Ok, here is the latest direct from the horses mouth. In no particular order;
Allen is hoping by the end of the month. Looks like a crap shoot for them and CM to see which is first. The current delay is firmware tweaking (he called it software). The hardware has been already tested.
One sticky point is the EPG. He/they understand the limitations PSIP, but want to offer a reasonable priced service.
The unit will look like the 8VX (a 205 tuner in black and a similar front panel layout), a metal
case, not plastic that was what is shown for the eZ1. This is a huge improvement since that other prototype looked like a $30 converter box;http://epvision.com/HDTVSTB/phd8vxmain.htmhttp://epvision.com/HDTVSTB/phd8vxside.htmhttp://epvision.com/HDTVSTB/phd8vxfront.htmhttp://epvision.com/HDTVSTB/phd8vxback.htm
It will have:
1. The A/V switcher provision and upscaler built in (like the 8VX). This puts this in a major step league,,
RF inputs with separate memories for ATSC & QAM for a total of four memory banks (I really can't see the benefit here even after he explained it to me),
3. A NTSC tuner, but only for live viewing,
4. A conventional AC power cord, no 'brick',
5. Two USB ports for external HDD's, but NO
provision for an internal drive. (A big mistake AFAIC). Since this will be a 'media reader' it will be able to read most HDD's.
It won't have;
A. Provisions for a internal HDD even though there appears to be enough room. This is a major mistake. Period. I understand the advantage of external storage, but at least allow placement on a internal HDD with the ability not to install one,
B. A CC slot with provision for a 'modem interface' for SDV systems, either with the 1st or the 2nd version due to complexity and lack of interest, unless they can be shown there actually is interest here
C. An encoder to record
analog channels due to cost (an additional $40 was the estimate),
D. The ability to format a HDD from the DVR. That has to be done through a PC (if I understood him correctly),
E. The ability to directly interface with a PC (USB to USB).
The first version will only have a PSIP EPG, but through firmware upgrades a full guide will be available as a option (like the CM) in future versions. The customer will deal directly with the supplier for the subscription. The projected cost should be around $25 a year.
They are in negotiations with Internet 'streaming' services, but no Netflix due to Netflix. (Netflix too large, they are too small and the fact Netflix isn't in the best of financial condition)
Would you believe I forgot to ask about price?