Motorola has unveiled its latest media concept device, the MCU3E (or MCUBE) USB transcoder. A USB device that plugs into your set-top box, the MCU3E can transcode HD or SD video and beam it wirelessly via Bluetooth or WiFi to be stored a nearby mobile device.
The current prototype can take MPEG-4 AVC or MPEG-2 format video and convert it, on the fly, to MPEG-4 AVC or MPEG-2 VGA (640 x 480 resolution), half-VGA (640 x 240) or QVGA (320 × 240) formats for use on a PMP, cellphone or other device. It also changes bitrates, 2-18 Mbps input to 200 to 400kbps output so as to be manageable by a wireless connection.
HD to SD conversions are also possible, and the MCU3E can also receive information from a mobile device to display on the set-top box. Right now, although it works, Motorola have no immediate plans to bring it to market; they’d likely have a hard time getting it past the studios, who would no doubt want six tons of DRM laden onto every clip.