All posts for the month April, 2016

You might get the idea that the purpose of this blog is to promote TiVo, as often as I mention it.

Not so. But with our possible choices constrained by the need for a high Wife Acceptance Factor weighting, it was almost inevitable that we would converge on TiVo as the best solution for the TV/DVR side of cord-cutting in our household.

News today from Digital Trends: “TiVo will soon be an entirely different company

TiVo is being acquired by Rovi Corporation, “a company based in the United States whose patents, products, and technologies include copy protection, software licensing and ‘search recommendation’ on devices such as set-top boxes, digital video recorders, TVs, and mobile and tablet devices. Companies such as consumer electronics manufacturers, cable operators, websites, and social networks use Rovi’s entertainment metadata—a collection of in-depth information on movies, television shows, celebrities, music, games, and books—in their efforts to organize and enable the consumption of digital entertainment.” (Wikipedia)

Rovi is not well-known to the general public. So the new company will also be called TiVo.

According to TheVerge, “it seems that the acquisition is mostly about patents. Neither TiVo nor Rovi make most of their money from actual products, instead, they rely on their intellectual property. For example, TiVo’s Time Warp patent, which allows users to fast-forward through adverts on recorded TV. Between them, the two companies have more than 6,000 issued and pending patents in the digital entertainment world.”

Rovi has roots in Tulsa. It was formerly known as Macrovision.

Back on July 11, 2008 in GroupBlog 270, I wrote this:

“Gemstar-TV Guide has an operation here in Tulsa at 71st and Lewis. It became a part of Macrovision a couple of months ago. Macrovision will keep the TV listings data side of the business, and likely spin off TV Guide magazine and possibly, the TV Guide Network.”

I added:

Weird Al’s ‘UHF’ (1988) was shot in Kensington Galleria, where TV Guide has its Tulsa offices”

The first TiVo was shipped on March 31, 1999 (More TiVo history here). Too bad I didn’t buy stock when it was offered on July 21, 1999.

Amazingly (to me, anyway), this website (TTM) was already in existence at that time.

TiVo Roamio OTA

TiVo Roamio OTA

Big news from Engadget about the new model of the TiVo Roamio OTA:

TiVo’s cord-cutting DVR gets more storage and drops subscriptions

The original model OTA was our cord-cutting choice for broadcast TV/DVR due to its user(wife)-friendliness.

The new one has 1TB of storage, double the original.

But now, there is no $15/month subscription fee. You pay $400 upfront and one time. Considering the cost of the device to be $49 as before, you break even with the original OTA pricing after less than two years! Pure savings from then on.

This makes it a near no-brainer, as other cord-cutting options (Channel Master DVR+, Tablo, Windows Media Center) are nowhere close in ease and slickness of user interface, expandability (using TiVo Minis), and free apps (especially Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, and PLEX).

And, as with its predecesssors (the original OTA and the newer BOLT), it allows commercial skipping on some shows, and 30% faster speed-watching.

The article notes that the new OTA will be available on May 2 through Amazon, Best Buy or TiVo.

If our original Roamio OTA ever blows up or is hit by lightning, this is what I’m getting.

If you have been thinking about cutting the cable cord, a new OTA and a simple, cheap antenna (like a refurbished Mohu Leaf) may be all you need.

Back to the Curve 50

The blue spot on the wall is our HDfury Gamer2 HDMI-to-component converter adding Xmas cheer.

This post is likely to be of interest to a only a small fraction of readers at most, but…

Over a year ago, I opted to buy a $159 HDfury Gamer2 Component converter so we could keep using our 2002 flat-tube TV with our TiVo Roamio OTA (see previous post, Replace the old TV?). The HDfury device was the only way to get the high quality TiVo HDMI output into the old TV. (TiVo also has a composite output, but it is noticably lower in quality).

That decision was a bit iffy, considering the low price of today’s LED TVs, and the relatively high cost of the HDfury device.

Yesterday, HDfury sent this email:

“It is with a heavy heart that we must share the sad news: All below devices will have to be removed [from their catalog] in less than a week.

HDfury Gamer1 RGB
HDfury Gamer2 Component/Stereo
HDfury Gamer2 RGB/Stereo
HDfury2 RGB/Component/Stereo
HDfury3 RGB/Component/5.1
HDfury4 (3Dfury) HDMI/DVI-D/RGB/Component/5.1

HDFury Gamer 2

HDFury Gamer2 (Click to enlarge)

Hurry Up, it’s NOW or NEVER! Installers and integrators can still get their hands on the very last HDfury HDMI to Analog units available.It is expected that the retail price on the market for these HDMI to Analog HDfury units will SKYROCKET shortly after they are removed from our catalog.”

That is not really terrible news for us, since the failure of either the old TV or the HDfury device would precipitate the purchase of a new LED TV, anyway.

But it sounds as though with the high resale value of the HDfury, I might get my money back and then some for having gone that route.

Yay, a cognitive dissonance-lessening bit of news!