Akimbo, the broadband video download company, has a problem which takes the form of a set-top box. See, I’m all boxed out… between DVD players, TiVo’s, HD tuner, and even an Xbox I just won’t add to the clutter. Not to mention I’m reluctant to buy a box from a fledgling company with no track record.
So this weekend’s DigitalLife revelation that Akimbo has integrated service into Microsoft’s MCE has got me dusting off my HTPC. They’ll have access to a much larger audience without requiring any upfront hardware costs, giving Akimbo a fighting chance at survival. In order to utilize Microsoft’s browser-based API the Akimbo interface doesn’t have the same polished look as the stand alone box, but that’s a minor concession to make. Service is slated to begin 10/25 using the same pricing model currently in place. I’m excited to see HD content will be available, unlike the box, though that’s not quite ready for delivery and will most likely be offered as a “premium” service.
Recent additions of Discovery and MLB content are positive signs, but long-term success probably requires more content providers (no, the Hallmark channel doesn’t cut it). Since Movielink can stream flicks utilizing Microsoft’s DRM, perhaps Akimbo will enhance their service down the road – downloads are OK, but I’m an impatient guy.