It Streamed From Outer Space

Could this be the Blockbuster-buster? The Netflix-kiss-of-death? The gear that will make Blu-ray blue?

Could be, if this future-ware, called XstreamHD, delivers on its many, sterling promises. This upcoming satellite system is supposed to deliver full 1080p HD MPEG 4 video and 7.1-channel lossless audio at 80 megabytes per second - on demand (well, sort of; you pick a movie or program and XStreamHD downloads it from outer-space).

The signal will go from your XStreamHD satellite dish to its media server (which can store up to 2 terabytes) to XStreamHD media receivers in your house via an Ethernet network. In fact, company founder and CEO George Gonzales claims the server can stream up to four full HD programs at a time, plus, it can also act as a DVR (over-the-air broadcast signals can also be captured). Says Gonzalez, "I loved my TiVo - until my XStreamHD system came out, of course."

Oh, and did we mention movie star Michael Douglas is an investor and the face the company paraded out at its CES press conference?

All this (except Michael Douglas) can be yours for $399 (the price of the hardware, not including the cost of renting or purchasing content).

XStreamHD's due out in North America and the Caribbean by October. Well, assuming all those loose ends get tied up by then. For instance: The company is still working on getting satellite space. Plus, it has yet to make deals with Hollywood studios for content. However, Gonzalez promises, "The studios are well aware of our services. The content deals will come later this year."

Guess Douglas made a few phone calls.

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