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Star Power with XStreamHD

When Academy Award winner Michael Douglas was announced to be part of XStreamHD's CES press conference, a number of us in the press corps thought, wow now that's a heavy hitter for a spokesperson! Well, in introducing XStreamHD to the assembled press Douglas revealed that his involvement is far deeper- he's one of the company's group of private investors. So, what is XStreamHD?

XStreamHD at its core is a satellite-based HD content delivery system. It uses a DISH/DirecTV sized dish in conjunction with a home media server and home media receiver units. From the media server GigE Ethernet transports digital content to HDMI 1.3-equipped media receiver in the household, or streams to DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) compliant devices, which now include Sony's PlayStation3, and plasmas and Blu-ray Disc players from Pioneer, among others.

What's most fascinating and potentially compelling here is that XStreamHD is aiming far higher than current digital broadcast HD in terms of quality. They're talking full 1080p video and DTS-HD Master Audio sound. They're talking of challenging Blu-ray and HD DVD for image quality supremacy, they're talking nothing short of master quality picture and sound, in an easily accessible fashion.

No content deals are inked yet, and until they are the pricing model will not fully emerge, but it's expected to be a hybrid subscription, pay-per-view system. TV content will also be offered and managed through the system, and while the system is complex in its flexibility, the goal for the end user experience is simplicity. XStreamHD is expecting to go to market later this year, so look for more coverage and details as they come available.

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