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May 17, 2008

Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV: Code Your Own Applications For Your Favorite TV Shows

Multiview_Newsroom.jpgThe lucky guys from Gizmodo had the honor of visiting Microsoft last week and getting a first hand look at some of the new Mediaroom IPTV features. Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV is like brings TV into your home much like cable/satellite does, except the Mediaroom solution does so over the internet. In the US, it's found commercially by way of AT&T U-Verse, and uses a simple set-top box to bring a high-def picture to your HDTV that's actually better than cable because it's not compressed.

Currently it offers some pretty cool features such as quick channel changing, multi-room viewing, simultaneous multiple channel recording without any memory limits, and even multiple picture-in-picture. AT&T isn't offering multi-room viewing until the latter half of 2008, but that's of no interest compared to the new Mediaroom feature: applications. Giz gave a couple of examples of different ways apps can be used that really show off how interactive Microsoft's IPTV service really is.

By pulling info straight off the internet, you could actually pull out fighter stats, or switch to a different camera angle when watching boxing. Nascar fans could actually change their viewing perspective to that of their favorite drivers cockpit cam. Most of the apps will be created by each shows' producer and then sold to the service provider for you to use, but you also can create your own apps and we're sure we'll see from pretty cool creations from Mediaroom users the world over. The problem at the moment is that no service providers actually offer the applications on their set top boxes, but we're sure that'll change in the very near future.

Via Gizmodo

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 14, 2008

SlingMedia Launches DOCSIS 2.0 SlingModem With Placeshifting Features

SlingModemRear.jpgThe new SlingModem from SlingMedia under EchoStar Communications will be launching a new Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS 2.0) cable modem next week. Featuring the place-shifting capabilities of the SlingBox which allows TV content to be streamed from your TV to any location via an internet connection, the SlingModem is aimed at cable operators. So far pricing has not been announced, nor have any potential partners but we won't be surprised if more details are put forth next week at The Cable Show where it'll be officially launched. The SlingModem will require a broadband connection with a network router to enable web streaming, but unlike the SlingBox, won't have to sit between the router and the TV or set-top box eliminating home network clutter. And if you're a fan of analog channels you won't even need a TV as part of your home network, because the SlingModem has its own analog tuner which can receive analog signals and then stream them onto your computer. Of course this won't work too much longer because when February 17, 2009 rolls around, analog signals will for the most part exist no more.

Via Broadcasting & Cable

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 3, 2008

Apple TV Features New "Buy" Option

overview_hero20080208.jpgFollowing Apple's announcement that they would be offering iTunes movie sales day-and-date with the corresponding DVD title release, the company quietly added a new feature to the Apple TV. Previously the Apple TV only allowed movie rentals directly. Purchases had to be done via the internet, then streamed/synced to the set-top box in order to view it TV. Now, iTunes movies can be purchased directly from the Apple TV, adding a big convenience for users. Check out your Apple TV interface now, and you should see a "Buy" button.

Via MacRumors

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 27, 2008

Bravia's DMX-BV1 Internet Video Link Is Now Available

212tWekhIuL._SL500_AA280_.jpgThis slipped by us the other day, but we're glad we know now that the Bravia Internet Video Link is now available. Kind of inconvenient that the DMX-BV1 (yes, that's the model number) is only compatible with Bravia's, but if you do have one, it'll let you stream web video right to your Sony TV through your broadband connection. If you're more into the news and weather, you can get that too through internet providers such as Yahoo, Grouper, and AOL.

Winner of an 2008 International CES Innovations award, the DMX-BV1 Bravia Internet Video Link sits behind your TV, integrates with the Xross Media Bar (XMB) which'll pick up new video partners as they become available, and supports all HD resolutions via HDMI pass-through. Looking to pick one up? They're now available at Amazon.

Via Zatz Not Funny!

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 21, 2008

Who Has The Best Movie Download Service? Vudu Says HDTV Magazine

vudu.jpgThe options for movie downloads seem to be growing everyday, making it tough to keep track of who's out there, who has the best prices, and who has the best selection. Over at HDTV Magazine, Shane Sturgeon has done your homework for you, rating five of the top movie download services offering titles via the internet. Using a 46-inch Samsung 1080p LCD TV connected via HDMI through a Gefen 8x1 switch, and an AT&T 4Mbps DSL connection, Sturgeon painstakingly tested the Apple TV, Vudu, Amazon Unbox, Xbox 360 and Dish Network services and came up with some interesting results. Of the five services Vudu came up on top with the only "A" grade, followed by the improved Apple TV with a "B+". DishONLINE struggled with lack of content, especially in the HD arena and sloth-like download times, but being so new it'll probably improve over the next year or so.

Via HDTV Magazine

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 12, 2008

Myka's BitTorrent Set-Top Box Blows Them All Away

front_crop%201.jpgBlockbuster Video may be working hard to catch up with the times and save its business, but it seems the company may still be a couple of steps behind with an open standards set-top box, Myka, coming this summer. Myka will have the official BitTorrent client installed right onto the Linux-based box, allowing you to simply point the Myka's browser at a tracker file and click to download. In fact, later this year if you happen to be browsing tracker sites such as isoHunt, you'll probably see a "Download To Myka" icon right on your computer screen.

Available in 80-, 160-, and 500 gigabyte models, Myka hooks up to your internet connection via ethernet or wifi and to your TV via a HDMI, composite, S-video, or SPDIF connection allowing you to watch virtually any type of video you can find on a P2P network right on your TV. The set-top box supports any and all files you'd find on the web including MPEG2, h.264, DivX, and WMV video codecs.

The Myka team like we already said has BitTorrent on board, meaning you'll have legimate access to content from studios such as 20th Century Fox, MTV, Warner and Playboy, and has teamed up with isoHunt to grant you access to newer and more, um, illegitimate content. In fact isoHunt users will get a $25 discount on the box, which is already available for preorder from Myka's website.

The Myka boxes are fairly pricey, ranging from $299 to $459, but hey, look what you have access to!

Via Wired

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 10, 2008

Blockbuster Developing Set-Top Box?

2007-03-01t163329z_01_nootr_rtridsp_2_business-blockbuster-movielink-dc.jpgBlockbuster Video looks to be making some inroads into repairing its struggling movie rental business, as the company is developing a set-top box that will stream films directly to our televisions. Although Blockbuster has refused to comment on the "rumor", the new service will be an offshoot of their 2007 acquisition Movielink which enables users to watch film content online. The company is working on integrating Movielink into, to be completed sometime this quarter, and is also apparently working on a mobile streaming platform and in-store kiosks for downloading movies. While its a smart move on Blockbuster's behalf to start offering digital services, we wonder if offering so many new ways of renting film content from the company will completely cannabilize their brick-and-mortar service. If so, all the the work will be for naught, because it won't make any type of positive difference to their bottom line. It remains to be seen I guess.


Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 29, 2008

Apple TV Update v2.0.1 Available

GW249H240.jpgLooks like Apple has quietly released their first Apple TV update since its mega Take 2 overhaul in February. The company hasn't even mentioned the update yet, though it appears to be little more than a maintenance fix available through their upgrade utility. The only visually noticeable change so far is a new Genres category under the My Movies heading allowing users to browse movies by, well, genre.

Via Apple Insider

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 19, 2008

Run Apple TV Take 2 On Your Mac With ATV4mac

atv4mac-desktop.jpgSure you can stream video from your Apple TV Take 2 to your HDTV, but what if you want to stream content to your Mac? Try out ATV4mac, downloadable from MacGeek. It's a plugin that enables you to run your Apple TV Take 2 as a Mac application. Other features of the plugin include keyboard support and internet browsing. One catch you'll have to deal with is that the ATV4mac doesn't work with Leopard yet. So unless you use Tiger, you're SOL.

Via Lifehacker

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 17, 2008

Vudu Adds Automation Features To Its $999 Vudu XL

vuduxl.jpgRemember that $999 Vudu XL set-top box we told you about back during CES 2008? Well, Vudu has announced partnerships with Control 4, Crestron, Logitech, NetStreams, Philips, Universal Electronics, and Universal Remote Control, which will allow the control companies to integrate its products into the Vudu XL. So far no specific products have been announced, but "control codes will be made available in programming tools and databases for Logitech Harmony Advanced remotes, Philips Prestigo and Pronto lines, Universal's Nevo Controllers and URC's Custom Professional products".

The Vudu XL, only available through authorized dealers, features a slate of more than 5000 standard-def and 100 high-def movies on-demand for rental or purchase. This is the latest announcement in a big push lately by Vudu to gain market share in the set-top box market.

Via Electronic House

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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