What makes the ZvBox a bit different from other media extenders is that it works with your home's existing coaxial cables. In other words, you plug it into your PC so it can connect to the internet, and into your wall so it can broadcast throughout the house. Now any TV plugged into the wall can pick up your ZvBox content.
ZvBox makers ZeeVee were showing off the device at CONNECTIONS 2008, and eHomeUpgrade got chance to shoot some video of the $499 box in action. A few things I learned:
- The ZvBox remote controls your computer, so whatever your PC is doing is what shows up on the TV
- The other side of that coin is that you can't use your PC to do something else while someone is watching ZvBox content
- There's a good look at the web video interface, with content from Hulu, Jaman, YouTube, ABC News, and other sites
Startup ZeeVee announced its new set media streaming device, the ZvBox today. Unlik the Apple TV, Windows Media Extenders, or pretty much any other set top box designed to let you watch PC and internet content on your TV, the ZvBox works with your home's coaxial cable network. In other words, you plug the ZvBox into your PC so it can use your internet connection, and plug the other end into a spare cable jack. It will find a TV channel not currently used by your cable provider and allow create a new HD channel you to tune in to on any TV in the house to access the ZvBox service.
So what content can you access? Pretty much anything you can watch on your PC, including YouTube, Hulu, iTunes, BitTorrent, and Netflix content. If your PC has a DVD player, you can access that. If it has a TV tuner, you can use ZvBox to watch live TV.. on your TV. Or more to the point, you can set up a PVR in the bedroom and watch recorded shows on any TV in the house -- assuming you have cable in each room in the house. If you're in a bunny-ears only household, the ZvBox might not be the best solution.
The ZvBox (plus the ZvRemote control and Zview software -- they like the letter Z) will be available in June for $499.
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