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Tag Archives: TV

TiVo Premiere Elite Kicks Things Up A Notch

By David Ponce

Even though it’s a dying business, cable TV is still strong enough to support a robust ecosystem of devices like the quintessential PVR: TiVo. And recently the company announced the release of their top of the line machine, the TiVo Premiere Elite. It comes with a hefty 2TB hard drive and 4 (count’em) tuners, which allows you to record 4 shows simultaneously while watching a 5th! The large hard drive will let you store up to 300 hours of HD content, which is twice the amount of the next highest-end machine. What’s more (like other TiVo boxes), the Premiere Elite “offers access to streaming services like Netflix, Pandora, Hulu Plus, Blockbuster On-Demand, and Amazon Instant Video.”

As you may know, the TiVo service isn’t free and is in addition to the cost of the machine itself. So $20/month gets you the service (or a one-time $500 lifetime fee), plus $500 for the Premiere Elite… plus whatever you pay for digital cable.

Remember we said dying model?…

[ TiVo Premiere Elite ] VIA [ Geek.com ]

Cydle i30 iPhone TV Tuner

Cydle i30 iPhone TV Tuner (Images courtesy Cydle)
By Andrew Liszewski

Tired of streaming TV eating up most of your iPhone’s limited monthly data plan? Don’t forget there’s still a world of first-run broadcast TV that streaming services still can’t compete with when it comes to new content. And with Cydle’s new i30 cradle you’ll be able to tune in new shows. It supports the ATSC-M/H standard in the US which is specifically designed to allow devices on the move to be able to tune in broadcast content, though you’ll have to be ready to accept a small antenna sticking up out of your device.

The Cydle i30 does pack its own 1100mA rechargeable battery so it won’t completely drain your smartphone when watching broadcasts, and I’m going to assume it’s going to rely on an accompanying downloadable app when it’s finally available for sale in the US. At the moment though it’s currently making its way through the FCC, so actual availability is unknown.

[ Cydle i30 ] VIA [ Mobiledia ]

Sony To Ship New Bravia TVs With 500GB Hard Drives

By Chris Scott Barr

Here’s an interesting thing. TVs are getting more and more features these days. Enough that they can actually start eliminating the need for other devices to be connected to them. The next device to go? If Sony has anything to say about it, they’re looking to replace your DVR.

Sony is releasing a trio of new Bravia TVs that come equiped with 500GB hard drives. What’s more is that they have support for external drives, just in case you run out of room. The only real difference between the three models is size, which range from 22-inches to 40-inches. The new sets will cost you a pretty penny though, with the smallest size fetching $1,000 when it launches next month in Japan.

[ Sony ] VIA [ Geeky Gadgets ]

Buffalo 1seg Digital TV Tuner Dongle For The iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch

Buffalo 1seg Dongle Tuner (Images courtesy Buffalo)
By Andrew Liszewski

Pretty much anything you could ever want to watch is already available online, but there’s still something to be said about flipping on broadcast TV and just taking what they give you. So once again I kind of wish I lived in Japan (or technically Brazil, Peru and Argentina) so I could pick up one of these 1seg digital TV tuner dongles from Buffalo which lets you enjoy live TV on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

It looks fairly compact to use and carry around, and it’s even got its own rechargeable battery good for about 2 1/2 hours of vegging out so you’re not draining the battery on your idevice at the same time. It will be available sometime in early December, though with a somewhat hefty price tag of ~$127 (¥10,600).

[ Buffalo 1seg Digital TV Tuner Dongle ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]

Own A Rare Zenith 13″ See-Through Clear Case TV – You Know, For Prisons

Rare Zenith 13" See-Through Clear Case TV (Images courtesy eBay)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m pretty sure there’s not a big demand for a $400 Zenith 13-inch CRT TV these days, unless you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to watch Glee while incarcerated. These sets were specifically made for the sole purpose of providing “in-cell prison entertainment” while preventing inmates from using them to hide or smuggle contraband. It’s currently up on eBay where the seller points out that it’s not even digital ready, making it a pretty tough sell even if you’re into collecting prison memorabilia.

[ eBay – Rare Prison Security See-Through Cear Case Television ] VIA [ Random Good Stuff ]

GefenTV Auto Volume Stabilizer

GefenTV Auto Volume Stabilizer (Image courtesy Gefen)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s not the first TV volume stabilizer I’ve written about, but while this Audiovox model from a few years back was just $39.97, this latest model from Gefen is a touch pricier at $179. Why the price discrepancy? Well in addition to the use of Dolby Volume technology to detect and moderate sound levels in order to maintain a steady volume, it also happens to feature TOSLINK and S/PDIF digital audio inputs and outputs, as well as traditional 2-channel analog audio inputs and outputs. The aforementioned Audiovox only handles analog signals, so if you were hoping to use a device like this with modern gaming consoles or DVD & Blu-ray players, you’ll have to pony up for this more expensive, yet more capable, model.

[ GefenTV Auto Volume Stabilizer ]

VuQube Portable Satellite Dish – When You Don’t Really Want To Get Away From It All

VuQube Portable Satellite Dish (Images courtesy SkyMall)
By Meg Lynch

Some people travel to exotic, secluded locales to get away from all the distractions of every day life. But others seem content to pull into a crowded campground in an RV that’s better appointed than the home they left behind. I’m going to assume one of the amenities that latter group couldn’t live without while on vacation is satellite TV, so the VuQube seems like the easiest way to stay on top of all your favorite shows no matter where you may roam.

The most expensive version, the VQ3000, is fully automatic so all you need to do is position it so it has a clear view of the southern sky. Built-in motion tracking allows you to stay tuned even while on the road, and as long as you have power, you can quite literally use this thing anywhere you can carry it. It’s compatible with Dish Network, DirecTV and BellTV, and in addition to your satellite bill you’ll have to cough up $1,699 for the VuQube hardware. Definitely expensive, but that’s the price you’ll have to pay if you want to join in the Mad Men conversation around the water cooler campfire.

[ VuQube VQ3000 Portable Satellite Dish ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

Hulu Inches Closer To A Paid Subscription Model

Hulu

By Chris Scott Barr

It’s been nearly a year since I dropped my cable subscription, and I couldn’t be happier. Between Hulu Plus vs Netflix streaming, I have little desire to ever switch back. Of course there has always been that fear that Hulu would switch over to a paid subscription model. Now it seems that a paid model is coming, but it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been.

The current proposal is to continue offering the latest 5 episodes of current shows for free. However, users could pay $9.95 a month for what’s called Hulu Plus. This would get you the entire back-catalog of episodes, rather than being limited to the latest ones. There is no word on whether paying the fee would free you from watching the ads or not.

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Philips Portable DVD Player Becomes Slightly More Relevant Again With The Inclusion Of A Digital TV Tuner

Philips Portable DVD Player With Digital TV Tuner (Image courtesy Philips)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s kind of hard to justify the cost of a portable DVD player these days when a similarly priced device like the iPod Touch does so much more, but the Philips PET729 manages to make itself slightly more useful with the inclusion of a digital TV tuner and antenna. For about $120 you get a 7 inch TFT LCD display (480×234 pixel resolution) and support for almost every type of media disk including DVD, CD and SVCD, though the most ‘exotic’ file format it can handle is MP3s, so if you’re hoping to use this for watching downloaded video content, you’re out of luck. The rechargeable battery is good for about 3 hours of TV or DVD enjoyment, and should you find the ATSC reception lacking, you do have the option of hooking up a larger rooftop or outside antenna for a better picture.

[ Philips Portable DVD Player With Digital TV Tuner ] VIA [ GadgetGrid ]