Project ET, also known as Project ETAP, is due sometime next year for an undisclosed price. The system is essentially a Linux-based networked computer with a 1TB hard drive and Blu-ray player.
OK, so what? Here’s a full list of what it can actually do:
• Play Blu-ray movies
• Managed Copy (backup) Blu-ray movies
• Connect to video services like Netflix (though not Hulu)
• Stream stuff like MovieTrailers.com with a polished, non-web interface
• Link you to buying related movies/products through an unobtrusive interface
• Support Windows Media Center
• Be controlled through Android phones and iPod touch
• Load 128 USB connected drives (which it encrypts in some cases)
• Rip music in FLAC and PCM
• Automatically include the album art and lyrics
• Stream LastFM, Rhapsody and support Rhapsody downloads
• Integrate third party home automation devices
• Update Twitter
• And do everything listed above through a SlingBox-like, web-mirrored interface
All of this sounds great, but if the UI is either slow or ugly, none of the features matter. Luckily, the interface is easy to navigate, tastefully designed, and oh yeah, fast. In fact, Blu-ray JAVA loads 6x faster on the ET than the PS3.
None of these features are set in stone. Pioneer explained that, depending on public response, they could pull the hard drive completely or ditch Blu-ray. They just want to create an internet-connected media machine to trump everything that’s come before. And…well, they’re certainly in contention.
We’d just like to see DVR and CableCard support. Because then it would pretty much do everything.
Technical issues willing, we’ll get you a video of the interface in a bit.