Broadcasters team up to create mobile TV service

A dozen broadcasters have joined forces to create a new service for delivering mobile TV.

With more and more people watching video on smartphones and other portable gadgets, the newly created venture will let member companies cook up digital TV content including live and on-demand video, news from both print and electronic outlets, and an array of sports and entertainment shows. Potentially, it could also provide U.S. mobile users with information on emergencies and natural disasters.

Content will be sent over existing broadcast airwaves instead of over the Internet. The partnership is made up of three national networks--Fox, NBC/… Read more

Get a USB TV tuner for $29.99 shipped

Update (Dec. 22, 4 p.m. PT): Sorry, folks, the tuner is sold out--at least for now.

For several years I've relied on free over-the-air digital signals to bring high-definition TV into my house. And I've paired those signals with Windows Media Center for free DVR goodness.

The key bit of hardware in that equation is a TV tuner, and right now Meritline has the deal to beat: a Mygica U6012 Hybrid USB TV tuner for $29.99 shipped.

Because this is a "hybrid" tuner, it can pull in the aforementioned over-the-air HD signals (aka ATSC), … Read more

LG shows off ATSC mobile digital TV at CTIA

Aside from showing off its latest handsets, LG also took the opportunity at CTIA 2009 to demonstrate Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) mobile digital television on some of its phones. ATSC is the new digital television standard that is replacing NTSC, and LG has been helping to develop a mobile version of the standard in the form of embedded chips.

At the show, LG incorporated these chips in the LG Lotus and the LG Voyager, and showed off live local TV on both handsets. There is no real service fee involved, since it's basically receiving the television signal over … Read more

Review: Dish Network DTVPal DVR records in HD with no monthly fee, but it's risky

The Dish Network DTVPal DVR ($250) tries to fill the niche penny-pinching home theater enthusiasts have been looking for--an HD DVR that records free over-the-air HDTV, but without the costly monthly fees of the TiVo HD.

The DTVPal gets around the monthly fee problems by relying on the program data provided with standard DTV signals and also tapping into TV Guide On Screen data if it's available in your area. However, in this case you get what you pay for, as the program data just isn't as reliable as the info you'd get from TiVo or your … Read more

New Panasonic DVD recorders sure to disappoint ATSC fans

One of our predictions for CES 2008 was that DVD recorders with ATSC tuners would get a couple of key features upgrades that take full advantage of the built-in digital tuner. Well, if Panasonic's new line of DVD recorders is any indication, we were wrong.

Despite some significant clamoring for a DVD recorder with a hard drive, the new Panasonic Diga line of DVD recorders includes only two standard DVD recorders, plus two DVD/VHS recorder combo units. There's also no mention of a few features we were hoping for: true HD output for ATSC programming, an EPG … Read more

XStreamHD beams 1080p HD video and DTS-HD Master Audio into your living room

Anytime the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray is discussed on the Internet, there's always a commenter that chimes in to say that digital downloads are going to beat them both. While we've seen some successful products using the digital distribution model, such as Vudu, we've always been skeptical about true high-def digital distribution taking off in the near future, mostly because high-bandwidth Internet access just isn't cheap enough.

Instead of waiting for cheap, super-fast internet connections, XStreamHD is looking to an older technology to provide the extra bandwidth--a satellite dish. The XStreamHD system consists … Read more

Old DVD-recorders selling for $1,900

DVD-recorders with hard drives may be old technology, but they're commanding astronomical prices on the free market these days. Case in point: We reviewed the Panasonic DMR-EH75V about a year and half ago when it had a list price of $500. If you search for the DMR-EH75H on Amazon, you'll see three resellers (all with reputable ratings) selling them for insane prices:

New DMR-EH75V: $1,895 New DMR-EH75V: $1,899 Used DMR-EH75V: $1,498

Is it just a glitch with Amazon? You might think so, but that's pretty clearly not the case. Jumping over to eBay, we found some recent auctions for the same product.

New Panasonic DMR-EH75V: $750 Refurbished DMR-EH75V: $675 Used DMR-EH75V: $760

Sure, that's less than half of the Amazon prices, but they're still very high. How often does the price of electronics increase after being used for a few years? What's going on here?

The answer is pretty simple--if you know the gritty details of consumer electronics and a little economics.… Read more

Hate your cable box? Maybe you need Moxi

Digeo dropped by the CNET offices this morning to give us a demo of their upcoming HD DVR, Moxi. We first saw Moxi many a CES ago and were definitely impressed, but since then only certain areas have had access to the hardware through their cable company. Now Digeo is looking to bring Moxi directly to consumers, in two flavors: the Moxi Multi-Room HD DMR and the Moxi Home Cinema Edition HD DMR.

The Moxi Multi-Room HD DMR is for cable subscribers that want to ditch their current cable boxes and use the Moxi with a CableCard. So what does … Read more

DVD recorders get digital ATSC tuners

DVD recorders are old news, but they've been given a little shot in the arm at CES 2007. Because of federal mandates that require any product with an analog tuner to also include a digital tuner, we've seen several DVD recorders with built-in ATSC tuners. That means you should be able to pull in free, over-the-air HDTV with these new DVD recorders and an antenna. The bottom line is that these recorders should be able to burn downconverted high-definition programs from the digital HD tuner in the correct wide-screen aspect ratio. Of course these burned discs won't … Read more