HDTV Rumors Tivo

Tivo Series 3 release?


Looks like our old pal Dave Zatz has uncovered some possible release information about the vapor-friendly Tivo Series 3 (the standalone HD Tivo with 2 CableCard enabled tuners and 2 OTA tuners). Tivo is having an American Idol related contest and the grand prize is a Series 3 Tivo. The contest ends at the end of American Idol on May 24th. The rules stipulate that the prizes will be given away no later than 4 months after the end of the contest.

So, what does all of this mean? There are two ways that you could look at this:

  1. Tivo believes their Series 3 will ship some time before the end of American Idol or
  2. Tivo feels confident that they can at least ship one Series 3 by September 24th to the contest winner.
  3. Now, I saw the Series 3 in perfect working order at CES this year and I banged on it quite a bit. I realize that it may have not been completely baked, it was mostly baked. My guess is that they are waiting for something else like a deal with cable companies (other than Comcast) or they are still figuring out pricing.

    Oh ya, the dollar value they’ve put on the Series 3 with lifetime service is $1500, but with their new pricing model, I don’t know how much this tells us either.


    Contest Rules

    Digital Cameras

    Uncle Walt likes the SD630


    Walt Mossberg, venerable old fogey of personal electronics, likes the new set of big LCD compact digital cameras introduced at PMA this year. Tested were the Olympus Stylus 710, Nikon Coolpix S5, and the Canon SD630 with the Canon coming out on top.

    Overall, we preferred the Canon. In addition to its superior pictures and larger screen, the Canon had a much cleaner user interface than the others. Many things about the Canon felt more like a tiny computer than a digital camera.

    The Nikon and Canon were on par picture quality wise, but the Nikon requires a dock to actually remove pictures from the unit. The Olympus requires xD storage, which automatically deducts points from any review(we need to do a review of why to not buy cameras that don’t use SD or Compact Flash, but trust me, just don’t). Walt also found the Olympus a little more difficult to use.


    Digital Cameras

    Canon’s other announcements


    With digital cameras, I love both ends of the spectrum. There are a lot of great cameras out there right now, but I always feel like the middle kind of sucks. It just seems like there are too many compromises. I like digital SLRs and barring that, I like little pocket cameras. Canon’s announcement of the inexpensive A-line cameras is a little yawnsville for me. While I don’t d find them that exciting, the A75 I bought my parents last year for $200 was a delightful, feature packed performer and it occupies another great area of the spectrum, cheap.

    New A series cameras include the A430, A530, A540 and A700. The A430, the smallest and cheapest of the lot is a 4 megapixel, 4x zoom camera for $179. The 530, 540 and 700 are basically the same camera with 5 , 6 and 6 megapixels respectively with a 6x zoom on the 700 rather than 4x on the lesser models. At $229, $299 and $349 these are respectable little shooters with many automatic and manual features.

    One last Canon to mention, at the top end, the 20D got a modest upgrade to the 30D with a larger 2.5″ LCD and 5fps shooting in JPEG mode for $1399.

    Digital Cameras

    New Canon compact cameras


    Canon’s Elph series got an upgrade today with 3 new models, the Canon PowerShot 600, Canon PowerShot SD630, and Canon PowerShot SD700 IS. All pack 6 megapixels, the 600 has a 2.5 inch screen, the 630 and 700 upgrade to a 3 inch screen (although the 630 loses it’s viewfinder) and the 700 adds a 4x zoom rather than the 3x that has been standard on most of the Elph line.

    Canon has introduced image stabilization to the Elph line with 700 IS. In theory, this will help make those long zoom shots less blurry. This is unique in the compact digicam space and new for Canon.

    Canon has once again made the naming of these cameras confusing as they have fewer megapixels than the SD500 and SD550, but seem to have more features . I can’t wait for the questions as to why the 600 has a higher model number but fewer megapixels. No prices on these digicams yet, but I’m sure they’ll be priced somewhere around the $400-500 mark.


    (via Imaging Resource)

    Digital Cameras Sony

    Sony Digital Camera rumors

    Now, these haven’t been announced, but a good source has confirmed them.

    • Cybershot DSC-H5 7 megapixels, 3.0 inch LCD, 12x zoom, 1000 ISO
    • Cybershot DSC-H2 6 megapixels, 3.0 inch LCD, 12x zoom, 30 fps 640×480 movie mode
    • Cybershot DSC-W100 8 megapixels, 2.5 inch LCD, 3x optical,
    • Cybershot DSC-W70 7 megapixels, 3.0 inch LCD, MPEG4 640×480 30fps movie mode
    Digital Cameras

    Pentax Optio goes underwater


    Pentax brings us new thin cameras as well as a new underwater addition to their line.

    • Pentax Optio W10 Waterproof/Underwater 6.0 megapixels, 2.5 inch LCD, 3x optical zoom, 30 fps 640×480 movie mode.
    • Pentax Optio T10 Ultra thin compact ,6.0 megapixels, 3 inch touch LCD, 3x optical zoom, long battery life and a stylus for drawing on the screen.
    • Pentax Optio M10 Compact 6.0 megapixels, 2.5 inch LCD, 3x optical zoom, long battery life.

    (via DPReview)

    Digital Cameras

    New Kodak cameras


    Kodak updates their consumer friendly line of cameras.

    • Kodak EasyShare V603 Compact, 6.1 megapixel, 2.5 inch LCD, 640×480 MPEG 4 30 fps movie mode, $299
    • Kodak EasyShare Z612 6 megapixel, 12x zoom, 2.5 inch display, 640×480 MPEG 4 30 fps movie mode, $399
    • Kodak EasyShare C643 Entry level, 5 megapixel, 3x zoom, 2.4 inch LCD, 640×480 30 fps movie mode, $249
    Digital Cameras

    Tons of pre-PMA announcements


    Ah…. just recovering from the cornucopia of electronics announcements at CES and Macworld, it appears PMA is upon us. PMA (Photo Marketers Association) is held once a year in Orlando, FL and is the photo nerd’s paradise. The show doesn’t start until next week, but that doesn’t stop the early announcements (and rumors).

    We’ll be rounding up the the new digital cameras announced prior to the big camera show, so stay tuned.

    Downloads HDTV Home Entertainment Media Servers and Streamers Wireless

    Moviebeam relaunches


    A number of stories this morning regarding the relaunch of Disney’s Moviebeam service in 29 markets this year. In a nutshell, Moviebeam is a hard drive based set top box that receives movies over unused television spectrum. The box ships with a 100 movies on the hard drive and about 10 movies are swapped out each week for new ones. Movies then can be rented for $1.99 to $3.99 (catalog versus new releases) with HD movies costing $1 more.

    While the service is interesting, the biggest problem that I see is that the set top box is $250 before rebates, which is a huge barrier to entry for many folks. Not to mention it is another piece of hardware to hook up to a television. I have a sense that if this service were being a promoted by someone like Apple it could be hugely successful, but with backers such as Cisco and Disney, the future of Moviebeam is fuzzy at best.


    (Via Zatz Not Funny)

    iTunes Portable Entertainment Rumors

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Video to go

    si.jpgJonesing for your Swimsuit Edition in you pocket? Tomorrow morning, Apple is there to help you view SI‘s bathing beauties while on that commuter flight to Des Moines. $16 gets you all the videos for your iPod so you can look less creepy in coach oogling scantily clad young girls in your spare time.


    (Via TUAW)

    Portable Entertainment Wireless

    Engadget Mobile launches


    I thought when I launched this blog that I would have coverage of all things gadget, but I realized over time that there are certain product areas that I could care less about. Mobile phones actually tracks pretty high on that list. This isn’t to say I’ll never cover mobiles on the site, but they must be leaps, not steps above the rest.

    It seems like mobile phone carriers launch a new middle of the road phone every other week and keeping up in the market is pretty difficult. That said, I do like to point my faithful reader(s) in the right direction. Engadget Mobile launched this morning and promises to cover the mobile phone world like nobody’s business.

    Check it out.

    Satellite Television XM Radio

    Oprah Channel on XM

    images.jpegXM announced this morning that they’ve signed a 3 year, $55 million with Oprah Winfrey to launch the “Oprah and Friends” channel for the satellite radio provider. The channel will:

    daily programming on a variety of topics including nutrition, fitness, health, self improvement,
    home, and current events from popular “Oprah” personalities, including Bob Greene, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Robin Smith, Marianne Williamson, Nate Berkus, and Gayle King.

    The station will launch September of 2006.


    (Via Orbitcast.)


    CableCard Guide

    If you’ve been shopping for an HDTV, you might want to check out Ars Technica’s CableCard guide. CableCard is the technology that allows televisions and other devices access cable tv without a cable box. The guide goes through the long history of CableCard and details out the questionable future that the technology has.

    The long and short of is:

    CableCard 1.0

    • One way communication (no pay per view)
    • Available now

    CableCard 2.0

    • Two way communication (pay-per-view included)
    • Maybe available next year-ish


    • Two way communication via software
    • Available in 2007-8

    The bottom line is if you can wait to buy that HDTV and can stand looking at your ugly cable box, you possibly, may be slightly better off. Sounds like a way to continue squeezing people for a cable box rental.


    (Via eHomeUpgrade.)

    HDTV Sony

    Sony Blu-ray disc pricing set


    Not that I’m excited about the new format war (HD-DVD vs BD) and given the craptastic line up of movies announced, I’m not even sure why I’m reporting on this, but my adoring fan would be upset if I didn’t.

    Sony announced today wholesale prices for new BDs at $23.95 and catalog (read:old) titles at $17.95, both commanding a slight premium over DVD. Now, remember folks, those prices are wholesale and vendors usually charge something a little extra so they don’t go out of business.

    No release dates, but I’m sure they’ll come out around they same time the players arrive.


    (Via Engadget)

    Apple iPod

    Nano is now nano-er


    The long rumored 1 GB nano was announced today for $149 just in time for Valentine’s Day. The rumor that the demise of the Shuffle was coming seems a little premature as they have both dropped in price to $99 and $69 for the 1GB and 512mb respectively.



    Treo 800p soon?

    It’s funny. I was just talking to a friend the other day about how I’d like to shy away from reporting on rumors on the site. No particular reason other than a. not liking to be wrong and b. trying to not look like too big a gadget fanboy. I suppose both are true.

    Some guy from the boards over at TreoCentral is reporting the Treo 800p is due out on March 15. The new phone will feature a slimmer form factor, a sharper 320×320 screen, 128mb of RAM, a Wi-Fi option, Bluetooth 2 and 3.2 megapixel camera.

    Sounds great, but something seemed kind of fishy when the poster mentioned that the guy from Palm demoed the new screen by showing the text of “Julius Caesar.” Considering the release date, this makes the whole thing seem a little fake.

    Judge for yourself.


    (Via Engadget.)