In the early days of DVRs the two big players were TiVo and ReplayTV. A little while later Moxi popped up, promising all kinds of features. But then Moxi’s management changed, they were purchased by Digeo, and they’ve spent the past several years pursuing only licensing deals to put their software on cable DVRs, etc. They never released a standalone product, and their licensing efforts haven’t met with much success. ReplayTV, of course, crashed and burned, leaving TiVo alone in the market for full-featured, standalone DVRs.
Well, it looks like Digeo Moxi may be changing tack again and launching a standalone DVR product. TWICE (This Week In Consumer Electronics) has an article on it. They announced their plans during the CEDIA Expo last week. It sounds like they’ll have a box on display at CES 2007 – so I’ll be sure to track it down when I’m there.
Former Sony A/V marketing executives Mike Fidler, now Digeo’s CEO, and Greg Gudorf, now Digeo’s COO, said they will showcase at International CES in January a multi-tuner HD cable box with built-in DVR to be priced at around $1,000. Plans are to begin selling the product through consumer electronics retail partners by fall 2007, they said.
It will be based on the same software Moxi uses for the cable boxes. They currently have a total user base of around 400,000 – about 9% of TiVo’s current user base.
From the description it sounds like they’ve dusted off their plans from several years back and updated them for newer technology. The box will support broadband networking, and will contain an optical disc drive – at least DVD, and possibly Blu-ray or HD DVD. They’re looking to provide broadband media, similar to TiVo’s plans. It will use CableCARD, just like TiVo’s Series3, to access digital cable and HD content. They’re planning to use Multi-Stream CableCARD, so they could use one card for two tuners. By the time the box ships, in late 2007, that should be feasible. By then the Series3 should also have support for M-Card, via a software update. (M-Card is only now just starting to appear.) While they say they plan to support video-on-demand, etc, the standards for that have not been finalized yet, and may not be by the end of 2007 at the current pace. So they may not be able to offer such features until the standards are finalized and then rolled out by cable MSOs.