Posts Tagged 'Cable'

Deep Technology Explained: TiVo Premiere

TiVo Premiere:

The TiVo Premiere gives you access to a vast universe of broadband entertainment. Premiere replaces your average cable box and offers a reinvented, easy to use HD interface that allows you to browse and search through the largest on-demand HD movie store, access online videos, and listen to your PC or Mac’s music library. With up to 45 hours of high-definition, 400 hours of standard-definition recording, and at only $12.95 for monthly service, Premiere is a smart upgrade from basic cable boxes.

Released in March of 2010, TiVo Premiere serves not only as a cable box, but also as a web box, movie box, and music box. Premiere uses your cable service and uses a cable or digital antenna, but does not work with satellite. It offers full high-definition support and works with standard definition televisions. Premiere records up to 45 hours of HD programming, 400 hours of SD programming, and has the ability to record two shows at once while watching a previously recorded show. Premiere also lets you schedule a recording from your cell phone and/or computer. Users can also access the world’s largest on-demand video store, with some of TiVo’s online partners, like Netflix and Blockbuster On Demand. YouTube and Music Choice music videos can also be watched with the box.

In order to view your cable company’s HD and digital channels, the Premiere requires a multi-stream CableCARD decoder (plugs into the back of the unit; picture shown below). This card allows your Premiere to read what channels you have access to, and picks up the encrypted signal. Outputs for the Premiere include HDMI, component and composite video, and optical and analog audio. Other ports for the product include Ethernet connection, USB 2.0 ports, and e-SATA connection.


Endgadget– “TiVo’s really hyping up the new Flash-based main interface of the Premiere, and for good reason: it’s much sleeker than the decade-old TiVo UI we’ve come to know and love / hate, and offers far more search, discovery, and content integration options than ever before. The most prominent feature of the new UI is the “discovery bar,” which intelligently populates based on what you’re looking at — it’ll show you related new shows while you’re looking at your recordings list, and featured content based on user trends and highlighted promotions on the main screen.”

Wired– “If you’re a no-frills TV-archiving fiend, then this device definitely has you covered (and then some). But if you’re looking for a truly scalpel-edged, seamless, all-in-one entertainment box, the Premier falls a little short. But only a little.”


TiVo Premiere may not be what every gadget fiend was hoping for, due to the fact that it does not have a contemporary media platform, and is considered to run slow. However, the TiVo Premiere essentially paves the way for how people receive and watch their television programming. The Premiere is the pioneer for television recording and storing, and will most likely be a base model for future products which will probably include some of the things the skeptical critics claim the Premiere is missing.


History of Cable/Satellite Television

Cable Television:

Cable television, formerly known as community antenna television (CATV), originated in Pennsylvania, in the spring of 1948. The Service Electric Company was started by John Walson and his wife in the 1940s to sell, install, and repair General Electric appliances in the Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania area. The Walsons began selling television sets in 1947. Mahanoy City residents had issues with receiving the three nearby network stations with local antennas because of the region’s surrounding mountains. Due to this, John set up an antenna on a utility pole on a nearby mountaintop that enabled him to demonstrate the televisions with good broadcasts coming from the three stations. Using a cable and signal booster, John connected the mountain antennae to his appliance store. Mid-1948, John Walson connected the mountain antennae to both his store and his customers’ homes located on the cable path, creating the nation’s first CATV system.

Satellite Television:

The origin of satellite television would have to be traced back to the days of the space race between the United States and Russia. Six years later, the first communications satellite was launched. Arthur C. Clark can be attributed to the beginning of satellite television, when he wrote an article called “Extraterrestrial Delays”. The article said that by placing three space platforms into orbit 22,300 miles above the equator, worldwide satellite communication could be achieved. The first to actually explore this idea were the Russians, who launched Sputnik on October 4th, 1957. The United States answered with their launch of Explorer 1 on January 1st, 1958. In 1976, HBO made became the first to deliver satellite delivery of programming to cable with a heavyweight-boxing match. In the same year, the first consumer direct to home satellite system was created in the garage of Emeritus H. Taylor Howard, a professor from Stanford University and former NASA scientist. He used a large dish-shaped antenna that picked up programs that cable TV content providers offered for their subscribers.

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Andrew Lynch