Moxi HD DVR Gets Facelift9 Apr, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Digeo Inc. April 9 announced a series of improvements to its pricey Moxi HD digital video recorder (DVR) designed to enhance interaction with the Internet and distance itself from DVR competitors such as TiVo.
In addition to streaming videos from YouTube, Netflix and Hulu, storing photos on Flickr and keeping music downloads from Rhapsody through the PlayOn media server, the Moxi HD DVR can link to a user’s PC to access additional content.
The PlayOn software, in addition to a 30-day Rhapsody trial, is available to current Moxi owners as a free upgrade.
Based in Kirkland, Wash., the set-top box manufacturer, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, unveiled the $800 Moxi HD DVR at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It features a 500GB hard drive capable of storing up to 75 hours of high-definition programming and 300 hours of standard-definition content.
By comparison the $600 TiVo HD XL can store 150 hours of HD programming and 1,360 hours of standard-definition programming. Monthly subscriptions run from $12.95. A generic cable DVR typically accommodates a 160GB hard drive and costs about $10 per month.
Unlike TiVo and cable set-top digital recorders, Moxi doesn’t charge a monthly subscriber fee. It incorporates a single user interface for Internet, PC and TV functions, and the menus are specifically designed for HD and large HDTV screens.
So-called e-Controls can adjust home theater lighting, AV volume, power and IP cams. MoxiNet allows you to navigate bookmarked Web pages through the remote control.
The device allows you to set up Web sites on your HDTV and see them in full 1080p resolution and with Flash media.
“In the current economic climate, people are more focused on at-home entertainment options and on getting the most out of their HD investments,” said CEO Greg Gudorf.
But can the market sustain an $800 DVR?
Richard Doherty, director of The Envisoneering Group in Seaford, N.Y., thinks so. He found in consumer interviews that many respondents were spending considerable sums to graft on features already included in the Moxi DVR.
“Most cable DVRs can’t record two streams at once and few, if any, can do any sort of Internet video solution,” Doherty said. “You can find everything [on Moxi] without having to shift gears and feel like you are going from a Lamborghini to a VW Beetle.”
The analyst owns and operates both a Moxi HD DVR and TiVo HD DVR.
Doherty said the Moxi DVR impressed him as much as the Roku video player.
“This is not as simple as the Roku, nor is it as limited,” he said. “It does so many things with a multistream card and Internet connection that few other devices do.”
Doherty said the TiVo HD DVR is pushing its limits to adopt Rhapsody, Amazon Unbox, Netflix streaming and Blockbuster OnDemand.
A less expensive Moxi Mate DVR is slated for launch later this year.