Isn’t ‘Yet Another’ a fun phrase?
What is it with the new raft of set-top boxes being announced? Just as Moviebeam and Akimbo pull out of the market, Apple TV, Vudu, and others jump into the fray. This time it is DivX, and Engadget has the scoop. DivX has developed the ‘GejBox;-)’ – yes, the winky is part of the name. (Gej was the coder who developed the initial codec he named ‘DivX;-), a knock on the dead DIVX DVD competitor.) Fortunately it is just a prototype, so it doesn’t look like an actual product name – and it is silly so I won’t be writing it that way.
It looks like a prototype and reference platform that they can use to pitch to consumer electronics vendors. It is unlikely that DivX will want to jump into the hardware market themselves. There aren’t many details, but there are some interesting things in the photos.
The front of the unit has a LAN and a WLAN light, which implies built-in wireless as well as the Ethernet port. The back of the box has Ethernet, HDMI, S/PDIF over coax and optical, S-Video, composite video, and stereo audio. There is also a large black block connector, it isn’t clear what that is. In the photos it appears to be connected to a monitor, so perhaps DVI – though it seems big, so perhaps SCART? It seems to basically be a DivX media extender – music, photos, video. There’s also a direct connection to the DivX Stage6 media-sharing site. If you want to beta test the GejBox, sign up here.
It looks like a decent enough design, but it is Yet Another Box. The market is already crowded with DVRs, media center extenders, Apple TV, gaming consoles, Slingboxes, etc. I already have a A/V receiver, my old LD/DVD/CD deck (Yes, I still have laserdiscs – look it up kids), Pioneer DVR-810H TiVo Series2 (my primary DVD player/recorder now), TiVo Series3, VHS VCR (hardly ever used, but I still have a lot of tapes), Slingbox Pro, and a Netgear Ethernet switch to connect things – all under my TV. (Technically the VCR is hidden behind it – no room under it.) I’m probably going to pick up a SlingCatcher when that is released, and I still plan to get a PS3 at some point for both gaming and Blu-ray playback. (I have a bunch of older game consoles which aren’t set up right now too.)
It is getting a little ridiculous, I’d really like to see more convergence. Bring more of these features to existing platforms like TiVo and Slingbox. Right now you get ‘box exhaustion’ – too many devices to deal with and the market is too fragmented. Things will shake out in the end, likely leaving just a handful of players.
I noticed the GejBox via ZatzNotFunny.