Moxi Reborn! In Canada.

Dave Zatz —  May 11, 2011

shaw-gateway

It’s good to see that Arris, a cable and broadband company, hasn’t given up on their (dirt cheap) Moxi acquisition. Thanks to Shaw Cable, our Canadian neighbors to the north can pick up the next generation Moxi HD DVR and Moxi Mate as the Shaw Gateway and Portal. Featuring a very healthy, and perhaps industry leading, HD 6 tuners! (Making its 500GB hard drive seem somewhat undersized.)

Marcus turned us on to the news and wonders:

So I called Moxi and spoke with a nice dude named David and got the same response when I speak with Tivo about upcoming products, “I dunno”. And why Canada? And do you think this will ever hit retail in the states?

Despite Moxi’s Emmy Award winning interface and functionality that was, at one point, ahead of its time, the various champions/owners never managed to get traction here in the US as a set-top provider for the likes of Charter or in retail. In fact, under Arris, the Moxi branding appears to have been abandoned. At least in terms of Shaw’s whole-home PVR solution. But, given that the new Gateway product has been engineered with support for CableCARD technology, I’d say the intention is… or was… to market this product here in the US.

Would Arris give retail another shot? Hard to say. Launching a retail product is an expensive proposition and while Arris provides a gateway the cable and satellite companies are largely the gatekeepers. If a well-known brand like TiVo can’t acquire or retain retail customers, an outlier like Moxi/Arris would have an even harder time. As they proved their last time around the block. Having said that, I hope they bring it on.

As far as the cable providers themselves, few if any would take a flier on the new product. Especially given their earlier challenges delivering refreshed product to Charter. For those currently running Arris backend gear, I could image some who might give it a shot. But it’s an uphill battle. For example, for two years, EchoStar’s been pitching a SlingLoaded CableCARD DVR… that’s yet to see the light of day. The MSOs are a tough nut to crack. Making TiVo’s recent partnerships all the more noteworthy.

8 responses to Moxi Reborn! In Canada.

  1. Six tuners? Up to five Moxi Mates? Sign me up. I’ll stick the DVR and an eSATA drive in the closet and use the silent mates at every TV.

  2. Six tuners makes sense if it is all digital (as past Moxi boxes have been, requiring an adapter for analog channels) and designed with CableCARD in mind – as 6 streams is what an M-Card can support. But it would restrict compatibility to only 100% digital MSOs if that’s the case. I don’t see them including analog encoding paths for six streams.

  3. Hey Dave, thanks for the shot out I appreciate it! You make a great point about Tivo’s struggles to keep retail customers and a bigger struggle for a smaller company (Arris) with what I find to be an undefined future. What serious MSO’s did Moxi have since the beginning? Bend Cable? Charter? I almost wish we could sit in on one of Arris’s meetings just to see if they even know where they are headed. The only two places I see a continual discussion on moxi products is here and on one of the avs forums and there is nothing but complaints about non existent updates (granted this is typical of forums).

    I was speaking with someone over at tivo last week and they quoted me $499 for an xl with an extra $199 for lifetime. Give me confirmation the second core working, at least another tuner and ability to access on demand (on Comcast, supposedly “coming soon”) and I would jump. I must say that the pause ads after spending 700 on a box is very frustrating and was one of the reasons (also the extra tuner) that moxi has/had my attention. Either way obviously I’m stuck in a holding pattern right now and with the current climate of the two companies I have this sinking feeling it will be a long wait.

  4. MegaZone,

    Maybe I live in a privileged area of the country (Eastern Pennsylvania). But every cable company here is 100% digital. Multiple Comcast systems, Service Electric Cablevision, Blue Ridge Cable, RCN. I thought that all digital simulcast was the norm now.

  5. Cypherstream – The majority of ‘digital cable’ in the US is still hybrid, but the trend is definitely toward all-digital. The only provider in my area, Charter, is still hybrid but they’re regularly adding channels to the digital tier – either removing them from analog completely, or doing simulcast. The number of analog-only channels is dwindling.

  6. Yeah, certainly Comcast has gone all digital as its solution to the bandwidth crunch brought on by HD. It required them to give away a bunch of those cheap display-less DTA (digital tuning adapter) STBs to people who had cable plugged into their ‘cable ready TVs’ and such. And of course regulatory approval for permission to encrypt to such cablecard-less devices etc. The advantage of course is that STBs which don’t have to handle analog are cheaper, and they haven’t had to deal with SDV, which us Tivo users appreciate.

    A 6-tuner box would be great, though honestly the number of times I run into conflicts with even two tuners isn’t that often, and I could certainly imagine a limit of two say on analog tuners being quite acceptable. Honestly, give me one more tuner and I’d probably be perfectly happy.

  7. Collaborative scheduling between/amongst units and DVR-to-DVR streaming would solve all my problems. I fully expect Verizon to get there before TiVo does.

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