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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.
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