DISH Hopper with Sling Outperforms Genie from DirecTV

DISH’s Hopper with Sling has finally arrived — and is worth the wait, according to a product review this week from Wired. This is the second generation Hopper and shows a lot of improvement over the debut from a few years ago. Most notably, it includes the Sling place-shifting service that enables users to load TV shows and DVR recordings to any compatible device like an iPad or laptop. Continue reading DISH Hopper with Sling Outperforms Genie from DirecTV

Will Intel Be the One that Finally Delivers Internet TV?

Intel confirmed rumors that it was pursuing Internet TV when VP Eric Huggers announced last week that the company had been negotiating with content companies and would launch a set-top box and new platform by the end of the year. While skepticism has resulted from lack of concrete details, the prospect of a chipmaker competing with top cable giants, and the industry’s history of failed attempts — Intel could still become the company to finally crack Internet TV. Continue reading Will Intel Be the One that Finally Delivers Internet TV?

Aereo: Will AdWords Campaign Prove Copyright Infringement?

Do Aereo’s search marketing tactics prove that the TV service infringes copyright? A coalition of networks suing the company “says in court papers that it needs to examine records from Google about Aereo’s AdWords campaigns. That advertising information allegedly ‘bears directly’ on whether Aereo’s $8-a-month service potentially harms the market — which can be a factor in copyright infringement,” reports MediaPost. Continue reading Aereo: Will AdWords Campaign Prove Copyright Infringement?

CES 2013: Cisco Intros New Take on Videoscape Unity (VIDEO)

Cisco forecasts that by 2016 all forms of video (TV, VoD, Internet, and P2P) will account for some 86 percent of global consumer traffic. So how are they addressing such a future? At CES, the company presented its vision for the “Future of Television” by showcasing its newest version of Cisco Videoscape Unity, a hardware/software platform for video service providers (and we have video). Continue reading CES 2013: Cisco Intros New Take on Videoscape Unity (VIDEO)

CES 2013: DISH Takes on Broadcasters, Simplifies Mobile TV

DISH Network CEO Joe Clayton clearly hasn’t lost any momentum since last year’s energetic introduction. The animated Kentucky native chided broadcasters for their fight against his company’s commercial-skipping AutoHop feature and warned that channel takedowns may be necessary to keep costs down, all while touting the company’s new mobile and second screen offerings throughout Monday’s press conference. Continue reading CES 2013: DISH Takes on Broadcasters, Simplifies Mobile TV

Networks Appeal to Stop Dish AutoHop Commercial-Skipping Feature

Fox, CBS, and NBC are continuing legal action in an effort to shut down Dish Network’s DVR service that allows viewers to automatically skip commercials. “The Dish Network litigation concerns the March introduction of what the satellite company calls PrimeTime Anytime, which allows customers to record and store about a week’s worth of prime-time broadcast television,” reports Wired. “A federal judge declined to side immediately with the broadcasters, so they appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.” Continue reading Networks Appeal to Stop Dish AutoHop Commercial-Skipping Feature

Cisco Launches First Integrated Wireless IPTV Solution

  • Cisco recently launched a wireless IPTV service with AT&T U-verse that features new wireless receivers and wireless access points (WAPs).
  • “Consumers can now rely on wireless technology to deliver high-quality video services throughout the home without the need for cables or wires,” explains the press release. “TV content is sent from the Cisco wireless access point via in-home Wi-Fi to the Cisco wireless receiver next to the TV.”
  • Based on the 802.11n standard, the wireless solution can deliver SD and HD programming to multiple receivers with integrated Wi-Fi, provide interactive services and function as an HD DVR.
  • In addition to enabling consumers to view television anywhere they choose in the home, the “wireless TV solution offers service providers the means for faster service activations and consumer self-installation with easy-to-use Wi-Fi kits…The integrated Wi-Fi receiver also offers service providers the ability to monitor the device’s performance via the network, as the receiver comes equipped with remote diagnostics.”

Viewing Trends: DVR and VOD on the Rise in U.S. Households

  • Leichtman Research Group reports 44 percent of U.S. households with TVs have a DVR, up from 8 percent in 2005.
  • LRG also found that one-third of DVR households have more than one DVR, and 73 percent of digital cable subscribers have used VOD.
  • “On-demand TV viewing in the forms of DVR and VOD, as well as Netflix streaming, have significantly increased in terms of usage and popularity over the past few years,” said Bruce Leichtman. “Yet these on-demand TV platforms remain largely complementary to traditional TV services and viewing, with about 90 percent of all TV viewing in the U.S. still being via live TV.”
  • Additional LRG findings (on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being excellent): 80 percent of DVR owners rate the service 8 to 10, 62 percent of cable VOD users rate the service 8 to 10, 63 percent of Netflix subscribers rate the Watch Instantly feature 8 to 10, 20 percent of Netflix subscribers use Watch Instantly daily.

Walt Mossberg Looks Back on Covering 20 Years of CE Innovation

  • Wall Street Journal tech columnist Walt Mossberg looks back on two decades of consumer electronics and the impact of tech innovation on our personal and professional lives.
  • The first line of his first “Personal Technology” column in 1991: “Personal computers are just too hard to use, and it’s not your fault.”
  • Mossberg takes a trip down memory lane recalling the era of his early reports: “Mobile phones were huge bricks. Digital cameras for consumers cost a fortune and took monochrome pictures. Digital music players and video recorders, e-readers and tablets were nowhere to be found.”
  • From Motorola’s MicroTac Lite pocket-size phone ($1,500-$2,500) in 1992 to Apple’s popular iPad today, Mossberg offers an interesting snapshot of personal technology spanning two game-changing decades.
  • Featured in the article: AOL, Apple’s QuickTake digital camera, Windows 95, Netscape, Palm Pilot, Sony Vaio, iMac, DVR, Google and more. There’s also an interesting Tech Timeline graphic included.

Cord-Cutting: Report Predicts Homes without Cable Will Triple by 2016

  • A new report from media forecasting firm Magnaglobal shows that by 2016 cable subscriptions will dramatically decline as online becomes the medium of choice.
  • Magnaglobal predicts that 9 million households will not subscribe to traditional pay TV services (triple today’s amount), of which 4 million will be cord cutters who cancel their service to opt for content via the Internet.
  • Additionally, The New York Times points out that the number of young consumers who have never signed up for cable or satellite service, but rely on services such as Hulu and Netflix for their media, will continue to grow. “The number of people who never signed up for cable is expected to double — to 5 million, from 2.5 million today — by 2016, according to the report.”
  • The growth of DVR ownership is also expected to decline, as consumers continue to adopt devices that enable streaming of content via the Web.

TiVo Elite Records Fours Shows at Once, Touts 300 Hours Storage

  • The new TiVo Premiere Elite quad tuner DVR will allow users to record four shows simultaneously, while watching a fifth.
  • The device will reportedly only record from digital cable and Verizon FiOS, says Gizmodo.
  • “The THX-certified box uses the TiVo Series4 guts, has a 2 terabyte hard drive (~300 hours of recording space) and spits out video at up to 1080p resolution,” according to Gizmodo. “Plus, it has the standard array of outputs for connecting your TV (HDMI, Component, Composite, Optical audio, RCA audio). And of course, services such as Hulu, Netflix, Pandora and YouTube are also available.”
  • TiVo’s press release suggests the DVR will serve as an entertainment hub with “its ability to send content to other TiVo devices in the home, or integrate seamlessly with home automation remotes. TiVo Premiere Elite offers MoCA as a networking option in addition to its integrated Ethernet connectivity. By integrated MoCA support, custom installers can use the coaxial cabling within the home to connect the TiVo Premiere Elite to the home network in setups where an Ethernet connection is not available.”

Piracy Surge: Fox 8-Day Delay Draws Negative Consumer Response

  • Since Fox implemented its 8-day delay of content availability on Hulu, downloads from BitTorrent for shows such as “Hell’s Kitchen” and “MasterChef” have increased 114 percent and 189 percent, respectively. Others are watching Fox shows on video sites including YouTube.
  • Moreover, the situation is creating negative consumer reactions as consumers are forced to find content elsewhere.
  • “One of the main motivations for people to download and stream TV shows from unauthorized sources is availability,” reports TorrentFreak. “If fans can’t get a show through legal channels they turn to pirated alternatives.”
  • The post suggests that some consumers have indicated they will be returning to their DVRs and may even dust off their VCRs in response.

New Insignia Connected TV with TiVo Interface Draws Praise

  • Gizmodo, a noted cynic when it comes to connected TVs, praises the interface and general functionality of the new Insignia Connected TV.
  • Through a partnership with TiVo, the Insignia Connected TV will be available on and at Best Buy stores. The 32-inch model will be priced at $499 and the 42-inch model will cost $699.
  • “TiVo has evolved from its roots as the DVR that changed the way consumers interact with entertainment, allowing us to customize and deliver solutions that best meet the needs of our partners like Insignia,” said Jim Denney, general manager and VP of Product Marketing at TiVo.
  • Features include 1080p LCD, 120Hz and Audyssey sound processing. Entertainment options include Netflix, CinemaNow, YouTube, Pandora and Napster — plus apps from the chumby content network such as Facebook, Twitter, Photobucket, Accuweather, Reuters News and more.
  • Gizmodo comments: “The set’s interface is refreshingly simple, responsive, and natural…the real pull is the TiVo blood inside. No, there’s no DVR integrated — but for the first time, I looked at an ‘app TV’ that didn’t make me want to light it on fire. TiVo knows software. It shows.”

Smart Devices May Soon Replace the Remote Control

  • As an increasing number of portable devices such as smartphones and tablets continue to add TV controller functionality, dedicated TV remotes may soon be “as quaint as rotary-dial telephones.”
  • TiVo, for example, just released a new iPhone app that allows viewers to use their phone to control their DVR (with gesture controls), and share comments on Facebook and Twitter.
  • TiVo already has a similar app available for the iPad, while other related apps are also offered by a number of pay TV providers.
  • It’s a logical jump since studies indicate that many viewers have their portable devices with them while viewing TV.

Over-the-Top TV: Growing Numbers from Generation Y

  • Nearly a quarter of Generation Y viewers are now opting for Internet-connected TVs over broadcast.
  • A new survey from Knowledge Networks indicates viewers 13 to 31 are more likely to cut the cord than other generations.
  • Of this demographic, 44 percent still watch regular prime-time broadcasts, compared with 66 percent of baby boomers.
  • It is interesting to note that Generation Y also uses DVRs significantly less than Gen Xers.
  • Multichannel News asks: “Will the younger generation at some point subscribe to ‘real’ TV? Or do their current media-consumption habits point toward an eventual decline of traditional television viewing?”

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