DivX has started showing off their prototype "Apple TV killer" - a low cost networked media player device with 720p output. The Ubergizmo blog got a look at the device and wrote it up:
"DivX made a technology choice that is completely opposite to Apple’s. The Apple TV is basically an entry-level computer without an OS. It has a CPU, a GPU, and a hard drive, these are generic components found in all recent computers. However, AppleTV still need to be connected to a bigger computer (to talk to iTunes).
By leveraging the fact that their device is connected to a computer, DivX shows that the same basic functionality can be built at a much cheaper price, because instead of using general-purpose hardware, it uses only stream-decoding hardware that is a lot cheaper to make."
DivX is claiming the device could retail at $US99 within a year - that's a third of the price of an Apple TV. Will be interesting to see if any hardware manufacturers decide to take a punt on it. Mind you - as Apple is no doubt finding in Australia with its Apple TV - without easy access to content, the media player itself is pretty redundant.