updated 01:20 pm EDT, Thu August 23, 2007
DivX's AppleTV competitor
The owners of the DivX video codec have produced a prototype media streamer, one which appears to challenge the likes of the AppleTV. As opposed to the latter, which costs $300, the unnamed DivX system could be produced by a third party to meet a $100 retail price, according to DivX's co-founder, Jérôme Rota. It achieves this by omitting local storage, instead streaming media from a nearby PC, which is then simply processed locally in 720p. Similarly, the device's user interface is rendered on the PC to reduce dependence on extra processors.
The platform proposed by Rota would also be considerably more "open" than Apple's, or those found on similar devices. The center of the prototype is of course the DivX codec, which is favored by many users, but is blocked by the likes of Apple and Microsoft due to associations with piracy. The DivX company has also produced its own API, which allows the creation of user-made programs and plug-ins for media, or even games, all of which currently require hacking to install on the AppleTV.
Although Rota has demonstrated a working unit to the media, no timelines or other companies are currently attached for production. [via Ubergizmo]