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Dish-Disney deal changes future of online TV

CNET Update is hacking coffee machines:

In this episode of Update:

- Learn why Dish made a deal with Disney so its DVR won't auto-skip commercials on ABC shows for three days after airing. In the compromise, Disney scored the rights to stream Disney-owned networks online, including ESPN, and that could be a game changer in accessing TV on the Internet.

- You may need to hack the Keurig 2.0 machine if you want to use bargain-priced unlicensed single-serve coffee cups. Keurig is fighting copycat K-cups with high-tech machines.

- Watch thousands of music videos on Xbox Music, … Read more

VBox showcases V@Home TV Gateway DVR at MWC

BARCELONA, Spain -- At MWC 2014, VBox launched its V@Home TV Gateway DVR (yes, that's its name), which can stream broadcast TV to any connected device in a user's home, including tablets and laptops. The over-the-air DVR is available in Europe for about $205 (€149), and will roll out in the US in the second half of 2014.

The V@Home enables users to connect their home network and Wi-Fi router with live TV through satellite, cable, or terrestrial signal. They can then watch TV through any connected device at home, such as tablets, smartphones, computers, and … Read more

TiVo reportedly lays off much of its hardware team

TiVo is apparently preparing itself for a future beyond DVR hardware.

The company has laid off the majority of its hardware team -- five engineers -- as it focuses on a future based instead on the cloud and software licensing, according to a Wired report. The company has reportedly retained two engineers in the division to handle support for current and planned third-party devices running TiVo's software.

A TiVo representative confirmed that the company made personnel moves on Wednesday but disputed the characterization that it was abandoning the hardware business. While declining to discuss specific numbers, TiVo spokesperson Steve … Read more

Three things I saw at CES 2014 I'd actually buy

LAS VEGAS -- Well, that's a wrap for me here at CES 2014. It's only because I miss Mrs. Cheapskate and the little Cheapskates that I'm willing to return to the frozen tundra that is Michigan. (Got that, family? I hope you're happy!)

A few quick takeaways: Curved TVs are a joke. 4K TVs may finally gain some traction in 2014, but they're hardly the sea change that was the transition from SD to HD. And product manufacturers want to cram Bluetooth into everything, from spoons to hearing aids to -- I kid you not … Read more

Dish at CES 2014: Join us at 11 a.m. PT Monday (live blog)

TV has always been a hot area for the Consumer Electronics Show, and Dish will be on hand to show its newest innovations.

The satellite television provider will host a press conference at 11 a.m. Monday at the Mandalay Bay hotel. CNET's David Carnoy, James Martin, and I will be there to bring you all the news, photos, and commentary.

Tune into CNET's Dish press conference coverage.

Many companies have tried to reinvent TV. The Xbox One wants to take over the cable box. Apple TV has been rumored for years. Intel worked on its own product … Read more

Channel Master's DVR+ offers true subscription-free over-the-air TV recording

It's a familiar story. Cord-cutters give up their cable subscription to shed the ever-increasing monthly fee, only to find that the best alternatives to record free, over-the-air TV, such as the TiVo Roamio and Aereo, require -- you guessed it -- another monthly fee.

The new Channel Master DVR+ ($250) is looking to become the over-the-air recording solution for subscription-phobic cord-cutters. Most DVRs charge a monthly fee for electronic program guide (EPG) data, but the DVR+ provides that info, supplied by Rovi, for free.

The design is unlike any other DVR I've seen. It looks like a thicker, … Read more

Ask the Experts, Episode 2: Streaming and Video Sharing

Next-gen means more than just flashier graphics and better performance. It also means new and innovative features that fall in line with what's popular in gaming culture. Right now, there's nothing bigger than videogame spectating.

What started as a DIY phenomenon is now a worldwide spectacle, where millions of viewers spend time broadcasting, watching, and commenting on live and recorded video game action. To catch up with that trend, the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 both have game DVR functionality built right into their framework, making it easier for gamers to participate.

In this latest episode of … Read more

Get lifetime PlayOn HD and PlayLater HD subscriptions for $69.99

It's a great time to be a cord-cutter. You've got Netflix for movies and past-season TV shows, Hulu Plus for current major-network offerings, Aereo for local channels, and PlayOn for all your basic-cable stations: Comedy Central, Food Network, HGTV, Syfy, TBS, and loads of others.

Of course, one of PlayOn's big shortcomings has been its lack of HD support. That changes today with the introduction of PlayOn HD, which brings 720p video to the mix. And its companion product, PlayLater, now supports HD as well.

All of which brings us to today's deal. For a limited … Read more

Tablo: A new over-the-air DVR seeks crowdfunding

It's a surprise to many that you can get free over-the-air (OTA) TV with excellent HD image quality just by plugging an antenna into your TV. But even if you're OK with the reduced channel selection, the problem is that you're stuck with live TV. That means no time shifting or delayed viewing unless you pony up for one of the handful of OTA DVRs on the market.

Tablo is the latest entrant in the budding over-the-air DVR space, launching today on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. It's a small black box that records over-the-air content and … Read more

Nielsen to add Internet viewing to its TV ratings

TV shows watched through DVRs, Internet-connected TVs, and mobile devices will soon stand a better chance in Nielsen's TV ratings.

In a blog posted Monday, Nielsen said that it will offer its clients a software developer kit (SDK) in mid-November. The SDK will let broadcasters and other content providers include digital viewers in their TV show measurements. Based on certain criteria, TV shows will either be counted in the traditional Nielsen TV ratings or the company's Nielsen Digital Ratings.

"We've been working hard to deliver this new SDK and are excited to be able to deliver … Read more