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Updated: 2 hours 26 min ago

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 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, […]

The Ghosts of CES Past

Sun, 01/04/2015 - 08:55
With the 2015 edition of the annual Consumer Electronics Show upon us, it’s time to reflect on how various companies utilize their time in the sun. And, unfortunately, the signal to noise ratio is not always favorable for the gadget blogger given a large number of introduced products that skulk away with nary the follow-on discussion and no product on […]

DishWorld Testing ESPN & Disney Streaming on Roku 3

Fri, 01/02/2015 - 15:39
As expected, DISH is nearly ready to unveil an over-the-top Internet video streaming subscription service in hopes of displacing your current cable provider or appealing to the growing legion of cord cutters. And now, via Reddit, it seems the service will repurpose “DishWorld” branding (versus going with “NuTV“) and beta recruitment has begun. As one of our most […]

Verizon Kills One FiOS App, Enhances Another

Fri, 01/02/2015 - 15:11
By way of Kevin Hanson on Twitter and Verizon’s own forums, we learn that the television provider has discontinued their LG Smart TV FiOS app. The free streaming video app was first introduced in early 2012 as a means of providing LG owners boxless access to a couple dozen “live” FiOS channels… shortly after a similar experience had landed on the Xbox […]

Lenovo Cloud Camera to take on Dropcam?

Mon, 12/29/2014 - 14:15
Besides general software clunkiness, a large percentange of network cameras just look awful. In fact, I decomissioned our fairly practical Foscams because they just don’t look very nice around the home. The highly rated Dropcam, now a Google/Nest subsidiary, has been one of a very select few that have bucked at trend… which probably has contributed to their success […]

Stream TiVo Recordings to Amazon Fire TV (Today!)

Mon, 12/29/2014 - 08:22
While we’ve seen the TiVo experience running on Amazon Fire TV, there’s no telling when or if the company will ever make this feature available to retail customers. However, with Android streaming in the bag, Roamio Pro/Plus and TiVo Stream owners can take matters in their own hands by sideloading the TiVo APK onto Fire […]

Sony PSN Still Down; How To Check Status

Fri, 12/26/2014 - 08:09
Our engineers are continuing to work hard to resolve the network issues users have experienced today. Thanks for your continued patience! — Ask PlayStation (@AskPlayStation) December 26, 2014 A massive influx of new Christmas gamers coupled with a denial of service attack brought both the Playstation Network and Xbox Live to their knees yesterday. While Microsoft appears to have partially […]

D-Link Doubles Down On The Connected Home (Hub)

Wed, 12/24/2014 - 07:03
Not content preparing a smattering of sensors and the latest Staples Connect hardware, D-Link is set to unveil their very own “Connected Home Hub” — probably a mere ten days from now at CES. Details on the short cylindrical job that just passed through the FCC: The DCH-G020 is a Connected Home Z-Wave Gateway used to control a variety […]