CacheVision Emerges, ReplayTV Reset
CacheVision Inc. finally opened its kimono this summer to reveal a three-pronged personal video recording strategy with components ranging from software, storage modules and stand-alone and sidecar boxes.
CacheVision, the product of a 50-50 joint venture between hard drive maker Seagate Technology and consumer electronics giant Thomson Multimedia, won't solely set its sites on the PVR. In fact, the PVR is merely the "lowest common denominator" when it comes to CacheVision's overall strategy, said company President and CEO Richard Johnson.
When it comes to modules, CacheVision is working on deals with consumer electronics vendors poised to market set-tops and televisions with integrated PVRs. The company is also building stand-alone "OpenCache" PVR boxes and sidecars designed to sync with digital set-tops, with the first products targeting a storage capacity of 40 gigabytes.
CacheVision also has cable and satellite infrastructure components high on its drawing board, planning to offer operators an "OpenCache Delivery Suite" to handle the working relationship between client and server for advanced "personal media" applications such as targeted advertising and video jukeboxes.
CacheVision's plan is to begin small-volume trials in the fourth quarter of this year, and follow with commercial trials the first half of 2002, Johnson said.
Meanwhile, SONICblue–the proud new owner of ReplayTV Inc.–re-entered the PVR hardware sector with the introduction of a line of home media servers, including a high-end model capable of storing up to 320 hours of video. The new models also come equipped with cable modem and DSL broadband ports, which would allow users to share digital video clips, music and photos with other appliances via a home network. The Replay 4000 line also features an embedded commercial-skipping technique.