Satellite TV Blog information about sat-tv receivers, programming, HDTV, DVR equipment, and promotions. Learn about devices and deals from DirecTV, expressVu, DishNetwork, Starchoice and FTA (free-to-air). Description, RSS feeds, email subscription, and more.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Google testing TV search

Search giant Google is testing a new television-programming search service in conjunction with the Dish Network Corp. The service runs on television set-top-boxes containing Google designed software and allows users to find specific shows on TV satellite services as well as on Google's YouTube.

The move marks the latest in a series of developments in which companies are attempting to merge broadcast television with Internet provided services. Last week, TiVo Inc. announced new digital video recorders that blend broadcast and online content.

Google's project is being tested by company employees and their families who can enter their enquiries via a keyboard. The service could be discontinued or rolled out to a wider audience at anytime, a source told the Journal. Google refused to issue a statement saying the company does not commment on rumor or speculation. Dish Network has also declined to comment on the reports.

Whether the service rolls out to the general public is unclear. Google often tries out projects in private before allowing a select group to try them. It's colaborative communication tool Google Wave still remains in a development stage and has only been rolled out to around a million users worldwide.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, March 14, 2010

TiVo releases big new DVR

Noted: Pioneering DVR company TiVo has updated its devices but many in the industry are saying Ho Hum.

The new TiVo Premiere adds a wider-screen menu to fit HDTVs better and also offers shortcuts and a powerful search function that hunts down videos on YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand or Blockbuster On Demand. And there’s a nifty remote with a QWERTY keyboard inside.

But other then that, there aren’t too many changes from the last upgrade. Technologizer laments the lack of video-on-demand, access to online TV site, and a TiVo that works with all TV services, including satellite.

While over at Zatz Not Funny, Dave Zatz writes, “The TiVo Premiere isn’t the home run I was hoping for. In it’s current form, and for potential upgraders, the Premiere basically offers the same core features of a TiVo Series 3 or HD.”

Two versions are available beginning April: the TiVo Premiere, with 320 gigabytes for $299.99; and the $499.99 TiVo Premiere XL, with 1 terabyte, a backlit remote and THX-certified audio and video technology. As before, the box supports cable TV and Verizon FiOS users, but not satellite TV or AT&T U-verse.

Other key features: It supports E-SATA technology to users can add an external hard drive if they run out of storage space. It also uses the faster Wireless N Wi-Fi connection.

As more consumers ponder about cutting down their monthly TV bill by looking for cheap TV viewing online, TiVo won’t help much with that. Besides the upfront cost, there’s a monthly $12.95 fee for service even if you opt for basic broadcast TV service. If you want regular cable channels, you’ll need a limited cable TV subscription and a CableCARD. Plus you’ll still need broadband Internet, which can be another $30 to $50 a month. Netflix, Amazon and Blockbuster also charge for online rentals.

Labels: , ,

Monday, March 01, 2010

Lawsuit by Arkansas woman against DirecTV

A lawsuit filed by an Arkansas woman against the nation's largest satellite television operator has been moved to federal court.

The lawsuit was moved at the request of DirecTV and now is pending before U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes in federal court in Texarkana. But Jo Murray of Texarkana, a plaintiff, wants the case moved back to Miller County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit alleges that DirecTV holds customers to a contract that they need a magnifying glass and the Internet to read. It also says retailers don't tell customers about the contract, which includes a provision for a fee if the service is canceled less than two years after purchase. ProSat and Home Entertainment, a Texarkana-based retailer, has denied wrongdoing.

Labels: , , , , ,

How to get the most out of your high definition TV

If you recently bought a TV, chances are, it's an HDTV. Whether you know a lot about this technology or nothing at all, you have likely heard people raving about the lifelike detail of an HD picture. It's true: the future of television is high definition. The only problem is that many people who currently own HDTVs are not actually seeing shows in high definition. Are you one of them?

HD has brought with it a bombardment of unfamiliar technologies and terms on unsuspecting shoppers. On top of this, TV stations nationwide made the switch this summer to broadcasting exclusively in digital format. The shift from analog to DTV left many people mistaking standard DTV as HDTV.

Here are the facts: HD is the highest possible resolution of all digital television. So while all HD is DTV, not all DTV is HD. High definition channels are usually broadcast alongside their standard digital counterparts. In order for you to watch high definition broadcasts on these channels, you'll need the proper equipment and HD source. And even then, you may be missing out on all that HDTV has to offer.

Here is what you need to start enjoying HDTV in all its glory today.

The right TV

HDTVs have never been more affordable than they are right now, so don't even consider purchasing a new television if it is not equipped to display high definition. Of course, within the HDTV market you will still have a multitude of decisions to make to tailor your television to your specific viewing needs. While many of these options simply depend on your viewing preferences, there are a few simple features to look for.

First, if you are looking for anything under 42 inches, the wisest choice is almost always an LCD TV. Anything bigger and plasmas become the better buy. Also, look for at least one, and preferably several, HDMI inputs. This is the portal that delivers high quality digital sound, picture, and video to your screen, so it is crucial for your viewing pleasure and for the expansion of your home theater.

The right source

You've got your new television plugged in and ready to go. Now what? Whether you are a cable or satellite television subscriber, you will need an HD receiver box. This box is the 'source' or gateway through which high definition information gets delivered to your TV. It uses sophisticated technology to translate an HD signal into a crisp picture on your television. When connecting your box, it is also a good idea to use new, high-quality cables. A service technician should be able to advise you on the proper connections.

The right service

In order to enjoy HD, you must be watching high definition channels. Even the most sophisticated HDTV can't turn a bad signal into a good picture. Local stations often broadcast limited HD programming, but not every show on a local network's HD channel actually appears in high-def. And non-HD shows on HD channels won't look nearly as sharp as the high-def shows do and usually don't fill the wide screen properly.

Cable and satellite TV providers offer high def channels beyond what is offered through local broadcasting. The best HDTV channels will enable you to watch everything in high-definition, including commercials. To get these channels, look for deals on satellite TV subscriptions. Satellite packages currently have the most robust HD options available.

Labels: , , , ,