Is XStreamHD too good to be true?
One of the more interesting announcements at CES this year is that of XStreamHD, the forthcoming digital distribution network aiming to revolutionise HD home entertainment. The service, which was initially revealed last month, has made its appearance at CES and though details are still scarce, we have been given some insight into the scope of the project.
According to the official press release, XStreamHD will deliver its content in Full HD (1080p) video and with 7.1 channels of DTS-HD Master Audio no less. All this will be delivered directly to consumers via satellite. Call us sceptical if you will, but it sounds mighty ambitious.
Furthermore, the service will be introduced in Q4 2008 as an XStreamHD home solution which will consist of a Media Server and a Media Receiver. All this will cost a very reasonable $399.
The good news doesn't stop there either. The Media Server will feature eSATA connectivity and allow users to expand storage capacity up to 2TB by plugging in extra hard drives. Heck, this thing even has three ATSC tuners allowing you to stream your HD material around the house.
Hollywood superstar Michael Douglas, one of XStreamHD's investors, was on hand at the CES conference to promote the product, declaring it "as close to being in the movie theatre as you’re going to get".
It all sounds a bit too good to be true, and maybe it is. No content providers have yet been announced for the service and without the right material, the impressive technology won't mean a thing. Still, it's always fun to admire this rather alluring feature list:
- Satellite delivery of Full HD 1080p video, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4/H.264 in 4:3 or 16:9 screen formats
- Satellite delivery of up to 7.1 channels 96kHz/24bits of lossless DTS-HD™ Master Audio
- View four Full HD video streams simultaneously throughout the home
- Learns users’ choices and preferences to adopt their entertainment profile and continuously updates the Virtual Personal Library™ with titles
- they’re likely to enjoy
- Equipped with three ATSC tuners and a Network Video Recorder for viewing and recording three HDTV broadcasts at the same time – even while watching a fourth selection from your Virtual Personal Library™
- Patent Pending Adaptive Recording™ ensures accurate recording of HDTV programs from start to finish, even if broadcast schedules change or are delayed
- Easy-to-use on-screen menus to manage content preferences, parental controls, spending limits
- DLNA v1.5 certified to integrate all compatible devices on the XStreamHD network
- Dual slide-in drive bays enable scalable storage featuring Seagate® Technology hard drive storage – 500GB, 1 TB, 2 TB options – and the ability to configure an external storage subsystem via the eSATA interface
- Includes a feature-rich Personal PBX business-class phone system; also supports VoIP calls and offers free calls between XStreamHD subscribers
- Uses gigabit Ethernet (GigE) permitting the transfer of HD video and audio at 1 gbps throughout the home
- HDMI interface simplifies installation and ensures signal integrity for vibrant 1080p video
- Front panel USB port for MP3 audio downloads
Official press release: XStreamHD™ Unveils First-Ever Transport Network To Deliver High-Definition Movies, Music, and More Directly to the Home at CES 2008
Official XStreamHD website: XStreamHD.com