Remember Digeo's Moxi? After spending years in development, the DVR start-up was aiming to go head-to-head with TiVo by offering a DVR system optimized for sharing home recordings between multiple rooms in the home. We even got to see a demo and thought it looked pretty good. But it's a tall order to sell consumers on paying for a DVR--even one with some compelling value-added features--when they're used to leasing one that's "good enough" from their cable company with no up-front cost. The last we heard was that Digeo hit a rough patch (even before the current financial crisis), and canceled its then-current DVR products.
But blogger Dave Zatz has spotted what appears to be a new Moxi HD DVR. The updated model seems to offer all of the standard DVR accouterments (dual HD tuners, CableCard support) and a few TiVo-style extras (expandable storage, remote scheduling, Flickr access, and music streaming). Gone--or at least unmentioned--are an over-the-air tuner and room-to-room video streaming.
Right now, Digeo is selling the Moxi DVR directly to consumers through Amazon. But the $800 price tag will undoubtedly induce sticker shock. That's without a TiVo-style subscription fee (at least for now), but your cable company will still be taking its pound of flesh with CableCard rentals, service fees, and franchise fees. Meanwhile, Moxi lacks the growing boatload of Internet-delivered subscription and pay-per-view features that TiVo's been amassing to distinguish itself from generic cable DVRs (Netflix, Rhapsody, CinemaNow, Live365, and YouTube).
Digeo's expected to launch the new Moxi officially at CES 2009. Perhaps then we'll get more clarification as to how the company expects to compete at that price point. Until then, I'd say an $800 DVR has a tough row to hoe.