Grab your tinfoil hat and rip the coaxial out of your TiVo privacy-freaks. Search giant Google has setup strategic partnerships with TiVo and DISH Network to analyze customer DVR data in a move billed to better “align advertisers with viewers.” Google TV will do what Google does best — mine data — TiVo and DISH will be providing Google with “second-by-second viewing information on who’s changing channels and when, who’s fast-forwarding through commercials and anonymous information on viewers themselves.” We’re unclear as to how information can be both anonymous but about the viewer? The information will be used to more accurately target and price 30 and 60 second advertisement spots as the data will be able to indicate just how many people actually watched that Viagra ad, versus how many people fast forwarded over the bloody thing. More →
Sometimes you just have to sit back and wonder what TiVo is thinking. Apparently the biz dev team there doesn’t think the unending onslaught of television commercials is enough to drive the average television watcher completely insane, so it seems to be doing everything it can to place ads over every last square inch of the TiVo UI. TiVo users may have thought that every possible screen was already laced with advertising banners but it looks like there’s at least one spot that hasn’t been covered yet – the pause screen. That’s right folks, now you can’t even escape TiVo’s ads when you pause your set. Great. For the time being, only Series 2 box owners get this extra little bit of spam to enjoy but Series 3 owners can expect it soon enough. So let’s see. TiVo upfront costs: $150 – $600. Typical cable company DVR upfront cost: $0. TiVo monthly cost: $13. Typical cable company DVR monthly cost: $7 – $10. TiVo: ads everywhere. Typical cable company DVR: minimal or even no ads. But hey, at least with TiVo you can order fast food without even having to reach for a phone…
Two short weeks since the Slingbox PRO-HD and Slingcatcher were first made available for pre-order, the PRO-HD box is now alive and shipping. It’s probably safe to say that after a delay or two, the team made sure that it got this puppy out the door ASAP. For $299 ($329 for our Canadian buddies) you can be streaming 720p or 1080i high definition goodness to just about anywhere your little heart desires. The Slingbox PRO-HD also features an integrated digital tuner and plenty of inputs to accommodate your DVR, digital cable, satellite receiver and DVD player. The release also coincides with a major software revision for Windows XP and Vista users. SlingPlayer 2.0 includes plenty of updates and new features, not the least of which is much needed live video buffer that allows viewers to pause, rewind and fast forward live streams a la DVR. There is also a great new guide feature that provides a built-in programming guide outside the player window, allowing you to easily browse program schedules as you stream. Today is a big day for our pals at Sling Media and with these major updates and the PRO-HD release out of the way, hopefully we’ll see things kick into high gear on the mobile front.
Woh, woh! Hold on there killer! It’s not like the image above suggests that’s what WE would watch if RIM and TiVo built a streaming application… We’re just saying, you know? If you happen to have a TiVo hard drive full of old episodes of a certain show you enjoy, whatever that may be, this would enable you to watch them on the go. Ok good, we’re clear then. It’s easy to get ahead of yourself when you hear that RIM and TiVo have announced a partnership, but Sling Media and HAVA shouldn’t be shaking in their boots just yet. The initial announcement only covers an integration that would let BlackBerry-rocking TiVo users remotely view program guides and schedule recordings. Ok, that’s cool. Some might say however, that Jim’s statement alludes to the fact that we can expect a bit more as this new partnership evolves:
As the BlackBerry smartphone continues its evolution as a modern lifestyle device, the importance of home entertainment integration will continue to grow and TiVo will be the key in providing consumers with greater flexibility in accessing television content.
Being able to schedule your box to record the next few episodes of Entourage while on the go is hardly “accessing television content,” so we’d like to think that Balsillie was pretty clear with his intentions. Now that the Bold gives us some 3G love, there’s no reason that someone shouldn’t provide a solid TV streaming app for BlackBerry!
Always count on Sling to be cooking up a new batch of software right? This time around, it’s for Windows. SlingPlayer users can now grab the latest 2.0 update which adds support for a built-in programming guide, a live video buffer which basically works like a software DVR letting you pause, rewind, or fast-forward up to 60 minutes of video from your PC directly from SlingPlayer, and other cool features like integrated Sling accounts so you don’t have to constantly try and remember your Finder ID. All in all, good things, folks. You know we be Slingin’. No, they didn’t pay us to say that. Hit the link below to grab the new client.
Tivo owners will be happy to learn that starting today and continuing over the next few weeks, TiVo will be rolling out a new version of their software. And as the post title and video above would suggest, version 9.4 of TiVo’s software brings with it a healthy dose of YouTube love. That’s right people, YouTube on your TiVo. No, YouTube videos aren’t going to look overly spectacular on your 60″ plasma screen, but at least you don’t have to get off the couch anymore every time you want to rewatch that Wii hula-hoop girl video. You’ll need a newer Series3 model to enjoy YouTube however, as the YouTube integration marks the first time that TiVo is using a codec other than MPEG-2 (they’re indeed using H.264) and older models don’t support additional codecs. As for other new goodies in the latest software version, at the end of the video above you can get a quick look at the new SDV Tuning Adapter support as well as the presence of TCP Remote support.