Cord-cutters are no longer second-class citizens in TiVo's world with the new $250 TiVo Bolt OTA DVR, which is based on the same hardware platform that TiVo offers cable-TV subscribers--less the CableCARD slot. TiVo's previous antenna-only DVR, the Roamio OTA, launched more than four years ago and is based on a cable box from 2013. The new Bolt OTA includes such features 4K UHD video support, voice control, and built-in streaming to smartphones. And while you can technically use the regular Bolt with an antenna, the Bolt OTA's DVR service is less than half the price. Still, the Bolt platform remains outdated in several ways, especially compared to networked DVRs that send video to modern streaming boxes, including Nuvyyo's Tablo, SiliconDust's HDHomeRun, and Amazon's forthcoming Fire TV Recast.
I'm a big fan of Amazon's Echo line of smart speakers when it comes to smart home control, and the second-generation Echo is a big improvement over the first. But the Alexa-powered Fabriq Chorus delivers more bang for the buck and it sounds better, too. Where the Echo requires an AC outlet to operate, the Chorus features a 2200mAh rechargeable battery that Fabriq says can deliver up to 6 hours of performance, so you can take the speaker with you. The Chorus also comes with a contact-based charging cradle, so you don't need to bother with plugging and unplugging a USB cable to run the speaker--or charge its battery. The 6.3-inch tall cylindrical speaker is wrapped in wooly fabric (you can choose from four designs), with a thin LED ring around its base.