XStreamHD unveiled press conference, live

Ben Drawbaugh
B. Drawbaugh|01.08.08

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Ben Drawbaugh
January 8, 2008 6:55 PM
In this article: CES, CES 2008, Ces2008, features, hdtv, XStreamHD
XStreamHD unveiled press conference, live

While XStreamHD conference room isn't fancy, but based on the already released specs, we have high expectations -- and no we're not star struck by Michael Douglas.

11:00AM - Still waiting, but they've announced we'll be starting in two minutes.

11:09AM - Nine, rather than two minutes later, a video kicks off, so here we go with Michael Douglas. He's very excited to be an invester in XStreamHD. He's been in the film industry for years and although HD is great it's not as good as the theater, so XStreamHD can get us closer to the theater experience.

11:12AM - Gorge Gonzales, the Creator of XStreamHD takes the podium.

He continues to build up the "ultimate experience" with the quality and connivence of delivering on "your schedule." It's a whole home solution with two products: a home media server and HD receiver. It's not VOD, but we think it's better. The movie selection process is mimicked, not receiving channels or providers. You'll have full access to the information about every movie, and the Media Server helps you select content you'll find interesting, like all of Michael Douglas' movies. So there isn't a need to search a schedule, just a list of available titles that are you'd find interesting. You can rent or own the content.

The devices are DLNA Certified, so it works with any game console (PS3), HDTV, PC or AVR that is DLNA certified -- even the Pioneer Blu-ray player. Wow, that's hot! The media server can distribute over gigabit Ethernet to up to four devices in the home simultaneously, at 1080p. We are reminded of the partnerships with DTS and Seagate for DTS-HD MA and 2TB of storage. This is a new transport method to copy a digital master to you from the studio.

The titles are delivered via satellite, but there are only two licenses for sat and both are already in use, so they use the existing satellites -- wonder how many dishes that will take? They know the titles are coming out in advance, so the information is passed on to you. So the day it is released, it gets delivered to the Media Server. They can do on demand over the satellite, but also over the internet. They support both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 (x.264) with support for high level, high profile. With bitrates in excess of 80 Mbps! At the booth is a NBC Universal clip at the maximum bit rate on display. So rather than being like most low bit rate HD of other download services, XStreamHD is offering the highest.

11:26AM - Although they support many audio codecs, lossless like DTS-HD MA is also supported, so rather being stuck in 1997 with Dolby Digital you can take advantage of the latest.

11:27AM - It also features a OTA HD tuner, with three ATSC tuners and everything is stored in the "Personal Library." "I loved my TiVo, till I got a XStreamHD channel... I hated always missing programs when the sporting events ran over, so they have 'Adaptive Recording' (patent pending) to automatically adjust the start and stop time."

11:29AM - Uhohh, in closing and not one studio announced, time for questions!

Q. Scott, Satellite Gusy: What sats will you be using?
A. Launch in October in N. America.

Q. Shane from Home Theater: Deals with studios and release dates day and date?
A. No signed deals at this time, but the studios are supportive, the deal will come as the service rolls out. The studios can release them day and date, but it's up to them.
Q. Subscription or per item?
A. It should be a hybrid model, but it depends on the studio.

Q. David with Luxury CE: CEDIA type installers, or retail presence?
A. Initially will be direct market, via XStreamHD.com, and will use professional installers and self installed -- nice.

Q. Ellen, Tribute Media Services: Advertising on the box and will there be a Michael Douglas channel?
A. Again, a service level question, which will depend on the studios.

Q. John from Widescreen Review: Can users use an external storage?
A. The server will mount on a wall or in a cabinet, and features dual drive bays, and can be easily self installed. Three models, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. Plus there is a eSATA port for additional, but internal is easier.

Q. Is this a replacement for my primary provider?
A. We have no relationship with DirecTV, but we are an open system, so we'd love to work with them. But we can access music from DLNA sources as well.
Q. How do you solve the desire for instant gratification?
A. Talking about technology, but not really answering the question. But the business would have to decide to do "on demand" in about 15 minutes, but they don't believe that is what consumers want. He reaffirms his model, which is more like Netflix's queue than VOD.

Q. Earl from DBSTalk.com: What about those who can't install a dish?
A. There be MDU options as well.

Q. What about HDMI 1.3?
A. Yes we support HDMI 1.3 for decoded multi-channel audio, the receiver is fanless and component and SPDIF is supported as well. You can also choose to output bitstream audio.
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