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!