Motorola intros set-tops that move content to, from mobile phones

Thu, 09/25/2008 - 8:30am
Brian Santo

In another early instance of bridging cable and mobile networks, Motorola announced a new line of set-tops that allow users to transfer content to and from mobile phones, without the need for a PC as an intermediary.

The platform is based on the KreaTV open software platform that Motorola picked up when it bought Kreatel Communications in early 2006. Judging by the first box, Motorola appears ready to use this new multimedia platform to integrate home electronics systems in almost any configuration a service provider is willing to pay for.

KDDI, an operator in Japan that provides both fixed and mobile services, will be the first to use the new Moto boxes for a new service called au Box, which is scheduled for launch on Nov. 1. The service will be delivered to au Box subscribers as an option on a leased basis.

But au Box may be considered icing on a cake.

The set-top version KDDI ordered also features a CD player and CD ripping capabilities to allow users to rip CDs from their personal collections, automatically retrieve CD information, store the files in their music libraries, and then transfer them to a mobile handset or to a portable media player via USB.

In addition, music from a CD, mobile handset or portable media player can be played by the set-top through integrated stereo speakers.

It also incorporates video encoding capabilities to allow users to upload video from their personal video recorders and then transfer that video to a mobile handset.

It can also play DVDs when linked to an external monitor. The set-top can additionally serve as a portal for Internet Web browsing, enabling users to access a wide range of services and user-generated content in addition to the option of purchasing music and video content from online stores.

Dan Moloney, executive VP and president of Motorola's Home and Networks Mobility business, said, “This new set-top platform is a significant step forward for Motorola in the progress toward our vision of media mobility.”

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