TiVo has partnered with peer-2-peer movie service Jaman, bringing a slew of American indie and international films to the set-top box. The deal brings a nice supplement of hard-to-find content to its mainstream offerings. Some rentals will be available for free, but the majority will start at $1.99. Definitely a good move by TiVo given the recent launch of the Apple iTunes movie service.
January 16, 2008
John Gruber of Daring Fireball did a little detective work today and sifted through the updated iTunes Terms Of Service
. Interestingly, while standard definition downloads working on a variety of devices including PC's, HD downloads can only be downloaded to the Apple TV. Gruber received a few emails suggesting the reasoning behind Apple's exclusivity with HD content might be due to piracy concerns, as the Apple TV has HDCP DRM-enabled output. Of further interest is the fact that downloaded movies can be moved from your Mac or PC to your Apple TV, but not vice versa. We'll do a little more digging into this one and let you know what we find.
Via Daring Fireball
January 6, 2008
Vudu has announced a second-generation set-top box that promises to store up to 500 standard-definition movies, 5 times more storage than the current Vudu allows. The box, called the Vudu XL, is priced at a whopping $999 compared to the current Vudu which is a little more affordable at $399. The company also plans to add 70 high-def movie titles to its movie roster later this month, so for Vudu fans who are willing to pay the price, you'll probably need the extra storage space.
Via Electronic House
January 4, 2008
A SlingPlayer for the Blackberry will hit shelves by the end of 2008, according to Sling Media. Designed for 3G wireless or wi-fi Blackberry smartphones, the Sling Player will allow streaming of live TV from your home Slingbox right to your phone. The new software is expected to be priced at $30 and a demo will be conducted at CES 2008 on the Pearl 8120.
Sling Media has announced they will be released the Slingbox PRO-HD, the first of its placeshifting boxes that will be able to stream fully high-definition video, sometime in the third quarter of 2008. But, you are saying, I thought that HD video couldn't be streamed over the internet because of the huge amount of bandwidth required? Well, you would be right, and that's why the PRO-HD is designed to stream HD video only over your home network, although PC's connected to the SlingPlayer software or TV's connected to the SlingCatcher will be able to view a stream up to 1080i in 5.1 surround sound.
Priced at $400, the PRO-HD has the usually range of connections and ports, although nothing for HDMI, and ATSC, NTSC and clear QAM tuners.
January 3, 2008
Netflix and LG Electronics have teamed up in developing a set-top box that will deliver Netflix video content from the internet to your HDTV. Due in the second half of 2008, the new set-top box will be the most direct way that Netflix users can view video, trumping the ability of users to stream content to their PC's for the past year.
Netflix hasn't named a price for the box yet, but Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olsen figures that in order for it to be profitable, it'll have to cost around $100 and have an additional $12/month subscription fee for 2-3 rentals at a time. He always wonders if the future holds a battle between Netflix and Apple since Apple has announced iTune's video deals with Fox and Disney in the past couple of weeks. We think that would be a great battle indeed.
Via USA Today
December 23, 2007
Wired mag has gone out on a limb and predicted
that 2008 could be a very big year for the Apple TV. Yes, that's right, it's not a typo. First pointing out some of the reasoning behind the remarkable failure of the Apple TV in 2007 such as it's total eclipse by the iPhone launch, and Steve Jobs' calling it merely a "hobby", Bryan Gardiner has put together a list of things Apple can do in 2008 to make the "new DVD player for the internet age" a hit.
Gardiner isn't alone in his optimism, as analyst's such as Carl Howe predict upwards of 7 million Apple TV's sold next year. Given the pathetic 400000 units sold as of the beginning of the holiday season this year, we're tempted to call this optimism something more along the lines of irrational exuberance. But here is Gardiner's list of tasks Apple needs to accomplish to turn the Apple TV from hobby to hit in 2008. Of course we stuck in our own smart-ass commentary just to make things interesting.
Continue reading: "Second Coming Of The Apple TV In 2008? Not Judging By It's Absence From Their Holiday Gift Guide"
December 21, 2007
Vudu is offering a free set-top box and $50 in movie credits with the purchase of select Sharp Aquos LCD TV's. All Sharp models 42 inches and above include the free box which usually retails for $399. The Vudu box offers instant access to high-def films, TV shows, and approximately 5000 movies with more being added every week. There is no subscription fee for the box or Vudu service; you simply pay as you watch, from 99 cents for a rental to $20 for a movie purchase. We will warn you however, that you pay the full suggested retail price for the Sharp TV's, so you pay for the Vudu in the TV price. The cheapest model available on the Vudu site is the Sharp Aquos LC42D64U, a 42-inch 1080p LCD for $1799.99. Over at Amazon.com, you'll find the same model for $1380. Almost exactly the price difference required to cover the Vudu and movie credits. As the Aquos models get bigger and more expensive, the difference becomes even greater. It'd be cheaper for you to purchase the Aquos models at Amazon and then purchase the Vudu box for it's full $399 price. You'd actually save more money that way.
December 15, 2007
For those of you overcome by sins of the flesh, or in different terms, like to watch porn, you'll be thrilled to know that a new IPTV service FyreTV is launching in beta today. The service uses its own set-top box that connects to your television and broadband connection and streams DVD-quality adult content to your television screen. It uses a search feature that allows you to find movies based on variables such as title, performer, and even (get this!) sexual positions. The box has TiVo-like qualities that allow you to fast forward, rewind, and even pinpoint certain scenes in the content and create lists of favorites to bookmark your favorites. Just remember you do pay for what you watch. But by watch, FyreTV means straightforward playing time. You won't pay for time rewinding, fastforwarding, or searching for content. And just think, no more embarrassment when everybody looks at you "in that way" as you walk out of that room in the back of the video store with your paper bag.
December 13, 2007
Ecost.com is featuring the KWorld PlusTV HD Hybrid Stick 330
for $37.99 right now. Regularly priced at $77.99, the reduced price is thanks to a $40 mail-in manufacturer's rebate
The PlusTV Hybrid Stick is a pocket-sized tuner that simply plugs into your PC's USB port and after an easy setup process you're ready to watch either analog or digital cable TV on your computer screen. It streams signals up to a resolution of 1080i, is compatible with Windows Media Center, and feature Digital Dolby audio output.