updated 09:45 am EDT, Thu July 10, 2008
Kodak Theater HD
Kodak today dipped into the steadily growing field of networked media hubs through the Theater HD. The set-top box is capable of streaming music and up to 720p video from computers on the same Wi-Fi network and, like the Apple TV, is also capable of pulling information of its own: the device can stream Internet radio and YouTube videos, listen to podcasts, or view photo galleries from Flickr or Kodak Gallery without needing a first sync through a computer. Web channels also allow viewing certain websites in a TV-optimized format.
Its unique take on media allows it to interact both ways with photos. A USB port and an SD card reader let owners either view content directly from a camera's memory but also upload it to photo websites and send it to others through Kodak's own Picture Mail feature. Content accessed from the Theater HD can also be shared with nearby Kodak digital photo frames with Wi-Fi onboard.
Rather than orchestrate a full launch, the company plans a small-scale launch with Amazon, its own online store, and some Best Buy retail shops all carrying the Theater HD in September for $300. A more complete launch is expected later if the device proves successful.