Until recently, if you’ve wanted to play videos you’ve downloaded on your TV, you either needed to hook it to your PC, buy an AppleTV, or use an Xbox. Now, one company aims to add another option – one which can get the videos itself, via BitTorrent.
The Myka box, is a small set top box, not all that dissimilar from the AppleTV although larger. Like the Apple product, it aims to be a video playback device for your television, able to pull video from computers on a local network. What makes the Myka different, however, is that it incorporates a BitTorrent client.
Incorporating torrent technology into a set-top box could be a very powerful driving force for the torrent community, bringing it into the homes and minds of many more people. Quite how Comcast will feel about it though, is another matter.
Technically, the box’s specs look good, with HDTV resolutions up to 1080i available. Of perhaps greater note is that it may be possible, with its h.264 support, to playback Blu-Ray torrents. Also, there has been suggestions posted to the Myka forums, that a Blu-Ray drive could be coming in the future. If so, it might cut into some of the sales the PS3 has been getting.
Hardware wise, the system seems solid enough. The only options, at present, are the size of the included hard drive. The OS, for those of you that care, will be a highly customised version of Linux. PAL versions, with SCART are also promised.
Legally, there are some worried about how the Grokster decision might affect things in the US. Selling a product which can infringe copyright was held in that case to be ‘contributory infringement’. Myka boss, Dan Lovy, told TorrentFreak “We’ve looked the legal side extensively. We are like a movie projector. It has kept the competition down though, to our advantage.”
Price-wise, its comparable with the Apple offering. The 160Gb model is $20 more expensive than the equivalent AppleTV but this may be felt by many, to be a small price to pay for access to the vast library of content available.
At present, we haven’t seen one in the flesh, so to speak. According to Myka, BitTorrent inc. is currently developing the torrent software, but we hope to bring you a full review as soon as possible.