Earlier this week, Conceptronic, the people behind the highly acclaimed CFULLHDMA media streamer announced a new media box called YUIXX. Yikes? Not at all. It seems like this product might well bridge the gap between media streamers and full-fledged media center PCs. Judging from the specs, this thing will play back any type of file or stream you throw at it, either from the optional internal hard drive or through your network. In full HD. But what really sets it apart is that it can also record TV from one or two DVB-T tuners.
This is where the specs get a bit confusing. Engadget and Tweakers.net mention DVB-C and DVB-S support as well, but the press release doesn’t. DVB-C is the most commonly used standard in The Netherlands, and if this little gizmo were able to record in HD from it I’d certainly buy one. It would be able to replace both my DVD recorder and my DVB-C tuner and allow me to control everything through a very slick interface. Sweet.
Another factor makes a lot of people choose a media center PC over boxes like this is extensibility and codec support. This is where Conceptronic has really set itself apart over the last years. They’ve published a lot of firmware updates for the CFULLHDMA, and supported it really well. And the hardware used in the YUIXX might also help. They’re using a new Intel Platform called CE 3100 (aptly codenamed ‘Canmore’) which has all sorts of cool features, such as four layers of hardware accelerated graphics. And it runs Linux. Unlike earlier dedicated media player boxes, this is half a PC.
If the screenshots on one of the developer’s blog are any indication this thing will be simply awesome. It even does Yahoo widgets from the looks of it. And Flash. And it has a browser. And it… oh well. I’d be better off talking about what it doesn’t have. But for now, my only problem is that I haven’t got one to play with. How about a review unit, Conceptronic?