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Updated: 2 hours 58 min ago

What Might Amazon’s TV Streamer Look Like?

Wed, 12/25/2013 - 09:12

Having missed the ever so lucrative holiday hopping season, we stop to wonder what Amazon might pack into their forthcoming TV streamer (after failing to reach a deal for the Netflix-backed Roku a few years back). First, given pulled and presumably filled job openings, one technology Amazon’s Lab126 Kindle division has been interested in is MHL - [...]

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DISH Hopper App Consolidation Underway

Sun, 12/22/2013 - 07:33

DISH Anywhere Android and iOS apps have both been updated to expand their Sling Hopper capabilities from mere streaming to also include DVR recording downloads. Now the functionality isn’t new, but consolidating down from three apps to two is a good move – and one we’ve seen from a variety of service providers (like Verizon) who [...]

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Slingbox 500 Launches DishWorld International TV App

Sat, 12/21/2013 - 09:01

Sling has unveiled a second app for their high end Slingbox 500, a placeshifter with benefits. And, like the company’s first foray in reverse streaming, the EchoStar subsidiary dabbles in nepotism with the launch of DISHWorld — a service that offers a variety of international programming, including live “television” and a sports package that runs $10/month. I’d hoped [...]

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Monitor Your Netflix Bitrate & Resolution

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 08:23

While I’d been aware that Netflix has populated their catalog with a variety of test clips, I didn’t realize they display dynamic details on video resolution and bitrate. TUAW’s identified ”Example Short 23.976″ as the one to seek out. And, as you can see above, I fired it up myself. In addition to enjoying a man moonwalk [...]

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Comcast & TiVo Resume Xfinity On Demand Rollout

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 15:51

After about a 6 month hiatus, Comcast and TiVo are once again expanding Xfinity On Demand services into new regions - Arkansas and Kentucky, to be specific. While we’re not entirely clear on the nature of the pause and had assumed the pair were evaluating perhaps a more efficiently implemented over-the-top app, as seen via Xbox [...]

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Next Gen SimpleTV Now Shipping

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 12:03

Right on schedule, the second generation Simple.TV network tuner has begun shipping. To improve upon the first gen, Simple.TV partnered with Silicon Dust to produce a smaller, yet more more powerful dual tuning unit to better leverage those high definition over-the-air broadcasts. For maximum flexibity, but a possibly higher geek quotient, SimpleTV remains hard driveless [...]

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Sirius XM Raising Rates In 2014

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 16:24

It’s that time of year. No, not holiday shopping. Rather, annual rate increase notices. And, next up is Sirius XM, who just hit me with a letter that indicates my online streaming add-on will increase from $3.50/mo to $4/mo. A fifty cent increase is pretty insignificant, yet these sorts of notifications may motivate folks such [...]

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What We Know about Black Pearl Systems

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 10:10

GigaOM’s Janko Roettgers has been dogged about trying to discover the raison d’etre behind stealth start-up Black Pearl Systems, and now, six months after first revealing the company’s existence, Roettgers is finally able to give us details on what exactly the company aims to do. Black Pearl has launched its new consumer brand name, Lyve [...]

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My Wife, The Gadget Flipper (Kindle Fire HDX)

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 06:43

While I’m the CTO of the Zatz household, my wife Melissa is also capable of making tech purchasing decisions… and living with the consequences. What follows is her realization that one gadget doesn’t fit all. Dave’s pattern of flipping gadgets must be contagious because I’ve caught the bug! More importantly, I’ve inherited his appreciation (or [...]

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Chromecast Screen Mirroring vs. Miracast

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 06:20

Fellow tech enthusiast and DC neighbor Joel Ward continues his role as a ZNF contributor. Beyond Zatz Not Funny, Joel can be found at Joel Explains It All and @joelsef on Twitter. When the Google Chromecast came out over the summer, one of the first things many of us wanted to use it for was phone, laptop, and tablet screen mirroring. [...]

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Channel Master DVR+ Now Available For Pre-Order ($250)

Mon, 12/16/2013 - 07:00

We’ve been tracking Channel Master‘s moves since new digital video recorder hardware first surfaced in FCC documents last summer. They’ve clearly used the intervening months wisely to fine tune both the product experience and marketing strategy as the originally documented pair of K77 set-tops has been whittled down to the single and more memorable DVR+ ($250). And, as you [...]

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Apps Up Next for Chromecast

Mon, 12/16/2013 - 04:31

Google announced a slate of new apps for Chromecast last week, but as most were less than compelling, it’s time to speculate on what else might be in the pipeline. According to Janko Roettgers over at GigaOM, Google plans to launch further “waves of Chromecast apps” in the near future. Here are a few guesses [...]

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TiVo Thumb Buttons To Rate The Voice Finalists

Sat, 12/14/2013 - 09:30

Perhaps another benefit of the TiVo 20.3.8 software update is a framework to tabulate in-show tenor by repurposing those iconic TiVo thumbs up/down remote buttons (versus their original purpose to rate programming as a means of generating suggestions). Classified as an “experiment” by “TiVo Labs”, select customers have been recruited to test this new functionality: If [...]

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TiVo Software Update 20.3.8 Rolling Out

Fri, 12/13/2013 - 18:19

TiVo software update 20.3.8 has started rolling out to Premiere, Roamio and Mini boxes, including these notable enhancements: new transparency options for Closed Captions support for new apps (some of which may start appearing next week) support for “low battery” message for new RF remotes fixed an issue where the grid Guide didn’t keep its [...]

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TiVo Founders Reunite, Prep Qplay TV Adapter

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 18:20

Shortly after TiVo co-founder Jim Barton resigned from the DVR maker in 2012, he reunited with his former DVR compatriot Michael Ramsay to found InVisioneer. While the Kleiner-backed company is somewhat shrouded in secrecy, descriptions from their recruitment efforts provide some insight (1, 2): InVisioneer is building a product that sits at the nexus of exciting trends [...]

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