News.com is reporting this morning that Aeon Digital, a privately held firm specializing in IPTV-over the Internet has confirmed a licensing agreement with NBC Universal. The service will be made available via a $299 DVR available at retail and will use Microsoft’s Windows Media technology for delivery.
Upon further inspection, Aeon Digital has ambitious plans for their products. Two integrated LCD-TV and two set-top box products. Features of the DV-220 STB-include:
- IPTV Support
- 200 hour DVR with ability to archive to your PC. No mention of CableCard support though 🙁
- Streamed playback of music, photos, and video from your PC
- Component, composite and S-Video outputs
- Built-in 802.11g WiFi router with VOIP support,uPnP, NAT firewall
- Built-in EPG (Program Guide)
Movies such as “Ray” and the “The Motorcycle Diaries” will be made available as well as what looks like some tier-2 television programming. No details were provided on pricing.
This is a good step in the right direction. For now, this looks to be a contender for stand-alone TiVo Series 2 competition at retail but for the serious enthusiast, without HDTV and CableCard support, it leaves me a bit wanting. But it does signal an interesting trend- the logjam of IP-accessible content from big-name providers appears to be straining thanks to a lessening of fear (and interest in making more money) via these types of solutions by the content providers.