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Digeo takes route to retail

Mon, 01/08/2007 - 6:38am
Jeff Baumgartner, CED

Digeo Inc. has officially entered the retail market, and is using this week's CES to show off the gear it will offer on store shelves.

Digeo, which currently distributes its "Moxi" media center hardware and software through cable partners such as Charter Communications (also a Digeo corporate cousin), said it expects to begin shipping several retail products this year.

Digeo, backed by Paul Allen, noted that it will also license Moxi technology, including its user interface and applications, to other consumer electronics companies. That group will include makers of media centers, TVs and other devices.

At the show, Digeo is previewing two "next-generation" Moxi-based HD Media Recorder (DMR) prototypes that are due out in the second half of the year.

Both feature the Moxi interface, an integrated CD/DVD player, digital video recording (with Web-based scheduling), and the ability to stream content from the PC to the TV. One version, the Moxi Multi-room HD DMR, will support a slot to house the multistream CableCARD ("M-Card"), a removable module that incorporates the cable operator's conditional access system. The two-way M-Card will handle advanced DVR features such as watch and record. 

The second prototype, the Moxi Home Cinema Edition HD DMR, is based on Linux and designed for "home theater enthusiasts."

"In the past, we have offered the Moxi technology to people exclusively through our cable operator partners. The proliferation of HD devices and programming, the growing abundance of digital content, and the increasingly sophisticated expectations of consumers make this a perfect time to offer Moxi more broadly," said Digeo CEO (and former Sony exec) Mike Fidler, in a statement.

To date, Digeo --  which is in an IPG patent squabble with Gemstar-TV Guide --  has installed Moxi systems in roughly 400,000 homes nationwide via its relationships with operators that include Charter, BendBroadband, Comcast, NewWave Communications and Sunflower Broadband, among others.

"Capabilities like multi-room HD recording and the easy-to-use Moxi interface have increased per-customer revenues and reduced churn for cable operators," noted Digeo COO (and another former Sony exec) Greg Gudorf.

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