You may remember Intel and Yahoo! introduced its intention to bring Internet to the television during IDF in San Francisco back in August - you can view the original press release right here.
Today during the morning keynotes at IDF Fall in Taipei, we were given a bit of a treat with the first working demo of Intel's and Yahoo's efforts on the Widget Channel front. On display during the keynote was a set-top-box made by GIGABYTE. Don from Intel gave us a quick look at the widget overlay from the prototype STB and what it is capable of so far. It's still early at this stage, but looks pretty polished on the surface.
Later in the day, we caught up with GIGABYTE who had a small booth at the Technology Showcase area and they let us have a short hands-on with its GN-MD300-RH STB box, which uses the Intel Canmore system-on-chip - now it is officially known as the Intel Media Processor CE 3100. This box is capable of playing back both 720p and 1080p video with its onboard H.264, VC-1 and MPEG2 hardware decoder. Its GUI is based on OpenGL ES 2.0 technology, which as noted, is different from MCE and will eventually allow for developers to spice it up a lot in terms of the amount of 3D they can put into menus and so forth. While it's important to note that Intel doesn't want this to be your usual PC, GIGABYTE did include Firefox for light web surfing.
As far as system specifications go, it features a Canmore SoC setup running at 1.2GHz, HDMI 1.3a support, one 768MB stick of DDR2-800 memory as well as a single notebook sized 7,200 RPM 160GB hard disk drive. It not only has one but two DVB-T TV tuners inside with PiP (picture in picture) support. This is still a prototype hybrid design but from what we saw when we had a play with it, it seemed pretty smooth. Check out our video below:
We asked GIGABYTE when they would begin selling this box but the question was met with hesitation. It turns out GIGABYTE probably won't sell this box into the channel themselves, but ODM it for companies who want it. We got no information on price or when we might expect it to become available. Oh, and here is what the remote control looks like:
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