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Updated: 33 min 45 sec ago

Sonos App To Gain Massive Usability Improvements

2 hours 11 min ago
Within the last few days, a new APK for the Sonos Android app popped up online. And, throwing caution to the wind, I went ahead and installed the 5.3 beta. While I’m not privvy to the release notes, and therefore not neccessarilly aware of all changes, it’s seems likely that massive usability enhancements headline this release. Upon opening the […]

Vudu Comes Full Circle, Launches Streaming Stick

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 11:40
What a long strange trip it’s been. Vudu initially launched in 2006 as a $400 dedicated movie streaming box. The requisite price cuts and pivots followed, including serving up apps like Flickr and then feeding smart televisions, before Walmart swooped in. Since then, the video service has focused on its own mobile and set-top video streaming app […]

Wife Acceptance Factor: Choosing Kevo over August

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:45
  Back in July, we reviewed the Kevo smart lock ($220) in light of the newer features that had just been released (scheduling, guest keys, performance improvements). Later in 2014, August, another Bluetooth based lock ($250), started to ship both pre-orders and to retail stores. Being the curiously obsessed gadget guy that I am, I had to at […]

Want to be one of the first to get TiVo

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 17:54
Want to be one of the first to get TiVo OnePass on your box? The priority list is now open! http://t.co/MV97tk3OIJ — TiVo Margret Schmidt (@tivodesign) January 19, 2015

Smart TVs, Dumber By The Moment

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 14:01
Like many of you, I’ve questioned the value of a “smart” TV. On one hand, quick access to online apps like Netflix courtesy “Input 1″ ~with no additional equipment~ is quite appealing. However, despite advances in performance and functionality, we’re not going to replace our televisions at the same rate we might be compelled to […]

TiVo’s 4K Plans Slowly Come Into Focus

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 17:09
At one point, it seemed a Series 6 TiVo might be off the table. Yet, given my perception of minimal MSO interest in their network DVR and often anemic specs from hardware set-top partners, TiVo regrouped to begin developing a 4k reference design … that was initially unveiled (behind closed doors) back in September at IBC. Indeed, TiVo’s go-to chip supplier Broadcom announced that they’d selected the […]

Staples Connect Works With Nest

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 16:42
Last year at CES, Zonoff’s demo suite was full of the Staples Connect hardware they power along with a variety of familiar brands like Lutron and Jawbone. This year, several other friends joined the party including the Google Nest smart thermostat and a souped-up, Sonos-fighting Bose sound system. The desire for Nest integration is obvious, although this is the first we’ve […]

Two Weeks With Roku TV

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 07:13
I wasn’t the only member of the Zatz family that picked up a new television this season. And, unlike my Vizio experience, Mom has been quite pleased with the two TCL Roku TVs I chose for her. Of course, her expectations and tolerances in this realm are far more, uh, relaxed than most of our regulars – so […]

10 Days With Vizio M Series

Sun, 01/11/2015 - 08:31
Cue the sad panda. I had high hopes for a new 65″ Vizio M Series. But, after 10 days, Best Buy has reclaimed it. The M Series was notable for providing a solid picture at a reasonable price. And, when the 65″ dropped to $1000 during promotional holiday pricing, we pulled the trigger. Beyond “bang for buck” […]

For Internet of Things, Chaos Reigns. (Clutter, Too)

Sat, 01/10/2015 - 08:46
As expected, the “Internet of Things” was a hot topic at CES. And everyone seems to want a piece of this market. For example, we’ve got an iPhone case maker pitching networked power outlets and the fitness tracker company wants to sell you a Bluetooth light bulb. Sadly, chaos reigns … given the number of competing standards, proprietary solutions, poorly articulated […]

Wink App Update Outs Cree Connected Zigbee Bulbs

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 08:44
The Wink Hub iPhone app was just updated and, amongst various bug fixes, is reference to “support of Cree light bulbs”. Cree is generally known for high quality, low-cost LEDs (and I’m quite fond of the BR30s), but really hasn’t been mentioned in the DIY home automation space… until now. So I backtracked thru the […]

Withings Activité Pop

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 08:05
Intro At $450, I had no intention of buying the original Withings Activité watch. That’s a bit steep for my watch buget, even if it does incorporate activity tracking and is Swiss-made. Seeing an opportunity to use a similar design, Withings announced at CES 2015 a new version of the Activité called Pop ($150).The Pop looks almost identical to the Activité, […]

Staples Connect Adds “Modes” & Zigbee Bulbs

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 13:00
At the end of December, Staples Connect released the much anticipated update for their new D-Link hub which included new features such as Modes, a Migration Assistant, and support for additional devices. Let’s take a brief look at each of these new features: Modes With the new Modes feature, you have the ability to change the way your […]

The Sling is Dead, Long Live the Sling!

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 06:40
Possibly the most disruptive product announcement out of CES this week is DISH’s long foreshadowed Internet television service. And, amongst several surprises, is “Sling TV” branding. I guess it’s nice that DISH chose to repurpose the sling.com Echostar asset… as you’d be horrified to learn what we had paid for that URL. Having said that, it certainly clocked in far less than the questionable “Blockbuster” […]

Channel Master Brings Dozens of Online Channels to DVR+

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 06:44
Channel Master’s fee-free, over-the-air DVR+ is set to receive a massive infusion of online content. Company reps emphasize that what we’re looking at are not “apps” that require configuration and interaction, but rather the direct integration of linear streaming content into the guide for channel surfing alongside those HD antenna broadcasts. Available channels can be added and removed […]

Hands On TiVo OnePass!

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 05:56
Just a few weeks back I had lamented TiVo seemingly being lapped by “the lowly cable company” and Dish’s “binge bar” in sensibly stringing together episodic television à la Netlix. Not to be outdone, and as alluded to in patent filings, TiVo takes it to a whole ‘nother level with OnePass: OnePass is a powerful […]

TiVo to Demonstrate Chromecast & Roku Clients

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 09:33
As CES gets rolling, TiVo has announced plans to demo Roku and Chromecast clients… to cable partners. So there’s no telling when or if these implementations will make their way to us retail customers or to what extent, but it’s exciting stuff – on top of the already previewed Amazon Fire TV app. In the interim, […]

Tablo Unveils New Hardware & Major Roku App Refresh

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 07:30
We’ve been quite enamored with Tablo, since our first product demo at CES 2014. In fact, our very own Adam Miarka is a highly satisfied customer of this effective bit of clever gadgetry that provides both over-the-air DVR and Slingbox capabilities. Beyond the existing 2- and 4-tuner models, CES 2015 heralds the Tablo Metro… which houses 25-mile […]

TiVo Wants You To Know It’s All Gonna Be Alright

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 06:19
While the official TiVo blog generally engages in trivial (and bizarre) marketing, they taken to WordPress this week to cover something far more significant in CableCARD. And, while cable companies like Time Warner and Charter will soon (12/15) be able to provide set-tops without integrated CableCARDs, TiVo reassures us that these companies remain on the hook […]

Best Buy To Launch Roku TV

Sun, 01/04/2015 - 12:14
As with CES 2014, Roku’s 2015 Vegas outreach will skew heavily towards their TV partnerships. Last year, Roku introduced TCL and Hisense televisions with the Roku experience built right in (versus questionably successful “Roku Ready” MHL-like stick accessorizing). Indeed, I found the end product so compelling that I ordered two 40″ sets for Mom (review to come). And, […]

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