KDDI, a major operator in Japan, has picked up the new Motorola VIP1830 set-top. Branded the au Box, the set-top is meant to be used with KDDI’s au mobile phones. The pairing is designed to make content portable from set-top to phone – or portable media player with a USB connection – and back again. Initial services appear to focus on non-DRM content only, but there is some cool functionality:
- Set-top includes a CD player and lets you rip CDs to play through the box’s integrated speakers or transfer to a mobile handset
- You can upload video from a portable device, encode it on the set-top and transfer it to a mobile phone
- DVD player included
- Internet connectivity included for purchasing media online – it is not clear whether KDDI is making use of this immediately
- The set-top platform is based on Motorola’s KreaTV open software platform, and is compatible with a “wide range of OS middleware and Digital Rights Management” technologies
KDDI is set to launch the au Box service on November 1st. Hoping for info from the ground after that. Stay tuned.