At the still running IFA in Berlin, last week Huawei - so far best known for its 3G dongles, tablets and smartphones - unveiled for the first time its Mediacast HD500 - a DVB-S2 satellite receiver with HbbTV (red button). The pretty much state-of-the-art Huawei Mediacast HD500 has a DVB-S2 twin tuner for simultaneous recording up to two programs as well as the typical slots for CI+ modules to also use the set-top box with pay TV smart cards, such as HD+ and Sky. Furthermore its comes with a built-in 500 GB hard disk to record up to 500 hours of standard definition and 250 hours in HD resolution. However, it wouldn't be a Huawei set-top box if the HD500 would be just another dumb satellite receiver but it also comes with WiFi at 2.4 and 5 GHz as well as LAN which allows easy integration into the home network.
Thanks to WiFi and LAN, the HD500 isn't only able to play HbbTV but it's also capable of playing media from the home network - doesn't matter whether it is a smartphone, tablet, PC or media server. Thanks to the Huawei multi-screen technology, DLNA and AirSharing, devices can also connect to the Mediacast HD500, which enables the seamless integration of content, functionality and control. This also allows to simultaneously stream a linear live TV program to smartphones or tablets while it's also shown on the TV. However, this placeshifting functionality is currently only working within the home network and isn't replacing other out of home solutions like the Slingbox.
The Huawei Mediacast HD500 is said to be available in Germany from November, launching with a suggested retail price of 349 Euro. Yet no word about upcoming launches in other European countries.
Cheers ~ Arne