Tag Archives: Richard Lawler

TiVo’s 4K-ready, commercial skipping Bolt hints at the future

photo: TiVo, Engadget

TiVo Bolt will replace the base Roamio (and eventually the Plus), as a 4-tuner DVR that also works for OTA or just streaming TV. For those who prefer six tuners and a larger built-in hard drive, the Roamio Pro will stick around, but it doesn’t have the Bolt’s 4K or new features. Bolt loses the old analog video outputs and offers only an HDMI port — no breakout cable either — which shouldn’t be a problem in 2015, but is worth knowing. It […] With “SkipMode” TiVo drops in a feature featured its old competitor ReplayTV, […] when you’re watching a recorded program, a green icon will pop up and prompt you to hit the “D” button to skip commercials. […], but there are some limitations. TiVo is managing this by basically having people watch the programs on certain networks and mark where the actual show begins and the commercials end. […] The only bad news? SkipMode is not being ported back to older DVRs, but it should work on the Mini (as long as it’s connected to a Bolt.) – Richard Lawler, Engadget

Paramount tries bringing movies home faster than ever

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[T]he period of time between when a movie premieres in the theaters until you can actually buy or rent it to watch at home, and since the dawn of VHS it’s usually remained at about 90 days or so. Now the Wall Street Journal says Paramount Pictures is testing out a plan with AMC Theaters and Cineplex to release a couple of movies in theaters just six weeks after they premiere instead of three months. The only two movies it’s announced plans for are Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension and Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, but there could be more movies and theaters in the works. – Richard Lawler, Engadget

Hulu hooks up with Showtime to make internet TV more like cable

In a first for Hulu, it’s adding the network as a premium option similar to the way it’s offered with cable TV. While Showtime by itself will be available for $11 per month on Apple TV, Roku or PlayStation Vue, $8 per month Hulu subscribers (no Plus, it dropped that name a few weeks ago) can add it for $9 and stream the network’s stuff to anywhere they usually watch Hulu. – Richard Lawler, Engadget

DirecTV’s app is ready to stream 90 channels anywhere you go

The 22 additions include MTV, TNT, Nickelodeon, BET, Cartoon Network and more ready for viewing on computers, tablets or phones. DirecTV also has the Genie DVRs that can shift recordings to your mobile device, but as the competition with internet TV services heats up the satellite company is finally ready to push a few more updates. All of those features work through the DirecTV apps, but it’s worth noting that recently DirecTV has cut deals so its subscribers can use their logins to stream channels (on their own apps) that its app doesn’t support yet, like Disney and ABC. – Richard Lawler, Engadget

HBO, Sony reportedly look for special streaming deals with ISPs

The idea is that ISPs might be able to bundle streaming services with their internet packages and also take a cut of the revenue, but in past years negotiations over that kind of split haven’t resulted in a deal. Add on the fact that customers have repeatedly and vocally come out against anything that would turn internet service into the same kind of bundle deal we’ve seen on cable TV, plus regulatory pressure and outcry from competing services, and it seems even more unlikely. According to [The Wall Street Journal’s] sources, even some cable executives claim setting up such an arrangement could cost “hundreds of millions” for a single company. Whether or not the media companies would pay straight up for the arrangement hasn’t been confirmed. – Richard Lawler, Engadget
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HBO Now is cutting the cord, but there’s still a few strings

Now that it’s launching via Apple, companies like Comcast and Verizon may not have as much of a choice to sit out, or pull stunts like locking down access to HBO Go. Our other question is how much it will cost if anyone else offers it, as an official FAQ mentions “prices may vary” across providers. Exactly how much money Apple is making from the deal is unknown, so we’ll be interested to see if someone like Amazon.com could choose to offer HBO Now access for a lower price, or maybe rolled into another subscription like Amazon Prime. Barbara Kraus of Parks Associates Research tells us analysts believe that after the 90-day exclusive is over, “HBO will open up to additional platforms including PCs, allowing users to sign up directly,” just like Amazon and Netflix already do. – Richard Lawler, Engadget
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Apple TV rumors point to a Sling TV, PlayStation Vue competitor

Re/code is hearing whispers that instead of trying to work with pay-TV companies like Time Warner Cable or Comcast, Apple will have its own over-the-top streaming service in the vein of the just-launched Sling TV, or upcoming services from Verizon and Sony. The rumor suggests Apple will license content directly from programmers, although its last go-round of negotiations suggesting a split in advertising revenue was not well-received. That similar services exist now certainly gives this round of rumors a shot in the arm, but Apple has been considering its next move in the living room for years without doing much. – Richard Lawler, Engadget 
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Apple TV rumors point to a Sling TV, PlayStation Vue competitor

Re/code is hearing whispers that instead of trying to work with pay-TV companies like Time Warner Cable or Comcast, Apple will have its own over-the-top streaming service in the vein of the just-launched Sling TV, or upcoming services from Verizon and Sony. The rumor suggests Apple will license content directly from programmers, although its last go-round of negotiations suggesting a split in advertising revenue was not well-received. – Richard Lawler, Engadget 
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