Targeting high-end consumer electronics fans, Digeo is announcing today a new multi-room solution for its digital video recorder as well as other new features for its retail boxes.
The new Moxi Mate will sell for $399 and will enable someone with a $799 Moxi HD DVR ($999 for a bundle) to watch recorded movies or TV shows in another room of the house. With the multi-room solution, one member of the family can watch a show or view web content on the living room TV while someone in a bedroom can watch a different show.
It remains to be seen if the company will be able to convince consumers to shell out that kind of money in a recession. Seven different cable operators have shipped more than 500,000 Moxi set-top boxes to their cable customers. To break out of that market, Digeo started selling retail versions in January 2009 at Amazon.com and Moxi.com. Greg Gudorf, chief executive of Kirkland, Wash.-based Digeo, which is owned by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Ventures, acknowledged that it hasn’t been easy selling the boxes at retail. In some ways, the company has lost a lot of viewers to the Internet. But Gudorf is counting on videoholics — particularly those who want to use a remote control to access either web or TV content — to save the day.
While it has been trying to get off the ground since 1999, Digeo has had some success. The company came up with a cool user interface for scrolling through lots of choices for programs on a TV. With a Moxi remote, you can scroll sideways or up and down, search on keywords, and otherwise find things quickly. You can also easily access Internet videos on Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.
With a new upgrade to its programming guide, the company now supports a more traditional Grid Guide viewing option for those who are used to the older cable program guides. Consumers can buy a second Moxi Mate for $199. They can also pay $49.95 a month for 20 months.
The company also said today that you can now add a $1,399 six-terabyte drive from LaCie to the Moxi HD DVR. That gives you 1,000 hours of recorded video, or 12 times the amount of HD video storage that was previously available. The new system also has support for switched digital video. That means it works in cable markets where the cable operators are saving on bandwidth by shipping only the cable channel that is being viewed.