Over the weekend word got out that a TiVo add-on for the HME (Home Media Engine) has been released. According to eHome Upgrade, this “must have” add-on is actually quite limited with its initial functions. It reportedly allows users to log-in and read their Bloglines feed subscriptions through the TiVo interface. This sounds great, but it doesn’t seem to work all that well. The feeds aren’t sorted in any particular order, folders in your Bloglines feeds are completely ignored ,and the screen title positioning is bad.
Read More | eHomeUpgrade
Apple’s interest in satellite HD content delivery has become more than obvious. Just a note to Phil Schiller and company: your (potential) competitors are taking notice!
The more we look into these developing rumors of Apple’s planned HDVN high-definition content delivery system, with each new report this is becoming one of the biggest stories in our 11 years dishing dirt—right up there with Mac OS X, the iMac, the iPod….yeah, that big. Seriously. - Mac OS Rumors
Just because Apple rebuffed Sirius is by no means an indication that Apple isn’t interested in satellite content delivery. Apple just doesn’t want to piggyback on someone else’s network—they’re interested in building their own on existing satellites and potentially launching more than one of their own in the next few years as well.
This “HDVN” will not just be through satellite however. The same service will be available over the Internet and as a “drop in, plug in, tune in” service at its retail stores.
Having learned the digital middle-man game with iTunes, Apple is eager to get a piece of the larger multimedia content pie but doesn’t want to go directly head-to-head with services like Blockbuster’s new flat-fee unlimited Internet rental system.
Apple believes that this network will drive sales of Macs, but also create a market for low-cost home devices which act as a sort of “video iPod” without actually handling display duties.
Read More | Mac OS Rumors
The RM-11 remote from ABIT uses the µGuru connection which is now present on most ABIT mainboards to give you access to features other remote solutions can only dream of. Sure, you can control your media center PC for things like selecting activities, pumping up the volume, and viewing media - but the RM-11 goes a few steps further. Connected to that odd little red connector on your ABIT mainboard, the RM-11 then has the capability to control the settings of your mainboard through the µGuru software. Imagine using this with your media PC in your living room. Clock your PC down and enjoy a movie. If you want to game, use the remote to overclock the PC without even touching the keyboard. But the ABIT guys haven’t stopped there, they’ve clearly had a good long think about what a replacement remote needs to do, and have built in the ability for the RM-11 to replace all your remotes in one swoop. On the back of the unit is a small receiver which allows the remote to learn the codes should it not have your particular brand in its database of thousands of codes. When not in use, the RM-11 resides in a stylish cradle through which it can download new updates and profiles for use, meaning you will only have to perhaps program it once, if at all, and it’ll look after itself from then on.
Call it a partnership, call it smart, or call it what you will. If you are TiVo, you are calling this a miracle. After getting dumped by DirecTV, TiVo has finally found another outlet it can use to make its way into the homes of millions of Americans - and this is a biggie. TiVo and Comcast have come to an agreement that will see TiVo hardware made available to the majority of Comcast service areas, including jointly developed TiVo solutions (HD TiVo for cable, I guarantee it). The companies expect to start rolling all this out in mid-to-late 2006. You just know that everyone over at TiVo are breathing many signs of relief.
Read More | MarketWatch
Looks like Blu-Ray has another supporter in the HD format wars, and it’s a biggie. Yesterday Apple announced that it will be the latest member in the Blu-Ray Disc Association, following a bimonthly meeting in South Korea hosted by electronics maker Samsung. Proponents of Blu Ray say that the format holds more data, while companies favoring the HD-DVD format say that they are cheaper to manufacture. The upcoming players for each format are both backward-compatible with existing DVD’s. Since Sony and Apple are now behind Blu-Ray, some of you might think that the war is just about over now. Well, take a look at the upcoming HD-DVD releases and you might think twice.
Read More | CNet
Not surprisingly, many of you showed great glee in the fact that there was a gadget that would allow you to annoy those who enjoy their home entertainment. The Couch Potato Tormentor was announced a few days ago, and we have had a chance to play around with it for just about that amount of time. If you are thinking of picking one up to annoy your roommate or loved one, we have all the details on this little device. Check out our review of the Couch Potato Tormentor after the jump.
Come on now, Samsung. Why do you taunt us so? Obviously this 82” TFT-LCD high definition television isn’t even on the market yet (you can expect to see it in a couple of years), but once it does hit retail, who is going to be able to afford one? Oh well, it sure is a nice way to hit CeBIT with style.
Read More | Samsung Release
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is set to become the first North American subway system to integrate television and radio feeds into their transit system. Commuters will be able to check out looped news feeds from local affiliates along with three radio stations playing Top 40, R&B, and Jazz hits. Instead of piping the television audio through the on board sound system, riders will tune in to the television audio using an FM transmitter, similar to the radio feeds. MARTA plans to bring in $20 million based on their share of the advertising dollars over the next ten years.
Read More | CNN
Many, many people have been waiting for TiVo to add support for 802.11g wireless adapters ever since the technology became available. With the recent release of TiVo To Go, the need grew. After all, transferring large files at 802.11b speeds sucks - especially when you have a G network ready to do the work at five times the pace. Well, don’t expect much from the upgrade. While TiVo now supports a couple of 802.11g adapters, using them won’t increase the speed of the file transfer. Does this make any sense? Way to go, TiVo, for screwing up yet another strategy. To top it off, you need to have the latest TiVo 7.1 software. That means that if you have a TiVo-DVD Player/Burner combo (that’s me), or a Series1 box - you’re out of luck! At least you can now get an adapter, and change your network from mixed to G-only. That counts for something, right?
I know structured wiring and home automation aren’t exactly at the tip of your tongue. All I can say is that it will be. If you want to be able to integrate all of your high tech audio and video toys with your home entertainment systems, and build them into multi room designs, you will need both home automation and structured wiring. The reason I mention this is that Leviton has announced that it is releasing the LE&AP, a multimedia hard drive distribution unit for its structured wiring enclosures. With a Linux based operating system, the LE&AP allows you to distribute your digital music and videos across multiple platforms. Send your MP3’s to your stereo and your digital videos and digital camera images to the televisions. The distribution unit will also share out your broadband connection. I’m an MCSE and I’m going to be looking at this way before I look at mounting a computer with windows media system loaded on it.
This is an 8-zone commercial grade gateway and firewall, with 4 USB expansion ports, and a 120 GB internal drive. It can be upgraded to larger storage capacity as well as software upgrades. From the looks of the system eventually it will integrate with your security and home control devices as well.
With basic audio and video connections as well as advanced digital connections, the unit connects to your TV or stereo and uses your home network for communications. With the remote and some easy to use menus on the TV homeowners can browse and select all of their audio, video and photo storage.
Read More | Leviton