AppleTV has a rich history of getting hacked for the sake of adding extra utility. Contained within its small confines is a reasonably powerful computer that's capable of running Mac OS X (albeit slowly). The problem is that despite this power, the system software is tied to iTunes and its sister store for movies, music, and TV shows. This hinders it from competing with devices like mini-PCs and game machines that offer a huge variety of media playback, including DVDs and Blu-ray movies.
Traditionally, anyone who wanted to convert a PC into a DVR was limited to the likes of Windows Media Center, SnapStream Beyond TV, or (for the more adventurous DIYers) MythTV.
Starting in October 2008, however, people can turn their Windows PCs into a full-on TiVo DVR thanks to Nero's new Liquid TV package. The software effectively turns a standard PC into a full-service TiVo DVR, replete with the same interface, program guide, and ease-of-use as TiVo's standalone hardware DVRs--but with the added ability to burn recorded shows to DVD or export them to portable devices such as the iPod or PlayStation Portable.
Liquid TV will be available in two versions. The $200 package includes a standard TiVo remote, USB DTV tuner/antenna (for over-the-air analog and digital TV, including HD broadcasts), and an IR blaster (for controlling external cable and satellite boxes, which would then be fed into a video capture card on your PC). The $100 package is software only; it's for people who already have a TV tuner card and remote solution (or who will opt for the software's onscreen mouse controls).
The software is said to support up to four TV tuners, one of which can be an external set-top box. Both versions include a year's worth of the all-important TiVo service (required for use). Nero hasn't officially set the renewal fee for the service, but company reps suggested that it will be less than the $13 per month that's the baseline for owners of the set-top TiVo boxes. … Read more
With September's retooling of the iPod Nano out of the way, the blogosphere's attention is turning to the possibility of an Apple TV announcement in the coming days.
Christina Warren of The Unofficial Apple Weblog wrote Saturday that TUAW.com had received an e-mail from an unnamed Apple reseller. The message: The reseller had been instructed by Appleto remove all Apple TV displays and literature and to destroy them (which I assume means throw away the literature, send back the Apple TVs) by September 30, 2008 at 5 PM. Additionally, the e-mail says that there will be … Read more
AT&T is switching its satellite TV provider.
The telecommunications giant announced Friday that it will drop Dish Network and replace it with DirecTV, after January 31. AT&T has had a joint marketing deal with Dish since 2003.
Financial details of the new deal were not released.
AT&T had announced in early summer that it would not renew its current deal with Dish. It was not clear at the time, however, whether it would renegotiate its agreement with Dish or switch to DirecTV, the other primary satellite TV provider in the U.S.
Telecoms have … Read more
Google has found another partner to use its system for supplying television advertising: Bloomberg TV.
The two companies announced the partnership Thursday, touting the ad success measurement abilities that Google has benefited from with its core search-ad business and is emphasizing as a way to get ahead over other ad mechanisms for TV. "We're pleased to be partnering with Bloomberg Television to continue to make TV advertising more relevant and measurable," said Mike Steib, director of Google TV ads, in a statement.
Google TV ad technology can tell advertisers which ads the audience is watching second by … Read more
Social dating site WooMe has launched a new video service that is so amazingly hard to watch it's bound to be a hit. It's called WooMe.tv, and it takes recordings from the site's speed dates and hosts them for all to see.
Not every video is available. Both users must opt in to have the session shared post-date, and only then does it go into the public directory. What makes it an attractive proposition is that the videos are only 60 seconds long (or less), so you can watch two or three of them in rapid … Read more
Fios TV is adding to its leading HD channel count with six new original HD channels before the end of the year.
Launched by Entertainment Studios, a large independent producer of first-run content that's nonetheless hardly a household name, the new channels will serve niche markets that are largely already served by existing, well-known specialty channels.
The channels center around cars, pets, comedy, food, celebrity news and gossip, and travel. They'll be pure 1080i high-definition with no standard-def content, and will include Entertainment Studios' 15 original show titles at first, including Comics Unleashed, a talk show featuring four comics and apparently similar to the old Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn on Comedy Central; and Entertainers with Byron Allen and Kickin' It with Byron Allen, hosted by Entertainment Studios' ubiquitous CEO, who hosts several of his company's shows.… Read more
Blinkx's BBTV product has been given a Web overhaul as of today. Gone is the need to download a special application and instead BBTV-indexed clips will show up in normal Blinkx search results. The company is also maintaining a directory of each content provider and their various shows so you can scan BBTV-indexed shows in one central location.
The real draw of BBTV over traditional video indexing is that Blinkx has gone over each video and pulled out text transcripts so users can jump to specific parts of the video based on what's being said. Compared to newcomer … Read more
We just finished a major update of our popular chart of HD programming compared and the new winner, in terms of national and local HD channels, by our count, is Fios TV. Bringing a hefty 83 such channels to bear in the New York City area, the fiber-optic-based TV service from Verizon comes out ahead of perennial satellite champions DirecTV (67 channels) and Dish Network (68) as of today.
The key here is our definition of "national and local." The big three all tout HD channel counts near or above the nice round number of 100 in their advertising campaigns, and by our count of "total channels," they all come more or less close enough, but we took a closer look at the channels themselves, and broke down national and local channels we consider important. That includes local broadcast channels like PBS (which neither satellite service offers), ABC and Fox, premium movie channels like HBO and Max (formerly Cinemax), and the myriad niche channels from ESPN to Mav TV to Palladia to World Fishing Network. We specifically exclude Regional Sports Networks, exclusive channels like Voom (which is only available on NY-area provider Cablevision), and duplicate feeds of premium movie channels, such as HBO (east) and HBO (west) carried by DirecTV and Fios.