For the longest time, I have thought that 2Wire might be the dark horse in the set-top box wars. The company has a very simple strategy – one wire for video, the other for broadband. Put them together, add a hard drive, layer it on top with a personal video recorder and Internet content from say Yahoo, and you have a perfect box that telecoms looking to offer triple play services can like. Well lo and behold, 2Wire has been picked to form a joint venture with none other than SBC, thanks mostly in part of its set-top box. The new company is called, SBC Media Solutions. (On a side note, I guess DISH network could become the back-end for all Virtual Satellite Providers as it competes with DirecTV!)
Despite all the hoopla around fiber to the home, video DSL and all, SBC instead of twiddling its thumbs is jump starting its triple play efforts by bundling satellite and DSL in one box, which is SBC branded and will be sold to SBC customers. 2Wire.com put out a press release which went unnoticed in all the hoopla around TiVo To Go, which is so yesterday! Look at this box – it has some serious wow factor! It has 250 gigabytes hard drive, which is about 180 hours of standard TV shows; four speed fast forward, and a built in DVD/CD player. Now why would need TiVo?
Now to the broadband part: Go to SBC Yahoo DSL page and click on the shows you want to record. A few months down the line you will be able to access the box through Cingular Wireless phones. the box will allow you to digitally stream music from your set-top box anywhere you are. (Whoops for guys Orb!) I suspect VoIP functionality is coming soon as well. So much for all the noise around Media Center PCs and TiVo.