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XStreamHD Promises HD From The Heavens

Las Vegas — A new service promising to deliver 1080p HD video content and lossless DTS audio to homes via satellite made its debut yesterday at International CES.

At a press conference, here, XStreamHD CEO George Gonzalez, flanked by actor/investor Michael Douglas, introduced the company’s HD delivery system that is expected to launch in the fourth quarter.

According to Gonzalez, the company will likely employ a “hybrid” pricing model — with some titles available on a pay-per-view basis and others on a subscription basis. Content and studio partnerships have yet to be established, Gonzalez said. The company plans to distribute the hardware directly on its Web site through retail and through custom installation channels, he added.

The hardware, which consists of a satellite dish, media receiver and media server is expected to sell for $399. The home server will be available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities, with the ability to swap-out drives or connect to external storage for additional memory.

The satellite service delivers 1080p video and uncompressed DTS HD master audio to a home media server. XStreamHD supports MPEG-2 and MPEG-4/h.264 video codecs in both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios. It can send up to four full HD video streams to DLNA-enabled devices throughout the home, Gonzalez said.

It also features three ATSC tuners and a network video recorder for viewing and recording three HDTV broadcasts simultaneously. A new “adaptive recording” feature will recognize when a program ends in the event of a schedule change, so recordings aren’t truncated, Gonzalez said.

The receiver features a gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI interface and a front-panel USB port.