AT&T has settled a patent lawsuit with TiVo in which it will pay the DVR vendor $215 million through June 2018, including an initial payment of $51 million. AT&T will also pay “incremental recurring per subscriber monthly license fees” to TiVo through July 2018 if its subscriber base surpasses a certain level, TiVo said in a statement Wednesday. AT&T and TiVo were locked in a patent battle after AT&T began to market its own digital video recorder using a technology patented by TiVo. TiVo also recently settled similar lawsuits with Dish Network and EchoStar Corp. Read on for more. More →
In what may be one of the largest digital security breaches in United States history, millions of customer email addresses have been exposed as a result of a breach at Epsilon. BGR reported on Saturday that TiVo customer email adresses had been compromised as a result of unauthorized access to online marketing company Epsilon’s servers. Following that report, several other companies have come forward to confirm that their customers’ email adresses may have been exposed. Those potentially affected include customers enrolled in Best Buy’s Reward Zone program as well as customers of Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, TiVo, Barclays, Walgreens, U.S. Bancorp, Capital One, HSN and College Board, which represents almost 6,000 different U.S. colleges and universities. “A subset of Epsilon clients’ customer data were exposed by an unauthorized entry into Epsilon’s email system,” Epsilon said in a statement last week. The company insists that only names and email addresses may have been compromised, and that sensitive information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers and passwords were not accessed.
It’s always nice when an email service that contains customer’s personal and private email addresses is hacked. TiVo has publicly disclosed that their email service provider, Epsilon, had customer’s names and email addresses released to “unauthorized” people. TiVo hasn’t disclosed how many emails were accessed in the security breach, but does note that the information was limited to email addresses and possibly customer’s names. The company is advising notified customers to be careful opening any emails from unknown third parties. Nice.
Here’s a bit of good news: Hulu has just announced that its Hulu Plus premium subscription service will shed $2 from its monthly price tag. As the press release reads: “The monthly price for Hulu Plus moving forward is just $7.99. Any current subscribers who joined during our preview period will receive a credit for the difference from the $9.99 preview price. This credit will automatically be applied to their next billing cycle.”
But the juice doesn’t stop there. Hulu has also announced the following promotions:
• One free week trials for all new subscribers. In addition, current subscribers who joined during the preview period will receive a credit for one week of Hulu Plus toward their next month’s subscription.
• Two free weeks of Hulu Plus for both current subscribers and friends they invite through our referral program. Subscribers can learn more by clicking on the “Referrals” tab on their Hulu profile page.
• 11 weeks ($20 worth) of free Hulu Plus with the purchase of a Sony BRAVIA connected TV or Blu-ray player through January 31, 2011. (See sony.com/huluplus.)
• One free month of Hulu Plus with the purchase of a Roku device through December 15, 2010. (See roku.com/hulu.)
The release also notes that the service is launching on Roku today and will be coming to “Internet-connected Vizio, LG Electronics, and Panasonic Blu-ray players and HDTVs; TiVo Premiere DVRs; the Xbox 360; and Western Digital’s WD TV Live Hub Media Center and WD TV Live Plus Network Media Player,” in the coming months. Updates to the Hulu Plus iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Samsung, and PlayStation 3 players will be made available this week.
Anyone reconsidering Hulu Plus after the price drop? More →
You heard that correctly, folks. TiVo has begun plans to subsidize their DVR hardware with a monthly fee. The Premiere is available for free with a 2 year commitment and $20 monthly fee, but is also available for $99 which requires only a year-long arrangement. The TiVo Premiere XL rings up at $299 with a one year commitment if you just can’t pass up some THX-certified recorded shows. TiVo had been experimenting with these plans on and off for the last week, but as of now, they are available to everyone directly from TiVo’s website.
In a seemingly coordinated strike, Roku and TiVo both announced the availability of Hulu Plus streaming content via their respective set-top boxes. TiVo writes that they have, “teamed with Hulu to provide TiVo Premiere DVR subscribers with access to the full-array of Hulu Plus content streamed instantly to their TVs. The Hulu Plus channel will be available to all TiVo Premiere customers in the coming months.” Like the Roku offering, a Hulu Plus subscription — $9.99 per month — is required. The full press release is after the break. More →
TiVo, last night, announced the TiVo Premiere and TiVo Premiere XL Series-4 set-top DVR boxes, complete with a resigned UI and optional Bluetooth QWERTY slider remote. A QWERTY TiVo remote? Come on, who are you kidding, you know you want that. The Premiere will retail for $299 and will accommodate up to 45 hours of HD programing on its 320GB hard drive. The XL will retail for $499 and will store up to 150 hours of HD goodness on its 1 TB hard drive. Both models will have a CableCARD slot, Ethernet, USB 2.0, eSATA, Netflix integration, Amazon Video integration, YouTube integration, and the ability to output in 1080p. Other than an extra 680 GB, the XL model also adds THX certification for all you audiophiles out there. The Bluetooth QWERTY remote will be available later this year, although pricing has yet to be announced. As far as other accessories go, a wireless-N adapter can be purchased separately for $90 and, for those stuck in the boonies, a $30 phone line adapter is also available. We’ve got a pic of that new-fangled remote queued up after the break. More →
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 →
How long does it take to pump out an TiVo app for BlackBerry? One year, evidently, as RIM and TiVo have just announced the availability of TiVo for BlackBerry. Allowing BlackBerry users with a TiVo set-top box to view their program guide and remotely schedule the recording of their favorite shows, BlackBerry for TiVo sounds pretty great except for one huge thing: you can’t watch what you’ve recorded. Yeah, yeah, it’s not a big deal to a lot of people, but the fact of the matter is that we’re living in something called the 21st Century, and in this day and age, your app damn well better learn to stream. We’re not saying that we’re abandoning all hope of streaming becoming a possibility in the future, but for now we guess we’re just going to have watch live TV through the Slingbox app. Joy. Hit the jump for BG’s thoughts on the app and some screenshots…
i.TV, as we’re sure most iPhone owners out there are well aware, is the premier app for all things TV and Movie-related. Think if it as your one-stop-shop for TV programming schedules, community-sourced reviews, local movie schedules, ticket purchasing, streaming trailers, Netflix queue management and so on. Oh yeah, and it’s free. The company just announced a new upcoming version this morning, version 2.0, and it brings with it a bunch of exciting new stuff including:
- New, streamlined UI
- iTunes integration — Initiate available episode/movie/podcast purchases from within the app
- Push notifications — Push alerts for upcoming show reminders, new episodes, etc
- Introduction of the i.TV Remote Control Framework — New support for universal remotes. Devices can be connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or dock-connector. The new version currently supports TiVo HD and TiVO HD XL boxes but more devices are on the way.
We’ve been playing with the new version for a couple of weeks now and in short, it’s awesome. i.TV is pushing to become the beginning and end of all things entertainment and so far the company is doing a bang up job. Look for version 2.0 to pop up in the App Store soon (currently pending approval) and hit the jump for quick video overview of the new features.
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…
Tivo announced today that it is officially launching the beta version of its mobile website (m.tivo.com). Anyone with a mobile browser can browse and search Tivo’s new mobile website for programming content. The search interface allows users to search by actor name, director name, titles or keywords and will even incorporate an “if you like this” recommendation system. Tivo subscribers who own a Series2 or Series3 set top box get an added bonus as they can use the mobile website to schedule programs to record on their Tivo at home. Sweet! Last week it was pizza and this week it is is mobile scheduling – we wonder what other goodies Tivo has in store for us next!
Well people, it was fun while it lasted. Green fields and sunny pastures may soon be a thing of the past as TiVo has officially announced the Domino’s widget – a fast food ordering service that allows TiVo subscribers to order from Domino’s without ever having to get up from their couches. Ugh. The Domino’s widget walks users though the Domino’s menu right on the TV screen, providing separate sections for pizzas, side orders and drinks. A quick check out later and you’ve got 30 minutes before piping-hot cholesterol is delivered right to your door. Those of you comfortable with leaving your front door unlocked might not even have to get up off the couch to pay for the food. Orders are capped at $100 which is fine considering any order over $100 should be delivered by an ambulance. If this isn’t a sign of the end of times, we don’t know what is.
[Via Zatz Not Funny!]