Originally Posted by MarkHotchkiss
. . . and then release a version with a Netflix-certified Sigma SoC.
If they are abandoning it, I suspect that the Netflix problem is the reason.
If they were to decide to abandon the unit and stick it to all their paying beta-testers, their credibility in the media streamer segment would be in the toilet. The number of people willing to buy their next streamer upon release will be very small. Everyone will be waiting for someone else to buy one and report back.
The grand expectations for a modern media streamer are: play SD/HD video content; play streaming Internet content; play music; display photo libraries -- and do it all with a splashy GUI. I've come to the conclusion that therein lies the problem. Such a unit is simply too ambitious for all these small companies. The software development resources required to implement all those features well are in excess of what the market size for any one streamer can support. These small companies can't afford to dig a development cash hole for a new product like the majors can.
If you try to implement the grand vision with insufficient resources, you get the Neo 550.
If you scale back the vision to do one or possibly two things really well and within the limits of your resources, you get the Dune or PCH or the Boxee.
If you scale back the vision to meet a friendly price point, do several things adequately (but nothing = best in class) and garner enough sales to justify continued development of the limited vision, you get the WD Live HD series.