Digeo Moxi HD DVR The Digeo Difference

The Digeo Difference

Supporting a Web-enabled media hub and HD DVR in more than 100 cable markets across the country is a lot different than selling your average CE black box. Think of what’s involved in aggregating and managing more than 3,000 unique program guides, not to mention taking over as the first-line support for more than 2.5 million digital cable customers (and growing). Digeo’s headquarters is in my own backyard, so in late January, while reviewing the Moxi, I tripped over to the company’s Kirkland, Washington, facilities for a peek behind the curtain.

Digeo was founded in 1999 by Paul Allen, who had a degree of success back in the day with a startup called Microsoft. Moxi was acquired in 2002, and Greg Gudorf came in to lead the Moxi team based on his experience rolling out Sony’s DIRECTV set-top boxes years ago. Gudorf says Digeo is targeting the nation’s most discerning 12 to 15 million digital cable customers. It takes a big back end to fill an order like this. And Digeo’s got back. Its headquarters is loaded with banks of hardware in climate-controlled rooms. Overall, the place looks more like a network operations center than a hardware manufacturer. This is where Digeo monitors its network of remote servers that push and pull data to and from its customers’ boxes and the cable operators. It also does extensive QA and compatibility testing on all incoming channel streams on its network. Yes, that means it’s someone’s job to QA the adult channels’ content across the network (and no, I don’t know what your odds are of landing that job).

For Moxi owners, Digeo becomes your first line of 24/7 support for any issues with your cable or Moxi service. If a customer is experiencing any difficulties getting it up and running or staying that way, Digeo’s customer support reps (CSRs) can and will hot-conference in the cable company for resolution. Web-based tools allow the CSRs to connect to the customers’ boxes and perform diagnostics and correct issues remotely, in real time, just like a cable or satellite provider would. Rather than simply selling a box, Digeo is selling and supporting a vast network and customer support backbone.

More innovation promises to follow. Digeo has been granted 120 patents so far, and it has at least 50 more pending. Digeo was testing switched digital video when I was there, and that rollout is scheduled for this summer. This means it will have more digital channels on more cable systems. In addition, look for multiroom networking to expand the Moxi ecosystem with the introduction later this year of the Moxi Mate. This is a small, silent, Ethernet-driven box with no integral hard drive. It can stream recorded content to a Mate in any room(s) connected to a Moxi HD DVR via Ethernet, and by the fall, it will be able to stream live TV too. And of course, Tru2way is out there too.

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