updated 05:27 pm EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Streaming set-top box being offered to TWC subscribers
Fan TV, a set-top box from Fanhattan and designer Yves Behar unveiled last year, has signed a deal with Time Warner Cable, and has opened up for pre-orders. The device, which combines a number of streaming services in a similar way to the Roku and other media streamers, aims to streamline the viewing experience for users, and will be offered to Time Warner subscribers in the future.
Stopping short of being a replacement cable box, Fan TV will provide live and on-demand programming via its own version of the TWC TV app, with its DVR function arriving soon after launch. The usual channel interface typically used by cable set-top boxes has been added to by options to sort shows and movies by genre, actor, title, and what is trending with other users and Facebook friends, and the option to add shows to watch lists. Streaming from Crackle, Redbox Instant, and Rhapsody will be available, with Target Ticket shortly afterward, though it also plans to add other services to its roster over time.
The entire system is relatively compact, consisting of a small set-top box paired with a small button less remote. Acting like a trackpad or tablet, the remote can be used to navigate the menu using swipes, with tapping to confirm. The set-top box, capable of showing 1080p and 720p images with stereo or Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, uses a TI dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage. On the back is a HDMI 1.3 port and an Ethernet port, with extra connectivity provided by Bluetooth LE, Wi-Fi, and its built-in IR receiver.
The Fan TV is being sold at pre-order for $99, though this will rise to $149 closer to its shipment in the coming months.