Humax Does DirecTV, PMPs

Humax and satellite TV company DirecTV jumped into bed at the Consumer Electronics Show today as they unveiled two new product lines – televisions and portable media players – geared at tying users more to video content.

The new LCD TVs, said Humax, integrate DirecTV tuners. Two models – the 32” high definition LD3260 and 20” LD2060 – will be available later this year and do not require a separate DirecTV set-top box tuner in order to access the service’s programming. Humax said these televisions are targeted primarily towards second room installations. The 20” model is 4:3 and features a modem, USB port and component video, while the 32”, 16:9 model uses interchangeable modules to allow for future support of different tuning features and options.

“The Humax LCD TVs with integrated DirecTV Tuners make it possible for a DirecTV customer to simply connect a coaxial cable for a true plug-and-play experience, there is no need for external wiring or connections associated with an external set-top box,” said Humax USA’s vice president of business development and strategic marketing, Tony Goncalves. “And with DirecTV’s high-quality digital signal, the picture is second to none.”

Humax’s other news related to DirecTV also ties into a more general strategy the company announced regarding portable media players. Humax’s new PMP platform will generally be a device with a 4-inch widescreen LCD display screen with navigation controlled via a 5-button design, a high capacity hard drive (capacity to be partner specified) and a user-replaceable battery that provides up to 4 hours of video and 10 hours of music.

Humax’s first partner in this PMP project will be a DirecTV compatible player which hooks up to a DirecTV DVR for the transfer of DirecTV content recorded at home and will be available later this year. This DirecTV 2Go device will have an interface specific to the satellite provider’s approved designs which are similar to the company’s receivers. The PMP will be Humax-branded and support music (MP3 and WMA) as well as photos and other non DirecTV videos.

“Regardless of OEM or co-branded approach, HUMAX is prepared to support the development of the specific look and feel of the partner’s user-interface, allowing them to both extend their brand and be in control of the consumer interactivity with their content and services – which is exactly what HUMAX set out to do with DIRECTV’s 2Go product,” said Gonclaves. “We feel that customizing a proprietary UI will expedite early adoption of existing customers, build brand equity and also promote the content provider’s existing in-home content service to potential new customers.”