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TiVo++ from India

timothy posted about 11 years ago | from the still-testing-though dept.

Television 161

charmer writes "According to a story in rediff, a company in India, Divinet Technologies, have developed a set top box that plays video cds, offers sms, email, chat, plays mp3s, acts as a game box, has a web cam, video on demand, and a digital VCR, and has a multilingual interface (a necessity in India.) And it looks pretty good too :-) No pricing given though."

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161 comments

Real-Video-on-Demand, RealMedia (2, Funny)

dpryo (606092) | about 11 years ago | (#5563443)

Is that REAL Video-on-Demand, or RealVideo-on-Demand?

Re:Real-Video-on-Demand, RealMedia (1)

psylent (638032) | about 11 years ago | (#5563462)

think it won't be video on demand right now.. maybe more of channel-on-demand. Also I have a strong doubt about rate of acceptance... technology has a very large momentum in India.... but I guess it is a real cool toy to have!

Re:Real-Video-on-Demand, RealMedia (1)

DJPenguin (17736) | about 11 years ago | (#5563696)

Cor... channel on demand! You could just... press a button... and have a channel! These clever Indians never cease to amaze me!

Re:Real-Video-on-Demand, RealMedia (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5564377)

Ridiculous, you cannot understand english. What the fuck man you will pay monthly charge for all the channels from Comcast or AT&T without even watching the channel. That is where channel on demand comes in. God give some brains to these arrogant Americans.

Amazing: read this (1)

samjam (256347) | about 11 years ago | (#5564032)

The icing on this huge cake is the email and chat without an Internet connection.

The shame is that it doesn't have an internet connection?

you can chat online (when you're not actually 'online')

Wow, thats pretty tricky

The email can be in any Indian language

No english then?

Seriously, it does look like it has everything.
I want one.

Me want one, too (1)

Provocateur (133110) | about 11 years ago | (#5564555)

Interesting, broadband at less than the cost of dialup...what a concept

ANd since tech jobs are moving to India...hmmmm

cool (-1, Offtopic)

psylent (638032) | about 11 years ago | (#5563444)

a wice box for my vices (namely wasting time on the internet and watching mindless television shows) .... also fRiSt post!!!

Available Out Of India? (3, Interesting)

traskjd (580657) | about 11 years ago | (#5563445)

I wonder if this will be available outside of India? It sounds like a cool device to have!

I mean I really can't be bothered building a small computer just to integrate into my home tv setup.

Of course the price could end up being more than building your own computer to connect up?

This is not a standalone unit - don't order this. (5, Insightful)

yo303 (558777) | about 11 years ago | (#5563710)

Most of the functionality of this device comes from the way it works as part of a network; the inexpensive client receives services from the central server. A WICE box won't work if it's by itself.

From the article (you did, read it, didn't you?)

"It consists of a Distribution Module (DM) box installed in every building or multi-dwelling unit (MDU), with a WICE box in every user's house. Each DM supports 16 users. A single wire brings you all the services."
If you did buy one of these, you'd have to run that wire all the way back to India.

yo.

Stretching (4, Interesting)

Mtn_Dewd (15169) | about 11 years ago | (#5563449)

Could they have jam-packed ONE more area of technology into this box? It seems that the only thing they forgot to include was a detachable PDA or perhaps an integrated Gameboy.

Don't get me wrong. I want one. Now.
Any plans to come to the US soon?

Re:Stretching (1)

TheEnglishPatient (173496) | about 11 years ago | (#5563570)

It probably won't be much use to you if it did come to the US as India uses PAL not NTSC. However, over here in good ol' England we can't wait
N

Re:Stretching (1)

psylent (638032) | about 11 years ago | (#5563691)

doesnt matter. ntsc and pal differ only in the signalling voltages and frequencies and ofcourse the way colour (chroma) is represented. it shouldnt be difficult to make an NTSC version.

Article Text (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5563456)

A TV set that combines the Internet with a VCR, Web cam, Karaoke system and more. Possible? Yes

To begin at the beginning, a couple of questions: What costs less than a dial-up connection, but gives you broadband Internet access upto 10 MB per second? What uses your TV set to offer Real-Video-on-Demand, SMS, email, chat, unlimited MP3s, online gaming, video-conferencing, telephony, and interactive education? What doubles up as your VCD, Web cam, Karaoke system, jukebox and VCR?

The answer: The WICE box.

Developed by P R Eknath, Sanjay Wandhekar, and B P Narayan -- founder members of CDAC, the brains behind India's PARAM-supercomputer, and currently the management team at Divinet Access Technologies Ltd, Pune -- this little gizmo is no larger than an overhead projector. Called the WICE (Window for Information, Communication and Entertainment) Box, or WICEMAN, it is Eknath's brainchild; his dream of creating a generic platform that can run any application.

The best thing is, it is a boon to India's Net users.

"The actual implementation was done by Sanjay Wandhekar, ex-coordinator of hardware technology group at C-DAC," says Eknath. Wandhekar has more than a decade of experience in systems and ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) design and is an expert in converting scientific concepts into marketable products. "Name the application and we will make it happen on this network," he adds, confidently.

The technology, also known as RAMNet (Remote Access Metropolitan Network), runs on a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN). Eknath explains: "Being in a local loop, the speed is tremendous and a digital signal ensures the highest quality with zero distortion. It consists of a Distribution Module (DM) box installed in every building or multi-dwelling unit (MDU), with a WICE box in every user's house. Each DM supports 16 users. A single wire brings you all the services."

Plug your TV into the WICE box and a fluorescent green menu prompts you to select from live channels, Video-on-Demand (VOD), MP3 music, chat and learning, email and SMS. The joy comes from knowing that you pay only for the TV channels you watch!

"We are implementing a Conditional Access System (CAS)," says Eknath. "No more paying for 80 channels when all you want is Star Plus and BBC. Also, you can record your favourite TV programmes and view them at leisure, just like a VCR." You can also record remotely, using SMS!

VOD lets you watch your choice of movie at your convenience. You can fast-forward, rewind or pause, as if it's your own mini-movie theatre. "In fact, one client wants to build movie theatres with no regular movies running. You hire the theatre, select the movie and watch it with your own crowd," says Eknath. Stunned yet? There's more. Such as unlimited MP3 titles. You can also use the Karaoke function and re-record classics using your own voice.

The icing on this huge cake is the email and chat without an Internet connection. When Anupam, Divinet's multilingual software expert (and also the brain behind CDAC's GIST technology), actually sent me email on my cellular phone using the TV set I was staring at, I began looking at it as if it were the eighth wonder of the world.

The email can be in any Indian language, you can chat online (when you're not actually 'online'), and even see the person you're talking to if you choose video-conferencing. Your email address is Yourname.number@DivinetAccess.com [mailto], incorporating a unique identification number for every user.

If that's not enough, the RAMNet also allows you to SMS without a cellular phone. Type your message on the TV screen, enter the recipient's number and send. Since it runs on MAN, the services are within your city limits, but Eknath soon plans to provide inter-city access using content replication. "There is no need for movies and MP3 files to travel globally. They can be accessed from a local server at higher speed and resolution," he says.

Avid surfers can connect their computers to the WICE box and surf at any speed they choose. If you register for a 64Kbps connection but want to surf at 10 MBps for just 10 minutes, you can, while paying extra for those 10 minutes alone. Depending on which plan you go for -- Normal, Premium or Gold -- your options increase in terms of speed and pricing. You can choose your own ISP and there is no fixed monthly fee. You only pay for what you use. "An ordinary user can now be at par with a multinational user like IBM or Wipro when required," says Eknath. "We call it Broadband at Dial-up Cost."

This Internet service has already been available in select areas in Pune for the last few months, with 500 users logged on.

"Eknath is very futuristic," says Deviprasad Rao, Public Relations Consultant at Divinet. "The technology they have developed is even better than the PARAM. It is in line with the concept of High Definition Television (HDTV) that exists only in theory so far."

"The idea is to bring email and chat services to non-PC users," says Eknath. "We started testing with the Internet service, which was a huge success. Now, the other services are also available. The WICE box is in testing phase but will hit the market in two months."

The potential is tremendous, and applications of the technology can only be left to one's imagination. In the field of education, for example, RAMNet will help rich schools diversify their resources to poorer corporation schools simply by connecting them via the network and installing TV screens in each classroom. Students can view lectures held anywhere in the city, submit assignments online, clarify doubts and have their test scores displayed on screen automatically.

"The controls lie in the teacher's hands, so it doesn't become a fish-market," says Eknath. "If you connect a printer to your WICE-box, the teacher can send you printed notes over the network. You can also hold private sessions for extra tutoring."

Similarly, corporates can share expensive software over the RAMNet, work-from-home options will become more feasible, doctors can monitor critical patients from home, online shopping will move into T-commerce (Television-Commerce), and credit card fraud will be impossible as the WICE-box uses fingerprints instead of credit card numbers for identification. Salesmen can come on-screen, market goods, let you bargain and bring in the personal touch currently missing in e-commerce. Eknath calls it "reality shopping."

"The capacity of the network is so large that we would rather use it than waste it," he says. "People still don't believe something so ingenious has been built in India. Our credibility is being questioned," adds Rao. "But the market is warming up to the idea after some public-education via the media. The response is tremendous and people can't wait to get connected. There is very little business-response yet, more of home-user-response, especially in Pune."

What we can expect, then, is little short of a revolution. "If it penetrates the market, the government will have to change the ISP act and Telephone Authority Act. Movie theatres, mobile phones and Internet businesses will crash. An advertising war will begin again. It is a scary technology," says Rao. "Funding the initial infrastructure and educating people are the two main challenges we face, but we are determined to do what it takes," adds Eknath. With this aim, Divinet has already set up showcase centres in Dubai and the US, with plans to have a mobile demo of the product too.

B P Narayanan, CEO-MD, Divinet Technologies Ltd, ex-founder-member of C-DAC, recipient of the prestigious Udyog Ratan and Bharat Udyog Goldstar Award, says: "Divinet has spent over Rs 100 million in the project so far, over the last three and half years. Raising funds was not too difficult because people knew about our sound track record in innovating technologies." The company also received USD 150,000 as prize money, thanks to the first E-Biz challenge award instituted by Dubai Internet City [dubaiinternetcity.com] for world-class innovative e-business ideas.

"The future is convergence," says Narayanan. "We believe in our strengths to meet this expectation. Divinet is the only company in the world today to create such a future-proof integrated technology that delivers multiple services on a large network. Our initial target is 1,00,000 users in the next financial year, and the necessary tie-ups are in place. We do not have any competitors yet. This technology is the first of its kind."

If it works, your TV will never be the same again.

I have to wonder... (3, Insightful)

Yanna (188771) | about 11 years ago | (#5563460)

if this is one of the dreaded consequences of outsourcing jobs to India.

I mean, the development of these type of technology used to be the patrimony of the US. Later on, it shifted to Far East (Japan) and now we see really cool gadgets being developed in India.

A sign of what's to come? Is this the result of the US losing their position as main providers of R&D? What will be left afterwards? An economy of service?

Re:I have to wonder... (2, Interesting)

psylent (638032) | about 11 years ago | (#5563478)

kind of reminds me of simputer link... real big hoopla and enthusiasm when it was launched (I was interested and followed it till recently) and now... I just hope it sells well. Go India! Also for those following cricket.. watch India thrash Australia.

Re:I have to wonder... (5, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | about 11 years ago | (#5563539)

"this is one of the dreaded consequences of outsourcing jobs to India."

Oddly enough, American technology is to a large extent, devleoped by Indians. Consider this: about 30% of Microsoft employees are Indians. Similarly, NASA has more than 25% Inidans.Outside of Seattle, the only other development centers for MS is in Hyderabad, Inida and Israel.
Secondly, remember that American Corporate success depends on countries like India for their markets. Why'd you think Bill Gates spent 4 days in India? Philanthropy? AIDS aids? Think again.

"I mean, the development of these type of technology used to be the patrimony of the US."

See what this has led to... most of the innovation in the US suffers from this self-centred outlook. The Media-Center PC edition is an example. Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic etc. have now joined to put Linux onto their electronics. American tech focusses on 'lock-in' and 'lock-out' rather than 'features' and open-ness. Take GPS, Qualcomm, Microsoft and Adobe as examples.
Cellphones within the US are generally a few generations behind Europe, Japan and even India!!

" Is this the result of the US losing their position as main providers of R&D?"

On the contrary, it's the result of pampering a few US entities for actions which Americans wouldn't stand for, from other nations. I'd name Microsoft, Adobe, Qualcomm etc. in this list.
It's also a result of the American education system, though I'd need to write a lot to explain this.

"What will be left afterwards?"

The fruits of what's been sown. For starters, I'd suggest Americans need to be more understanding, tolerant and mature. There's no need to get angry at the French or paranoid about job-loss to third-world Indians. A little introspection will go a long way.

Re:I have to wonder... (3, Interesting)

Yanna (188771) | about 11 years ago | (#5563576)

I couldn't have said it better myself. The only reason I came with those questions is because I follow your line of thought exactly. I was just curious as to how others see the situation.

I feel for the average American who has troubles to make ends meet. I feel for anyone, American or not, who works for a meager salary and this shifting into development to other countries rather than US will only bring poverty to people who do not have a safety net.

I used to be socialist, then I moved to Europe and saw first hand what a crippled, backwards system socialism can be and now I no longer know what I am... but one thing is sure, I sleep better knowing that there is a layer of protection between me and abject poverty.

Anyways, not to go off topic, what I meant to say is that if this trend continues, we can expect to see more troubles for the average American. That's never a good thing and not because they are Americans, but because they have the same rights than anyone else to make a decent life.

Forget about Top-Down socialism (2, Insightful)

ArcSecond (534786) | about 11 years ago | (#5563826)

I am convinced that socialist goals are valid: why NOT organize social activities so that you build up social "wellness" in balance with a development of capital?

The two classic problems, as I see them come from BOTH sides... Capital is mis-defined, and Social planning for the "Common Good" makes no sense when it is being carried out by a priveleged class of managers.

So , redefine Capital as EVERYTHING you need to produce: ie, traditional capital + the bioinfrastructure we need for life on earth. How can you produce in a vacuum (literally). If you were on the ISS you would take into account the effect your activities were having on your life support system, so why not Here On Earth?

As for Socialism, it has mostly been a lie. Most of what passes for "Socialism" is just an extension of the Capitalist Welfare State. Ie: let's have social programs run by bureacracy and private corporations. Meh. How are you going to guarantee the effectiveness of such programs if their MAIN stakeholders are SYSTEMATICALLY EXCLUDED from developing vision, mission, policy, and decision-making? How? You aren't.

So, I would call the direction I am heading as Libertarian Socialism or just plain Anarchism. A social "order" based around ecological and democratic principles. A diminishing of hierarchy, and an activist-lead process.

I don't have illusions about this happening any time soon. It is a movement, not a destination. Anarchists should NOT be utopians, or discordians, or terrorists. This is too serious for that kind of kid stuff.

Re:I have to wonder... (2, Interesting)

jandersen (462034) | about 11 years ago | (#5563559)

Yes, it is a sign of what's to come. All analysts (ie the ones I have read/heard) seem to agree that the West and especially the US have reached the end of the line, so to speak. We may be fabulously rich and have big military power, but since our economy is based on growth alone, and we have nowhere to grow anymore, we've only got one way to go: down.



Well, what about the 'emerging markets' - China, India, ... ? Do you really think they are as stupid as just letting Western businesses in and take over everything? Think again.

Re:I have to wonder... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5563640)

Indeed.

Western capitalist markets are based on continuous long term growth. Yet it is plain obvious that the markets cannot grow forever. This means that system is fundamentally flawed and will have to be modified in the future towards conservation of resources, controlled markets and zero-growth economies.

How this will be achieved, however, is unclear since the public has been brainwashed to believe that (representative) democracy and capitalism are the same thing. Just try saying that there is something wrong about capitalism or the reckless consumption based societies and you are immediatelly labelled as a luddite and communist who is hell-bent on replacing democracy with a Soviet-like dictatoriship.

Re:I have to wonder... (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 11 years ago | (#5564251)

"Western capitalist markets are based on continuous long term growth. Yet it is plain obvious that the markets cannot grow forever"

Plainly obvious to who, exactly?

"This means that system is fundamentally flawed and will have to be modified in the future towards conservation of resources, controlled markets and zero-growth economies."

Ah, commies. I see.

Re:I have to wonder... (2, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | about 11 years ago | (#5563815)

since our economy is based on growth alone, and we have nowhere to grow anymore, we've only got one way to go: down.

You are right to a point. The American economy has gradually shifted to servicing only the get-rich-quick markets. Now, the US may be in for a serious depression, but I don't think it's appropriate to call it the end of the line. Companies will simply (*GASP*) have to go back to making good products that consumers want, then all will be right with the world once again(tm). Until then, enjoy the slide.

Re:I have to wonder... (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 11 years ago | (#5564441)

[quote]since our economy is based on growth alone, and we have nowhere to grow anymore, we've only got one way to go: down.[/quote]

Which sounds rather like something someone in the 70s would have said about, say, the Japanese taking over the auto market and much of other US manufacturing industry. Oops, then we discovered personal computers and there came another thirty years of growth based on new technology.

America only has "nowhere to grow anymore" if people decide to sit on their backsides and whine rather than go out and develop new technologies that people want to buy. Unfortunately in the current political climate it's almost certain those technologies would be unable to grow due to excessive regulation and lawsuits, which is why they're being developed elsewhere... if America goes down economically it will be because of rampaging government and lawyers, not because of the failure of capitalism.

CDAC setup to build supercomputers (5, Insightful)

sonamchauhan (587356) | about 11 years ago | (#5563618)

... if this is one of the dreaded consequences of outsourcing jobs to India.

Hmm - No. Not due to job outsourcing... but its certainly a result of technology that was born in the US.

I said "No" because the people behind this are (from the article) "founder members of CDAC, the brains behind India's PARAM-supercomputer". If I recall correctly, CDAC was setup [cdacindia.com] by the Government of India in the late 80s as a direct consequence of the US *withholding* export of supercomputers to India for fear it would be used for defense research (more specifically, nuclear research). As a result, the CDAC people built massively parallel supercomputers from off-the-shelf CPUs (IIRC, they still used American CPUs - off-the-shelf 8086s (?) to begin with). They have some very cluey guys with a lot of experience born from research efforts [cdacindia.com] like creating the complex electronics for interfacing supercomputers. Now it seems some of those people are moving to the private sector - kind of like with Govt. spending jumpstarting the computer revolution in the US.

A sign of what's to come? Is this the result of the US losing their position as main providers of R&D? What will be left afterwards? An economy of service?

I think every country needs a *balance* of free trade and protection of weaker industries. A "we can sell to you, but you can't sell to us" mentality is ultimately is bad for everyone concerned; from what I understand, 2/3rds of US income derives from exports.

At the end of the day, I'm sure your leaders have an eye on industry and employment figures. If not, you elect new ones.

Re:CDAC setup to build supercomputers (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 11 years ago | (#5564513)

"I think every country needs a *balance* of free trade and protection of weaker industries"

Sure, if you want to be poor. In the short term, allowing weak industries to fail may be harmful to the people who work in them, but in the long term, "protecting" them makes everyone poor.

No-one benefits from having to pay artificially high prices for the goods they buy due to protectionist policies, and the money spent on those weak industries could much better be spent developing real, profitable new products that people really want to buy instead. This is such basic economics that it's hard to see how anyone could actually believe that "protecting" weak industries is a good thing unless they're selfishly trying to keep their own job at other people's expense.

Re:I have to wonder... (5, Insightful)

cioxx (456323) | about 11 years ago | (#5563620)

I mean, the development of these type of technology used to be the patrimony of the US. Later on, it shifted to Far East (Japan) and now we see really cool gadgets being developed in India.

Do you seriously think that US companies could not have invented a convergence box like the one above? Absolutely not. Afterall, US perfected the use of TiVos and other flavors of PVRs, which got hacked and modified initially. Then if you remember, TiVo bent under the Advertising Corporations' pressure and went from a hacker-friendly box preducer to an essentially a closed, DRM device producer with Series 2. You can't easily hack it anymore to fetch the data, modify software, etc.

So this move from lobbies and corporations who felt that TiVo was cutting into their advertising pie, seriously hampered the ability of producers to put out better, cheaper, open devices. No one is willing to give market something which would be designated to please both the population and the corporate entities who feel they're getting ripped off (For the record, I believe these allegations hold no ground). There are no companies dumb enough to go against already-established PVR makers, additionally opening second and third fronts with DVD and console producers in the competition department. MPAA, RIAA, DMCA and other 4-letter evils will rain down on this producer till they crack under pressure.

So yeah. You should first and formost blame the corporate forces for slowing down technology for the sake of few millions in advertising revenue.

That's my take on it.

Re:I have to wonder... (3, Informative)

grumling (94709) | about 11 years ago | (#5563840)

So this move from lobbies and corporations who felt that TiVo was cutting into their advertising pie, seriously hampered the ability of producers to put out better, cheaper, open devices.

The thing that the advertiser hates is the 30 sec. skip. All Tivos still have the 30 sec skip disabled. To enable it, press select, play, select, 3, 0, select. The Tivo will chime 3 times. Now, when you hit the the key marked ->|, instead of going to the end of the show, you get a 30 second skip. I don't see any indicator that it will go away any time soon, and you don't need backdoors enabled to use it.

I doubt anyone in Hollywood is very realistic in hoping they will get PVRs outlawed anytime soon. That seems like it is just doing what they have to do to defend their copyrights, and copyright lawyers earning their retainer.

Re:I have to wonder... (5, Funny)

allrong (445675) | about 11 years ago | (#5563649)

Yes, for years the US has lead the world supplying useless acronyms (UA's) for anything vaguely technology or business related (VTBR). Judging from the article, it would seem that the Indians are catching up very strongly in this area (VSITA).

Maybe they've skipped actual innovation and gone straight for management and marketing.

Re:I have to wonder... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5563655)

"I mean, the development of these type of technology used to be the patrimony of the US. Later on, it shifted to Far East (Japan) and now we see really cool gadgets being developed in India."

RIAA/MPAA is a reason this.

It would be very easy for US company to put ASIC for enconding/decoding MPEG-4, off the shelf CPU, standard replacable IDE hard-drive, ability to fetch program information via XMLTV, Linux, ethernet connection, etc.. in a single box.

Re:I have to wonder... (1)

user no. 590291 (590291) | about 11 years ago | (#5564137)

It would be very easy for US company to put ASIC for enconding/decoding MPEG-4, off the shelf CPU, standard replacable IDE hard-drive, ability to fetch program information via XMLTV, Linux, ethernet connection, etc.. in a single box.

And then, they'd sell it exactly once, with no further revenue. Better to bemoan the RIAA/MPAA and claim that the devices must be locked down to be sold at all, then charge a subscription fee for the decryption keys . . .

Re:I have to wonder... (2, Interesting)

WegianWarrior (649800) | about 11 years ago | (#5563690)

As faras I can see, this is but another proof that poor != stupid. If the western civilication won't provide what the third world feels that it needs ata price they can / will pay, they will develop it themselfs.

Still, it sounds like a neat gadget to put next to my TV, and as we here inNorway uses PAL... all I have to do is to convince my cable-provider to support it.

Re:I have to wonder... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5563730)

I don't know, but i`m boycotting Indian goods/products/services, and any companies which outsource to India. Saving money is one thing, but I don't want the quality if like in my country (UK) to suffer because of lower taxes paid into the country due to less people working, because they`ve lost their jobs to some foreigner.

Re:I have to wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5563856)

I assume you make no phonecalls then, since BT is outsourcing call centre staff to india.

To be frank, I just don't believe you. And its a factor of the global market place that if it is cheaper elsewhere it will move there.

I assume that you advocate isolationism? Since ANY PRODUCT MANUFACTURED ANYWHERE OTHER THAN THE UK is effectively 'stealing' from people in the UK - since it could have been made locally.

But, your racism aside: (Yes its racism, are you complaining about losses to america or other countries... No...)

You have to take the good with the bad, and if your economy bombs, then you need to rethink the factors affecting it. Like taxation, and the cost of welfare, import / export duties, red tape, union pressures etc. It is possible to have a stable economy without the need for constant growth.

And yes I live in the UK, yes I have an IT job, no I'm not worried about outsourcing to india, or refugees or asylum seekers. Unemployment is low, and if I did lose my job I WOULD JUST GET ANOTHER ONE (even if it wasn't IT based, I'd get off my rear and do something to better myself, not just hope it lands in my lap). If fewer people stole from welfare and actually got a job to pay their bills rather than wait 'for just the right one' then it would be a very different picture. People should take responsibility for their lives not live of the generosity of others.

Re:I have to wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5564016)

"I assume that you advocate isolationism? Since ANY PRODUCT MANUFACTURED ANYWHERE OTHER THAN THE UK is effectively 'stealing' from people in the UK - since it could have been made locally."

I don't like companies losing UK jobs to save money.

"Yes its racism, are you complaining about losses to america or other countries... No...)"

It's not happening in that way though, is it, so it's pure speculation on your part. Its not because they are indian, it's because they are cheaper. That's why it's being done, and that's why I don't like it. I don't want a lower standard of living here.

"And yes I live in the UK, yes I have an IT job, no I'm not worried about outsourcing to india, or refugees or asylum seekers."

Ditto, ditto and my father was an asylum seeker. You seem to be falling into the trap of thinking that anything which even appears to be critical of any aspect of anything which isn't British is motivated purely by racism. You should rethink this. The world isn't as black and white (no pun intended) as that. I see no problem with the government taxing companies punitively for taking this action. Ie charge the companies the tax on the indian workers earnings as if they were working in the UK for minimum wage. It would protect UK jobs, and it would prevent Nike-style foreign sweat shops.

Re:I have to wonder... (3, Interesting)

be-fan (61476) | about 11 years ago | (#5563796)

*Dreaded* consequence? For who? Compete or get out of the business, isn't that the American motto? Might have to deal with a lower standard of living to do it? Well tough. Other people have been doing it for a long time.

If the US ideology had been isolationist and protectivist (and it hadn't tried so hard to "open up" markets in the rest of the world) I could sympathize with your position. But it wasn't, and I don't.

Convergance and Colour (3, Interesting)

rf0 (159958) | about 11 years ago | (#5563461)

For the geek this is cool. I like it and wouldn't mind one but I can't help but think that normal Joe bloggs on the street might think, why do I need all this? Also I think that it might be just to much. All that technology just can't come cheap surely? As one of the comments says

"Appreciate the technology and efforts but reality is that no convergence device other than clock radio has succeded. Put the consumer first and you will ... "

Also I don't like the red....

Rus

Red? Indians? (-1, Troll)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | about 11 years ago | (#5563607)

You don't like the red. And you (or at least some of the other posters here) don't like the Indians.

Americans that don't like red and Indians together. Hmmm, now where have I heard that before?

No DVD (3, Informative)

KrunZ (247479) | about 11 years ago | (#5563469)

They went for video cds instead of DVD because of the region lock:

"This is a wonderfull machine but it can only play these sing-cry-kiss movies from Bollywood"

Re:No DVD (2, Informative)

jfisherwa (323744) | about 11 years ago | (#5563644)

They probably went for DVDs because of cost and availability. In India, it is very easy to find a video rental store that rents VCDs -- including the not-yet-released camcorder jobs and even "fake" movies (Saving Private Ryan 2, The Matrix 2--this was two years ago) .. renting a movie will set you back about 25 cents US/day (accurate according to economies of scale) .. while DVDs sell for near-US prices.

Thanks, MPAA! You're everybody's pal!

Re:No DVD (2, Interesting)

rpillala (583965) | about 11 years ago | (#5563678)

Sounds like a hack waiting to happen :)

I'm not sure why, but the VideoCD format is much more popular in India than the DVD format. At least, this was true a couple of years ago when my dad was there. It could be because of the region lock, but then there are plenty of players [dvdrhelp.com] that have workarounds for that. Note that not all players on that page support many regions, but it's a good place to find out if yours does.

Ravi

Sounds Useful (5, Funny)

n3rd (111397) | about 11 years ago | (#5563471)

You can watch a VCD that was recorded using your web cam of you playing video games while listening to MP3s.

Or you can read an SMS that tells you to check your e-mail that contains an chat log reminding you to record a show tonight.

Or you can chat with your web cam. Wait, that's not right. This device can do so many goddamned things I'm getting confused.

good looking box? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5563477)

that box is RED... yes, RED. good looking. how unprofessional is this journalism?

Stupid question (5, Funny)

Zayin (91850) | about 11 years ago | (#5563481)

To begin at the beginning, a couple of questions: What costs less than a dial-up connection, but gives you broadband Internet access upto 10 MB per second? What uses your TV set to offer Real-Video-on-Demand, SMS, email, chat, unlimited MP3s, online gaming, video-conferencing, telephony, and interactive education? What doubles up as your VCD, Web cam, Karaoke system, jukebox and VCR?

Linux!

Re:Stupid question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5563489)

>To begin at the beginning, a couple of >questions: What costs less than a dial-up
>connection, but gives you broadband Internet
>access upto 10 MB per second? What uses your TV
>set to offer Real-Video-on-Demand, SMS, email,
>chat, unlimited MP3s, online gaming, video-
>conferencing, telephony, and interactive
>education? What doubles up as your VCD, Web cam,
>Karaoke system, jukebox and VCR?
>

Kentucky Southern-fried Chicken Wings!!

Re:Stupid question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5563706)

No!

GNU/Linux!

--
Saint Ignu ... aaachooo .. obnoxious ...

But it doesn't run linux, does it? (1, Funny)

TheNarrator (200498) | about 11 years ago | (#5563498)

Well I can't buy a piece of consumer electronics equipment that doesn't run Linux. I mean why waste money on something you can't put in a Beowolf cluster, like my beowolf enabled Sharp Zaurus and Tivo.

i know i know!!!! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5563502)

its a computer in a fancy box w/a remote! or not.?

not because of outsourcing (4, Interesting)

psylent (638032) | about 11 years ago | (#5563505)

the guys are from CDAC and they are a government funded agency. They do real good work on computing and super-computing. (I have a friend who writes network drivers for supercomputers... now that is a cool job) I do not agree that this product is because of people developing experience while getting work done for cheap.

Links to da Box (5, Informative)

DM_Slicer (660706) | about 11 years ago | (#5563538)

There's details on the Wice box at divinet [divinetaccess.com].
Still no pricing though.

Check out their FAQ [divinetaccess.com] tho and it says one of the reasons PPL should prefer their services is:
"Future: Telephony @ affordable cost."

..I did find some pricing on a 'WICE box' but at 9000 Euros a pop, somehow I don't think it's the same thing.. [mywice.com]

Re:Links to da Box (2, Insightful)

watzinaneihm (627119) | about 11 years ago | (#5563701)

Don't get all humpy about the box. Remember the simputer? Never really took off. A friend off mine has it, and works too slow. (dirt cheap tho). Here again we have a link to a website which says someone has a box which can do everything except wash dishes. No hardware info, No techspecs except a lot of acronyms, and most importantly no pricing info,
If this thing works at all, I think it must be in beta phase of implementation (the site claims the box alone has been beta teseted). Don't expect it within the next 2-3 years.

Looks like I'm going to India! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5563549)

I mean, if all the jobs are heading there anyway, why not! Learn a new language, eat new and exotic foods, and a fast Internet connection on-demand. Don't even think of asking AT&T or Comdex for that feature/convenience.

Is the American tech industry slipping because of copyright battles? Will we be importing more devices from India than Japan in the future or will devices like WICE be banned in the US because they may be considered a violation of the DMCA?

AllI know is that I would love to have a box like that without having to know all sorts of software and hardware hacks/tricks just to make it work on Linux. And they put it in such a pretty (but bright!) box!

Maybe they'll offer skins :D

HDTV (4, Interesting)

birdman666 (144812) | about 11 years ago | (#5563552)

What would happen to these products if the television networks and electronics companies would get HDTV out of stagnation and into actual homes for a reasonable price? Could any current storage media hold a sufficient amount of HDTV broadcast at a reasonable quality or would Tivo and all of these devices like it be obsoleted until HDs could catch up to the massive amount of space required for the high resolution signal?

Re:HDTV (3, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | about 11 years ago | (#5563892)

Could any current storage media hold a sufficient amount of HDTV broadcast at a reasonable quality

Considering that I can fit a 100+ minute movie at very-near DVD quality on a 700MB CD-R, I don't think HDTV will be a problem. Granted, set-top boxes will need more powerful processors to compress to MPEG4 rather than MPEG2, but it's not THAT big of a problem.

Personally, I would prefer to see more devices using VP3... It's open, and at low bitrates, I saw fewer noticable artifacts in a VP3 file, as compared with a similar size MPEG4 file...

RANT:
Maybe I'm the only one that notices, since everyone is all too happy to use them, but I hate all the video artifacts I see with MPEG-based codecs (compression blocks, aliasing of straight edges, rainbow discoloration of complex objects like pin-striped suits, etc)... What would be perfect (literally) would be to use MNG for video (I hear some people have successfully stuck MNG in an OGG wrapper along with audio). So you'd have (PNG) video, and in a size probably comparable to MPEG2, but no need for lossy compression that distorts the video (look at nearly identical consecutive MPEG2 frames and you will notice that solid colors are made up of a rainbow of colored pixels, and the pixels change color each frame).

So, MPEG has annoying artifacts, and all of the open codecs use the same ideas, hence similar artifacts. VP3 is the only codec I have experience with that didn't appear to have the same artifacts (and coincidentally looked better as well) but I admit I don't have as much experience with it as I'd like to. I can't difinitively say VP3 is better, but in multiple cases it has held it's own.

Re:HDTV (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 11 years ago | (#5563976)

Could any current storage media hold a sufficient amount of HDTV broadcast at a reasonable quality

Considering that I can fit a 100+ minute movie at very-near DVD quality on a 700MB CD-R, I don't think HDTV will be a problem. Granted, set-top boxes will need more powerful processors to compress to MPEG4 rather than MPEG2, but it's not THAT big of a problem.

Personally, I would prefer to see more devices using VP3... It's open, and at low bitrates, I saw fewer noticable artifacts in a VP3 file, as compared with a similar size MPEG4 file...

RANT:
Maybe I'm the only one that notices, since everyone is all too happy to use them, but I hate all the video artifacts I see with MPEG-based codecs (compression blocks, aliasing of straight edges, rainbow discoloration of complex objects like pin-striped suits, etc)... What would be perfect (literally) would be to use MNG for video (I hear some people have successfully stuck MNG in an OGG wrapper along with audio). So you'd have (PNG) video, and in a size probably comparable to MPEG2, but no need for lossy compression that distorts the video (look at nearly identical consecutive MPEG2 frames and you will notice that solid colors are made up of a rainbow of colored pixels, and the pixels change color each frame).

So, MPEG has annoying artifacts, and all of the open codecs use the same ideas, hence similar artifacts. VP3 is the only codec I have experience with that didn't appear to have the same artifacts (and coincidentally looked better as well) but I admit I don't have as much experience with it as I'd like to. I can't difinitively say VP3 is better, but in multiple cases it has held it's own.

Hardware Costs (3, Insightful)

ShooterNeo (555040) | about 11 years ago | (#5563623)

The only thing that bugs me is that while tech miracles happen, how can this thing do all these features effectively on cheap hardware? To do games and video on demand requires reliable disk drives or high end processing hardware.

Also, how is the networking the boxes depend upon better or cheaper or immune to the same problems with rolling out broadband or cable access, elsewhere? Surely it requires the same expensive upgrades to the wiring and nodes as any other networking upgrade, the expense having slowed down adoption of this kind of tech.

But the real problem is the software, the enormous virtual machine required to do all of these things. Programming software to do all the listed features well has taken years, and still isn't finished. I suspect this machine is not nearly as neat or as useful as the PC you are reading this on, especially if your PC is reasonably recent and has a fast, unrestricted, network connection.

From india? (-1, Troll)

91degrees (207121) | about 11 years ago | (#5563632)

I thought the poilitically correct term these days was "Native America"

Re:From india? (1)

etcpasswd (641551) | about 11 years ago | (#5564346)

Don't know about political correctness, but for the rest of the world the correct term is India, and for you Americans it is East India. You got any idea about the origin of the term "Native _Indians_"?

Not quite there yet (5, Interesting)

kanda (624761) | about 11 years ago | (#5563643)

I have seen many cool product announcements in India, especially during the boom times. Most have fizzled, some are struggling. Slashdot has also carried some articles: Kaii [slashdot.org], Simputer [slashdot.org] I have rarely seen any of these products being sold and used significantly. (I am from Bangalore, India). I would say India has not yet acquired the ability to develop and market complete embedded high technology products. But soon we may get there. Its a dream for many geeks in India that once a few products click. It would open the flood gates of Indian product innovations. Hope the Slashdot crowd will wish us good luck. :-)

Re:Not quite there yet (2, Insightful)

The Cydonian (603441) | about 11 years ago | (#5564096)

While I agree largely with you, I'm more interested in the general trend of things. Earlier, in more socialist times, we used to have, say, a single government-controlled Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) developing a decrepit television box that showed more static than actual TV pictures. Now we have a whole lot of other startups in Bangalore, Hyderabad and other places actually innovating stuff.[1]

Yes, it's important to remain sceptical until technological innovation can be converted to actual wealth creation, but we're getting there. Pretty soon.

[1]- Ironical of course, that this thing has actually been developed in a government-linked laboratory.

Want to work for them? (3, Interesting)

Newer Guy (520108) | about 11 years ago | (#5563693)

STAR, Asia's biggest television broadcaster is launching India's first DTH satellite platform and seeking exceptional broadcast engineers to work on this pioneering project. This is a unique opportunity for best-of-breed engineers to play an integral role in an enterprise that will transform the Indian television industry. Field Engineering Manager, ODU - Delhi based A qualified graduate engineer with a minimum of five years experience in the design and installation of ODU and the associated Set Top Box (STB). Professionals with a Higher Certificate in a relevant discipline and a strong track record will also be considered. Candidates must be highly motivated, pro-active and team-orientated with strong management and leadership skills. Knowledge of the Indian workplace and culture is essential. Key responsibilities will include: Selection of ODU and STB installation companies Testing and approval of equipment prior to field use Training of installers and monitoring of equipment vendors to ensure the provision of high quality, reliable and cost effective product Management of a nationwide group responsible for ODU equipment design, equipment type approval, installer training, development of training documentation and system quality control Ensure on-time installations to meet customer demand Installation scheduling and team management Preparing and managing annual operating budgets STAR, a News Corporation subsidiary, offers a positive work environment, well-defined HR policies, attractive remuneration packages and the benefits of an exciting career path working with cutting-edge technologies in a corporate culture that nurtures talent, recognises excellence and believes in contributing to the communities it operates in. If you are serious about taking your broadcast engineering career into an exciting new dimension please forward your resume to stardthhr@startv.com. For more information, please visit: www.startv.com

I'm not impressed (4, Interesting)

Dusabre (176445) | about 11 years ago | (#5563711)

Wow. High technology indeed. Apart from the high-speed Internet access and movie access (I'll believe it when it starts, companies have been claiming its just round the corner for near to a decade), its just a prototype red box with stuff crammed into it. Guess what, I can watch VCDs (and even DVDs), listen to mp3s, chat, read my email, watch TV and sends text messages from my $1000 PC. Putting together the components in a red box isn't a big deal for a competent engineer.

The internet and movie claims are the only interesting aspect. But I'll believe that when I see it.

Re:I'm not impressed (1)

zero_offset (200586) | about 11 years ago | (#5564558)

I hope you get modded up. Wish I had some points for you. But between the European readers gleefully wringing their hands over the Fall of the American Empire, typical American /. readers who don't pause to think before they post (the computer IN FRONT OF YOU NOW can do all of that, or could with probably only a few hundred bucks in add-ons), and the usual gang of idiots and trolls, I fear your post will linger at the default +1 Karma bonus.

Another medicore day on slashdot...

Good point, though. :)

Help! I need patent advice about this invention! (2, Interesting)

Omni-Cognate (620505) | about 11 years ago | (#5563714)

A mate of mine has a patent on the idea of using SMS to control a video recording device, which it sounds like these people are using - amongst many other cool ideas. I've texted him about this, but I'd like to find out more if you can help.

As I understand it, he obtained the patent for about £1000 in the UK, and has just been waiting to see if someone uses the idea. I don't know how this works. The invention is in India - is this a problem? How do the international patent treaties work? Is it possible to just patent an idea and get some money if and when someone uses the idea? Do you think this is moral? Does anyone know of prior art?

So many questions...

Re:Help! I need patent advice about this invention (1)

puto (533470) | about 11 years ago | (#5564247)

Well here is my advice to your friend.

Considering the way the patent arguement has been hashed out here many times he can follow two schools of thought.

1. Patents for the sole sake of patenting an idea should not be allowed. Your friend thought about patenting the idea for controlling a device with SMS. He has done nothing to develop it, but as you say"has just been waiting to see if someone uses the idea". So in essence he is like Amazon and many other entities out there. Jeff Bezos anyone?

2. Sue companies for using "his idea" and PROFIT.

HOWEVER, if you quickly google the net you will find that many companies, research centers, robotics people, computer nerds, have all been using sms to control devices for quite some time. So I think your friends patent might not hold up and there is plenty of prior art hanging around.

Is it moral? No you could argue that it is not. But then again, sometimes a big pile of cash for no work is not the worst thing in the world to happen to you. Just tell your friend to remember his pal if he dies strike it rich.

Puto

Re:Help! I need patent advice about this invention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5564368)

A worldwide patent application takes years and can cost £60,000.

Also nice idea, but isn't a text message interface a bit cumbersome what do you have to do, write "record channelx at 8 pm to 9pm" any spelling errors could mess that up and users have to remember a command syntax.

I would have thought WAP would be a more appropriate technology for this and with virtually every handset out there being WAP enabled and many providers giving free WAP.

What does this mean? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5563750)

email and chat without an Internet connection...you can chat online (when you're not actually 'online')

What is this guy talking about? Why does he think this is not 'online'?

it runs on MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)

And is that network not connected to the internet? If not, how does it work?

You forgot... (2, Interesting)

Viceice (462967) | about 11 years ago | (#5563812)

One other reason all this can be done lawfully in India is because Indian law has a really view on foregn patents and thus, alot of it doesn't apply in India.

Soemthing about having to apply for tha same patant in India seperately from your US and other patents.

Re:You forgot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5563906)

patents kill people.

get a life

www.nologo.org

Re:You forgot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5564374)

Yeah. Anything that doesn't kill people should be automatically legal and ethical. I got a life, want some?

I hope they can pull it off (2, Interesting)

pvera (250260) | about 11 years ago | (#5563900)

If they can keep that box cheap and the evil lawyer hordes in the US don't try to eat them alive, they can make a killing.

Their idea to provide conditional channel access rocks. The most common complaint I hear about digital cable (this is by the way the one thing that consistently pisses me off about my comcast digital cable) is not being able to tailor the channel package. I personally have the top package that comcast offers here, which is about $80 and has about 400 channels or so. Of these 400 channels I may watch 10 or so all the time and maybe surf thru another 20. The rest is garbage.

Also neat is how they let you upgrade your connection speed temporarily, so you only pay while you use this extra bandwidth.

The barrier to video on demand: lack of demand. (2, Interesting)

tlambert (566799) | about 11 years ago | (#5563913)

The barrier to video on demand: lack of demand. The WiReD Magazine article from September, 1994, said it best.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.09/cable.la bs .html

I supposed the lack of DVD support was calculated to ensure a built-in market for the VOD service offering.

I can't really see this device, or the service umbilical, going anywhere any time soon. It failed in 1994, it's fail today.

-- Terry

Waste of time (2, Interesting)

LordAtlas (529236) | about 11 years ago | (#5563957)

Yet another "convergence" device. How many more must flop? I've written an article on the myth of convergence [weblogs.com] explaining why such "all in one" devices are doomed. Can you imagine the scene in a family of four with such a device? The dad wants to watch football, mother wants to watch a soap opera, kid wants to surf the Net, and older kid wants to visit PlayBoy.com How on earth would you do all of those at the same time?

i've had one of these for years... (1, Funny)

rcamera (517595) | about 11 years ago | (#5563963)

it's called a laptop. all i need to do is place my laptop on top of the tv set. voila. throw the s-vid out into the tv and we're ready to roll. cost - ~$2800US

granted, my laptop doesn't have video on demand or a digital vcr, but my desktop with an ati radeon all-in-wonder gets awfully close. this box even has tv-pausing. once again, throw the s-vid out into the tv and we're all done. cost - ~$1800US

but unlike the "tivo++", these machines are not limited to what they can do. tell me this... can you /. with a "tivo++"?

What I want... (1)

WPIDalamar (122110) | about 11 years ago | (#5563973)

I want a tivo that comes with network ports, but is completely hackable with full source. I want it to ship with ssh access turned on, and tivo not to care if I play with it. I'd be happy if they offered no support other than hardware help and a restore disk.

But I do want to be able to choose to keep the TIVO software and the monthly access.

I love my tivo for it's great software & useability.

I love home-brew PVR's for their customizeability.

Why can't I have both? (And no, I'm not popping the case on my tivo)

BUMPER STICKER FOR SALE! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5563977)

Bumber sticker for sale - only $ 5. It reads "AMERICA COMES FIRST - FUCK THE REST OF THE WORLD!". Contact Ellis at runwild90@yahoo.com

Simpsons parody on the title (1)

XCondE (615309) | about 11 years ago | (#5564003)

The title of the story "Three men and a box!" must be a parody with the Simpsons episode "Three men and a comic book". Kewl! ;-)

Re:Simpsons parody on the title (2, Informative)

LemonYellow (244336) | about 11 years ago | (#5564026)

Or maybe the title of the book "Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. Jerome, which is where the Simpsons episode name will have come from.

Doh!

Re:Simpsons parody on the title (1)

rsidd (6328) | about 11 years ago | (#5564058)

Eh? Haven't you heard of Three men in a boat [litrix.com]?

Re:Simpsons parody on the title (1)

XCondE (615309) | about 11 years ago | (#5564098)

Eh? Haven't you heard of Three men in a boat.

No, I haven't. Do you recommend it? I haven't read anything in english since I re-read lord of the rings.

Re:Simpsons parody on the title (1)

rsidd (6328) | about 11 years ago | (#5564239)

No, I haven't. Do you recommend it?

Very highly. (Well, the link in my post above contains the full text, so you can at least get a flavour from the first page.)

I'm sure it's available in Portuguese and other languages, but of course it's worth reading in the original if you're comfortable with it.

Men only Tech (MOT) (1)

wadiwood (601205) | about 11 years ago | (#5564011)

how come you lot haven't noticed the nature of these acronymns?

WICE, MAN and RAMNET???

Looks like the Hustler staff couldn't have named this system better.

And I bet the number one use for it will be PR0N. Man's favourite Wice.

And don't get me started on the RAMNET. Well ok, you'd need the gumboots accessory for this.

As for convergence tech, are we not seeing all in one fax, photocopier, scanner, printer? Of course if it breaks you're stuffed. As usual.

Priceing (approx) (3, Informative)

tanveer1979 (530624) | about 11 years ago | (#5564079)

Normally basic internet set top boxes cost around Rs 5000 here (100-120 $$), however this may be around 150-200$$ Max

fuckoff (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5564101)

it definitely looks NOT good.

you NOOB!

So what? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5564216)

This box could have been easily developed, it's merely a question of markets and politics. Do people really want web cams and vcd players? Maybe in India, but video phones and similar technologies have failed to catch on in the US for years. Most other countries as well.

Their concept of fast internet through local distributed nodes is OK, but it requires a large investment by the consumer to buy up these nodes. Lots of nodes! Only 16 users per node in a city of a million? In a country of 300 million? How about upgrading THAT infrastructure in 5 years.

Not saying a local distributed network isn't a good idea, in fact local seems to be the way to go these days. Maybe this is the next step in a natural evolution of telecommunications, but I wonder if the system would hold up in the real world with millions of users and a couple generations of new WICE boxes floating around.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5564571)

" This box could have been easily developed, it's merely a question of markets and politics. Do people really want web cams and vcd players? Maybe in India, but video phones and similar technologies have failed to catch on in the US for years. Most other countries as well."
Arrogance personified!!
May be you don't. When you have your family about 20000 miles away and can visit them only once in 3 years, you better get a web cam and or video phones.

The real juice (3, Interesting)

jalfreize (173125) | about 11 years ago | (#5564232)

OK. All you jealous geeks, I'm an Indian
*and* I happen to live in Pune, the home of
C-DAC, and the first city to get a sneak peek at
this hyped up device. he he he...

But cheap shots apart...

The real juice here is not the WICE box -- its the *network* (RAMnet or whatever). The websites of Silicon Mountains, the guys who will be, I guess, the content suppliers and Divinet Access, the box makers and network engineers, both make very ambitious claims about content replication and the sophistication of the network itself (its so sophisticated, its mentioned as one of the risk factors in this venture.)
As far as convergence goes, I personally don't
believe in a set-top box that does everything.
I would prefer a relatively simple access-point kind of device that allows me to plug my computer,
TV, VCR, sound system, coffee machine whatever
and intercommunicate between these systems.
The network should be sufficiently intelligent
and filled with enough active elements to do
the routing and delivery.
e.g. Can it allow me to schedule my TV
programming from my computer using my scripts or
maybe using an SMS from my cellphone?

This degree of convergence is really a bit too much for anyone, really. Especially for someone like me, who grew up on a single, state-sponsored
TV channel, and actually liked most of what was on offer then.

Well, guess all I have to do now, is fill up
the forms on the website
(http://www.smjet.com/smjet/Inquiry/inqui ry.jsp)
and wait for them to reply...
Har har har...

Its two things. (1)

pavkb (247665) | about 11 years ago | (#5564353)

1. Its a set-top box.
2. A network to hook up the Set-top boxes into.

The things i don't understand is who installs & manages this network assuming its available in the cities.
Is there any place we can use this network today.
What is the network architecture.
Does it use open protocols.

From what i gather, they allow other set-top box manufactures to use this network.

But how about the content providers.

How does the content like TV channels are delivered.
Does the user still need outside cable connection.

I can understand the Internet options, just throw in an ISP onto the network u got everything internet.

Just a few questions.
Would really like to see the answers.
Pavan

I can do the same thing and more with a PC (1)

xagon7 (530399) | about 11 years ago | (#5564439)

...right next to my TV. Shuttle and many other companies have been handling this kind of thing for a WHILE now.
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  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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