Over the weekend I discovered pyTivo, a replacement for TiVo Desktop that can use ffmpeg to transcode pretty much every video format on the planet on the fly for viewing on any TiVo. There’s something fun about the prospect of “obtaining” and watching a certain science fiction television show about a guy with a funny accent who flies around the universe in a blue box with strange women without any fiddling around with conversion software… once pyTivo is set up, all you would theoretically have to do is drop the file in the right directory and it would show up as a program you could transfer onto your TiVo. Très cool. Alas, all I’ve been using it for is properly-licensed video that doesn’t feature a flying blue box.
Of course, if I got SciFi HD I might not be tempted go to such lengths to watch the blue box show a few weeks before they show it. But the picture quality on regular SciFi blows, as does the editing for time. Thankfully the better angels of my nature have stopped me from succumbing to any temptation to see the adventures of the man in the flying blue box before being supplied to us Americans in edited form.
Dave Zatz posts on TiVo’s new “Swivel Search” feature that broadens the built-in search for upcoming shows to also look for downloadable TiVoCast and Amazon Unbox programming that meets your interests. The use of tagging in particular looks potentially very interesting.
Add yourself to the priority list here or just wait a while and it will show up on your TiVo too.
Dave Zatz points out a really sweet deal on the HD TiVo Series 3: $500, including a free TiVo wireless adapter. (If you want to give me a referral kickback, use
chris (at) lordsutch.com as the referral address when activating.)
PVRblog links a post by Dave Zatz that takes note of a new TiVo contest in which the grand prize is the long-awaited Series 3 HD TiVo; Zatz has started a side contest in which readers are asked to speculate on a release date and price for the unit. Although the official word from TiVo is “second half of 2006,” the betting money is apparently on “early September” at this point.
PVRblog and MegaZone have the scoop on the upcoming HDTV-capable TiVo, which will include over-the-air and cable HDTV tuners. Although no retail price has been announced, I probably should start saving my pennies now.
PVRblog has an interview with the guy who came up with the name “TiVo” for everyone’s favorite digital video recorder.
It must be the season for HDTV; in addition to a big InstaPundit post, both my parents have asked me about HDTV stuff over the past couple of months. I’ve been thinking of getting an HDTV set myself, but I have a rather annoying constraint: my existing entertainment center won’t hold anything much wider than my existing 25-inch Philips 4:3 TV, which I bought when I went off to grad school in Oxford in 1998, and I really don’t feel like replacing the entertainment center until I move elsewhere.
This really limits my HDTV options, as most HDTVs are 16:9 (and I probably wouldn’t bother with a 4:3 screen anyway), and most of them have side-mounted speakers, so most 26-inch LCDs won’t fit, including the el cheapo off-brand ones with lame picture quality that Costco and Sam’s have. My current prime candidate is the Samsung LN-R2668W or one of its same-sized brethren (LN-R268W and LN-R269D), which has the speakers on the bottom and thus will fit my entertainment center; it also looks very pretty in the store (not that I’m going to pay retail at Best Buy when I can save $300 and tax at Amazon). And it has enough connections for the TiVos (yay, 480p, at least for the Humax), the Xbox (yay, 480p), and an HD cable box from the good folks at Time-Warner (so I can see Al Michaels’ lip sweat in glorious 720p)—which will do me until the CableCard HD TiVo comes out sometime next year.
With the big holiday road trip coming up, however, it’ll probably be January before I pull the trigger on the purchase, since if I get it now I won’t have much time to enjoy it. (On the other hand, I could toss it in the car and bring it with me…)