Vertex Designs Networked HD Media Player

MediaWiz HD, a successor model of MediaWiz Plus released in February 2004, is equipped with the Sigma Designs EM8620L, the most advanced digital media processor available. The EM8620L enables video decoding of Windows Media Video 9 (WMV9), the popular new format for high definition video and supports IEEE802.11G (broadband wireless LAN standard). Corporate samples will begin shipping at the end of July and commercial shipments will begin at the end of August. For corporations, the product will be marketed through system integrators, dealers and distributors, and for consumers, through PC outlet stores and mass retailers.

MediaWiz HD, a networked multimedia player, enables TV output of both video and photo content stored on a PC using its wireless network interface. MediaWiz HD operates as an extension of a home entertainment network, as well as a simple wireless set-top box (STB) for low-end video on demand (VOD) systems, replacing current wired systems. In addition, this product expands applications including the delivery of movies and video-on-demand, to hotels, as well as nationwide delivery of video images and/or promotional video for retail locations. MediaWiz HD is the third generation, adding high definition and other features to its predecessors, MediaWiz and MediaWiz Plus. 

Vertex Networkable HD Media Player“MediaWiz HD is further proof that industry adoption of next generation digital media devices is moving from concept to reality,” said Ken Lowe, vice president of strategic marketing at Sigma Designs. “We believe deployments of consumer appliances featuring Windows Media 9 and network connections will create a widespread trend toward advanced digital entertainment in the home.”

One of the first products to feature the Sigma EM8620L media processor, MediaWiz HD enables playback of WMV9 HD content. A high performance server is not necessary for MediaWiz HD because of its independent process playback of WMV9 and MPEG-2. In addition, it provides the ability to watch high definition pictures on a relatively low cost Intel(R) Pentium(R) III 1GHZ class PC server. High definition images can also be created by encoding any file of a motion picture stored in the PC, using encoding software (Windows Media encoder 9 series) for Windows Media HD, which is available as a download directly from Microsoft. Consumers can easily enjoy high definition TV broadcast /BS /CS, as well as original HD images on widescreen television.

A wireless network interface, compliant with IEEE802.11g is included as standard equipment. The IEEE802.11g wireless interface enables streaming (playback) DVD quality moving picture that requires high bit-rate for transfer, via wireless LAN. Consumers are freed from the complexity of connecting LAN cables as virtually all movies and video content can be played-back via wireless LAN.