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njlorelei
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I have a series 2 TiVo that I have been using with a standard Directv receiver on a non-HD tv using the IR blasters. If we upgrade to an HDTV with an HD Directv receiver can I still hook up the TiVo the same way? I'm guessing if it works that I won't be able to record HD channels but I hope I can still record the regular ones. Thanks!

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velvetfrogg
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I just found out that the tv service I was having installed is fiber optic tv and that TiVo doesn't work with it. I have a few questions for this community about what my possibilities are.

I have an old tv that would need a convertor box and the new digital rabbit ear antennas and I tried hooking up those 3 things to my series 2 TiVo. But it wasn't ideal for TV watching in the end.

So my dad bought me a premiere for Christmas. From what I understand I won't need the convertor box with that TiVo right? And I will still need my rabbit ears right? So TiVo, TV and rabbit ears right?

My other questions are about a slingbox. If I get one of those, how does it work? My mom has cable tv and Internet and a spare tv and said I can hook everything up there if I want. So would I have the slingbox and TiVo hooked up at her house and then I control everything from my house through my computer?

Also between the TiVo series 2 and the premiere what are the advantages? I don't have an HD TV so I wouldn't need that. I ask because the series 2 has lifetime service and the premiere doesn't have any service and if it would do the same thing for me then I would use the series 2 at my moms for the lifetime service. And then sadly let my premiere box collect dust until we move out of this stupid house in the boonies.

Once our Internet is working again today I do plan on hooking the premiere up with to the tv and rabbit ears and at least see what the quality of the channels are. If everything works I would monthly on it!

Oh. I just had an idea. If the premiere does work then I could still hook up the series 2 at my moms and get the cable channel tv shows.

Thank you in advance for any help/insight you guys can give. I know this was long and I'm sorry!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Current Location: US, Florida, Cape Coral, Lee, Kismet Pkwy, 386

velvetfrogg
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I have a series 2 single tuner TiVo and now have a new premiere TiVo. We don't have any TV service where we live right now but are moving in a few weeks hopefully. Having TV again is super important as I have gone 2 years without it and it's driven me batty not being able to use my TiVo. We couldn't get cable TV where we live currently and one of the houses I'm looking at tomorrow also doesn't get cable TV. I always seem to have problems with everything working correctly. So does anyone know if Century Link's TV service, Prism TV works with TiVo? Either series 2 or the premiere? I can't seem to find an answer. I know digital TV will work but I don't know if prism tv is digital. Not having the ability to use my new TiVo will be a deal breaker for me when looking at houses to rent. If my only option is satellite is my only option again, like it was when I moved here, I won't move there. Simple as that!

I had a series 1 and loved it, my dad had cable tv and it worked great. then he got satellite and it didn't change channels properly, the IR connection was sketchy. so I upgraded to a series 2 and it worked. then I moved into an apartment that had cable and the series 2 worked there. then my landlady switched to satellite (it was a mother in law apt) and my series 2 couldn't change the channels properly. then I moved again to where I live now. Satellite TV was our only option, so I tried using a digital antenna and also had to get a convertor box.... so then my tivo once again couldn't change the channel properly. Story of my life, seriously. And so I would set the channel on the one I wanted but we didn't always get good reception. we have AWESOME internet but I hate watching my shows on the computer. if we end up staying here, prism tv is now offered where we live. so if prism tv works with my tivos, everything will be great in my life if I move or stay.

I hope someone here can make my life happy with a good answer. lol

first world problems!

Current Mood: anxious anxious

zonereyrie
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Gizmo Lovers Logo The last time I attended CES was 2009, when I had a split personality – attending both as a Blogger for Gizmo Lovers, as well as an Exhibitor for Sling Media. That ended a six year streak which started with my first CES in 2004. In 2010 I wasn’t able to swing it with my then current job, and I was on my hiatus from blogging at the time anyway. 2011 there were a few things that kept me from attending.

I was going to return this year, for CES 2012, but I was getting married on February 4th and I realized that I was crazy planning a trip to CES less than a month before my wedding! In retrospect I’m glad I didn’t go, there was plenty enough to do preparing for the wedding and honeymoon. Not to mention burning three weeks of PTO for the trip. But I still missed scratching that itch.

Now I’m hoping to return for 2013! Registration opened today and I just registered as Press. They’ve changed their requirements since 2009 and no longer have a dedicated ‘Blogger’ category, so hopefully they’ll still consider me a valid Press member. I’m hopeful; I think Gizmo Lovers meets all of their requirements for online media – it qualified before. But if they don’t accept me as Press I’ll register again as a standard attendee.

I’m looking forward to jumping back into the fray. The Cable Show was good, but there’s nothing quite like the zoo that is CES. It’s a consumer electronics geek mecca – information overload. As Stanley Spadowski said, “You get to drink from the fire hose!” I’m looking forward to it.

Mirrored from Gizmo Lovers Blog.

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briansiano
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My Tivo Premiere recently died, and it was cheaper to buy a new one. Which means I have to migrate my Comcast CableCard to the new Tivo.

Do I have to pull the Comcast guys in to go through that long activation process? Or, since the card is already active, can I transfer the hardware myself?
zonereyrie
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TiVo Android Tablet Screenshot 1 When TiVo updated their iOS & Android apps back in March, they said the long-awaited TiVo app for Android Tablets would be available in the ‘spring’. Well, it looks like they missed their target – by one day. The official start of summer was 19:09 EDT last night, June 20th. I think we can let that slide, and just be happy the app is now available in the Play Store.

Features (some features are only available to TiVo® Premiere DVR customers):

  • Browse the channel guide without interrupting the show you’re watching – View shows up to 14 days in advance
  • Schedule TV show/movie recordings and ongoing (Season Pass®) recordings
  • Browse your recorded shows list and play a show from the App
  • Find exactly what you want to watch – Search across TV, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video & Blockbuster -and see integrated results on Demand to find what you are looking for
  • Explore cast and crew while watching a show
  • Comment about what you’re watching on Facebook or Twitter
  • Use a TiVo remote control replica or our intuitive, gesture-based remote control
  • Manage your ongoing (Season Pass®) recordings and your To-Do List – Delete and reprioritize recordings for your favorite shows
  • Instantly schedule, search and browse for shows while you’re away from home

Screenshots:




Via Android Police and TiVo Blog.

Mirrored from Gizmo Lovers Blog.

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zonereyrie
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TiVo Logo Over at MediaBizBloggers, TiVo’s Vice President of Audience Insights, Greg DePalma, talks about the DVR habit. It is a short post, but I found it interesting. He talks about the power of habits; how we tend to develop habits while young and then keep them throughout our lives. And this ties into TiVo’s business in that younger users have been quicker to embrace DVRs than older users, as well as being more likely to use the power of the DVR more fully – such as skipping ads.

Younger people have adopted the DVR a lot faster than the baby boomers. A perfect example is the CW network, which has 44% less live viewing during primetime than CBS. CBS skews toward an older viewer (with programs like 60 Minutes), who tends to watch more shows live – all because of habit. My father records PGA Tour golf events and when he plays them from his recorded list he sits through the commercials without fast-forwarding. Is he lazy? Charles Duhigg might argue his behavior is related to habit. In contrast, the younger viewer watching Gossip Girl on the CW is in the habit of recording his/her favorite TV show and speeding through the commercials.

It made me think about the implications over time, as newer generations grow up with the DVR, streaming video, etc. What habits and expectations will they have? Will they even be willing to tolerate advertising in their content? Or will they be habitualized to skip over ads or avoid ad-driven content entirely? What new business models will work with the new audiences coming up? Check out the full post.

Also at MediaBizBloggers, Alex Petrilli, senior manager of audience research at TiVo, talks about a potentially surprising finding from TiVo viewing data. TiVo data relating to viewing of movie ads seems to be a fairly strong predictor of future box office performance. In other words, if users stop and watch the ad, the movie will do well in the box office. But the more users who skip through the ad without watching it, the worse the film will perform.

During the past year TiVo has been studying box office performances in relation to the fast-forward rates of movie spots – and the correlation between the two is undeniable. Fast-forward rate is simply the percent a spot is skipped during live plus seven days of time-shifted viewing. On average the fast-forward rates for movie spots, which are traditionally some of the most popular commercials on television, range from 12-17%.

We first took notice of this correlation in September of 2011 when the latest “can’t miss” Sarah Jessica Parker film I Don’t Know How She Does It was set to open. The fast-forward rate almost jumped out of our TiVo Stop||Watch portal with a 20.4% rate. This was unusually high for a theatrical release. Not surprisingly, the box office followed suit opening at #6 for the weekend of September 17, 2011, scrounging up $4.4 million. The Avengers amassed a total of $4.4 million on a Tuesday afternoon… in Des Moines.

Fast-forward rate can also work the other way too and reveal a hit. A successful fast-forward rate will drop below 12%. Two recent examples are The Hunger Games which scored an 11.8% fast-forward rate in its initial broadcast campaign and The Avengers delivering a 10.3% fast-forward rate. Although expectations were high for these films there are no guarantees.

Of course, no system is perfect. It seems that children’s films and horror films don’t follow the same patterns, for example. Children’s film’s ads tend to run during children’s programming, and they don’t fast-forward ads. I’m not sure about horror films – perhaps people skip the ads because they’re scary? Or do more people watch the ads but then not see the film because it is scary? Either way, these’s more info in the full post, so check it out.

Mirrored from Gizmo Lovers Blog.

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zonereyrie
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TiVo Logo Back in March I spotted a news article that seemed to indicate TiVo’s deal with Conax to bring the TiVo experience to Canal Digital’s Scandinavian satellite customers might have fizzled out. And last month at The Cable Show TiVo confirmed to me that the deal was effectively dead. However, neither side was making any official public statements – but that seems to have changed. A new article from Consumer Electronics Daily includes statement from TiVo President & CEO Tom Rogers which put the nail in the coffin of that deal:

In addition to focusing on small- and medium-size U.S. operators, TiVo will seek to expand distribution in Western Europe, Rogers said. But TiVo has parted with one potential partner in Telenor’s Canal Digital direct-to-home satellite service in Scandinavia, Rogers said. TiVo signed an agreement with Canal Digital in late 2010, but the company has undergone a management shakeup, including the departure of CEO Tone Krohn Clausen, and is said to have been up for sale.

“They had a big strategic process they were going through in selling the company and we decided pouring resources into a company that might be selling itself near term might not be the smartest thing,” Rogers said. “It’s not clear what they are doing and for the kind of shoulder that it takes roll out what we do, we knew that it would not be the best circumstances.”

So we finally have an explanation of what happened with that deal. It’s dead, Jim. Well, at least for now. It sounds like the door is still open if Canal Digital sorts their issues out and is still interested, but TiVo doesn’t want to get involved for now.

You might have noticed the first sentence in the quoted material, about small- and medium-sized US operators. That’s actually the main gist of the CED article. TiVo is seeing most of their traction in the US come from those operators, and not the big boys. So they aren’t putting a lot of energy into pursuing ‘Comcast-size’ deals. While TiVo’s deal with Comcast is significant, it is clear that Comcast’s focus is on their own in-house developed service, X1. While it seems that Comcast will fulfill their end of the agreement and continue to expand coverage of TiVo support for XFINITY VOD, TiVo is really a secondary offering for them. Their primary push is going to be X1, and understandably so.

Five of the largest MVPDs in TiVo-served territories – Comcast, British Sky Broadcasting, DirecTV, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable – are working on DVR strategies in-house and are unlikely to ever adopt TiVo’s software as their primary platform. I’d also add Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse to that list. While TiVo may be able to collect licensing revenue for their patents from these providers, there’s little chance they’ll contribute directly to subscriber numbers. But the small- and medium-size MSOs don’t have the resources to develop their own DVRs, so they need third party vendors to fill the need – which is where TiVo comes in. They’ve already had success in the US with MSOs such as RCN, Suddenlink, Grande Communications, and more.

Of course, they have landed one major MSO as well – Charter Communications. But the deal seems to be stuck in neutral. Charter began deploying TiVo in Fort Worth, TX last November and at the time planned a “full production launch enterprise wide in the first half of 2012.” However, in February of this year they announced they they were pushing the schedule out, without providing any new time frame.

Since then we haven’t really heard much, and Charter’s TiVo deployment remains limited to Dallas & Ft. Worth, TX. Rogers stated that TiVo is “working closely” with Charter to expand their deployment into new territories. There has been some speculation, which I also heard going around The Cable Show, that Charter might be one of the early customers for the new Pace XG1 running the TiVo software. And that could account for the hold up, waiting for the XG1 to be available, but that’s just a rumor and I don’t know that I’d put much stock in it.

Check out the Consumer Electronics Daily article for yourself.

Mirrored from Gizmo Lovers Blog.

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zonereyrie
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TiVo Logo The Cable Show website has posted an interview with Jeff Klugman, TiVo’s Senior Vice President for products, filmed last month at the show. Actually, I’m pretty sure I saw this interview being shot during one of my visits to TiVo’s booth. They primarily discuss the TiVo Stream and the IP STB, as those were TiVo’s big announcements from the show. Jeff indicates the products will be distributed by MSO partners “last this summer” and available at retail “in the early fall time frame”.

There are other tidbits, such as the statement that side-loading is up to 4x speed, so an hour-long program and be loaded in as little as 15 minutes. But I don’t really agree with the comments about side-loading vs. out-of-home streaming (ala Slingbox). While I acknowledge side-loading is useful for environments where streaming isn’t viable, such as on an aircraft, I really have no interest in side-loading. I prefer to stream my content real-time from my TiVo when I’m on the road. The comments about broadband speeds just don’t ring true anymore. Back in the day I used to stream from my Slingbox to my Palm Treo over a 200kbps EDGE connection, and it was perfectly usable.

These days almost every phone has a 3G connection many times faster, if not a 4G LTE connection. WiFi is nigh-ubiquitous, and upload speeds from the home are more than capable of streaming content at a solid quality. My Slingbox PRO-HD can stream 720p video starting at around 1.5Mbps, which is not at all uncommon these days. So the excuse that out-of-the-home streaming isn’t supported due to available broadband capacity just doesn’t hold water. I hope TiVo gets it together and adds it to the TiVo Stream quickly. Especially for those of us with providers who copy-protect nearly everything, making side-loading impossible in the first place.

Watch the video for yourself, of course.

Mirrored from Gizmo Lovers Blog.

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zonereyrie
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TiVo Logo I’ve been saying for years that TiVo should add a way to make purchases right from the system. For years they’ve had product Showcases, advertisements in the UI, Interactive Tags during ads, etc. They’ve dabbled in direct product purchasing through Amazon, and there have been trials such as ordering from Domino’s Pizza, but most of these have been limited in scope and duration. But this looks like a serious effort, with PayPal involved.

I’m not really a big fan of PayPal myself, I only use it when I have to, but there is no denying they’re the 800 pound gorilla in the online payments arena. PayPal is a name known and trusted by most consumers, a strong brand accepted by a multitude of merchants. Like them or not, there really isn’t a better payments processor for TiVo to partner with. Someone like Amazon Payments or Google Wallet just wouldn’t give them the scope of PayPal. And there certainly seems to be a lot of potential, given the data shared by PayPal:

According to a survey conducted by PayPal in October 2011, half of TV subscribers (49%) show an interest in purchasing goods and services linked to the content they’re watching on TV, either directly from their television through their remote control, or on a companion device (smartphone or tablet). In addition, nearly 30% of those same TV subscribers said they would use PayPal to make those purchases. In fact, 89% of respondents knew about PayPal as an online payment service with 61% of them having used it in the last 12 months. Furthermore, according to research done by Nielsen, consumers who watch traditional television are engaged approximately 5.1 hours a day, whereas consumers who surf the Internet are engaged less than an hour a day.

TiVo and their agency partners will be working to bring PayPal-enabled ads to consumers in time for the fall 2012 TV season. It sounds like purchasing capabilities will be available to advertisers across TiVo’s ad placement offerings – Interactive Tags, Showcases, etc. I think that’s a good first step, but I think the real potential is integration with shopping channels. As well as the possibility of enhanced TV. How about watching a cooking show and being able to call up an onscreen display to order the host’s cookbook or their branded products? Or watching a fashion-based program and being able to order the clothing seen on the show? It’ll also be interesting to see if the payment system is part of the new SDK TiVo is preparing, to allow purchases via third party apps.

PayPal is also looking to expand this beyond TiVo, as they stated in their blog they’re also working with Comcast:

We’re excited to announce that we’re collaborating with industry leader Comcast Cable to explore opportunities that include enabling consumers to make purchases or donations related to the content they’re watching on television either directly through their TV using the remote control, or on a companion device such as a smartphone or tablet. We are also exploring opportunities for enabling consumers to accept coupons directly into their PayPal online wallet during television advertisements.

Though it sounds like their plans with Comcast are much less concrete than what was announced with TiVo today.

There is one thing about this announcement I could really do without – the term ‘t-commerce’. Yes, a ‘clever’ play on e-commerce and TV. Oh well, marketing, what can you do?

The press release is below:

Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

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TiVo Central Comcast XFINITY On Demand We were a little premature with the announcement of XFINITY On Demand support for Boston area TiVo users ‘next week’ two weeks ago. Last week came and went without a launch. But it is a week later and this time we have launch! It is official, TiVo Premiere users with Comcast in the Boston area should have access to XFINITY On Demand starting today.

“TiVo Premiere has always offered the best of XFINITY TV channels with the most popular web services, and we are excited to now integrate the XFINITY On Demand library for Boston subscribers, delivering a true one-stop shop for at-home entertainment,” said Doug Bieter, Vice President of Retail Sales for TiVo, Inc. “We are pleased that TiVo Premiere users in the Boston area will have an opportunity to experience this great XFINITY On Demand content and we look forward to additional markets in the near future.”

TiVo states it is available in the ‘greater Boston area’, so it should cover a fairly large geographic area. The TiVo website has a zip code look up to determine if your area has service. I just checked my old Waltham, MA zip code, 02453, and the site reports that service is available. (These days I’m in Worcester, MA, 01606, which is Charter territory. So no XFINITY On Demand for me.)

There is a little bit of bad news though. If you’re one of the few users still clinging to the old ‘soft-TiVo’ (Comcast DVR with TiVo) that Comcast offered way back in 2008 in the area, it is time to give it up and buy a real TiVo. For those who don’t remember, this was a special software image for Comcast’s standard Motorola DVR hardware that gave it the TiVo UI. But it never worked very well as the hardware is under powered and you had the HW running the base OS, with a Java interpreter on top of that, which then ran the TiVo software. It was a great idea in concept, but it never worked well in reality. So I don’t think this is a big loss, and the retail TiVo Premiere unit is far more powerful and feature-rich than those old units.

Now that they’re launching On Demand support for retail TiVo Premiere units, Comcast is discontinuing support for the soft-TiVo units on or around August 1, 2012. So you have until then to pick up a TiVo Premiere unit if you want to continue to have TiVo in your home. Before you run out and buy one at retail – TiVo is offering you one for free! See tivo.com/bostonoffer for details. They’re offering a 320GB TiVo Premiere for free with a monthly rate discounted to $12.95 from the usual $14.99, with a one year commitment. Or product lifetime service is $499.99. This offer is only for users who still have the Comcast DVR with TiVo.

If you’d rather have the 500GB TiVo Premiere, the 1TB TiVo Premiere XL, or the 2TB, four tuner TiVo Premiere XL4 they’re offering $100 off on those. And if you want multiple units they’re offering factory refurbished units for $49.99. (Personally I’d just get the XL4 and wait for the IP STB due later this year for multi-room functionality.) Again, these deals are only for customers who currently have the old Comcast DVR with TiVo and who are looking to switch before their service is turned off on or around August 1st.

If you’re not a Comcast DVR with TiVo users, and you don’t yet have a TiVo Premiere with which to take advantage of this new support, there is a sale on the TiVo Premiere XL and TiVo Premiere Elite on – but it ends today. $50 off a factory-renewed Premiere XL or a new Premiere Elite – $149.99 and $349.99, respectively. And yes, Premiere Elite, not Premiere XL4 – they’re getting rid of the remaining pre-name-change stock, I asked. Same hardware, different badge on the front. Amazon has the 320GB Premiere for $89.99, the 500GB Premiere for $109.75, the Premiere XL for $203.24 (did they miss the memo about list dropping to $199.99?), and the Premiere XL4 for $342.10.

TiVo Premiere subscribers in additional markets across the country are expected to have access to the XFINITY On Demand library in the coming months. Visit www.tivo.com/comcast to learn more or to sign up for notifications when XFINITY On Demand becomes available on TiVo Premiere in additional areas. Boston is the second Comcast service area to receive XFINITY On Demand support, following the SF Bay Area.

Which area will be third? I think Chicago may have a shot. Why? Back in 2008 Chicago looked set to be the next market for the soft-TiVo, after Boston, but the roll out stopped before it launched there. And Chicago is one of two cities where Comcast launched tru2way support as a trial with TV manufacturers, before that effort fizzled as well. (The other city was Denver.) This means they’ve probably already done a lot of work upgrading their head ends there, and they are likely in a good position to take the upgrade for the new service. Plus Chicago is a large market, apparently 2.3 million cable households, so it would have a potential for a large return.

But that’s all speculation of course. Only Comcast knows where they’ll launch the service next.

Mirrored from Gizmo Lovers Blog.

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esprix
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I'm sort of assuming I can't use my Series 2 with my HD satellite provider (Dish Network), so, first, correct me if I'm wrong, and second, is there a way to do so? Or should I just go ahead and get a Premiere? :)

Current Mood: curious curious

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TiVo Logo TiVo President and CEO Tom Rogers will be presenting at the Twenty-Eighth Annual Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Strategic Decisions Conference 2012 on May 31, the day after they announce their 1QFY13 financial results. A webcast of the presentation will be available on TiVo’s investor relations site.

Conference Details:
Twenty-Eighth Annual Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Strategic Decisions Conference 2012
New York, NY
Thursday, May 31, 2012
3:00 PM ET
Tom Rogers, President and CEO

Mirrored from Gizmo Lovers Blog.

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TiVo Central Comcast XFINITY On Demand I couldn’t get a date earlier this week at The Cable Show, but apparently Comcast knew and just wasn’t saying – Boston gets XFINITY On Demand next week. That means TiVo owners with Series4 Premiere models in Comcast’s Boston service area will be able to access XFINITY VOD content. We don’t know yet just how widespread this is since ‘Boston’ often includes surrounding areas like Cambridge, Arlington, etc. when corporations use it in this way. We’ll probably get more details next week when it launches. You can always check your zipcode or sign up to be notified when it is in your area at www.tivo.com/comcast.

For those who don’t know, Steve is TiVo’s Head of Corporate Communications. So this is an ‘official’ source who would know. I suspect Comcast didn’t announce this during The Cable Show because they wanted to keep the attention focused on their X1 product announcements.

Thanks to Brennok for the tip.

EDIT: I originally said ‘Monday’ since Brennok had used that in his comment and it wedged in my brain and when I read Steve’s ‘next week’ I think I mentally filled in ‘next Monday’. I replaced ‘Monday’ with ‘next week’ throughout the post to better reflect what Steve actually said.

Mirrored from Gizmo Lovers Blog.

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TiVo Logo While most of the TiVo news out of The Cable Show revolves around the TiVo Stream and IP STB, and the Pace XG1, I did talk to TiVo about a variety of issues. So this is a bit of a grab bag to collect some interesting bits, in no particular order.

TiVo will continue to support ATSC in future products, in some way, shape or form. I asked about this because the TiVo Premiere XL4 is a QAM only product, and knowing how hardware development and refresh cycles work I fully expect the Premiere and Premiere XL to be refreshed at some point and migrate to a shared design with the XL4. It is much more cost effective to produce one board and simply populate it differently for different products. The Premiere and Premiere XL will clearly be updated to add MoCA at some point, and it makes sense to go to a shared design. But that had implications for ATSC, hence my query.

TiVo can’t say, probably because at this point they honestly don’t know, what form an ATSC-supporting product might take, but they know there is a solid niche of ATSC users. Clearly the majority of their business comes from cable subscribers, but they do not plan to abandon ATSC users. There are issues with supporting ATSC however. ATSC tuners are more expensive than QAM tuners, and aren’t available in the same densities. We’re seeing single QAM tuner chips with six QAM tuners, even fully integrated SoCs with six, or more, integrated QAM tuners – but not ATSC.

This makes it harder, and more costly, to design and build a product with ATSC support. And the more ATSC tuners you include the higher the cost and complexity. And there are often knock-on costs – additional RAM, ancillary chips, etc. Add to that the effects of economies of scale. There are more QAM-enabled products than ATSC, that means there is more demand for QAM chips. The greater demand drives higher production levels of QAM chips, and the per-unit costs keeps coming down. ATSC components aren’t following the same decline, but remaining at higher price points.

And that’s why we don’t have an ATSC XL4, and probably won’t see one. And also why the bulk of products going forward are likely to be QAM-only, with specific SKUs to address the ATSC market niche.

On a different note, the new TiVo SDK will be released ‘this fall’. TiVo has hired someone who is working full time on running the SDK program and driving it to release. They’re serious about getting it out there and attracting more developers to create apps for TiVo.

TiVo would like to support Amazon Prime Streaming as much as users would like them to, but at this time they have nothing additional to announce.

My own take is that it is in the road map but they need developer support from Amazon to get it done. Remember the situation with Hulu Plus? Same deal. It will almost certainly happen, the question is when, but TiVo isn’t going to announce anything until there is something firmer to stand on. Like I said, that’s my read on the situation.

As for HBO Go – they know there is demand but they have nothing public to announce right now. My take is they will probably do it but won’t be saying anything until there is ink on paper to authorize it.

While I’m on the subject, TiVo says to expect a lot of additions to OTT content and, further out, extensive changes to the UI for selecting OTT content. I’m heartened by this, as the weak support for OTT content has been a pet peeve of mine for some time. For myself, I’d love to see content like NASA TV and Crunchyroll supported. I know others would love sports channels, such as MLB.TV. And the UI for Web Video is very creaky now. Next to something like Roku it is kind of sad.

I think the ’tile’ HD UI for ‘browse’ that TiVo has now could make for a decent web video UI. You could have a tile for a provider, and then tiles for each ‘show’ from the provider within that screen, etc. I think that if TiVo can really enhance the UI and expand the content list, the IP STB could have a secondary life as a general purpose streaming STB even for non-TiVo households.

As I reported back in February, TiVo continues to consider adding support for DLNA/DTCP-IP but doesn’t have anything more to say at this time. However, I have to say that, after talking to many vendors at the show, TiVo will add support for DLNA/DTCP-IP. It is a question of when now, not if.

Why do I say that? Because everyone else is doing it. It is really taking off, it seems like every vendor I talked to had something to say about DLNA/DTCP-IP. Just one example, the Pace XG1 box that runs the TiVo software can also run several other software stacks. On every other stack it uses DLNA/DTCP-IP for whole home streaming – but when running the TiVo software it uses TiVo’s proprietary system. ARRIS’s Moxi DVRs use DLNA/DTCP-IP – and therefore you can use a PS3, DLNA/DTCP-IP-enabled Smart TV, etc., as a client.

The stack is rapidly becoming MoCA+DLNA+DTCP-IP – and with RUI coming on strong as the next likely standard component. Since TiVo is serious about playing in the MSO market, and MSOs all seem to be extremely interested in standardizing on these components, I believe TiVo will simply have to adopt them to remain a player. It is almost painful to say, but the big, legacy players seem to be adopting standards faster than TiVo. You’re going to see DLNA everywhere before long, and TiVo needs to invite themselves to that party or risk being on the outside looking in.

Oh, a little side note. I was in Pace’s booth today, looking at the XG1 (there will be a post eventually), and I got crowded up for a bit by a gaggle of suits who came in for a demo. I noticed they were with Suddenlink, and they were quite interested in the XG1 running the TiVo software. I overheard some generally favorable comments about TiVo as a solution, but they seemed to like the idea of more ‘MSO-friendly’ hardware like the Pace unit. Which is kind of the whole point of TiVo’s partnership with Pace, so that’s a good thing.

Another good thing is that the Pace reps I observed doing the demo for various groups were all pretty gung ho about the TiVo solution. While they had an number of units setup, running different UI stacks (Comcast X1, a few Rovi solutions, etc.), they really stressed the TiVo solution. I head things like “TiVo is the one we’re really excited about” from the reps talking to MSO people dropping by for a demo. So that’s good to see & hear; it is good to see TiVo with an enthusiastic partner.

On a different note, unsurprisingly TiVo wouldn’t comment about future DVR products, aside from indicating it was likely transcoding will be ‘baked in’ to some future box, as I previously reported. But reading between the lines I think we can expect to see more tuners in a future box as well – an XL6 if you will. There are chips available now with six, or more, integrated QAM tuners. And an M-Card supports a maximum of six streams.

In addition there are a growing number of units from other vendors appearing with six tuners, which means competitive pressure on TiVo. Their MSO partners are going to want to “keep up with the Joneses”. While they could do that by using a box like the Pace XG1, those that have based their solutions on TiVo hardware are likely to want commonality.

My speculation is that sometime in 2013 we’ll see an ‘XL6′ using one of the newer chips, such as the BCM7435, with six QAM tuners, MoCA 2.0, and on-board transcoding. It probably will not have built-in WiFi as TiVo is trying to steer users away from WiFi and toward Ethernet or MoCA, to avoid customer experience issues and support headaches with streaming and flaky WiFi networks.

The tablet version of the Android app is actively being worked on. I reported in March that TiVo was saying ‘spring’ for Android tablets, but that’s clearly slipped a little. They recently made changes to the way they handle app development and they’re committed to iOS and Android. When the TiVo Stream is released this fall there will be clients for both, on phones and tablets. The streaming functionality will be incorporated into the existing TiVo apps.

TiVo is aware that the new YouTube and Netflix apps have long start-up times, and they’re working on ways to speed that up. The apps themselves are out of their control, that’s Google & Netflix, but they are working to improve performance, especially the start-up.

TiVo is updating their software more frequently, and we can expect more and more of the UI to migrate to HD with the coming releases. Screens such as the Season Pass Manager, To Do List, and screens from a remote unit (such as when using MRS), will be made HD this year. I think TiVo has made some real progress with the migration over the past couple of releases and I look forward to seeing it continue to progress.

OK, I think that’s it for now – and I really need to get a few hours of sleep before I return for the last day of the show. I have plenty more to write up as posts – such as my visits with Humax, Pace and Arris – but that’ll have to wait.

Mirrored from Gizmo Lovers Blog.

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TiVo IP STB Setup Screen Since I made my post about the forthcoming TiVo Stream and IP STB last night I’ve been getting a lot of questions, and there were a few things I wondered about myself after I had some time to digest things. So I dropped by TiVo’s booth at The Cable Show again today and gathered some more information – including the photo you see here.

As they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words, and this one answers some of the questions I had, and that I heard from readers. Note that the photo is from a box running development software, so the screen and/or language therein may change before release, etc. But the underlying logic is what we should expect in the initial release. As you can see, you do not have to give up a tuner on your Premiere XL4 to use the IP STB – if you’re willing to forego Live TV, as I am. Basically you’re reserving one or two tuners in the XL4 for use by IP STB(s) elsewhere in the home. When a tuner is reserved it is not available for anything else. It is not used for recordings, it is only used for Live TV on the IP STB. Period.

Now, one question that occurred to me after I’d left the show today was if a tuner is paired with a single IP STB, or if it can be shared. Say you have one XL4 and three IP STBs – can you reserve just one tuner which would allow any one of the three IP STBs to use Live TV at a time? I’ll need to ask that.

But, that aside, you can see that you have the option to reserve 0, 1, or 2 tuners for use by IP STBs. Personally I’d go with 0 as I never use Live TV and would only want the IP STB to access my recordings or OTT content. I think this will make a number of people happy. Also, this is a settings screen on the XL4 and you can change this whenever you want. So it isn’t something you have to do at setup, etc. So if you know you want to watch Live TV in another room (the game is on, you’re sick in bed, whatever) you can reserve a tuner and then un-reserve it when you no longer need it.

Speaking of setup, there apparently really isn’t much of one on the IP STB. Setup basically involves ‘pairing’ it with the XL4 – and that’s it. There’s nothing else to setup, it pulls all of the settings it needs from the XL4. I’m told there are very few settings local to the IP STB.

I did confirm that the will not pair with the Premiere or Premiere XL at launch, only the Premiere XL4 (aka the Premiere Q for MSOs). So no Live TV on your IP STB if that’s all you have. And this isn’t a ‘soft’ thing where it isn’t officially supported but you can make it work, the software is just not there to support it on those units. However, the IP STB is a standard Multi-Room Streaming (MRS) client. It can stream content of of any Premiere unit in the home. So it does work with the Premiere and Premiere XL in as far as you’ll be able to stream your recordings via MRS. My understanding is that you will not be able to set recordings on the Premiere or Premiere XL, etc., as that requires the pairing that can only be done with the XL4. Basically whatever you can do with MRS between Premieres today you can do from the IP STB, but that’s all – for now at least. (I’m going to double check to make sure that’s accurate.)

As for pricing – again, they haven’t said yet. We don’t know if they’ll be a one-time purchase, or if there will be a subscription required, etc. Personally I expect them both to be one-time purchases with no subscription requirement. But they will need to be activated on the TiVo account so that they get the same MAK and can connect to the TiVo DVR units on the network.

I did have an idea which I suggested to TiVo – parental lock down on the IP STB. Basically ‘KidZone’ on a per-box basis. My idea is that you could put an IP STB in the kids’ room and lock it down so it can only access a wall garden of recordings and channels, just like KidZone did. You’d be able to (dis)allow functions – so the kids couldn’t delete recordings, or cancel them, or setup new recordings, etc. Whatever power you want to give them. Basically they’d have their own Nerfed virtual TiVo.

Enough about the IP STB, how about the TiVo Stream? The Stream will transcode at native resolution. So the 1080i recording remains 1080i as H.264, and the 720p recording remains 720p as H.264, etc. So it isn’t fixed, or limited to 720p, etc. And side-loading happens at better than real time. I was told ’2x’ is a good rule of thumb – so a 30 minute recording will side-load in 15 minutes, etc. But this varies depending on the bit rate of the source material. A 19mbps minimally compressed HD ATSC stream will probably take closer to real time, while a 2mbps highly compressed SD digital cable recording will likely side-load very quickly. In other words, results will vary, but it isn’t stuck with only doing real-time transcodes for side-loading.

Right now the TiVo Stream will only stream content from a TiVo DVR to one of the TiVo client apps on iOS or Android. TiVo hasn’t announced anything for other platforms at this time. I don’t know if we might see an updated version of TiVo Desktop that would support streaming to a PC, though it may make more sense to just add MRS to TiVo Desktop to allow it to stream content to a TiVo as well as from one. And PCs can handle MPEG-2, so I don’t see the need for a TiVo Stream for that.

Hopefully this news makes a few folks happy.

Lastly, this won’t be news to regular readers of this blog, but the Stream is powered by a Zenverge ZN200 chip. I speculated to that effect last year, and TiVo confirmed it for me in February, but today it was officially announced via press release. The release is below:

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TiVo Booth Cable Show 2012 - 8 Well, that was fast. It was only February when TiVo announced a partnership with Pace to bring TiVo’s software to Pace’s hardware, and today they unveiled the first fruit of that partnership, the Pace XG1 Multi-Tuner Video Gateway. They even have a box on display in their booth, as you can see in the photo I took today.

The Pace XG1 isn’t considered a DVR, but a “Multi-Tuner Video Gateway”. It is really part of a new type of solution, in the same category as Arris’s Moxi Gateway. It is meant as a content ‘gateway’ into the home, feeding client boxes which actually handle the content display. The XG1 has six digital cable tuners as well as a built-in DOCSIS 3.0 modem for data connectivity and IP content delivery, and MoCA for home networking.

Running TiVo’s software it will support TiVo’s whole-home solution, streaming content to traditional STBs as well as IP clients. It is also compatible with TiVo’s phone & tablet apps. It will be available to US operators later this year.

I didn’t make it to Pace’s booth Monday. I’ll try to get there on Tuesday to see what additional info is available.

The Press Release is below:

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TiVo Booth Cable Show 2012 - 7 It pays to observe carefully, you never know what you might spot. Like this photo that I snapped of something I noticed in TiVo’s booth at The Cable Show 2012 today. It is the kind of thing your eyes might just skim over, just typical booth decoration. But look closely – did you catch it? Well, more specifically, did you notice the two new content partners?

If you spotted EPIX and Aol HD, congratulations. Neither of those have been previously announced – even at this show. After I spotted those I asked Jim Denney about them and he seemed a little surprised that they were on the wall too, but said that since they’re clearly visible they were fair game. He couldn’t tell me much, but did say that the EPIX deal would probably be tied to MSO-provided units as EPIX is similar to HBO Go in that your cable provider has to have a deal with EPIX to enable access. You can see the currently supported providers & devices on their site. I’ll note that Charter & Suddenlink, two MSOs distributing TiVo HW, are on the list. So I think we can guess those are the likely MSOs to receive EPIX on TiVo.

Aol HD on the other hand will be a retail play, joining Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, et al. Aol HD is currently available on select Sony and Samsung devices, Roku, Google TV, Boxee, DivX TV, and Yahoo! Connected TV devices – and apparently coming soon to TiVo. As one of their recent press releases put it:

AOL HD features high-definition technology, lifestyle, celebrity and entertainment content updated daily from properties across the AOL Huffington Post Media Group, including Engadget, TechCrunch, Translogic, Moviefone and Huffington Post Celebrity.

Expect both of these to be on the TiVo Premiere family, and likely not on earlier models.

I also noticed that Cox is missing from the Operator Partners list, but I don’t read too much into that. TiVo said they’re still working on their VOD support, but since they haven’t launched anything yet I can understand why TiVo wouldn’t be touting them on their booth.

Though I did confirm with TiVo that the deal with Canal Digital in Europe has basically fizzled out, as I previously covered. Nothing official has been announced, and I don’t expect anything to be said – companies generally don’t announce when deals wither on the vine. Like I said before, it is a setback, but nothing earth shaking.

Here’s a gallery of a few photos I shot in and around TiVo’s booth today:





Again, if you have questions you want me to ask TiVo, or any other exhibitor at the show, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Mirrored from Gizmo Lovers Blog.

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TiVo Stream - Retail Back in February I posted about TiVo’s planned transcoding box and IP STB thin-client, without too many details. Well, The Cable Show is in Boston this week and I’m attending, and today I met with TiVo. I talked mostly with TiVo’s Public Relations Manager, Jessica Loebig, and VP & GM of Product Marketing, Jim Denney, and, along with the official announcements, I have some more info.

The ‘transcoding box’ is now officially the TiVo Stream, and it will be available to both retail customers and TiVo’s cable MSO partners later this year. The render to the left is the retail version of the box, while the one to the right is the MSO version. They’re pretty much the same except for coloring, and obviously the final labeling will change.

TiVo Stream - MSO The TiVo Stream will work with the TiVo Premiere, Premiere XL, and Premiere XL4 (formerly known as the Premiere Elite, and known as the Premiere Q for MSOs). It is a very simple device with only two connections – power and Ethernet. The photos below were taken at the show, you can see the simple design and limited connectors.

TiVo Stream - Front TiVo Stream - Back The TiVo Stream acts like a Multi-Room Streaming (MRS) client on the network, just like another Premiere would. While the hardware is cable of transcoding four streams, it is limited to two per Premiere due to transport throughput limits on the Premiere end. So to use all four transcoding stream simultaneously you would need at least two Premieres on the network. As previously reported, the MPEG-2 streams are transcoded to H.264 for delivery to ‘second screen’ devices within the home.

The Stream supports real-time streaming as well as side-loading of content onto a mobile device for later viewing away from the network. However, copy protection does apply. It is basically Multi-Room Streaming (MRS) vs. Multi-Room Viewing (MRV). If you can stream a problem between Premieres, you’ll be able to streaming it to a second screen. And if you can copy programs between TiVos, or to a PC via TiVoToGo, you’ll be able to side-load it. But if a program is blocked from TiVoToGo it will also be blocked from side-loading. TiVo doesn’t make the rules, they just follow them. So it really depends on how draconian your MSO is.

The Stream can access ‘Live TV’ – kind of. Since it acts just like any other MRS client, and MRS only streams recordings, what happens is it triggers the Premiere to start recording the content. The Stream then accesses that recording in progress and streams it. So in the end there is a recording on the Premiere of the show you streamed ‘live’.

And, as I’ve said previously, right now the intention is to support clients within the home. So place shifting content onto your phone or tablet in another room, but not across the Internet to another location. So this will not be a Slingbox replacement, at least to start. TiVo acknowledges the interest and it is something that might come via a software update. They have looked into it, and interestingly they’ve even talked to Sling Media about remote streaming (possible now that TiVo and EchoStar have kissed and made up), but there is nothing firm at this time.

Jim Denney and I talked a bit about future plans and the transcoding eventually being ‘baked in’, and it is all but certain to happen. It is all a trade off, and right now we’re not quite at the tipping point. SoCs with transcoding baked-in are appearing but are still higher costs parts and there have been performance tradeoffs. We talked about the Broadcom BCM7425, which has dual transcode support, and TiVo has looked at the chip. And there is a newer BCM7435, which just started sampling, which has quad transcode support and a general bump in capabilities, including 8 QAM tuners. (Humax has a demo box at the show using this chip, but they don’t expect it to be available to MSOs until 1Q13.) So TiVo is looking ahead and it is all but a given that this will be baked into a future product, but I wouldn’t expect that until 2013 at the earliest.

TiVo IP STB The other new set top box is the IP STB – which doesn’t have a snappy name yet, sorry. This is the baby brother to the TiVo Preview and at launch it will only work with the TiVo Premiere XL4/Q – not the TiVo Premiere or Premiere XL. STOP! Before you freak out, there is a reason, and this should change with a future update. Calm? OK. The IP STB does not have a tuner of its own, it uses a tuner from the XL4 for Live TV. In the initial release this requires dedicating a tuner in the XL4 to the IP STB. Yes, that means the tuner is not available for recordings, etc. This is done during setup, you pair the IP STB with a single Premiere XL4 and select one tuner to dedicate.

TiVo knows this is not optimal, but it is a matter of releasing something that is ‘good enough’ for market and then improving it. The plan is to have dynamic tuner allocation in a future release, whereby the IP STB would grab a free tuner for Live TV. But it is a sticky development problem to solve, so for the first release they basically avoided it by going with the dedicated tuner. It is sticky because there are a number of use cases. How can the unit reliably schedule recordings when one (or more if you have multiple IP STBs) can grab a tuner? How do you handle it if all four tuners are in use and someone wants to access Live TV on an IP STB? Etc. I’m sure lots of people have answers, but I’m also sure a lot of those answers will conflict. So TiVo needs time to work on the issue, do their usability testing, and create a good solution.

This need to dedicate a tuner is also why the Premiere and Premiere XL are not supported in the first release. They’d be reduced to single-tuner units. With the XL4 sacrificing a tuner, or even two, isn’t as big a deal. Again, this is temporary and TiVo plans to resolve this in a future update. (And just don’t even start with the “Oh, so when will that be?”, OK?)

I did ask Jim if it might be possible to pair it with an XL4 and *not* assign a tuner at all, which would mean no Live TV on the IP STB. Some users, like myself, never watch Live TV and wouldn’t miss it. I’d rather leave all four tuners free to record and use the IP STB only for watching recordings and accessing OTT content. He didn’t know if that was possible, and he’ll look into it. I think that’d be a nice setup option.

TiVo IP STB - Front TiVo IP STB - Back As for the hardware itself, it is a small, square, trapezoidal unit in the same league as the Apple TV or a Roku box. It supports all of the standard TiVo Peanut remotes, including the TiVo Slide remote. I didn’t get the specific model number of the chip inside, but Jim said it is roughly equal in performance to the SoC in the Premiere XL4, and that performance on the IP STB can be even higher because it doesn’t have all of the other work to do with recording, etc.

The back of the box is where you’ll find all of the connectors – coax, a component break-out port, a composite A/V break-out port, HDMI, Ethernet, USB, and power. Component and composite A/V connections are accomplished via break-out cables, similar to some of the Roku models. The coax connection is not for a tuner, it is for MoCA and only MoCA. At this time the USB port is only for the Bluetooth dongle used by the TiVo Slide remote. It will not support the old TiVo 802.11g WiFi adapter as TiVo is actively discouraging the use of WiFi due to the high bandwidth demands of the box. Though there is nothing stopping you from using an external 802.11n, or even a new 802.11ac, bridge.

I did ask if the box could be used as a MoCA bridge, like the XL4, and it cannot. So you can’t use an XL4 and an IP STB to bridge Ethernet over MoCA for another room. I was thinking that if it could act as a bridge you could connect Ethernet to the XL4, use MoCA to feed an IP STB in the bedroom, and then connect other devices, like a Blu-ray player, to the Ethernet on the IP STB. But no such luck, sorry. You’d need another ECB (Ethernet to Coax Bridge).

It is the same UI you know and (probably) love from the TiVo DVR. When you access Live TV it uses the dedicated tuner on the XL4. Recordings are streamed as-is from the XL4 to the box, so they’ll be the same MPEG-2 content. Full quality, there is no transcoding. All OTT IP content, such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and YouTube, stream directly to the box over the network without touching the XL4. Cable MSO VOD, where supported, would require a tuner on the XL4, as it is delivered today via QAM and not IP.

Now, you probably want to know pricing and availability, right? Yeah, sorry. No pricing details as of yet. And the timeline is ‘in the coming months’. It looks like fall, maybe late summer if we’re lucky.

I think that’s it on these two boxes. I have more photos, if you want to see them check out my Picasa gallery from the show. I’ll be adding more photos as I take them the next couple of days as well.

If there is anything else you want to know, just ask. I may have forgotten to share something, and the show has two more days so I can go back to ask more questions.

EDIT: I did go back, and I did ask more questions, and I’ve posted the new info.

The Press Release is below:

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Virgin Media Logo Another ad has been released for Virgin Media’s recently launched Collections service offerings, featuring David Tennant as their spokesperson. This one focuses on the high-speed broadband offerings, but all of the Collections feature TiVo as well. Things are going very well indeed for the Virgin Media TiVo. From last quarter’s financial results, at the end of the quarter there were 677,100 VM subscribers with TiVo. That’s an increase of 242,000 subscribers during the quarter. TiVo is now used by 18% of their television subscriber base – and their pay TV user base grew by 50,600, largely on the back of TiVo.

And that was before the Collections service bundle promotions were offered, which kicked off with the current quarter. Virgin Media really seems to be the ideal TiVo would hope all of their MSO deals could be.

Here’s the new ad:

They also put out a shorter version of the previously released ‘Jellyfish’ ad, so I may as well share that while I’m at it:

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