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Monday, November 21, 2005
TiVo News
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 10:23 am

Via the AP: TiVo Inc. Expands to IPods and PSPs

TiVo Inc. is expanding its video recording service so users will be able to transfer recorded television shows onto Apple Computer Inc.’s iPods or Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE - news).’s PlayStation Portable — the latest move aimed at putting TV in people’s hands for viewing anywhere.

[…]

With its introduction in January of TiVoToGo, the digital video recording pioneer gave its broadband Series2 subscribers the ability to transfer recorded shows to Windows-based PCs and laptops as well as portable media players. But the service was available only to devices compatible with Microsoft Corp.’s Portable Media Center platform, such as Creative Technology Ltd.’s Zen.

Now, by adding support for the MPEG-4 video format, TiVo hopes to capitalize on the popularity of iPods and PSPs, which are among today’s hottest handheld gadgets with video capabilities.

Spiffy.

Filed under: Pop Culture, TiVo | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Monday, November 14, 2005
TiVo Slipping?
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 10:13 pm

Via Reuters: Study finds TiVo losing ground among DVR users

Brandimensions, the research firm that conducted the study, said that TiVo’s standalone set-top box is failing in two areas: its inability to record two shows simultaneously and to play back shows in high-definition TV quality.

“This may not sound like a big deal,” wrote one TiVo user about the latter, “but after watching ‘Lost’ or ‘The Sopranos’ on HD, there is no going back.”

The HD thing is huge over the long haul, one would think (although moot for me for the foreseeable future).

The question is (and I don’t know): do the other DVRs have an equivilant service to TiVo’s beyond just the hardware. The dual tuner issue is valid as well.

Filed under: TiVo | Comments (2) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Monday, November 7, 2005
Cool
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 12:15 pm

Via the AP: Yahoo, TiVo Join to Blend TV, Web Services

Filed under: TiVo | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Wednesday, November 2, 2005
The TiVo Blog
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:05 am

TiVo now has an official blog-with trackbacks and everything. It appears to be powered by TypePad.

Filed under: Blogging, TiVo | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Friday, August 12, 2005
TiVo News
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 11:51 am

TiVo Tests Internet Download Service

Add
TiVo Inc. to the list of companies trying to wed the Internet to television. The digital recording company is preparing to enable customers to download TV shows to their set-top boxes via the Internet — even before the shows air on TV.

Intriguing.

Filed under: TiVo | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Monday, January 17, 2005
Challenges to TiVo
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 5:57 pm

Via MSNBC/the AP: MSNBC - TiVo faces threat as options multiply

TiVo has been synonymous with digital video recording since it pioneered the industry five years ago, controlling an estimated one-third of the market in 2004. That lofty perch is now beginning to crumble.

Such is the nature of competition. Hopefuly TiVo will be able to adapt. Indeed, that is what the recent brouhaha over the pop-ups is all about.

Filed under: Pop Culture, TiVo | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Diggers Realm linked with Around The Blogosphere In 80 Seconds #15
Thursday, January 6, 2005
More TiVo News
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:42 pm

Via ABC News: TiVo to Launch Integrated Video Recorder.

Not a big deal to me, as I don’t have a cable converter box. Still, anything that forwards TiVo is ok by me.

Filed under: TiVo | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Signifying Nothing linked with Cable HD TiVo on the way
Monday, January 3, 2005
TiVo on the Move
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:00 am

Via the AP: TiVo Unveils Portable Transfer Service

TiVoToGo will be an automatic, free service upgrade for subscribers who own standalone Series2 TiVo DVRs. It will not work for subscribers owning DirecTV-TiVo satellite boxes. Also, the technology will work only with computers based on Microsoft Corp.’s Windows XP or 2000 operating systems, although a version for Macintosh computers is planned, TiVo officials said.

The recorded shows are transferred to PCs or laptops via a home computer network. Users would have to download free desktop software from the TiVo Web site onto the computers. A media access code and password is assigned to each user’s account, essentially restricting the transferring and playback of shows to household members with the same access code.

TiVo officials have tried to strike a balance between what they consider consumers’ rights and Hollywood’s copyright concerns. They say the video files being transferred are encrypted and need the corresponding media access code for playback.

If users try to e-mail the files to others or send the files over the Internet, their accounts could be revoked, Kelly said.

“We’re trying to send a clear message that TiVoToGo is for personal use only,” said Jim Denney, director of product marketing at TiVo. “And we’re putting appropriate safeguards in place to keep people from rampantly sharing the content.”

Nifty. Aside from the technogeekiness of it all, I am not sure what I would use this for at the moment, but still: cool.

Filed under: Pop Culture, TiVo | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Sunday, December 26, 2004
Nice Fatherly Moments
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:34 pm

It’s a nifty thing to be able to fix your son’s bike and teach him about PSI and the proper way to inflate a tire.

It is also nice that we managed to avoid the question of why a bike that Santa just brough would need some fixing (minor chain-related issues). We also have thus far avoiding the question of why a bike made at the North Pole would have a “Made in China” sticker on it

(And the techno-cherry on the sundae is that because of the magic of TiVo, I didn’t miss Manning tying Marino’s TD record).

Filed under: Sports, Parenting, TiVo | Comments (6) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Friday, November 26, 2004
More on TiVo Changes
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:38 am

TiVo Pop-Up Ads Raise Consumer Concerns

Digital video recording pioneer TiVo Inc. has long promised “TV Your Way.” But the company’s plans for pop-up ads and restrictions on copying have sparked worries that the service may be eroding consumer control in favor of Hollywood and advertiser interests.

Really, this all sounds to me like a route to financial stability and profitability for the company, and therefore to the longevity of the product.

TiVo officials say that starting in March users will begin to see static images, such as a company logo, appear on their television screens as they fast-forward through commercials. The billboard-like ads %u2014 which will last about four seconds for a fast-forwarded 30-second spot %u2014 may offer giveaways or links to other ads.

For some ads, viewers could choose to provide advertisers with their contact data so they can get more direct marketing.

A pop-up recording “tag” is also planned: a “thumbs-up” icon would appear during TV show promotions and allow users to instantly place those programs in their recording queue.

The tag thing is already active, and strikes me as a really good idea. The concept of a static image that pops up while I am fast-forwarding strikes me as so utterly unobtrusive as to not warrant concern.

Quite frankly, folks who are getting all upset about this are people who live in a fantasy-land where consumers will never have to deal with commercials, yet still get substantial amounts of frree content. If one doesn’t want commercials, programming is going to have to be radically more expensive. I don’t want to pay for everything I watch and having a static image pop-up beats watching real commericals.

Indeed, as the article notes:

Industry watchers say TiVo has no choice but to make peace with networks, cable and advertisers.

“TiVo has to become more advertising-friendly because, at the end of the day, TV runs on advertising dollars and companies that are part of that food chain have to acknowledge that,” said Tim Maleeny, director of strategy at Publicis & Hal Riney, a San Francisco-based advertising firm.

I can understand some annoyance over this:

Some skeptics also worry that TiVo’s planned use of Macrovision Corp.’s new copy-protection scheme signals more boundaries on what shows they can or cannot record — even as TiVo prepares to unveil a new service later this year, called TiVoToGo, that will let users record shows onto DVDs or transfer them to computers.

Macrovision has developed a feature that will allow content providers — the people who produce television shows — to place restrictions on how long a digital video recorder such as TiVo can save certain kinds of programming. For instance, movies could disappear after seven days.

TiVo officials say the new restrictions will apply only to pay-per-view and video-on-demand programs. If Macrovision expands the feature to any other content, the deal is off, said Brodie Keast, executive vice president of service business at TiVo.

However, if it is indeed just for PPV flicks, then it hardly strikes me as unfair.

Filed under: Pop Culture, TiVo | Comments (2) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
The Perils of Technology
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:12 pm

Given that tech is all around me, I find that it has caused a number of problems. For one thing, I find myself often wanting a search function on dead tree publications, whether they be books or single sheets of paper. Now, given my TiVo addiction, I find myself wanting to be able to pause radio talk shows when I get up from my desk.

Filed under: Computer Junk, Talk Radio, TiVo | Comments (4) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Boldy Going Where no Commerical Has Gone Before
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 12:47 pm

Via the LAT: TiVo Will No Longer Skip Past Advertisers

By March, TiVo viewers will see “billboards,” or small logos, popping up over TV commercials as they fast-forward through them, offering contest entries, giveaways or links to other ads. If a viewer “opts in” to the ad, their contact information will be downloaded to that advertiser-exclusively and by permission only-so even more direct marketing can take place.

By late 2005, TiVo expects to roll out “couch commerce,” a system that enables viewers to purchase products and participate in surveys using their remote controls.

No doubt some will be upset by this move, but it doesn’t bother me, insofar as long as I can zip past the broadcast commercials and am not forced to view the “billboard” save when I am fast-forwarding, what’t the big deal? Indeed, since this will contribute to the health and long life of TiVo, I am all for it.

Indeed, as I read through the piece, I find:

Some say they don’t mind a little pop-up advertising — just so long as they can fast-forward through it — because it could help keep TiVo in business. (A September report from Forrester shows that DVR owners typically fast-forward through 92% of commercials.)

And certainly, there is reason to be concerned about the company’s health:

Five years after its launch, TiVo still hasn’t turned a profit and doesn’t expect to until January 2006. (Kent says the advertising revenue will probably bring down the cost of TiVo to its 2 million subscribers — currently $12.95 a month.)

However, if they are going to be generating ad revenue, how about lowering the monthly fee?

Overall, this debate strikes me as similar to the one about web advertisements. Sure, people don’t want to see ads, but somehow content providers have to generate revenue. The trick is to find a way to deliver advertisements without upsetting the end user while attracting those which the ad targets. It’s simple capitalism. Even if we don’t like ads, it is the case that they subsidize tv and the web-and I certainly don’t want to pay full price for those things.

Filed under: Pop Culture, TiVo | Comments (3) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Interesting
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:42 am

TiVo, NFL Tackle Tech Discord

Filed under: Sports, TiVo | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

Backcountry Conservative linked with Around the Blogroll
Tuesday, September 7, 2004
Interesting
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 7:37 pm

Tivo, Netflix Close to Internet Movie Deal - Report

Filed under: TiVo | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Thursday, August 19, 2004
I Have Been Fully Assimilated
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 7:44 pm

I have clearly become a true TiVite. How do I know? Because I was watching live tv (the Giants/Carolina game) and one of the kids needed something and I paused the game without thinking. First, the fact that I reflexively paused a sporting event demonstrates clearly that my tv remote habits have been altered. Second, it occurred to me that since getting TiVo I basically no longer watch live tv.

As I have said before: TiVo rocks.

Filed under: Pop Culture, TiVo | Comments (1) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
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