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WebTV founder launches all-in-one home hub

Set-top decoder does MP3, TiVO too

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WebTV founder Steve Perlman today takes the wraps off his latest marvel, a do-it-all home entertainment centre called the Moxi Media Center.

The VCR-sized box may well justify the marketing bumph's extravagant claims, as it's a rare example of a single box combining the broadcaster's tick list - it decodes satellite and cable signals - together with what we'd expect from a PC home server: it acts as router/gateway, a digital MP3 jukebox, a DVD player.

Oh, and it does the job of a TiVO too: it's a time-shift TV recorder, too.

Moxi promises that the content can be viewed in several rooms in the typical, Moxified household, although it is not disclosed whether this is through wireless or an over-the-copper network such as HomePNA.

Throughout the eighties Perlman was a star engineer at Apple, hatching a number of 'convergence' projects whichinevitably - given Apple's heads-up-ass management then - failed to see the light of day. He hatched the WebTV project while at Apple, and eventually sold it to The Beast in 1997 for a tidy $425 million.

Moxi has inked deals with the US satellite provider EchoStar and Real Networks.

It's also changed its name: until today, Perlman's start-up was called 'Rearden Steel'. Which, we're reliably informed, was named after a character in the comedy novels of Ayn Rand, the whacky, crypto-fascist Russian émigré much beloved by spotty adolescent 14-year olds (and by spotty free-marketeers, when they fail to grow up).®

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