TiVo Introduces Bolt DVR, Ready for Ultra HD and Ad-Skipping

TiVo introduced its new Bolt DVR this week, with features that TiVo customers have requested for years. That includes a new SkipMode that improves the device’s ability to leap over commercials on recorded content, 4K Ultra HD capability, and, with a fall update, an iOS app that allows the creation of a customized “What to Watch” screen built by selecting categories based on hobbies and interests. The new TiVo also offers an iOS app with AirPlay so users can stream content to Apple TV, and the company says it’s working on an app for Amazon Fire TV. Continue reading TiVo Introduces Bolt DVR, Ready for Ultra HD and Ad-Skipping

Philo, Mobile Cable TV Startup, Expands to More Universities

Philo, which brings live TV and DVR use to mobile devices, was launched to entice young audiences that are not interested in traditional cable television. The company, backed by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and HBO, just expanded to an additional 15 U.S. universities, bringing its total presence on campuses to 40. The expansion comes in the wake of an additional $10 million raised in venture funding. Among the new campuses to sign on are University of Houston, University of Utah and Virginia Commonwealth University. Continue reading Philo, Mobile Cable TV Startup, Expands to More Universities

Disney COO Defends the Programming Bundle as TV Evolves

In the wake of pay TV subscriber losses and a falloff in content stocks, industry news has recently focused on the impact of the Internet, mobile apps and streaming services on traditional television. Disney chief operating officer Tom Staggs, who most analysts believe will be the successor to CEO Bob Iger, defended the future of ESPN and the programming bundle at an industry conference in Beverly Hills on Thursday. Staggs also suggested that Wall Street had overreacted to recent changes in the business and should not be so quick to dismiss the current model. Continue reading Disney COO Defends the Programming Bundle as TV Evolves

Nvidia Debuts GeForce Experience Feature for Game Sharing

As part of a beta release of GeForce Experience, Nvidia is introducing GameStream co-op, which allows two gamers to play with a single copy by one streaming the game to another PC. The co-op feature, which resembles Sony’s Share Play feature on PlayStation 4, allows for three different modes of play. It is based on the same technology found in Nvidia’s GameStream service, which lets users stream a game from their PC, over a local network, to another device, such as a Shield tablet. Continue reading Nvidia Debuts GeForce Experience Feature for Game Sharing

Watch TV on Any Device with AT&T’s First Nationwide Bundle

Less then two weeks following FCC approval of its $48.5 billion takeover of DirecTV, AT&T is already rolling out plans to lure new customers. In a first-of-its kind nationwide offer to be made available August 10, AT&T is packaging wireless phone service and television for $200 per month for the first year. The “All in One” promotional plan places an emphasis on TV anywhere, featuring HDTV and DVR services across four receivers through DirecTV or U-verse, four smartphone connections including unlimited talk and text, in addition to 10GB of shared data. Continue reading Watch TV on Any Device with AT&T’s First Nationwide Bundle

IPO Plan Details Benefits of ACR Software in Vizio Smart TVs

Vizio has sold more than 15 million smart TVs as part of its $3 billion per year business and is now ready to go public. Its recent IPO filing reveals how its smart TVs are tracking what consumers are watching. Inscape software embedded in Vizio screens can track anything being played — including cable TV, streaming devices and game systems. The technology, based on Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) software, can pull 100 billion datapoints from its connected TVs daily. The data should prove valuable to advertisers and content providers. Continue reading IPO Plan Details Benefits of ACR Software in Vizio Smart TVs

New Slingbox Set-Top Box Shifts Content From Mobile to TVs

Slingbox, a subsidiary of EchoStar, just released its M2 set-top box, priced at $199. The new set-top box enables viewers to watch live, pay TV and DVR content over the Internet, anywhere and from any device. The M2 adds functionalities not available in the M1, which debuted in 2014, including the ability to shift content from mobile devices to TVs via Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV or Roku. Users will also be able to download the Slingplayer app on each device for free; the trade-off is viewing short pre-roll ads. Continue reading New Slingbox Set-Top Box Shifts Content From Mobile to TVs

Comcast Plans Streaming TV Service as an Alternative to Cable

Comcast announced that it plans to launch a trial of its IP-based video service Stream by the end of the summer in Boston, followed by Chicago and Seattle. The $15-per-month streaming service will offer about a dozen broadcast networks and HBO. Subscribers will have access to some TV Everywhere applications, Streampix for movies and a cloud DVR service. As an add-on to broadband service meant for PCs, laptops and mobile devices, customers will need Comcast Internet service to subscribe. The company is planning a nationwide rollout for early next year. Continue reading Comcast Plans Streaming TV Service as an Alternative to Cable

Survey: Stigma Associated with TV Binge Viewing is Declining

Binge-watching television shows is becoming a less shameful activity, according to a March survey of TiVo users. While 53 percent of respondents in 2013 characterized the activity in a negative light, only 30 percent of recent respondents felt the same. “People who are binge-viewing are feeling better about themselves,” said Jonathan Steuer, chief research officer for TiVo. Interestingly, 92 percent of respondents indicated that they have engaged in binge-viewing at some point, and 32 percent said they often wait to watch an entire season at once. Continue reading Survey: Stigma Associated with TV Binge Viewing is Declining

TiVo Online Allows Users to Stream DVR Recordings, Live TV

TiVo has confirmed that its new TiVo Online service will allow subscribers to stream DVR recordings in addition to live television programming via a Web browser interface. The site includes recommendations, an online guide, a search feature, and the ability to manage upcoming recordings and track favorites (including content available via streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu). The DVR maker is looking to address the evolving needs of viewers expecting to access TV on any screen by providing a tool that performs more like a modern streaming service. Continue reading TiVo Online Allows Users to Stream DVR Recordings, Live TV

TiVo is Working on Legal Version of Aereo Distribution Model

DVR maker TiVo has confirmed that it is developing a legal version of the failed Aereo service, which combined cloud DVR tech with a system of antennas for capturing over-the-air TV and distributing the content online to subscribers via smartphones, tablets, connected TVs and Web browsers. Aereo filed for bankruptcy after the Supreme Court ruled it had violated copyright law, and then TiVo purchased Aereo’s trademarks and customer lists for about $1 million. The company has scheduled a July event in San Jose to discuss the new product. Continue reading TiVo is Working on Legal Version of Aereo Distribution Model

SiliconDust Launches Kickstarter to Fund its HDHomeRun DVR

SiliconDust, a startup known for its live TV streaming devices, is now making a DVR that will not tie viewers down to their living room televisions. The HDHomeRun DVR is designed for cord cutters. It plugs into SiliconDust’s streaming devices so that users can watch recorded shows on smart TVs, game consoles, tablets, smartphones and computers. The HDHomeRun DVR can also record from premium channels such as HBO. As of press time, the Kickstarter campaign had raised more than $169,000. Continue reading SiliconDust Launches Kickstarter to Fund its HDHomeRun DVR

Xbox One Likely to Add DVR Functionality Sometime This Year

In a post yesterday about the death of Windows Media Center, tech journalist and blogger Paul Thurrott cited unnamed sources regarding an update to Xbox One’s live TV functionality that would add television recording. This would allow Xbox One to replace TiVo and other DVRs in many households. Microsoft recently unveiled a tuner that enables the console to accept over-the-air broadcast TV signals. It also offers the options to pause live TV and stream live content to mobile devices via SmartGlass. Continue reading Xbox One Likely to Add DVR Functionality Sometime This Year

SnapStream Unveils Affordable New DVR Targeting Businesses

SnapStream is known for making massive DVRs for media productions like “The Colbert Report,” but now the company is introducing a less expensive DVR that is still loaded with features. The SnapStream Express may prove too expensive to be a consumer product, but businesses may be drawn to the functionality and $499 price tag (plus $99/month service fee). It has 2TB of internal storage, an intelligent search function, and a Web-based interface designed for PCs. The DVR can also post clips directly to social media. Continue reading SnapStream Unveils Affordable New DVR Targeting Businesses

Google Fiber Tracking System Has Potential for Targeted Ads

Google is testing a new TV ad-tracking system in Kansas City. The technology is reportedly similar to that used for measuring online ad views. The system could represent the Holy Grail for today’s advertising since it potentially provides targeting on a scale never before made possible. While the gross ratings point based on Nielsen viewers remains the industry standard, relatively few households have Nielsen boxes. However, every Google Fiber subscriber has a Google Fiber box, which could be used to target consumers. Continue reading Google Fiber Tracking System Has Potential for Targeted Ads

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