Set Top Box

Comcast Xfinity’s compact XI3-H IP set-top-box clears the FCC

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Earlier this year, Xfinity announced plans to release an IP set-top-box called the XI3.  Today, a version of the device called the XI3-H cleared the FCC, getting pictured and torn down in the process.  The XI3-H is manufactured by Humax, contrary to earlier reports that the device would be manufactured by Pace.

Photos of the XI3-H show Cable In (MoCA), TV out, SPDIF out, HDMI in/out, Ethernet and USB ports.  The front of the device also has an SD card slot, although it’s unclear what SD storage on the XI3-H will be used for.  There is a “Record” indicator on the front of the XI3-H, so it’s possible that the device will allow TV to be recorded on external SD storage.  The XI3-H also lacks internal storage, which makes either external or network storage a necessity for recording.

Xfinity hasn’t released many details about the XI3-H, although today’s FCC filing suggests that we will learning more about the device soon.  You can check out the FCC filings for the device here.

Android TV set top box puts Android 2.2 on the big screen, torpedoes Google’s Google TV strategy

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We’ve seen phones that can output video to a TV via HDMI, but what if you want a dedicated Android device powering your TV full time?  Enter Android TV.  Not to be mistaken for Google TV, this small set top box displays Android 2.2 Froyo on your TV via HDMI or component cable.  The Android TV box is powered by an Amlogic 1GHz Coretex A9 CPU, and offers 512MB of RAM, 2GB of internal storage, up to 32GB of SD storage, as well as a USB port for connecting an external USB hard drive.

The Android TV box connects to your LAN via WiFi or Ethernet connection, and features digital TV, Internet TV, web browser, music/picture player, IM and SMS apps.  It also appears that the Android TV box has access to the Android Market, giving you access to thousands of additional apps.

Included with Android TV is a “Motion Mouse” that appears to offer motion control capabilities.  The Motion Mouse also features a tiny QWERTY keypad as well as a host of quick launch buttons.

The Android TV box is manufactured by Geniatech, a Shenzhen-based electronics company.  It’s not clear what role Google had with the development of Android TV, but we’re guessing it wasn’t significant – it’s likely that Google wasn’t aware of Android TV at all.  The prospect of Android TV boxes also further confuses Google’s living room strategy, particularly since Google TV has struggled to make an impact.

It does some quite convenient to have a dedicated Android box powering a TV, especially since Netflix will soon launch a Netflix app for Android.  It’s not quite clear how the Android TV digital TV and Internet TV apps will work, but in screen shots Geniatech shows these apps playing local TV as well as movies.

No word on a release date or pricing for the Android TV box.  The device passed through the FCC today, so we’d expect to learn more about Android TV soon.

TiVo’s customer database hacked, user’s names and email addresses exposed

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At about 4pm this afternoon, TiVo notified its customers that its email database had been hacked, exposing the first names and/or email addresses to an unidentified third party.  Customer data was accessed through TiVo’s email service provider, which manages email communications with TiVo’s customers.

It appears that the hacked data includes information from both current and former TiVo customers, including data from customers that have unsubscribed from TiVo’s mailing list.  However, TiVo assures its customers that aside from first names and/or email addresses, the hacked data does not contain any other personally identifiable information.  The most likely fallout from this hack, according to TiVo, is spam messages which can possibly include links to malicious content.

While it does not appear that TiVo is directly responsible for the release of customer information, this incident underscores the risk that comes with partnering with third party email communications service providers.  It seems clear that in this case, TiVo’s email communications service provider did not have adequate security measures in place.

AT&T U-Verse goes wireless with Cisco’s ISB7005 IPTV receiver

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Why remain tethered to an Ethernet cord when all of your TV is delivered over IP?  That’s where Cisco’s new ISB7005 IPTV set top box comes in.  The device, which passed through the FCC today, rocks 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi so you can set up your home entertainment system anywhere you have a WiFi connection.

The ISB7005 supports HD content up to 1080p, and offers S-Video, component, composite and HDMI connections.  Internal photos of the ISB7005 do not show a hard drive, so we expect that the device will be used to access DVR content on other U-Verse STBs on the network.

No word on pricing or availability.

New DIRECTV Cinema Connection Kit hits the FCC, brings Internet to your satellite receiver

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It looks like DIRECTV will be updating its Cinema Connection Kit with the DCAW1R0-01 device, pictured above.  Manufactured by Wistron NeWeb Corporation, the device connects to your wireless network to bring Internet connectivity to your DIRECTV satellite receiver.  This gives users access to a host of new content, including DIRECTV’s CINEMAplus serivce.

The DCAW1R01-01 won FCC approval today, so we’d expect that this device will replace older models of DIRECT’s Cinema Connection Kit soon.  The device supports 802.11 a/b/g/n and offers dual band wireless-n capabilities.

Echostar’s Sling Extender wins FCC approval. Coming soon to Dish Network?

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EchoStar’s SlingMedia subsidiary has been showing off its Sling Extender, also known as the Sling Receiver 300, for a few months now.  The device connects to your home network, and allows you to stream media, including DVR content and live TV, from a SlingLoaded DVR.

Today, the Sling Extender, pictured above, won FCC approval.  The device was pictured in FCC filings with Dish Network branding, suggesting that Dish Network users will soon be able to use the device to stream video across their network.

The Sling Extender offers pretty much every type of connection you could ask for, including composite, component, HDMI and digital audio.  The device connects to your home network over WiFi or wired Ethernet connection, and can stream HD video given enough bandwidth.  Multiple Sling Extenders can be added to TVs throughout your home, and you can select what Sling Extender receives streaming content through the device’s remote controlled on-screen interface.  The Sling Extender also has a mounting bracket that allows you to mount the device to the back of a TV.

We don’t have any pricing or availability info on the Sling Extender yet.

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