Tag Archives: DVR

Boxee TV lands between the living room and cloud

The new Boxee TV, like the original Boxee Box, is also produced by D-Link. But there’ll be little issue setting something on top of this one. Indeed, that’s what Boxee has figuratively done, stacking over-the-air DVR functionality on top of the Internet content that was delivered by the original oddly-angled cubazoid. The Boxee TV model is somewhat of a cross between Simple.TV and Aereo. Like the former, Boxee TV is a local device. Like the latter, though, it relies on cloud storage rather than local storage and unlimited local storage at that. Boxee TV will cost $99 and the company has struck a deal to blow it out at Walmart. Thus, not surprisingly, Walmart-owned Vudu will be one of the featured broadband TV launch partners along with Netflix.

Alas, there’s a monthly fee: $15 per month independent of any other services,. Like Aereo, Boxee will be offering access to all the recorded video via a Web app that should cover most services. So, it seems that Boxee, like Simple.TV, is courting the cord-never, or at least seeking to bring a bit of flavor of TV Everywhere to that crowd. Unlike Aereo, Boxee TV actually uploads recordings to the cloud, so it may be able to maneuver more deftly around legal challenges.

TiVo announcements push luxury alternative position

It looks like most of what came out of CEDIA this year was thin TVs and powerful projectors, the latter of which rely on screens that make even the thinnest flat-panel look obese, but TiVo, which has been positioning like mad as a media company lately, remembered that they still need a way to get their service onto boxes in living rooms — and in ways that less dependent on an MSO’s fiat.

First from CEDIA is a the TiVo HD XL DVR that brings it back close to the price of the now-discontinued Series 3 at $599. It lacks the Series 3’s classy chassis, but beefs up recording capacity while reclaiming THX certification and the posh remote. At least for the custom install market, box looks don’t matter much anyway because professional installers often hide the electronics. But the HD XL will also be sold in made to the less-elite masses at retailers such as Magnolia and Amazon.

The more important development for TiVo in terms of scale would be news that DirecTV, which had forsaken TiVo after becoming cousins with NDS, will introduce a new set-top box that brings the DirecTV TiVo experience well into the 21st Century. However, details appear short at this point, and DirecTV may well position TiVo over the price of the NDS solution. That would reinforce TiVo as a luxury niche alternative, but it’s something that you can build on.

Apple patents flesh out a three-screen strategy

appletvdvrpatent.jpgRecent Apple patents showing a flip-design iPhone and a DVR that might be able to exchange guide data with an iPhone (as well as give talk show hosts really bad haircuts) remind us that, while Apple has shared technology (operating systems, video and graphics support, iTunes support) among its entrants in each of the “three-screen” products — Mac, iPhone/iPod, and Apple TV, there really hasn’t been that much active collaboration among them at this point outside of being able to start a TV show or movie on one device and finish it on another (a cool feature, to be sure).

It’s fine for Apple to move slowly here. Consumers don’t buy “synergy”, they buy products. But just as I’ve credited the Apple store with providing an environment for letting consumers experience the iPod and expose the iPhone (particularly during the holiday season), Apple’s retail presence could make some of these difficult home networking concepts more palatable. The living room is definitely the weakest link and while the DVR market has been an extremely tough not to crack, Apple TV remains Apple’s weakest link in the chain.

Digeo time-shifts Moxi’s retail release to next year

For a while, it looked like TiVo was going to have some direct retail contribution this year for the first time since the demise of the Replay Networks’ retail DVRs. Digeo had planned to bring its Moxi Media Center and satellite unit, the Mixo Mate, from its Charter Cable deployment into home theater specialists. Apparently, though, the transition hasn’t been as smooth as Digeo would have liked and the company is delaying the debut until next year to optimize the retail customer experience.

In addition, there’s no sign of the screenless DVR Archos discussed at the launch of its 5th Generation platform on Archos’ Web site.