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DVR Maker Digeo Lays Off Half Of Staff

Seattle-based DVR maker Digeo, which retails and white-labels its brand under the name Moxi, is laying off about half of its staff (about 80 people out of a total of 165), and current CEO Mike Fidler will be replaced by COO Greg Gudorf, the company said Tuesday. The company will also cancel two previously announced product lines, the Multi-Room HD DMR and the Moxi Home Cinema Edition DMR, reports It will continue working on its Moxi HD DVR and introduce it later this year.

Gudorf said in a statement: “It became clear the best action for Digeo was to focus our work on the next-generation product for the retail market..Building the software and hardware for this category is a complex endeavor, with dynamic technical standards, regulatory issues, and content considerations. Previously, we were spreading our energies across too many platforms.” Meaning it could mainly be sold as a standalone brand in stores, and could probably hit its business with cable companies using it…I used to have a Moxi box until last year, with Adelphia SoCal, but after it got bought by Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) Cable, the company phased it out and replaced it with generic Motorola (NYSE: MOT) boxes.

Digeo was founded in 1999 and has been backed primarily by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Ventures. It raised a big $110 million round in 2002, and used that money to buy Moxi in 2002. It may have raised more funding in mid last year, according to some SEC filings.

Staci adds: I still have the HD version from Charter (NSDQ: CHTR), a Motorola box with Moxi software. Digeo may have been ahead of the times early on, just as Allen was in many respects. Digeo was supposed to be the nerve center of Allen’s Wired World. The HD DVR I have has a lot going for it, including the ability to increase recording hours with self-installed external USB storage. The flip side: if anything goes wrong with the Moxi unit, everything on that external drive is useless. The use is tied to the unit, not the service. Record the Olympics and have a problem with the box? Too bad.