Digeo is announcing today that electronics maker Samsung has agreed to produce set-top cable-television boxes running Digeo's media center...
Digeo is announcing today that electronics maker Samsung has agreed to produce set-top cable-television boxes running Digeo’s media center software.
The first Samsung Home Media Center is expected to debut this fall. Two cable providers — Charter Communications, chaired by Paul Allen, and Adelphia — have expressed interest in buying the set-top boxes, Digeo said. The companies did not announce the price of the new box.
Samsung is the third hardware maker to commit to a Digeo box. The company has deployed only Motorola set-top boxes so far, but it is currently working with a contract manufacturer to produce some boxes under its own name.
Digeo’s media center software allows users to watch high-definition video, record digital video, access on-demand programs and manage digital photo, music and game libraries.
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Digeo said the Samsung boxes are a technical accomplishment because they combine 26 components in current media-center boxes into one chipset, which the company is calling the Digeo X-Stream chipset. The consolidation reduces the cost to manufacture a media center by as much as 40 percent, Digeo said. In addition, the box can have a thinner and sleeker design.
The first Samsung box will have a dual-tuner digital video recorder, which allows a user to watch one show while recording another. But future boxes will have up to four tuners, which means that the box could serve as the central hub to record from four televisions throughout a home, said company spokesman Michael Markman.
All of the Samsung boxes will have a boosted graphics-processing ability, Markman said, so that the user interface will be shown in high definition. Up to this point, the user interface — the appearance of the software onscreen — has been of standard-definition quality even though the boxes could play high-definition video.
Digeo said Friday that it will launch its media center trial with the Comcast cable provider this spring in Huntsville, Ala. Comcast and Digeo agreed last year to begin testing the media centers in a handful of cities, but the trials have not started.
Kim Peterson: 206-464-2360 or firstname.lastname@example.org