Skype On Tivo Revisited

As I’ve mentioned previously, more than once, the recent release of SkypeKit seems like an opportunity for a company like Tivo to up their game. Adding video calling capability to Tivo seems like a natural extension of the devices functionality.

If you have a Tivo unit it’s already connected to your TV. It’s most likely already on your network and making use of your broadband to fetch guide info and download movies. I know that we use our TivoHD units to watch Netflix streams and download from Amazon’s Unboxed service. You might already be using it to stream music and view the family photos on your TV.

Yep, video calling on the big screen would certainly be a logical next step.

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Video Calling Comes Home: Skype On TV?

Modern HDTVs are essentially small embedded computer systems. I was reminded of this fact when I recently purchased a TV for our bedroom. It’s a 32″ Samsung LCD-TV, and it makes little boot-up chimes just like a computer. TV’s are computers…that’s worth remembering.

Recently several large consumer electronics companies have launched new LCD HDTVs in partnership with Skype. This partnership leverages the fact that TVs are computers.

These new model LCD-TVs run an embedded version of the Skype client. When equipped with suitable media handling support (camera, microphone & possibly speakers) these TVs are purported to allow large screen point-to-point video calling via the Skype network.

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HBOs “True Blood” & Polycom Kirk DECT Gear

Maybe it’s a guilty pleasure, but I admit that HBO’s ‘True Blood” is one of my favorite programs at the moment. Imagine my surprise when watching this past Sunday’s new episode when I recognized an unusual phone ins a scene.

The scene has a pair of vampires sorta camping out at a posh hotel in the Dallas area. One is trying to leave, or at least make a call to a friend. Another is trying to stop him on both counts. Cut to the close up shot of the handset….

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Comcast Trouble Resolved With Help From Their Tweeple

I was incensed as a result of the past weeks trouble with the cable card swap that Comcast imposed. After considerable time spent on the phone in the afternoon I detailed the situation in a blog post early last evening. At the point when I wrote that post we had no clear path to solution, just the promise that someone would call us back.

Shortly after the blog post went live a twitter message was automatically sent to highlight that post. This caught the attention of @comcastcares, which is Frank Eliason, Director Of Digital Care at Comcast.

Frank & his staff are based in Philadelphia PA. The fact that Comcast has been using Twitter to stay on top of customer service has been known for some time. I had some cursory interaction with them during the long service outage in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

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Comcast Service In Houston: FAIL!

Nothing makes my blood boil like dealing with Comcast. I have never encountered a company with such complete disregard for their customers.

First A little Background: Chapter 1

Until early in 2007 Houston was Time-Warner Cable market. Houston, much of Texas and parts of Missouri were run by a partnership between Comcast and Time-Warner, but it was branded with the Time-Warner name. Early in 2007 that ended with Comcast assuming Houston operations and Time-Warner taking the rest.

Now no-one loves their cable company just as no-one has warm fuzzies for an ILEC. We had no great love of Time-Warner, but since then our experience with Comcast makes us long for the good ‘ole days of Time-Warner Cable.

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Going Back to Analog For TV Sound

If you listen to all the hype in advertising for just about everything you’d think that something “digital” is just plainly better than any analog equivalent. Digital Cable TV is better than old cable TV. Digital phone service is better than traditional phone service. Digital television (DTV) is better than analog TV, right?

This is not necessarily correct. It’s funny how the collective common wisdom is impacted as much by the frequency of occurence of a message as the validity of its content. Here’s a case in point.

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