Work of art? Nope – this is Caavo’s $400 set-top box

In some ways, there has never been a better time to watch TV: streaming media players are nearly as plentiful as the streaming services available on them, and great content is everywhere. Even so, it’s not uncommon to need more than one streaming box to access all your favorites, and that can be problematic. That’s exactly the problem that Caavo, unveiled yesterday at Recode’s Code Media event, is attempting to solve.

The company’s streaming media player, also named Caavo, aims to unify all of your viewing options via a single interface with one remote, and this integration extends to your streaming media players, game consoles, and your cable box. The 16-inch wide box features eight HDMI inputs, an Ethernet port, two USB ports, and a 3.5mm jack meant to be used for an IR extension cable. This might sound like a glorified HDMI switcher, but the Caavo aims for much more.

Once everything is plugged in, the Caavo autodetects all of your devices. Even better, once you’ve signed into your various accounts, the device pulls everything together in one easily searchable place. Using the voice-enabled remote, you just search for whatever you want to watch, and the device handles it automatically, all without you having to worry about switching inputs.

“Living room entertainment is disjointed, and even within our own homes each of us watches TV differently. It took embracing all of it, in any combination, to make it work together seamlessly,” Caavo co-founder and CEO Andrew Einaudi said in a statement. “This isn’t the future of TV, it’s the way it was always meant to be.”

The company was founded in 2015 by Einaudi, Ashish Aggarwal, Vinod Gopinath, and the late Blake Krikorian. The founders had come from companies like Sling Media, Harman, and others, so if anyone is going to try to tackle this problem — one that companies with much bigger budgets, like Apple, have yet to crack — it seems like Caavo does conceivably have the chops pull it off.

Instead of switching inputs on your TV or receiver, the Caavo takes a different approach, processing every signal coming into the box, and switching between the signals. The HDMI inputs on the box support 4K, but don’t yet support any HDR format. HDR10 could be added later via a software update, but as Dolby Vision requires dedicated hardware, this would require a hardware revision.

The Caavo will sell for $400, and the initial release will consist of a batch of 5,000 units launching later this year. Whether or not the device will in fact work as seamlessly as advertised remains to be seen, but if it does, watching TV could get a lot easier. For more info on the Caavo, see the company’s website.

Updated on 02-15-2017 by Kris Wouk: Edited to add a link to the Caavo website.


Here are the best 4K TV deals for November 2018

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Home Theater

If you've got questions about Ultra HD Blu-ray, we've got answers

Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players are a killer way to beef up your home theater. Here's everything you need to know about one of the most significant advances to hit home entertainment in years.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this fall with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Alita: Battle Angel,’ ‘Detective Pikachu,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for cyberpunk adventure Alita: Battle Angel, game adaptation Pokémon Detective Pikachu…

All the best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: The Coen brothers ride again and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Nnarcos: Mexico, and more.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…