TiVo announced two deals Monday that will help the company better target the cable market with its next generation of high-definition digital video recorders.
Specifically TiVo said it will work with set-top software maker Alticast to make it easier to integrate TiVo's technology into advanced set-top boxes for cable operators. Alticast makes software that enables consumer electronics makers to easily create cable set-top boxes that combine functions, like DVR functionality and Blu-ray Disc players.
Texas Instruments sent out a little reminder on Monday that it won't be a cakewalk into the smartphone market for newcomers Intel and Nvidia.
While Intel announced LG Electronics as its first smartphone customer and Nvidia hawks its initial mobile phone technology platforms to prospective customers, TI continues to upgrade its arsenal of ARM-design-based processors, which have been shipping for years to cell phone customers. (Samsung and Palm--and the latter's newest Palm Pre--are among TI's customers.)
Sometimes even a well-designed and innovative product can still be a total dud. See the Apple Newton.
The industry analysts at Forrester Research now say they know why this happens.
In a new report released Friday, Forrester analyst James McQuivey zeroes in on what makes seemingly good products fall flat once they reach store shelves: lack of convenience. And he doesn't just mean "convenient" in that you can, for example, transfer a music device easily from your pocket to your car dashboard, but rather the entire experience using that music device--from buying the songs to putting them … Read more
Recently, Digeo began selling its new Moxi CableCard DVR at Amazon for a whopping $800. That got us thinking about the whole DVR category, and how the real prices of the products are often hidden with subsidies (from cable or satellite companies) or service fees (such as with TiVo).
If you're looking for a digital video recorder, your choices are limited by how you receive your TV signal--satellite, over-the-air antenna, or cable--and how much you're willing to pay a month. Satellite subscribers are shoehorned by their provider--Dish offers the excellent ViP722 (with the SlingLoaded ViP922 due later this year), and DirecTV offers the DirecTV Plus HD DVR HR21. Antenna-only folks were the most limited: previously, the only choice was TiVo (which, again, requires a monthly or lifetime fee for service), but the availability of the DTV Pal DVR offers the promise of a no-fee DVR with support for digital and HD TV signals--just pay for the hardware, and you're done. (CNET is currently evaluating the DTV Pal DVR, and will have a review later this month.)
For cable subscribers, things can be a bit more varied--and almost certainly more expensive. Nearly all cable companies now offer their subscribers an HD DVR option. They'll tout it as "free" (in that you don't have to buy the hardware), but your bill will undoubtedly include a rental charge for the hardware (and the remote!), as well as a "DVR service fee." Want to get a real TiVo instead? That may cut the rental charge and DVR service fee from your monthly cable bill, but then you're stuck paying a service fee straight to TiVo ($13 a month, $129 a year, or a flat $400 fee for the lifetime of the box). Meanwhile, your cable company still gets in on the action; they may still charge you for CableCard rental fees (needed for the TiVo to receive digital and premium channels), plus the normal service fee on top of that (the channel charges that make up the bulk of your bill). Going with the lifetime fee (just because it's easy), that brings the real-world cost of the cheapest high-def TiVo, the TiVo HD, to around $700.
Enter the Digeo Moxi.… Read more
Updated at 4:00 p.m. PST throughout
Texas Instruments posted a sharp drop in profit as it looks to cut 12 percent of its workforce.
TI's fourth-quarter profit fell 86 percent to $107 million, or 8 cents a share, from $756 million in the same period last year, or 54 cents a share. Excluding restructuring charges, TI had earnings of 21 cents a share, exceeding the 12 cents forecast by Wall Street analysts.
Revenue was $2.49 billion, down 30 percent, from $3.56 billion last year. The company also warned that revenue in the first quarter would … Read more
A few years ago, this wouldn't have happened. It would have been unthinkable, too terrible even to imagine. No, a few years ago, I never would have missed the season premiere of Lost.
So imagine my surprise when my boyfriend and I were minding our own business, watching our previously recorded Top Chef two nights ago, when, during a commercial break we were barreling through in fast forward, I happened to catch the words "Lost returns tonight." Stop. Rewind. What?
We backed up to the beginning of the ad, and sure enough, Bravo HD was proclaiming that Lost had returned a few hours before!
Had we set it to record? No. Had we even known it was coming back this week? No! We don't watch ads anymore. Ever. But without them, we are apparently living in a dark age so backwards it's as though TV Guide hasn't been invented yet. Now my grandpa is more informed than I am about television culture.
If we didn't have a DVR, we surely would have known, because I bet Lost ads have dominated the airwaves for the past few months. Lost isn't a show to announce itself softly: it usually has weeks of setup, marathons of previous seasons, call-in shows, etc. If we didn't have the ability to fast forward through that dreck, we would have known to be home, in front of the TV, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Sure, we would also have been brain-washed by a desire for a Snuggie and Wendy's new chicken sandwich, but information comes at a cost. As Tina Fey would say, "a doy." … Read more
We already knew text messaging service Kwiry could perform some cool tricks via text messaging--things like adding products to your Amazon.com wish list or adding movies to your Netflix queue. But now the service is adding rudimentary TiVo control to the list.
TiVo already offers more detailed DVR access via its Web site, as well as TiVo Mobile (for smartphones with Web browsers), but the Kwiry service should work with even the most rudimentary cell phones, so long as they have text messaging capability.
The TiVo beta should be available on Kwiry Wednesday. Here's how it's supposed … Read more
Many times in this space I've sung the praises of TV tuners, which let you watch and record shows on your PC, TiVo-style. Well, now you can get more than just the style: Nero's LiquidTV TiVo PC brings the actual TiVo software to your system.
The retail package includes the software, a TiVo remote, a USB IR receiver, a one-year subscription to the service, and an HD-compatible USB tuner. Normally it sells for $199.99 (way too steep, IMHO), but right now you can get the LiquidTV TiVo PC for $103.99 shipped.
The TiVo software probably needs … Read more