Set-top box best of show at electronics showpiece

 

Analysts have identified a new home entertainment device as the top innovation at a giant electronics show in the US.

The Moxi Media Centre is a digital media server with an 80 gigabyte hard drive.

The device, unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics 2002 show in Las Vegas, promises to become a single household entertainment hub.

Analysts think it stands out from similar devices because it appears to deliver the best yet in digital convergence - the ability to integrate digital audio, video, television and computer data in a single device.

Commentators say the technology, and an unusual marketing approach, could help speed the way to fully personalised TV.

Forrester Research's Mr Josh Bernoff believes the Moxi threatens not just major consumer electronic companies, but also software providers and makers of current digital video recorders.

"The innovation coming out of this Moxi company is really a generation beyond what other companies are doing," Mr Bernoff said. "If it works, they'll own the world."

He says the company's business strategy differs markedly from rivals currently struggling to become profitable.

Moxi has no plans to manufacture the hardware itself, but plans to license the technology to cable and satellite TV operators.

Its system uses the open-source Linux operating system, meaning other companies can easily build their own applications into the platform and choose their own hardware and software partners.

PA