I have watched the Digeo Moxi DVR evolution since it came into the world seven years ago. It was vapor we loved to love, but now, it might actually be living-room ready. UPDATED
Like TiVo and other DVR products, the dilemma for the Moxi box was whether to encode re-digitize analog video or to get in bed with satellite and cable providers. They chose the latter, but found that the relationship was a little like a twentysomething aspiring actress "dating" a bigtime Hollywood producer who happened to be married. Comcast, Echostar and others may have promised a lot of good things—and Digeo backer Paul Allen certainly had some reason for keeping the company afloat so long—but we, the eager consumers, got nothin'.
I had over time grown so jaded about Moxi that CES 2009 came and went without me writing up this important bit of news: That the Digeo Moxi HD DVR was going on sale, direct to consumers.
What's great about Moxi? Even at the beginning, the interface was ahead of TiVo and everyone else, replacing layers with directional paths, kinda like kinda like Sony's Xross Media Bar (XMB), seen on the PS3 and newer electronics. Other Moxi boxes were more ambitious: One prototype had a built-in DVD player for single-box awesomeness. Another prototype featured unprecedented home video networking, bringing alive the dream of the DVR hub-and-spoke model for the home. These were mostly too good to be true, but the promise of a bold new DVR experience remained, echoing.
The Moxi HD DVR requires CableCard installation, but nothing else from your cable company. The
$400 $800 box—priced just over TiVo HD XL in spite of a smaller drive—requires no monthly fees, can record 75 hours of HD content on its 500GB hard drive, has fluid navigation and a filter that automatically puts all HD content where you can find it easily.