite TV was the way to go. I found a great deal on a dish and figured I'd save a hundered bucks on the install and do it myself. I mean, how hard could it be? Okay, that was probably one of the stupidest questions I 've ever asked (if you don't count me asking the judge "You talkin' to me?", while doing my best Travis Bickle impersonation).
Anyway, if you've ever hooked up a satellite dish, you realize that finding a signal requires a college degree and a lot of shouting from to the roof to a 12 year old engineer in the front room. The dialogue consists of a lot of:
"What's the signal strength?"
"Is it doing anything?"
"Do you want me to come down there and ....?"
All that's followed by a lot of cussing (by the 12 year old, of course) and an olympic-type slip and fall performance off of the roof (by me, of course).
Anyway we're back on cable now. If I ever decide to install satellite again (yeah, right!), I'll be sure to do it the smart way like Danny over at Mavromatic.com:
I’ve installed a few Satellite Dishes for friends, family, and myself — I really hate it. Most of the installs I have done involved setting the Dish up on a roof or far from the receiver, thus rendering the tone and display generated from the Dish Setup screen useless. I have bought all the standard setup tools… the digital compass and inline satellite signal meter, but those tools still don’t make it a 15-minute setup job. Solution, use an old Realistic PocketVision 22. I think my pocket TV is circa 1989, but any pocket TV with miniplug antenna port will work — I’ve seen these things as cheap as $10 used.
A little TV on the roof? Why the hell didn't I think of that? Oh well, at least now I know how to tuck and roll after a 12 foot swandive. Be sure to read the complete tutorial:
I've been using MobiTV on my PDA for quite awhile so I was pretty pleased to hear that MobiTV was the engine that was running the new AT&T Broadband service. According to the press release:
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and MobiTV, Inc., the global leader in television and music services for all things mobile and broadband , today announced an agreement to offer a mobile television service to broadband users in the United States, including AT&T Yahoo!? High Speed Internet and AT&T WorldNet subscribers. The browser-based service, which will be called AT&T Broadband TV, will enable subscribers to use a computer to access a wealth of live programming while at home, at work, or on the go using wired and wireless broadband technologies.
Through the deal, AT&T becomes the first U.S. broadband provider to offer a live TV subscription service with MobiTV to consumers through any broadband connection. The service expands upon an earlier agreement that enables AT&T to offer MobiTV to customers who use thousands of AT&T Wi-Fi hot spots.
The AT&T Broadband TV service will initially have approximately 20 channels of live and made-for-broadband television content spanning national news, sports, entertainment and full-length music videos from top artists. Among the channels included in the initial channel lineup is Fox News,* Bloomberg, Oxygen, History Channel, Comedy Time, Toonworld, Maxx Sports and the Weather Channel.
The service is $19.99 a month which is a little higher than I'd like to see. You can check out the service for yourself with a 14 day trial at https://att.mobitv.com/do/welcome.