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June 26, 2006


A few weeks ago, I listed the features that would be in my ideal portable media device for my usage with two small kids. Well, according to eHomeUpgrade, that device is getting closer to reality with the RoverTV PMP.

According to DogHouse Electronics, maker of RoverTV, here are the specs for their premium model:

RoverTv Wide Screen $349.00 retail

  • Length 4.125 inches

  • Height 2.75 inches

  • Depth .6 inches ( six tenths of an inch thick)

  • Screen size- 4 inch Samsung TFT screen

  • Video Resolution: 480 x 272

What's in the Box

  • Premium TXB Earbuds

  • One 2 Gig SD card/ One 1 Gig SD card =3 Gigs Total

  • USB 2.0 cable

  • AV cable

  • Carrying Case

  • Home Battery Charger

  • Installation CD PC/Mac

  • Easy start Manual

Personally, I'd think they'd be more successful dropping the SD cards and lowering the price, but it still sounds intriguing.

Posted on June 26, 2006 | Comments (0)

June 21, 2006

Apple Negotiating for Downloadable Movies

The web has been buzzing about this article from Reuters that says Apple is in negotiations with studios to put movies up on iTunes. According to the article:

Apple's Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs is said to want one flat price of $9.99 per movie, whereas studio executives want a range of prices that mirrors videos and DVDs at retail stores which, generally speaking, run from discount titles at a few dollars apiece up to $19.99 or more for new releases.

$10 seems pretty steep but $20 seems like highway robbery for something that is likely to be far less quality than a DVD, take a few hours to download, and likely will be stuck with all the DRM hassles of being to view it on the device of my choice.

Personally, I think Apple should be negotiating the opposite deal. I'd try to get studios to put iPod compatible video formatted files directly on the DVD, making it quick and simple to transfer it to an iPod, by just inserting the DVD on your computer and clicking transfer in iTunes. As a portion of the disc, the video files would be relatively small.

It would be a win for Apple by making it more entrenched as a standard, it would be a win for iPod users who don't have to worry about the nuances of fair use and copyright and who won't have to wait hours for it to transfer, and it would be a win for the studios in that they are offering more features to their users and providing an alternative that keeps some sort of DRM in place.

Posted on June 21, 2006 | Comments (0)

June 15, 2006

MCE for Vista Preview

Krunker.com has a great in-depth look at the changes that are coming in MCE when it gets wrapped up in the Vista release.

It took almost 24 hours to download the beta release, but after reading the article, I'm more looking forward to trying it out.

(Hat Tip: eHomeUpgrade.com)

Posted on June 15, 2006 | Comments (0)

June 14, 2006

My ideal Media Player

Engadget highlights a new product coming from Philips that is yet another Personal Media Player that is hitting the market in September. I think the addition of a small stand is actually a handy thing for those airline flights.

David at eHomeUpgrade mentions this when talking about the Philips product:

Rather than opt for the "smaller is better" philosophy, the PMC from Philips opts for a more video-friendly approach to their design.

Having stocked up on various PMPs for testing our product TVHarmony AutoPilot, there are a lot of great products out there that support video but not many that are a great form factor for my 3 and 5 year old to use in the car.

As a consumer, I'd love to find an inexpensive 7" screen PMP that I wouldn't feel uptight with my 5 year old holding it while she's making a mess eating goldfish in the car. Right now, I've tried only two solutions neither of them are ideal. The first is a cheap portable DVD player, which has all the issues with scratched DVD disks and the hassle of carrying around all the accessories. The second is to have a portable screen like a Lilliput that gets connected to the video output of another PMP, but that turns out to be a cable nightmare as well.

Here's my ideal cheap product that I wish existed:

* 7" screen
* No hard drive/ No DVD player
* dual headphone jacks
* a video out jack
* An SD or compact flash card slot
* A usb connection so you could transfer files directly to an SD card
* Capable of playing Divx/Xvid files
* Plays mp3 and views photos
* Decent battery life
* Sub $200 retail

Is that too much to ask?

Posted on June 14, 2006 | Comments (2)

June 12, 2006

Tivo Kidzone Live

Dave Zatz is reporting that Tivo is downloading system software 7.3 which includes the new Kidzone feature. This sounds like something pretty useful for parents like me that have little ones and don't want them to be exposed to many of the shadier programs on daytime tv.

You can push yourself to the head of the line for the update by going here.

(Hat Tip: TivoBlog.com)

Posted on June 12, 2006 | Comments (0)

June 09, 2006

Review: iRiver Clix (Multiple Sources)

Via eHomeUpgrade, iRiver has introduced a cool new personal media player called the iRiver Clix. It's got 2GB of storage and it's flash based, so it's small compared to other personal media players that support video.

The only thing missing from the unit, in my opinion, is the lack of a compact flash or sd card slot. At 2GB limit is a bit small for video, and a expansion slot would have given users another option for carrying content.

Posted on June 09, 2006 | Comments (0)

June 08, 2006

BeyondTV Now has DivX 6.1

According to Build Your Own PVR, BeyondTV has added some new technology into their product, including DivX 6.1 which offers 300% faster processing for computers with Intel Duo Core processors.

Posted on June 08, 2006 | Comments (0)

June 07, 2006

Tivo to add TivoCast for more Web Video Content

According to USA Today, TiVo will be adding more web video content for subscribers for users who have networked TiVos and a broadband connection with a new feature called TivoCast. Among the content that can be viewed on your TiVo:

Providing video for the new TiVoCast service will be: the National Basketball Association, The New York Times, CNet, H2O: Hip-Hop on Demand, women's social site iVillage, gay network Here!, action sports network Union on Demand, digital entertainment provider Heavy.com, Danger Rangers kids content and video blog Rocketboom.

According to the article, the service will be started by the end of July.

This seems like a smart move to me in trying to differentiate itself from competitors and providing extra utility for users.

It would be great if they opened up the service with an external API to allow anyone to publish content to their TiVo. The TivoGoBack feature is somewhat crippled in it's implementation, as is the HME SDK which only allows audio streaming and not video streaming. Creating a platform for third parties to implement video delivery systems would open the door to some cool new innovation and undoubtedly add value for its users.

(Hat Tip: TVPredictions.com)

Posted on June 07, 2006 | Comments (0)

June 06, 2006

ReplayTV Software

Looks like long time DVR provider, ReplayTV is creating a software only version of their product, according to this call for Beta testers. I've heard it rumored before, but this seems to verify that it might actually happen.

I'm not so sure how successful they'll be with all the competitors in this space, but I'm sure from their perspective, a software-only product has much higher margins in the short run.

(Hat Tip: Engadget)

Posted on June 06, 2006 | Comments (0)

June 05, 2006

Review: NVidia DualTV (HTPCNews)

HTPCNews has an excellent in-depth review of NVidia's MCE DualTV dual tuner which works with MCE, Sage, Yahoo, and BeyondTV. Here's the money quote:

NVIDIA's DualTV MCE has been a long time coming. It generally lives up to the hype: good noise reduction and comb filtering plus ISF certification all in a dual-tuner. Because of these factors the DualTV is now the analog tuner in my MCE 2005 HTPC.

Hat Tip: Build Your Own PVR

Posted on June 05, 2006 | Comments (0)

We're back

After a long haitus working on our software project, TVHarmony AutoPilot, hopefully at this point we'll have enough time at this point to start blogging again.

We've still got a long ways to go with our plans to develop AutoPilot, but there are so many interesting products and news about DVR and mobile video, that it's a good time to start blogging again.

To those of you who were once regular readers, sorry for the absence. For those new readers, welcome.

Posted on June 05, 2006 | Comments (1)