TiVo Announces 6-tuner, black chassis, 4K DVR at CEDIA

The BOLT+ looks amazing on paper. If not for cutting off the cable I have I'd have moved to this box to replace the aging Romaio Pro I had (and still have). The only unfortunate spec in this product is we are still living in a CableCard world with this one and the FCC is recommending the cable companies just create apps for the their next generation of 'boxes.' One would hope these apps get created for TiVo which has the best streaming/live TV experience hands down.

Also 👍👍👍 for making the chassis black! Rack builders everywhere rejoice! 

Source: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/2016...

The internet, before the internet

For a brief time in history the BBS was king. This article brought back so many memories of my youth. This is what my friends and I thought the future was only to have the beautiful World Wide Web take over.

So many memories spending hours downloading programs, playing ASCII art games, and just sitting in empty chat rooms hoping someone would dial in on line 2.

Kaleidescape is rises back from the ashes

The rumors were true! A letter sent out to dealers from Kaleidescape's CEO Cheena Srinivasan says the company has restarted operations with a leaner, more efficient company. He blames the company's downfall on pre-announcing their 4K Strato player which suffered a number of production delays over the past year. These delays compounded and eventually pushed back the ship date for many of the promised features giving the impression to dealers and customer that the company was in trouble. 

I can completely understand how easily you can get into this situation. Sales always wants to brag about the next big thing but that's simply not how product development works. Pre-Announcing products is very dangerous for a company and has been the downfall of many both in and outside the CEDIA space. The rule still stands:

"If you cant touch it, it doesn't exist.

Remember that rule walking the CEDIA show floor or reading press releases next week. Its very common for companies to bring fake or non-working product to the show floor to gauge interest, take sales, or simply get feedback. The products they show may never see the light of day. Simply put you should never attempt to sell or purchase something you haven't personally seen in action and used.

Best of luck to Kaleidescape moving forward. The letter sent to dealers is below.

Dear Kaleidescape Stakeholder,

On August 19, Kaleidescape temporarily ceased operations because we ran out of money. As the news spread, we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our shareholders, employees, suppliers, other luxury A/V component manufacturers, the major motion picture studios, distributors, dealers, and (most importantly) our customers. Our customers passionately communicated their desire for us to continue providing the very best platform for movie playback.

Our team at Kaleidescape became energized and inspired to continue this journey. We spent the past 16 years carefully building a valuable technology, excellent products, and a highly respected brand in the worldwide custom channel. Our customers and dealers told us that Kaleidescape is the only luxury movie experience for the home, and they do not want to go back to watching movies from discs and streaming services.

We are delighted to announce that we have restarted operations. We restructured the company, slashed expenses, and obtained the investment needed (with no change of control). We are manufacturing and shipping a significant backlog of products that were ordered during the past two weeks. We are confident that our restructuring combined with this new investment will enable Kaleidescape to quickly return to growth and profitability.

Kaleidescape’s stumble began last October when we launched the Kaleidescape Strato movie player. We made the mistake of pre-announcing software features that were not finished. One of those features – Blu-ray disc support for the Strato player – was a monstrous project that required certain critical software components from third-party suppliers. When third-party schedules slipped, we applied more of our own engineering resources to compensate, but we simply did not have enough engineering resources to remove schedule uncertainty and finish Strato’s Blu-ray disc support in a reasonable period of time. Because almost all of our engineering resources were focused on this Blu-ray project, other features we had promised for Strato were delayed, including HDR, Terra support for large numbers of players, DVD playback, and playback from a Premiere system. Strato is an amazing award-winning product, even without these additional software features. Unfortunately, we created the perception that Strato was an unfinished product, and our sales suffered accordingly.

The “new Kaleidescape” will take on fewer projects, and we will not pre-announce a product or feature until it is completed – especially if completion depends on a third party.

Kaleidescape will continue to sell and support both Premiere and Encore products. We expect to release kOS 7.3 in the near future, without Blu-ray disc support for Strato. It will include HDR playback, Terra support for large numbers of players, and Strato playback of DVD discs from a Disc Server. A number of HDR movies will become available in the movie store at that time.

We have decided to focus our precious development efforts on forward-looking technologies that will enable our movie store to offer even more titles, with even higher quality, in earlier release windows. To enable our engineers to focus on these exciting new technologies, we have re-prioritized Blu-ray disc support for Strato, which we hope to introduce in a 2017 release of kOS.

We wish to thank all those who have shown us their support, and helped us to achieve this positive outcome.

Please email me directly if you have any questions relating to the “new Kaleidescape.”

Sincerely,

Cheena Srinivasan, CEO
Kaleidescape, Inc.

Do Alleged Apple trademark filings reveal Siri-in-a-Can? 🛎

Some interesting trademark filings over at Apple Insider and 'Home Hub' is among them. 

A “Home Hub” could also refer to new HomeKit-specific hardware. Earlier this year it was said that Apple is working on a standalone speaker to compete with Amazon Echo, though it was said such hardware may not arrive until 2017.

SIRI IN A CAN LIVES! Is it possible we see a Siri-in-a-Can today? 

Kaleidescape "back in business"

I don't see how the damage hasn't already been done here. Business is based mostly on trust that you'll receive the product you pay for. I really don't know how a luxury brand could shut down completely for a week or so and come back postmortem. 

Kaleidescape has always been a great product. I wish them well and good luck.

Josh.ai Launches at CEDIA 2016

Amazon Echo isn't the only voice control product showing up to CEDIA this year. The long awaited Josh.ai whole home voice control solution sets up a few isles over at CEDIA 2016. Even more interesting Josh.ai also looks not only to be a voice control system but a custom interface for your home automation system. 

I can't wait to see this system in person. 

How Sonos and Amazon Echo Learned to Talk to Each Other

This article is a fascinating look into Sonos and its recent interest in integration. It also has this interesting tidbit about the outdoor speaker I've been hearing about for years.

For over a year, Sonos worked on a portable speaker, code-named Hopscotch, according to two former employees. But progress stalled over the inability to decide whether it would be primarily an outdoor speaker that would also work indoors, or vice versa. The project was shelved earlier this year, according to the company.

And this quote about how Sonos decided to not move forward with their own voice control product.

Sonos’s engineers said it wasn’t feasible to add voice control directly to its own hardware any time soon, so the company began aggressively pursuing discussions with Amazon. “We really started to see that holiday in a truly meaningful way,” Spence said. “We’re moving at a faster pace because the market has sped up.”

Sonos is a great product and I've been a loyal customer for a number of years. I'm glad they are starting to work their way back into the market leader where they belong.

Kaleidescape is Out - Plex is All in

Out with the old and in with the new. In the wake of Kaleidescape's sudden departure from the market it is being reported by CEPro that PLEX is launching a Pro Service program. PLEX has certainly been gaining steam in the DIY space for some time but now it appears they will be targeting the CEDIA channel for sales.

The only problem I can see PLEX having in our market is the Bluray ripping process and database maintenance. How files are organized makes a huge difference in the way they appear on the PLEX interface. Maybe this is an avenue of income for Home Tech Professionals as the move into uncharted territory. 

The market for these types of media players is certainly very small and it will continue to get smaller as we move into the streaming era. 

Source: http://www.cepro.com/article/plex_to_launc...