Wanna Beta Test Moxi?

Dave Zatz —  December 6, 2007 — 16 Comments

moxi-home-cinema.jpg

Just when I thought we’d enter a period of tech news radio silence leading up to the holidays and prior to CES early next month, Digeo is out recruiting for two betas. One product we knew about, the other we didn’t…

First up is the Holy Grail for us geeks – public recruiting for a hardware beta: The Moxi Home Cinema HD DMR, which I previewed a few months ago, was originally slated to launch in retail this year and has been slightly delayed. But it looks like we’re getting closer…

With a single box – and a single remote – this Moxi HD Digital Media Recorder brings it all together: movies, TV shows, music, games, photos and MP3s. Plug your speakers directly into your Moxi Home Cinema HD DMR for full surround sound. A digital surround sound amplifier is built right in – and Dolby® Digital is included – so you don’t need a separate receiver. By participating in this limited beta, you will get to preview and help us test Moxi Home Cinema HD Digital Media Recorder as we get ready to release to the general public.

I’m still not entirely sure if there’s a market for a higher-end retail DVR without CableCARD support. However, I do appreciate fully supported clear QAM and an integrated receiver – if additional devices can be connected.

But wait. There’s more!

moxi-pc.jpg

Digeo’s also announced PC media center software, Moxi TV for PC:

Unlike other PVR software applications which have traditionally targeted the technology enthusiast, Moxi TV for PC brings a more mainstream appeal to the category by applying best practices in TV navigation and design. With the popular Moxi Menu, users are able to intuitively explore two weeks of TV programming, watch live TV, schedule recordings and access other multimedia features including music, photos, and DVD viewing.

Digeo’s actively recruiting beta testers — the software is limited to Windows XP and some specific tuners (for now), so be sure to review the system requirements before requesting access. No word on release date or pricing and, as with TiVo’s recent PC software announcement, I’m not sure how large this market is or if it’s worth going head to head against Microsoft’s free offering. Though both TiVo and Digeo could improve their odds by enabling seemless PC<->DVR STB control and content transfer.

I plan to get my hands on both of these products during the beta phase. If you intend to apply, keep in mind Digeo expects you to spend a few hours each week testing, configuring, completing surveys, etc. – typical requests of beta testers.

16 responses to Wanna Beta Test Moxi?

  1. Looks really cool. I applied for both beta projects. Thanx Dave

  2. I like the idea of putting everything in one box. Tivo…are you listening?

  3. Unfortunately, it’s probably cost-prohibitive (now) of adding next-gen DVD playback. I was very happy with my TiVo with integrated DVD player/burner (and prefer to have fewer STBs), but they didn’t seem to be big sellers at the time.

  4. thanks for the heads up Dave. I just applied :)

  5. I signed up to beta both – but if they realize who I am I know there is no way they’d send it to me. ;-)

    I still don’t get this point of this model – NTSC/ATSC and clear cable only? In a ‘high end’ box? Just doesn’t seem to make sense – unless they have some plan to get CableCARD in there in the future with an external tuner or something.

    The PC software is interesting – interesting that everyone is jumping into that market too.

  6. Oh – also, “if additional devices can be connected”. Doesn’t look like it really:
    # Stereo L/R Input (For future use.)
    # S/PDIF Optical and Coaxial Input (For future use.)

    That’s it for inputs listed. So, at some point, maybe you can connect some other audio device – but that’s it. So no connecting your game console, BD player, etc. So not so useful as a receiver.

  7. I like the idea of the receiver and DVR all integrated in one box.

    Great form factor for the bedroom or playroom, where you might not have a full-featured surround-sound receiver.

    I am also interested to see how this stacks up to the TivoHD unit.

  8. Well, to start, the TiVo HD supports CableCARD, and thus digital cable – this Moxi box does not. So if you use antenna for your HD, or have a lot of clear QAM, maybe it’ll work for you. But if you use digital cable for HD, and the channels are encrypted (as they usually are), it won’t work so well.

  9. I assume Moxi will provide guide data for (and the means to remap) QAM locals?

    With no CableCards and no guide data on clear QAM channels, this product won’t sell.

  10. Anyone hear back from them on either yet? I filled out two surveys, but haven’t heard back.

  11. Thanks for the heads up Dave. let’s see if this will be three for three Beta I got in from reading your blog. I haven’t been able to get to your site for the past week so I may have missed my chance.

  12. bkdtv – I wouldn’t assume anything, but I certainly hope so. Without clear QAM guide data, it is even less useful than it seems – and that’s already not good.

    Dave – I got follow-ups on both my applications. I was directed to a website to fill out surveys with more of my data, such as if I had cable and/or antenna, if I already had a DVR, what kind of TV I have, etc. And what kind of PC I had, with what OS, etc, for the PC software. That’s the last I’ve heard so far.

  13. no cablecard = no good. Having seen this thing being kicked around for such a long time, it looks like they got behind in technology…

  14. I Signed up on December 6th when this first came out. I received an email last week advising that they had chosen all participants and that I was not one of them. Oh, well. Would’ve liked to have seen this with Fios.

  15. Vinny — don’t sweat it. Without a cablecard, this machine won’t get anything above 13 with Fios.

  16. I can’t seem to find the beta registration anymore. is it over?

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