updated 10:45 am EDT, Thu May 1, 2008
Startup firm ZeeVee today offered up an unusual take on media streaming hubs with the ZvBox (link active soon). Rather than operate on a traditional home network, the device draws on the raw VGA (or adapted DVI) video output from a computer as well as a user's existing cable TV wiring; linking the two with a ZvBox automatically creates a new 1080i HD station in an unoccupied cable channel that can then be accessed by any HDTV in the home.
The solution is a more definitive solution to media streaming than IP-based devices such as the Apple TV, the company says, as it effectively eliminates software limits. Anything displayable by a computer can be visible on a TV, permitting not just unusual formats or software but also content that would normally stay trapped in web browsers, such as NBC's Hulu service or web browsing itself. The creation of an automatic, self-distributing channel also saves owners from having to buy more than one hub.
Remote control is still possible with through the ZvKeyboard, the company says. The peripheral substitutes for both the mouse and keyboard and operates as far as 150 feet away from the host computer.
ZeeVee plans to ship the ZvBox on June 30th and will sell the complete bundle for $499. Preorders will be accepted through Amazon ahead of the official ship date.