Verismo VuNow Set-Top Box Due Dec. 15

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Online video startup Verismo has announced its plans to launch sales of its VuNow set-top boxes beginning December 15. Although the market for TV add-ons that enable users to stream Internet-based video to their televisions is getting crowded—what with the AppleTV, Netflix Roku Player, and Blockbuster’s new MediaPoint offering, Verismo hopes to differentiate itself by offering a broad palette of video offerings—including YouTube, BitTorrent, and CinemaNow movies—in a tiny, even portable box.

The ViuNow box promises to enable users to surf YouTube, view downloadable movies from CinemaNow, download video from BitTorrent, watch live streaming TV channels from around the world, access Web-based video from a number of sites, tap into personal media stored on PCs or NAS devices on the home network, and let users find content using a built-in Video Search Engine. No subscription fees will be associated with the VuNow box: users can just plug it in and get started.

The VuNow box will come in at least two versions (standard and high definition), and features 512 MB of flash memory (with an option to attach up to a 500 GB hard drive via USB), and hooks into PCs running Windows Vista/XP. It connects to an in-home broadband network using either 802.11g/n Wi-Fi or 100Base-T Ethernet, and offers analog RCA outputs, along with S-Video (for standard definition) and HDMI (for high-definition). The units support a broad range of media types and codecs.

Pricing for the VuNow boxes will reportedly range from $99 to $149. Verismo also plans to enter into partnerships with OEMs—NetGear is already on board—to produce branded versions of the VuNow technology, or integrate it into other offerings.