set top box

SlashGear Week in Review – April 7th through April 13th

SlashGear Week in Review – April 7th through April 13th

This was a long week with no major events occurring, but there were some pretty big announcements. For starters we have a new BitTorrent Set Top Box from Myka, no more will you have to waste power by leaving your entire computer running all night just to get the latest screener from FXG or aXXo, and this little set top box will do it for you and then play it right from its hard drive for added ease. Then there were rumors abound of Blockbuster potentially putting out a new Set Top Box to push their movies, TV Shows, and other content out to.

Verizon performing preventative maintenance on video networks

Verizon performing preventative maintenance on video networks

With the Digital TV switch coming relatively soon Verizon has already started making moves in their customers favor to make the transition almost transparent to them. First off, they are phasing out the analog versions of all channels they already offer up digital versions of to customers with their set top boxes.

Archos TV+ is everything the Apple TV should have been

Archos TV+ is everything the Apple TV should have been

I hate comparing one product to another, but the Archos set top box DVR is everything the Apple TV should have been and even has an equally slick appearance. Alright, lets start with the fact that it comes in your choice of 80 or 250 gigabyte capacities, and, since its made by Archos, I wouldn’t be surprised if some enterprising modders found a way to increase that.

Tivo Busting out of Set-Top Boxes and coming to your PC

Tivo Busting out of Set-Top Boxes and coming to your PC

Thanks to a new deal with Nero, TiVo is well on its way to hitting your PC. Sure, Windows Media Center has done a good job of dominating the DVR on a PC industry for oh so long, but it looks like they are getting some competition from a worthy competitor.

Soon you’ll have your choice of Open Source MythTV (and SageTV), Closed source Windows Media Center, and Closed source (but non-windows) Nero/TiVo TiVo service. I like choices, and the only thing that has kept me from getting a TiVo in the past has been the monthly fees, so, removing those by making me responsible for obtaining the proper hardware, well that’s fine, and I might use the TiVo app on my PC when it comes out.

Pinnacle Showcenter 250HD

Pinnacle Showcenter 250HD

Well, its basically a media center extender, but without the media center stuff. This device streams media from your PC or Mac to wherever you but this box.

So basically it’s a set top box that you send movies, music, pictures, stuff of that nature to via your choice of Ethernet or WiFi. Although, if you are going to be making use of the fact that it can display HD content, I’d highly recommend going with the Ethernet option.

DivX Connected Media Streaming Platform Unveiled and unboxed

DivX Connected Media Streaming Platform Unveiled and unboxed

DivX unveiled a media streaming system today and SlashGear was invited to witness the new open hardware platform behind the set top box. As many reference designs are, the physical box itself is pretty plain with silver chassis that looks more like a wireless router.

The set top box features many connection ports such as component, HDMI, composite and Ethernet. The box also has a built-in WiFi to accommodate Wireless streaming of media.

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CableCo’s Raising Set-Top Box Rental Rates

CableCo’s Raising Set-Top Box Rental Rates

The good news is the feature list for set-top boxes should be increasing. Set-Top boxes should also become consumer electronics devices, sold and marketed to the consumer instead of video service providers.

Essentially the reason for the price hike is the FCC is finally enforcing previous rulings which push for user-marketed boxes, whereas the current market is setup so that the various cable companies select the boxes they want to allow their customers to use and only market those boxes to the consumer.

Thomson save us from pirates

Thomson save us from pirates

It's something of a moist relief that manufacturers are helping broadcasters to save me from myself.  Every day of my miserable life I'm but a step away from accidentally pirating something recorded on my PVR, and unintentionally damaging the trusting, loyal relationship I have with the people who supply me with endless reality TV and formulaic comedy docu-drama.  Thank the lucky stars for Thomson and their NexGuard fingerprinting and encryption technology, which can embed a unique code that includes the serial number of your set-top box into anything you record from it.  That way, should you inadvertently produce several thousand copies of, say, Desperate Housewives for your own, personal use, you can be tracked down and roughly flogged.

Netgear Unveiled Digital Entertainer EVA700

Netgear Unveiled Digital Entertainer EVA700

Netgear, one of the leading players in wireless networking industry announced a new set top streaming media box named EVA700. Equipped with 802.11G wireless and 10/100 Ethernet, EVA700 is the first top set player in the market that is verified as an Intel Viiv technology compliant. By default, the EVA700 wireless encryption is protected with WEP, however you can update its firmware to support WPA-PSK. I’m surprise it does not have HDMI or DVI output, as it uses RCA jack output and RCA component output. The EVA700 pricing is set at $269.

AT&T Launches Homezone Box

AT&T Launches Homezone Box

While we sit and twiddle our thumbs waiting for AT&T to get their U-Verse IPTV service offered worldwide, the company has partnered with Dish Network to release a networkable DVR/home media center in order to tide us over. Dubbed the Homezone, the new set top box features Dish Network connectivity (duh), Internet scheduling capabilities that allow you to schedule shows online rather than from the box itself, and downloadable movies via Movielink for $4.99 a pop. Anyone in San Antonio or Ohio can rent one now for $10/month, but without anything that truly stands out as a must-have feature, would you really want one?

[via Zatz Not Funny...]

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