If you've been around long enough, you'll remember All Giz Wants—our series of fanciful and unlikely wishlist items that would totally make this the Best Holidays Ever if we got them. Here's one I've been wishing for for the better part of a decade: an all-in-one set top box that does everything.
Here's what we mean. Look at your entertainment system. If you're like us, you might have a TiVo (or a provider-branded box), a gaming system, a DVD player, a high-def DVD player a Slingbox and an AppleTV. Why do we need all this crap? This is what we want in a set top box:
• HD DVR Functinality. For example, a TiVo or a Windows Media Center box's video recording capabilities.
• DVD, HD DVD, Blu-ray playback. All in one.
• Gaming. Throw an Xbox 360/PS3/Wii in there and we've got ourselves a date. Oh, and we'll want PC gaming as well.
• Slingbox-style broadcasting. Have this box stream to every device you own, be it PSP, iPhone, Windows Mobile or a laptop.
• On Demand. Make it friendly with your cable provider's content.
• Format Agnostic. Want Apple's movies? Done. Want Amazon's movies? Done. Want Netflix's movies? Done. Make it play back content from every digital online store.
• Friendly interface. Everyone loves the TiVo interface, but let's take that an expand it to encompass every sort of media you could want to play back on this miracle box.
• Plug and Play with other devices. Got a Zune that you want to play back music from? Just dock it into the box. Got a camera you shot an hour of footage with and want to watch? Plug it in.
We suppose the closest thing to this box is an actual PC, so you could get a kind of reasonable approximation if you stuck a Mac or a Vista HTPC machine to your TV. It wouldn't have all the features, and it wouldn't be nearly as friendly as we want, but that's why this is a wishlist.