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Thursday, January 27, 2011

DISH Network First to Provide Live TV on Android Tablets

Dish Network offering subscribers Stream Live TV to their mobile devices at no extra cost. This good news is only for people who have Apple iPad, iPod, Blackberry and Android based phones, where Dish Network is planning to offer this feature on the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and BlackBerry devices and phone using Google Android system.Other than that, DISH Remote Access app provides customers, who own supported DVRs, browsing ability of up to nine programming days, delete multiple receiver shows, handle conflicts, schedule recordings and convert Android-based tablets into remote control devices.

DISH Network announced that its free app Remote Access is extending support for Android-based tablet computers, allowing DISH Network customers to watch live TV on supported devices. DISH Network customers having broadband-connected, Sling-enabled devices such as the Sling Adapter, a small place-shifting device that matches DISH Network’s ViP 722 or 722k HD DVRs, have the comfort of viewing live and recorded TV on tablet screens powered by Google’s Android mobile operating system.

DISH Network is the only PAY-TV provider to offer a true TV everywhere solution, and now we’ve optimized that experience for the larger screen size of the Android tablets. Now Dish Network customers can enjoy their TV Everywhere experience on tablets like the Galaxy Tab, as well as the dozens of new Android-based tablet devices soon to be introduced.

And the SlingLoaded ViP922 DVR is actually available from Dish Network it’s ready to offer that features.The iPhone and recently released iPad app just let the devices control the box and view listings information, it will offer similar functionality to the $29.99 Sling Player Mobile, minus all the IR blasters and potential compatibility issues.

To get this feature, subscribers will need special hardware such as Sling Media SlingBox, which retails for $180 to $300. According to it released, Dish subscribers can also pay $200 to $400 to upgrade to the company’s high-definition digital video recorder with SlingBox features; they’ll need to pay $10 a month for multiple DVR service, but they’ll get recording capabilities with it.

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Dish Network ViP922 SlingLoaded HD DVR 1TB

DISH Network ViP922 SlingLoaded HD DVR and satellite/over the air receiver represents a radically different user interface from its predecessors (ViP622 and ViP722) as well as being the first Sling-loaded model in the DISH DVR line.If you have Dish network , the ViP 922 will let you schedule, manage and view your recordings from any web-connected machine; there's also a nifty new touchpad remove for when you're at home.New 1 Terabyte High Definition DVR with Integrated Slingbox, Touchpad Remote Control and Tile-based User Interface.

What does "Sling Loaded" mean?

Well this is perhaps the most unique feature in the unit: the ability to not only program your DVR remotely (can access and watch recordings remotely via Web browser PC or smart phone , Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, or Windows Mobile smartphones. ), but actually watch your own local live and recorded TV content from anywhere in the world with a network connection.Supports DLNA to stream music, photos, and videos from a computer.And built-in Slingbox capability means you can watch programming from anywhere in the world. Dish Network has had Sling integrations before, but they just dropped a brand new HD-DVR with remote Sling capabilities built in along with a redesigned SlingGuide interface.

For those familiar with the Sling technology in the form of the standalone Slingbox units, the concept is probably familiar, though the implementation may be a bit different than what you're used to. For those who have never experienced Sling, it can seem like a miracle of modern technology. Sling used to call it "place-shifting" and DISH calls it "TV Everywhere" but by any name, it's cool technology. The Slingbox built into the ViP922 allows you to view all "your" TV shows from your PC while on a road trip, or even from your compatible 3G or 4G-connected smart phone. It also allows you to view your local TV guide listings and schedule and manage your recordings without being in your living room.
The ViP922 allows TV enthusiasts to watch and control their favorite TV shows and sporting events from anywhere in the world via a broadband Internet connection on their laptop or mobile phone. With five video sources, including satellite, broadband and optional over-the-air tuners, viewers will never run out of shows to watch. The ViP922 also features a multi-tuner DVR with up to 1,000 hours of recording time and supports connecting external hard drives for even more storage capacity.

An innovative touchpad remote control accompanies the ViP922, which eliminates half the buttons of a standard remote control and provides cursor-like navigation on a TV screen. With a slide of the thumb, viewers experience scroll-over activation of the new user interface: on-screen widget-like tiles and pop-up menus. All features are selectable by an underside index finger trigger selection on the radio frequency-controlled remote, which offers two-way learning of codes from other AV equipment remote controls.

The basic requirement to using the ViP922 is DISH HD service (obviously). But if you want to do anything fancy like watch 1080p or 3D Video on Demand, or take advantage of the Sling technology you will also need a broadband internet connection available to the unit. DISH recommends a minimum of 3 MBPS download speed to do HD VOD, but keep in mind that your upload speed also matters. When you're out and about watching your local recordings from elsewhere, your DVR is streaming your live TV and recordings onto the net for you to receive. The Sling technology is pretty good at adjusting the quality to maximize available bandwidth, but if your internet connection at home suffers from a slow upload speed, you can't fix that on the other end of the pipe.

As for what you can watch (and record), you'll be happy to hear that the ViP922 has two high definition satellite tuners and can be configured with an optional OTA (over the air) dual-tuner module.  The ViP922 sports an integrated 1 TB (One Terabyte) hard drive for recordings and on-demand content.  According to DISH, that drive should be good for up to 1,000 hours of recording, however this varies significantly depending on what channels and content you record.  If you're an HD junkie, then you can expect to record up to around 130 to 140 hours of satellite-based HD content.

With the ATSC tuner module installed, you get access to local programming that may not be available via satellite spot beam (PBS in HD anyone?).  This also gives you a third (and fourth!) tuner so you can actually record up to four different shows at once (two from satellite, two from over the air), and still watch a recorded program or record three different shows and still watch live TV.  Be careful though, if you record a lot of over the air HD content, as this will take up more hard drive space, due to much lower data compression rates.  Over the air will also usually give you a significantly better picture for that same reason.

In case all this capacity is still not enough to satisfy your lust for content, the ViP922 supports connection of an external hard drive via USB, just as its predecessors did (requires an additional one-time fee per account).  Don't be thinking this will allow you to rip your TV shows to your PC though, as the external hard drive is formatted and encrypted for use only with DISH DVRs within the same account.

Early on in the review period, I went on vacation and decided it might be cool to try out the remote viewing capability of the ViP922.  Since I already had a Slingbox at home, configured for the older ViP722 DISH DVR, I thought I could just switch over to the ViP922 as a source and be up and running.  But this was not the case.  I was able to see the output of my ViP922 from a remote connection, but I was unable to send any commands to control it.  Checking with the DISH folks, they said the ViP922 cannot be used in this way, that you must use the built-in Sling function, which means configuring the device through My Account at  But it turns out that this was not entirely true.

Actually, all I needed to do, in order to enable the ViP922 to work with my existing Slingbox was go into a set-up menu on the ViP922 and enable IR control.  It turns out that the ViP922's remote operates on RF (Radio Frequency) not IR (Infrared).  Once I enabled the IR control on the ViP922, I was up and running the old Slingbox way.  And by the way, enabling IR control is also required if you want to use a universal remote to operate the DVR. The IR codes to operate the ViP922 are the same as those for the ViP622 and ViP722.  I was able to view content and view my guide and set recordings remotely using the standard Sling Player software on my PC.  But this only became evident after I got back from vacation and did some digging.

In the meantime, I followed the DISH support person's advice to add my ViP922 to my account.  This is the way that most people will use the ViP922's Sling technology, and it's remarkably easy to get up and running.  To do this, you will need to know your DISH account ID and the receiver ID.  And, if you don't already have one, you'll need to set up an account on  Once the account is set-up, and the Receiver ID added, you access your DVR via the "My Account... Remote Access" option on the DISH web site.  From here, you'll see your guide to your available channels, and you'll have the ability to watch live TV or access recordings.
For those used to the old way of doing Slingbox -- where you basically just have a "window" onto your DVR, and everything is controlled as if you were in your living room using a virtual version of your DVR remote -- the new way of accessing your content can take some getting used to, but the learning curve is worth the effort.  The guide, as well as your list of available recordings, is now programmed right into the Web site, which makes everything easier to read, easier to search, easier to... well... do just about anything.  There's even a newly added ability to stream additional content -- shows and movies you have not previously recorded -- right from this same user interface.  Forget Hulu, Netflix, VUDU and Blockbuster VOD, with DISH, you can get remote access to all of your own recordings and live TV, plus a repository of additional content, at no additional charge over your monthly DISH subscription.

And unlike the old Slingbox days where anything you watched remotely would change the channel for local viewers as well, the new way of place-shifting allows you to watch one channel or show, while the local viewer is undisturbed.  Neat!  It does come at a cost, however, as the dual independent TV output option that was available on the ViP622 and ViP722 is no longer available on the ViP922.

In terms of local viewing, the ViP922's enhanced interface is such a departure from earlier DISH DVRs it may also take some getting used to, for existing DISH customers used to the older DVRs.The old menu interface has been completely redone with icons and graphics, instead of text-based menus, and a much slicker widescreen guide with room for more channels and more programs to be displayed at one time.  The way you access and view your recordings is also very different.  Viewing recordings in the old interface, everything was based on title and sorted by most recent date recorded, with no visuals.  The new recordings menu is graphical, with little thumbnail images for each show.  And if you record multiple episodes of a series, you'll see a single graphic thumbnail image of the series which, when clicked, reveals all of the episodes sorted by date.  The main screen is also sorted by date (by default), but it gives you the ability to re-sort by title or to store different types of recordings in different folders for better organization.

The ViP922 also has an improved search function which allows you to search listings for specific keywords.  Both recorded shows and upcoming programs show up in search results.  A single click on an upcoming listing reveals a detailed but logically organized recording confirmation screen which allows you to specify whether you want to record just once, every episode or just new episodes, and how many you want to keep between you start deleting old episodes.
Overall, the new interface is a vast improvement over the old.  One strange thing that left me puzzled is that if you select a specific show, with the cursor, the title of the show and graphic icon disappears, replaced by a note.Eventually I realized that the top portion of the screen reveals the title and description of the selected recording -- the information is there, it just might not be where you expect it to be.  Overall, even this behavior is an improvement over the previous DVR interface, but it may take some getting used to.  If DISH were looking for feedback, I'd recommend leaving the title of the program visible on the thumbnail image when selected so it's clear which recording you selected.

In terms of its operation and reliability, the ViP922 held up well over the review period. Although I did have an initial glitch with the OTA tuner module where it "forgot" my local channel line-up, re-scanning the local channels a second time worked fine and the channels stuck around.  All of my recordings fired off at their appropriate times, and were later accessible from the menu as expected.
And for those who do choose to use an external USB hard drive to store more permanent copies of favorite programs or movies (or simply because they don't want their library of shows to be deleted), selecting from the 922's internal drive and an external drive is as simple as a drop-down box in the DVR menu.  This is a welcome change to the fairly unintuitive way of interacting with archived recordings on the older DVRs.

High definition on-demand movies have become more plentiful of late, as DISH incorporates broadband internet as the delivery method of choice.  Over 50 recent release high definition movies were available for instant rental as I was finishing up the review.  To take advantage of the highest quality on-demand options, you do need a solid and fairly fast internet connection (3 MBPS minimum).  DISH has also expanded its library of on-demand titles available in full HD 1080p resolution to three, as opposed to the one title that used to be available when the 1080p feature first launched. More recently DISH started delivering 3D movies on demand as well, without any hardware update required.  Only a few titles are available now, but more are promised in the first quarter.

We tested "The Last Airbender" in 3D on a Panasonic VT25 series 3D TV and found that the 3D feature worked as expected, putting the TV into 3D mode automatically without any user intervention. It's not Blu-ray 3D, but the quality was perfectly acceptable and the 3D effect worked as expected.  1080p and 3D titles are identified as such in the guide.  And though it may seem obvious, viewing a 1080p VOD title requires that your TV support 1080p input and viewing a 3D title requires that you have a 3D-enabled TV and glasses.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

TiVo Premiere and interface to bring DVRs to Charter Communications

TiVo and Charter Communications said  that the two companies have signed a multi-year agreement that will bring the TiVo Premiere and the Tivo interface to Charter services.The two will initially cooperate on a TiVo-branded Premiere set-top box, as the set-top provider did with Cox last year. TiVo also said that it would collaborate with Charter on upcoming "multi-room and non-DVR platforms".Charter will also develop a multi-room DVR technology, a feature promoted by AT&T for its U-Verse technology. Content will also be able to be transferred from a PC to the Premiere, a technology TiVo calls TiVoToGo.
The initial box will store 45 hours of HD programming or up to 400 hours of standard-definition programming, TiVo said. Charter will be offering Premiere boxes to customers, and those devices will offer 45 hours of HD and 400 hours of standard-definition storage. In addition, users will be able to transfer content to their set-top box with TiVoToGo. Subscribers will also be able to access Facebook and Twitter. The Charter partnership will also bundle the TiVo Premiere iPad app, including local news, sports, and weather which allows a user to browse and schedule recordings, plus post on Twitter and Facebook.
The bottom menu includes several options, including Info, Guide, My Shows, Browse, and Manage. For more info about a show or celebrity, the TiVo app lets you explore biographical information without interuppting the show on the TV. To discuss what you're watching, the app provides a link to Twitter and Facebook.
There is also an advanced remote icon, which brings up a traditional remote interface. Slide your finger along the bottom of the screen to fast forward or rewind TV content.To access, download the free app from the App Store and enter the key from your TiVo box users must have a TiVo Premiere or TiVo Premiere XL box and an active, paid TiVo subscription.
"Beyond the initial phase, the strategy will encompass next generation platforms that will expand the service with new devices, features, and third party applications – all enhanced by TiVo's highly regarded discovery, search, navigation and recommendation features which allow Charter customers to experience the best of traditional and next generation television, including linear TV, video on demand, vast libraries of Internet-delivered video and IP applications," TiVo said in a statement.

As it did with Virgin Media in the U.K. earlier in January, TiVo will work with Charter to combine pre-recorded, broadcast, video-on-demand, and online content inside the box. The OnDemand lineup will pull from Charter's video library, while the online video will come from "top destinations". So far, however, TiVo has not announced the fruits of a partnership with DirecTV that has languished for several years. That "DirecTiVo" box is due sometime in early 2011.
Surprisingly, Charter said that it will allow access to "Internet video from top destinations." The company didn't say in its release what "destinations" will be offered to users, but the TiVo Premiere currently boasts access to Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, and several other services that cable companies traditionally view as competitors to their on-demand offering.Users will also have access to the provider's OnDemand content from the set-top box.Charter will release an iPad app to complement its TiVo launch.
TiVo unveiled an iPad app that will allow TiVo Premiere owners to use their Apple tablet as a remote and TV guide.The TiVo Premiere App for the iPad provides access to all the content available on the set-top box - from TV listings and your DVR queue to show information and social-networking link-ups.The app will provide access to live TV and DVR recordings; to watch, just swipe and the show will start playing on the TV. When you're away, use the app to set up a TiVo recording.
TiVo has struck a multiyear deal with Charter Communications to bring its Premiere set-top box and interface to the fourth-largest cable provider.According to Charter, its deal with TiVo is designed to bring its customers "a new and enhanced experience." Charter said that its offering will have the features current TiVo users are accustomed to, including a programming guide, content searching, and live TV control.
A Charter spokesperson told that the company currently doesn't have licensing agreements in place with Netflix and the others, but it plans to offer the "full integrated TiVo experience" when it launches.Charter plans to release its TiVo offering "later this year." The company's spokesperson said that it should be comparably priced to its current service.
With Charter now on its side, TiVo is making inroads in both the cable and satellite markets.Back in 2008, TiVo announced a partnership with DirecTV that would see the satellite company's subscribers once again employ TiVo DVRs. Those DVRs were expected to launch in 2009, but were then pushed back to 2010. Last October, TiVo and DirecTV announced that the device would be available to customers in early 2011.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Year of the cable cut

Today, almost all Canadians watch TV by subscribing to what are called broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs): cable, IPTV and satellite TV. But with a broadband Internet connection, you can cut out those distributors and go around them and watch television on your TV, laptop or tablet for (theoretically) less money – otherwise known as Over-the-top (OTT).

This is expected to be a big thing in 2011, so much so that this has been proclaimed the “year of the cable cut.”

Many of these potential cord-cutting solutions have been available in the U.S. for most of 2010, but very few consumers have cancelled their TV subscriptions. There was a drop of 700 000 subscriptions in the last quarter, but it appears that the losses were mainly in older, poorer households without Internet connections. Looks like the economy is more to blame than OTT. Based on the data so far, only about 3 per cent of U.S. homes have cut the cord... and kept it cut.

In the 1980s, the initial adoption of VCRs was slowed by the fact that there were competing platforms: VHS and Beta. The lesson learned was that there is a significant risk to betting on one video or TV technology before the eventual standard emerged. We are seeing some of that in OTT adoption today. With so many non-compatible technologies, many consumers are waiting for a clearer picture.

Many folks never figured out how to make their VCR stop blinking 12:00, let alone get it to do more complicated things. OTT is worse. A few months ago a former tech exec, current venture capitalist and licensed pilot tried an OTT service. Afterward he tweeted “I tried XXXXXX TV yesterday. Flying a Cessna is easier and has fewer controls than the XXXX remote.” (Names have been redacted to protect the innocent. Or the guilty.) Complexity and difficulty to install are big barriers, at least for most users.

Watching TV is a passive activity. Viewers aren’t called couch potatoes for nothing. Most of the time, we tend to watch what is on and don’t bother actively thinking about what we want to watch, search for it, stream it, etc... We are “linear” TV programming addicts. Even in markets with 50 per cent DVR penetration, only about 3-5 per cent of television content is watched in a non-linear fashion. I know that sounds low, but a lot of content doesn’t lend itself to being recorded or streamed. Have you ever saved the Weather Channel from last July and watched it now?
Video, especially TV-equivalent quality video, uses up a lot of bandwidth. YouTube is one thing, but every hour of HD you stream is about 2.6 Gigabytes of data. Given that most Canadians have monthly bandwidth caps from their ISP, even those with the biggest plans can stream fewer than 30 hours per month. Not much when the average home watches 30 hours per week.

The bandwidth cap situation is much better in the U.S. Some of their ISPs have theoretically unlimited usage. But that may not last. In the most recent quarter, streaming TV was watched by only a tiny percentage of Americans…but that tiny percentage accounted for more than 20 per cent of all internet traffic during prime time. If OTT grows even a bit, I predict that we will see most U.S. ISPs instituting bandwidth caps. We are also likely to see Canadian caps go up to U.S. levels over time due to competitive pressures.

Finally, the TV industry is very cautious about OTT. They aren’t sure that the new revenue model will be as profitable as the old model, and they are not making all their crown jewel programming available via streaming. As a consumer, you may be mad at them for doing that, but as long as that stays their policy there will continue to be two big problems for consumers trying to cut the cord. First, you will need to stitch together OTT services or devices to duplicate even 90 per cent of the content you get now. Second, getting that last 10 per cent will be impossible. The networks and other players will deliberately keep their biggest audience grabbers (things like American Idol) away from the paws of the streamers as long as they can.

None of the above means that OTT won’t be huge some day. None of it means that a number of Canadians won’t mind missing some content, won’t mind being an early adopter, or won’t do virtually anything to cut the cord. But for 2011, I predict that out of the more than 9 million households in this country that pay for cable, satellite or IPTV services, fewer than 250,000 will do so.

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Sun Direct doubling satellite capacity on MEASAT

Sun Direct is one of six private DTH platforms serving India, and currently registers around 5.13 million subscribers from a total base of about 29 million DTH homes.

Sun Direct, the Indian direct to home (DTH) satellite TV platform, has leased an additional two Ku-band transponders on Malaysia’s MEASAT-3 satellite, doubling its existing capacity.
“We are delighted to be able to support Sun Direct with additional capacity,” said Paul Brown-Kenyon, chief operating officer, MEASAT. “Supporting five DTH platforms in three markets across two satellites, 91.5 degrees east is one of the strongest DTH orbital slots in Asia.”

MEASAT has a fleet of four communications satellites, which cover about 145 countries across the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Europe and reach about 80% of the world’s population.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

DIRECTV, Cisco and Samsung present the world's first RVU-compatible production televisions

One of our dreams is to have a true whole home DVR that allows us to watch any show we want, on any TV we want; but so far the perfect solution has eluded us. TiVo was really the first to try with its Multi-Room Viewing, but missed the mark by not giving us a single Now Playing list for the whole house or even any automatic conflict resolution between units. The FiOS HD DVR was the next disappointment because it limits us to two tuners and 160GB for the whole house -- seriously is that enough for anyone?
The concept is that you'd get a RVU server from your content provider (like DirecTV but it could also be cable or anyone else) and plug it into your home network. Then you'd buy HDTVs from the likes of Samsung with a RVU client built in, or you could even plug the RVU server directly into the TV. Then you can go to any TV in your house that is also an RVU client and access the exact same experience. This experience includes the ability to watch or record the same shows that you can from any other TV. Now the key part that get our minds going is the fact that Samsung obviously wants to sell TVs with this built in, otherwise why join the alliance? And then there is Cisco and DirecTV, both companies that make DVRs. So obviously they have interest in creating an RVU server. So as you can see this concept holds some real of potential.
Today at the International Consumer Electronics Show, DIRECTV and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. announced they have partnered to present the world's first RVU-compatible production televisions, which will provide more than 19.1 million DIRECTV subscribers with the ability to watch live broadcast and stored content from their DVR on Samsung smart TVs, without the need for additional set-top boxes. As founding members of the RVU Alliance, Samsung and DIRECTV are committed to providing a more seamless entertainment experience for consumers across multiple rooms and a variety of screens, through the use of standardized Remote User Interface (RUI) technology.
The RVU protocol will be supported on Samsung's LED D6000, LED D6400 and LED 6420 TV products that reflect the company's commitment to delivering consumers high-quality, visually enhanced and connected entertainment experiences in their home. A RUI technology based on industry standards such as DLNA and UPnP, RVU allows a set-top box server to provide a multi-room, complete viewing experience that includes DVR services, without the need for additional set-top boxes in homes that have more than one connected TV.
One of the most promising aspects of the RVU alliance is the fact that it is built on top of DLNA and UPnP. These two technologies are really everywhere, from Windows 7 to the Playstation 3. In fact we'd be willing to bet that DLNA is the most widespread media alliance ever assembled. A quick look at the roster on the DLNA site shows how well adopted it is. Of course neither DLNA, nor UPnP have the features required to deliver the type of experience that the RVU alliance is promising, which is where the new alliance comes in. To make up the difference, the RVU is offering the RUI -- you saw that one coming right -- which is described as a pixel accurate remote user interface technology. Basically the server would deliver the user interface alongside the video and audio to the client, which means all the heavy lifting is done on the server rather than the client. This is supposed to make the client less expensive and easier to implement, but it also means not just any DLNA client will work.
"We are very happy to be working with an esteemed satellite provider like DIRECTV and provide the world first RVU service to consumers with Samsung TV," said Boo-Keun Yoon, president of Samsung's Visual Display Business. "Products developed on RVU standards, one of the major RUI standards, will help accelerate the development of features and applications that can provide our customers with a truly customizable, immersive entertainment experience that can be enjoyed from the comfort of the home."
Currently Windows Media Center offers the best solution, but it's expensive after you pay $300 a pop for a CableCARD tuner, not to mention it requires more maintenance because it is based on a PC. Needless to say we continue to look for the perfect solution, and we think that the RVU (R-vue) alliance might be just what we ordered. In addition to DirecTV, Cisco and Samsung, the chip maker Broadcom is also one of the founding members of the alliance, but it is their goals that get us excited. So excited, that we'd actually be shocked if they were actually achieved, but you'll have to click through to learn why.
"The CES demonstration of the first RVU compliant television is exciting news for the industry and consumers who want a consistent, superior user experience throughout the home," said Romulo Pontual, CTO of DIRECTV. "Making DIRECTV features and content available to Samsung's televisions through the RVU server allows consumers to enjoy our innovative service without the need for additional set-top boxes. We are pleased to see our successful partnership with Samsung expand to include support for RVU in their 2011 model range."
Capable of supporting multiple connected televisions, DIRECTV's RVU server enables the UI and features to be displayed directly on those connected TVs. Under this partnership, Samsung will embed support for RVU in their smart TVs and provide its customers with the full DIRECTV experience, including DVR services, live pause abilities on all screens in the home, 200 hours worth of shared storage, picture-in-picture capabilities and the power to record up to five shows at once. Samsung's RVU-compatible TVs will be available in March 2011.

Of course the website is short on details, which leads us to believe the details haven't been finalized yet. First up on our list of questions is how scalable is it? In other words, how many tuners can we have in the house, how much disc space is supported, and how many clients can there be? But we also wonder if you can have multiple servers from different providers on the same network? Then there is the biggest question of all, which is how well will this actually work -- assuming it even makes it to market. The last question isn't a concern if you have DirecTV, but if you have cable, we wonder if your provider would even offer such a box, assuming Cisco actually makes a server? Of course not everyone wants to buy a Samsung TV, so we wonder how likely it is that other manufactures would join in on the party? Or what about other devices? The press release mentions other digital media adapters and set-top-boxes, so who knows how widespread the support for this could be.

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