VWB Boxes Up CableCARD


Video Without Boundaries Inc. is rolling out a new Internet multimedia set-top that also tucks in a CableCARD slot for access to cable TV.

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based maker of Internet devices will unveil its new “MediaREADY 6000” box at the upcoming 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

With DVD, MP3 and CD recording and playback capabilities, the MediaREADY 6000 also includes a built-in CableCARD module. The CableCARD feature will allow users to subscribe to any major cable operator’s service and start receiving digital-video TV content without having to obtain a set-top box from the MSO.

As with its sibling MediaREADY boxes, the new unit is powered by a Linux operating system and supports broadband Internet and either wired or wireless home-networking connections.

It also sports a slew of features, including Internet browser, e-mail capability, a 200-gigabyte upgradeable hard-disk drive, a digital-video recorder, DVD-recording support, support for HD MPEG-2 (Moving Picture Expert Group) and MPEG-4 coded video and support for voice-over-Internet-protocol videoconferencing.

But all of that doesn’t come cheap -- the MediaREADY 6000 will carry a recommended price of $1,249. VWB plans to start shipping the box to computer and consumer electronics retailers starting in the second quarter of 2006.

"The MediaREADY 6000 puts users ahead of the curve, making them ready for the next big waves of opportunity," VWB CEO Jeffrey Harrell said in a release. "MediaREADY 6000 owners will be able to take advantage of emerging technologies such as VoIP phone calling right from their living rooms, while also eliminating the need for separate cable boxes."