Motorola is finally taking their placeshifting technology beyond the labs. What was once known as the MCUBE and demo-ed as the Motorola Media Mover at the 2009 Cable Show, is nearly ready for it’s closeup. Unfortunately, the once sleek device, clocking in at cellphone dimensions (see below), has been reborn within a full fledged CableCARD-toting enclosure. Whereas the Media Mover was designed to hang off a cable set-top box via USB, the new Televation announced at the 2011 Cable Show, is a set-top box:
Televation employs a 1GHz digital tuner and CableCard to access broadcast TV channels directly from a coax outlet. The device has a high-performance transcoder that translates programming in real-time from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4, as well as changing resolution and bit rate to match the capabilities of the consumer’s viewing device while maintaining excellent picture quality. The device has an Ethernet jack to plug directly into the home Wi-Fi router so the TV show can be wirelessly streamed over IP to any device connected to the home network.
While the placeshifting device was designed in collaboration with Comcast, there’s no word on potential availability or rental fee. More importantly, to presumably steer clear of licensing issues, Televation is limited to in-home video streaming. (In fact, the press release emphasizes the CableLabs-approved IPRM-HN content protection.) So, while you may posses an Android or iOS device, you’d only be viewing Comcast programming from within range of your wireless router. Compared to the worldwide liberation provided by an agnostic Slingbox or Vulkano placeshifting device.