updated 10:20 am EDT, Fri October 6, 2006
Akimbo MovieLink Upgrade
While the Slingbox line of media hubs are meant to stream TV signals to the Internet, the sometimes overlooked Akimbo service works in reverse, delivering Internet content to a TV. Most of its content has been specially offered through subscriptions; today, however, Akimbo revealed that it is releasing a new RCA Akimbo Player which now includes 100 hours of standard-definition video storage and, most importantly, support for purchases from online store MovieLink. Subscribers to the $10 per month Akimbo service can buy classics as well as new releases and view them directly on a TV through the new RCA-made equipment. Akimbo notes that the improved hardware also has component video out and an optional WiFi adapter.
Existing subscribers can upgrade to the new device for a $30 shipping fee when it ships the week of October 23rd, Akimbo says. New subscribers can purchase the Akimbo Player for $180.
The significance of the announcement is magnified by its similarity to Apple's as yet unreleased iTV hub. As viewing movies purchased online forms a cornerstone of Apple's upcoming TV strategy, the Akimbo update represents a threat by delivering this feature months ahead of the iTV's anticipated early 2007 release.