Digeo Launches Retail Moxi Mate and OS Update

Dave Zatz —  August 4, 2009 — 8 Comments

It’s been a few months since the loaner Moxi HD DVR ($800, no fees, no ads) arrived and I’ve had plenty of time to evaluate TiVo’s first retail competitor in years. While Ben Drawbaugh (EngadgetHD) and I agree on many of the particulars, we come away with different conclusions. I quite like the Moxi experience.

Is it worth $800? Probably not. But $1000 for Moxi in two rooms dramatically changes the value proposition. Which is what a bundled Moxi HD DVR and the new Moxi Mate extender will run you. I’m a fan of the hub model… Why manage multiple DVRs, when I can manage one? Unlike Digeo’s cable company offerings, this Moxi Mate has been re-engineered to utilize the home network rather than delivering video over coax. Which may be why their first cut is limited to streaming recorded shows around the home. Assuming they pull the trigger on distributed live television later this year and land an Amazon-esque VOD service or onboard Netflix, Moxi will become a very competitive offering.

moxi-mate

Along with the Moxi Mate announcement today, Digeo has pushed a software update to existing DVRs. A traditional grid guide and switched digital video (SDV) support headline the package. At first, I rebelled against Moxi’s atypical channel guide, and the UI suffers from too many content filters which can’t be hidden, but I’ve grown to appreciate it. So the new guide, launched by double tapping the square remote button, isn’t as important to me as it once was. But it should provide comfort to newbies and traditionalists. Additionally, power users will appreciate Moxi’s PC-based DLNA streaming codec expansion today.

As most probably aren’t familiar with Moxi’s interface, I took a video (above) walking through the various guide presentations, CableCard and SDV menus, and Super Ticker. Unfortunately, I forgot to hop into the menu of recorded items which is one of the most attractive and functional screens. We’ll hit it next time.

Click to enlarge:

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8 responses to Digeo Launches Retail Moxi Mate and OS Update

  1. Oh, sure try to make it look like I’m the only one who doesn’t like it. ;)

  2. $1,000 for two rooms? How can that be more than a niche product given the other alternatives? A few years ago I *might* have made the investment. Not a chance now.

    I do like that Super Ticker, though. :)

  3. Ben, next time you play the good cop. ;)

    Mari, if you compare it to $15/mo * 2 for cableco DVRs it could seem extreme. But $30 * 12/mo * 3/yr > $1000. Of course, this is fuzzy math and the cable co will hit you with extra fees like the $1.99 I pay per cable card and $6.99 per “outlet.” (The tuning adapter hack jobs are free, although they should pay me $1 each time I have to reboot them.) And we didn’t ask Ben how much his Media Center setup runs – I’m guessing $1500 – $2000 for the central server and maybe $200 per extender?

  4. I’m still not sure if I want it or not. Still no VOD support, and you’d think if the tuning adapter could talk back to request a channel from the srm, it should be able to request, set up and tear down vod streams.

    Missing a clock on the front, and I’m looking forward to the grid guide seen on J-Guide 3.0, which I believe has a view that is 11 channels by 2 1/2 hours or something pretty massive? Still no word on what box that runs on or what MSO is getting it (Comcast is rumored).

    It seems like there’s way too many clicks, but I do really like the transition effects. If only others would follow suit. What’s in the Moxi? It’s a Broadcom chipset like in the Motorola DCX3400 series correct? If that’s the case, it’s refreshing seeing that the CPU is capable of all that pizazz.

  5. For just a little more than $1000, I can (probably) get a Windows 7 cablecard setup…and extra 360s to use as media extenders can be as cheap as $200 each. After seeing EngadgetHD’s review of Win7 Media Center, I’m really at a loss for how expensive the Moxi still is – especially the Mate, which costs in insane amount for a dumb headless unit.

  6. Cypher, while there can be too many clicks I went the long way in some cases to show more info/screens. Not sure on the chip, maybe I’ll open it up.

    Random, MS doesn’t realize how disruptive they could be if they ever got MC running headless on WHS and feeding $100 extenders. Wonder if they missed their opportunity.

  7. cool – MOXI is going into areas TiVo needs to as well. Could we finally be at the dawn of a new Competitive standalone DVR era?

  8. Agree on the home server model, but I just don’t see it happening in this economic environment or at that price. Also, I do wonder about the streaming thing. The HD streams my Tivo HD records directly off the cable feed in MPEG-2 run up to 15Mbps or so, and moving that sort of video over a “home network” can be challenging, let alone running several. Sure it should work fine over actual Ethernet cable, but powerline or wireless are going to have issues in many cases. I’d have thought MoCA support would be a better choice honestly, given that most homes are wired for Coax/RF and there’s nothing else on there right now…

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