TiVo comes to Canada

TiVo, the popular U.S. television-recording device, is finally arriving in Canada in early December.

The TiVo set-top device, which allows viewers to record shows and skip commercials, will be available across Canada β€” except in Quebec β€” through Best Buy, Future Shop, The Brick and London Drug stores for $199. Device owners also need to subscribe to the TiVo service, which has a monthly subscription price of $12.95, with discounts available on long-term contracts.

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What is SDV?

SDV stands for Switched Digital Video, a scheme where not all TV channels are broadcast out from the cable headend to the homes that it serves all of the time.

What does this mean for the Series 3 and Tivo HD?

At the current time, the Series 3 and Tivo HD is not able to communicate upstream to the cable headend, so it cannot send the request for channels that are assigned to SDV. Users of the S3 and THD will not be able to watch or record any of these channels. TiVo is working on a work around.

Which channels will be converted to SDV?

Traditional methods send every channel to everyone, and if no one on your headend is watching that channel the bandwidth is effectively wasted.

Is this likely to change anytime soon?

The NCTA and TiVo announced that a dongle will be available in the first half of 2008 that will enable the TiVo to work with SDV channels. It will be a USB device that connects to a USB port on the TiVo and then plugs into the cable TV cable.

What about FIOS?

Right now, because of the fact that FIOS uses fiber optic cable to your house, FIOS has no need to deploy SDV – they have all the bandwidth that they need.

Where is SDV located right now?
SDV deployments are changing very rapidly, but according to a recent article in the WSJ (reg required) and a few reports from members, here are the markets that have at least one SDV channel.

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Ground Surf

Designed by Ratleads, Paris-based company, GroundSurf is a three-wheeled board that you ride on the streets, is powered by an electric motor and has its speed controlled through a Bluetooth enabled cellular phone. So it’s an electric skateboard, right?

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Via BlueTomorrow

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PLEO robo-dino

PLEO the robo-dino was designed to emulate the appearance and behavior of a week-old baby Camarasaurus. It was designed by Caleb Chung, the co-creator of the Furby, and manufactured by Ugobe.

Indeed it’s promising but can it really replace your cat/dog pet?

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