Folks who pre-ordered the DISH Network DTVPal DRV or Verismo VuNo may be receiving some pretty exclusive holiday cheer this week.
The DTVPal DVR ($250) is dual-tuning high definition DVR designed to record digital signals solely via antenna (OTA, ATSC), without requiring an ongoing TiVo-esque service fee. While interest in this product has been extremely high, early reports are a bit mixed. High quality visuals, though two reports of “pulsating” anomalies and timers (recordings, too?) seem to be scheduled via time slot, rather than content title. Guide data quality is dependent on the thoroughness and technology utilized by local broadcasters. However, this is a live platform and at least two initial customers have reported receiving firmware updates when connecting their unit over Ethernet.
The compact VuNow media streamer comes in two flavors, a standard definition “PoD” ($99) and an HD variant ($149). In addition to the requisite YouTube access, VuNow also aggregates a variety of other web video sites into a searchable interface. Through the addition of your own USB or network storage, local video, music, and graphics can also be enjoyed. Unlike that other diminutive $99 box, WiFi is not built-in – although wireless capabilities can be added via a fifteen dollar USB dongle.
I’m in touch with both DISH Netowrk and Verismo… and looking forward to getting my hands on a pair of review units. Speaking of devices I’m anxious to test drive, the Western Digital Media Player (~$120) seems to handle just about any sort of video thrown at it – with the caveats of no network connectivity and you must BYOD (Bring Your Own Drive). It’s on my wish list, too.