Tag Archives: dvr

PlayOn Cloud comes to Android



If you aren’t familiar with PlayOn, It is a portal to over 100 streaming websites, allowing you watch multiple shows. And the Cloud acts as a DVR, allowing you to download shows and then watch, even offline.

Now that Cloud capability comes to the Android platform. This includes shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, Yahoo View, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, HBO NOW, PBS, The CW, and YouTube.

The company announces “We have officially launched PlayOn Cloud for Android. Now you can record and download any show or movie from top streaming providers like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO and more, with a simple touch of a button on your Android device.

There is more good news. Thanks to new optimizations and processing improvements that are designed to bring down the cost for all of this. The company claims it will now be $0.20 per recording. You’ll have to buy credits from the website.

If you have severed your ties with cable and satellite TV then PlayOn may be something you want to look at. That said, there are plenty of others as well.


Plex DVR for Capturing Over-the-Air TV Now in Beta



Plex logoThe ever-versatile media-management Plex app launched a new DVR service earlier this month. Plex DVR works with any standard HDTV antenna and the SiliconDust HDHR series of digital recorders to create a true DVR experience on your favorite screen. Just use the Plex app to tell the hardware which shows you’d like it to capture, and the system will record those shows for free from local over-the-air TV signals. If you’ve been waiting to cut the cord to cable or satellite TV, Plex DVR might be just what you need to finally make that move.

Here are some Plex DVR highlights:

  • Full license from Gracenote to help pull in the necessary meta data for your DVR’d shows. This information is tailored to your geographic location to make it as accurate as possible.
  • Subscribe to TV shows and never miss an episode.
  • Easily follow your favorite sports teams as Plex DVR records all of their televised games.
  • Sync DVR recordings to mobile devices or the cloud. Use Plex mobile apps to watch DVR shows on any device, no matter where you are.
  • Keep a fixed number of unwatched episodes for a show, or only recent episodes. Plex DVR also has the ability to sort individual shows by newest or oldest episodes and list all episodes at once regardless of season.

In order to use Plex DVR, you’ll need a digital TV antenna, a SiliconDust HDHR series digital recorder, a Plex Pass subscription, and you’ll need to download and install the DVR beta client. Plex is hoping to add the DVR service to more HDTV recording devices in the future.


Tablo Takes TPN Award at CES



Tablo LogoDigital video recorders (DVRs) are commonplace but usually they’re integrated with a cable decoder. Tablo’s offering records OTA (over the air) HD broadcasts that are transmitted from local TV stations, free of charge. Still not excited? The Tablo can stream both live and record programs to any connected device including Android and Apple devices, and set-top boxes like the Roku or AppleTV. Now that’s cool.

The Tablo contains two tuners (with a four tuner option), so can record two broadcasts at once. There’s no built-in storage but there are 2 USB ports for external HDD units to provide whatever space is needed. It’s perfect for cord-cutters. I’d love to see this come to the UK too.

The Tablo is on pre-order for US$219 and will be available in February 2014.

Interview by Daniel J Lewis of The Audacity To Podcast and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Goodbye, MSN TV. Microsoft Finally Pulls the Plug



msn-tvThe first time I actually saw someone using this service was when I went up north. We ate at this awesome steakhouse , which probably was on its last couple years in business (two brothers owned it and they were in their 70s). In the corner, one of the brothers’ wives were typing away on the MSN TV, trying to find out what was going on in the world (pre-2001).

The little box that was known as MSN TV finally got decommissioned today – 16 years after it started. Microsoft announced earlier in the year the TV appliance would be shuttered on Sept 30th. Users had to move their account information to Outlook.com and all other information to Skydrive (Microsoft’s cloud service).

MSN TV first started as Web TV in July of 1995 by Steve Perlman, Bruce Leak and Phil Goldman. The idea was Web TV acted like a thin client – taking snapshots of the web and sending them over telephone lines to your device, which would then project on your TV. It officially launched in Sept 1996 and ran for a year when Microsoft announced they were acquiring the service for $453 million (vested).

MSN TV tried to find its place in the tech world. The WebTV team took their ideas and created not only Digital Video Recorders, but also the XBox 360 game console. Its hardware could be found in Sony, Philips, RCA, Mitsubishi and other client hardware.

So with that, we bid adieu to MSN TV. the last of the real dial-up systems.


DirecTV Offers Free Upgrade to Genie for Current Customers



DirecTV subscribers are often frustrated by the lack of benefits to current customers, while the service continues to advertise great deals, like free NFL Sunday Ticket, to new subscribers.  Well, right now the satellite company is throwing a bone to current users by offering their brand new Genie HD DVR for free.

The Genie is the latest upgrade to the receiver / DVR and it offers a long list of benefits that make it a much better device than the current HR 23 and HR 24 hardware.  Those older receivers featured two tuners, meaning you could either record two shows at a time or record one while watching another.  They also featured a fairly sizable 500 GB hard drive, which provided plenty of storage for most people.

If, however, you find yourself, as my family has, receiving messages that you need to cancel a recording because you have more than two things set, or because you are watching something while two other shows are scheduled, or running out of space during an big event like the summer Olympics, then you may want the Genie.  The new DVR offers an incredible 5 tuners and 1 TB of storage.  In addition, all of the previous version’s features are also included.

So why not upgrade?  Well, there is one stumbling block that may turn off some customers.  You will need to agree to a brand new two year contract just like the one you got way back when you first signed up for the service.

If you don’t mind the extra two year agreement, or simply can’t live anymore without more tuners or more space, then this is a no-brainer.  If you aren’t worried about these things, or planning to cut the cord, then you should probably skip this deal.

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Fisher Price Kid-Tough® DVR Demo @ CES 2012



Fisher Price
Leave it to Fisher Price maker of great toys for kids and the kids in all of us to make a DVR that is kid friendly. That is what they were showing at CES 2012 the Kid-Tough® DVR.

The Kid-Tough® DVR is made for 3-5 year olds. It is rugged and easy to use. There is a touch screen kids can use to scan through the available videos. When they are ready to play a video just tap on the screen and it will start playing. They can also fast forward or rewind through a video. To record a video you just place the DVR into its dock which sits between your cable box and the TV, set the record time and hit record.

The Kid-Tough® DVR will be available around June-July. It will be approximately $150.00 and include the DVR, headphones, docking station, a car charger and a case. If you have a small child and take a lot of car trips this is worth a look

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central

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DirecTiVo to be Released Soon?



Recently it seems that satellite TV provider DirecTV accidentally released some information about the DirecTiVo, which used to exist, went away, and then was brought back, but has been “in the works” for around three years now.  Users over at the DBSTalk forums began reporting that the DirecTiVo briefly appeared as available for purchase on the DirecTV website for sale at $99.

According to the reports, the user interface looked more like the old TiVo HD as opposed the newer Premier.  That makes sense since the thing has been in development for so darn long.  Not much else is known, but I would assume it will contain the standard two-tuner hardware and not much of any ground-breaking features.

I had the original DirecTiVo and loved it, but had to replace it to move on to HD TV.  The HR-23 box is far from terrible, and actually is pretty good, especially compared to other cable DVR’s.  It has home networking capability, a 500 GB drive, and USB and eSATA ports that allow for additional external drives.  That said, I am sentimental for the old TiVo UI and if the hardware is comparable to the HR-23 then I will be plunking down my $99 for the new DirecTiVo.