If you have done it once, can you do it again? I mean build a brand new hardware platform for a new market. Kevin Bachus, one of the daddies of Microsoft’s X-Box has proved that he can. He is heading up a new company called IDV, which is based somewhere in California, has developed a set-top box that is getting a major boost in China. IDV has now teamed up with China’s third largest PC maker Qinghua Tongfang and appliance maker Haier to manufacture this combo computer-set top box for the Chinese market. China Netcom is going to deploy these boxes on its broadband network. [Funny - last we checked he was off to Infinium Labswhere they were building a Phantom gaming console. He is still listed as President and Chief Operating Officer of the company.] The project is called IDV Global Media-On-Demand (GMOD) and has the blessings from virtually who’s who in China. In a terribly worded press release, we are told “this was a top-secret project until premiered at the China MOD Coalition press conference on April 12 in Beijing.” The box will be able to do video on demand, HD video, gaming and other nifty stuff and will hit the market by end of 2005. Why do I get a feeling that this is the box Microsoft should have built, and not the MCE they keep pushing down our throat. The Chinese officials totally bitch slapped Microsoft’s IPTV efforts in the press release.
“IDV GMOD’S new platform poses a serious threat to IPTV, a Microsoft-backed system that has enjoyed some provider support in China but not much consumer acceptance. ‘What the world needs is a true media-on-demand service that also offers consumers a way to interact with the content,’ Fan continued. ‘It is very interesting that the worldwide media and broadband industries followed Microsoft’s lead into another limited and expensive technology. IDV is the first to propose a global media platform instead of regional delivery system. It’s strange enough the world doesn’t have such a platform.’”