To paraphrase Burt Bacharach, what the world needs now is…another set-top box? San Jose, Calif.-based 2Wire thinks so and has launched MediaPoint, a box that delivers video over broadband directly to your TV. But unlike other set-top manufacturers, 2Wire isn’t trying to sell this box directly to consumers.
The MediaPoint box supports both SD and HD content, has 8 GB of internal storage and features all the requisite connections such as HDMI, component, composite, etc., and has wireless capabilities. In addition to receiving content via broadband, MediaPoint includes UPnP and DLNA support so you can stream video and music or access photos from networked PCs in your home.
All this for $99. But don’t run out to the store asking for one. 2Wire is selling MediaPoint through broadband service providers, who can customize the box to best fit their business needs. 2Wire already has existing relationships with the likes of AT&T, BT Group and Qwest.
According to Jonathan Symonds, vice president of product marketing and management, MediaPoint is not intended to be a primary set-top box in the home but rather an add-on, like a gift-with-purchase that telcos can offer to get customers to sign up for service. 2Wire says it has a number of customers lined up already and will be announcing at least one of them later this month.
Sezmi, a newcomer to the set-top space, is also looking to provide its on-demand TV solution through broadband providers. The company is supposed to begin trials of its product at the end of this year.