Details on Digeo’s Upcoming Moxi DVRs


At CES, I sat down with Digeo CEO Mike Fidler for a briefing on their new retail strategy. In the second half of 2007, they plan to release two Moxi dual tuning HD DVR models. The units on display (shown above) were enclosure prototypes, with no actual working hardware.

The first Moxi box will tune digital cable programming via a multistream CableCARD (“M-Card”). Unlike the two CableCARDs (1.0) used by the TiVo Series3, the Moxi box will require just one M-Card for dual tuning. (I’m told the S3 is physically capable of M-Card support with a software upgrade.)

The second Moxi box forgoes the M-Card, in favor of clear QAM and over-the-air (OTA) dual tuning. This higher-end unit will incorporate a 5.1 audio receiver and is built on the “AMD LIVE! Home Cinema reference design.”

Both units will contain CD/DVD drives, support external storage (eSATA, “Storage Meter” spans both internal and external drives), and allow sharing of home media (such as PC-based photographs). Digeo is exploring the possibility of providing Internet content like YouTube and fantasy sports.

One way that Digeo intends to differentiate their Moxi line from the competition (TiVo) is by selling or bundling a “client” box. This Moxi extender will access all features on the primary box, including scheduling and playback, from another location in the home across existing coaxial cabling.

Digeo hasn’t started the CableLabs certification process, though they’re working on securing a retail presence. Prices haven’t been set, but they plan to make the DVRs “competitive.”

It’s hard enough to bring one new product to market, let alone two and I think Digeo is going to have a hard time educating consumers in selecting one model versus the other. I also think they’ve got the tuners reversed: The higher end unit should support digital cable and the lower end should support OTA. Actually, they should produce just one unit that supports both OTA and digital cable while dropping audio receiver functionality.


Bonus Moxi Update: Looks like cable company Charter will be rolling out web scheduling in the near future for customers using Moxi DVRs. Unlike TiVo’s current web scheduling, this product will provide real time confirmation and indicate recording conflicts. Pretty cool!

6 thoughts on “Details on Digeo’s Upcoming Moxi DVRs”

  1. If you saw my semi-rant ( you know I’m in complete agreement on their plans. No OTA on the CableCARD box, and no CableCARD in the ‘high end’ box just doesn’t make sense to me. I understand the ‘why’ behind the latter – it is a PC platform running Linux, and not as locked down as, say, the TiVo S3. So they’d have a lot of work to certify that with CableLabs.

    Actually, I understand some of the former – they’re planning to sell the same CableCARD hardware to cable MSOs as an STB. Since MSOs need to start using CableCARD this July too, they can market the same boxes to retail and cable MSOs, with just slightly different Moxi software. And MSOs are unlikely to want OTA tuners, even disabled they add cost.

    One of the Moxi people I talked told me the Series3 didn’t do OTA either – I had to correct him. The Digeo people didn’t seem well informed about the Series3, and since it is likely to be the main competition, they should be. While I was in their booth I heard more than one person ask “So, how does this compare to the TiVo?” or things to that effect. They need a solid, accurate value story to sell the box.

    One thing – they told me all their expansion drives will be USB 2.0 and not eSATA. I explicitly asked about eSATA support and was told no, only USB 2.0.

    The Series3 is capable of M-Card support, but the certification process was only finalized recently. TiVo will be putting the S3 through that now to officially support M-Card.

  2. Mari,

    Agreed. I asked about that and they brushed it off by saying they had a lot of experience working with cable MSOs and it wouldn’t be hard to get through CableLabs. But I felt they were being a bit too cocky about it, and just because they’ve put their Moxi software on some Motorola cable boxes doesn’t mean they get a pass with CableCARD.

  3. There’s something very underhanded happening in this industry. I currently pay $1700 a year for cable and broadband. I watch maybe 2 hours of programming a night. Primarily I watch the same 3 or 4 HD channels (all are available OTA). I don’t need or want any SD channels. I don’t need or want the 800 or so channels available to watch God knows when? The Japanese have a plethora of superb OTA DVR’s to choose from and we American’s basically have none. I call up Dish to check on their $19 package and by the time I get my 3 or 4 HD channels, I’m up to $62/month. I wanted a large stellar HD picture so I slapped down 5k for a Sony….unheard of just a few years back.

    This industry is sucking every last dime they can from the American public and I swear manufacturers are in collusion with one another to do just that. I’m just about ready to dump cable all together and just deal with OTA reception. I feel the industry has conspired to not allow OTA only DVR’s in this country to force us to shovel money their way for the worst entertainment value this side of Orion!

  4. Mark,

    The vast majority of TV viewers in the US use cable or satellite. There have been OTA only HD DVRs on the market – they bombed. People just didn’t buy them.

    There is no reason you can’t use something like a TiVo Series3 with antenna only, no cable. Other people do it.

  5. Sorry Mark, OTA DVR have NOT made the US market. HD has only been available here recently and ATSC tuners are in even shorter supply.
    What’s wrong with the multi tuners available in most HD TV’s being used in their box?

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