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XStreamHD Braces For April 30 Rollout

4/19/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

MCLEAN, VA — Following agonizingly
slow product testing procedures
by the Federal Communications Commission
and UL, the high-quality satellite-
delivered movie and music service
XStreamHD is now marking April 30 as
the official ship date for its home system
components and services.

After more than two years since first
announcing plans for the service, George
Gonzalez, XStreamHD CEO, told
TWICE everything looks good for a public
demonstration of final production products
at the Consumer Electronics Association’s
CES On The Hill summit in
Washington this month.

XStreamHD recently invited TWICE
to the company’s offices just outside of the
nation’s Capitol to demonstrate the quality
of the “Blu-ray quality” movies the system
promises to carry, and although the
company was not ready to divulge studio
partners or title names, Gonzalez assured
that a slate of offerings should be in
queue by May 1.

Studios have no issues with the service’s
copy-protection systems and many
will be providing popular movies through
the service shortly, he said.

As previously reported, XStreamHD will provide a whole-home HD entertainment
solution offering FullHD
(1080p) video content at Blu-ray Disc
quality resolution and bit rates, and up to
7.1 channels of losslessly compressed audio,
including DTS-HD Master Audio
and FLAC, via satellite.

Content, which is continuously cached
on hard drives in the system server in
the home so titles are ready for playback
on the studio’s release date, will include
movies, music and electronic games.
XStreamHD said content will be delivered
in higher-quality formats and bit
rates than is practical or possible from
Internet, cable, telco or other satellite-delivered
streaming-media services.

Hardware will include an HD media
server with large-volume hard-disk drives
and a choice of two HD receivers to access
multi-streamed signals throughout
the house both from the service and from
other DNLA-certified devices, including
HDTVs, laptops, audio equipment and
game consoles.

ZigBee PRO networking technology
will be included to address both current
needs and future developments, the company
said.

The remote control system — called
the XStreamHD RF One — will employ
ZigBee PRO and Jennic’s JN5148
ultra-low-power wireless microcontroller
technology. It will use both RF and IR
technology to allow the XStreamHD
media receivers to be located out of the
line of sight.

It supports over-the-air downloads and
multi-image boot loading, with future proofing features.

The entry system will sell for $399 and
will include a 1TB media server that can
play content from the satellite or HD video
recorded via the three built-in ATSC
tuners. A dish (measuring 75cm for most
of the U.S.) and install kit will run $99, or
professional installation will be available for
an additional charge, determined by area.

The service imposes a $9 monthly fee
for administration, onscreen guide and
other services, and per-title movie rental
will run between $3 and $6, on average.
Purchase options will also be available.

One HD media receiver is included in
the equipment fee to extend the signal into
another room, along with such accessories
as the ZigBee RF remote and cables. The
step-up Pro Media Receiver version will
sell for $100 more, and will include 7.1-
channel analog outputs for a multichannel
ready receivers and preamps.