The new 6141 HDTV receiver available now for $299 or $10/month on a rental plan offers the following features:
- MPEG4 compatibility (previous receivers were only capable of handling the MPEG2 format, which will, over time, be replaced by MPEG4 due to its superior compression)
- Enhanced EPG (electronic program guide) which displays up to 9 channels of programming on a single screen
- A remote control that has a full set of PVR buttons, identical to the 9200 and 9242 units
- HDMI output for 100% digital video and sound (in addition to the usual component-out and s-video out ports)
- The option to connect an external USB 2.0 storage device to enable the PVR capabilities of the receiver (this feature will not work immediately – it is slated as a future release)
The 6141 appears to be ExpressVu’s nod to users who want to get into the HDTV game right now, but either don’t want to invest in a PVR at the moment, or who would like to wait for the ability to expand their PVR storage options.
These PVR options are exactly what BEV VP Pat Button discussed at CES this month (watch video). He described a world where BEV customers would be able to add PVR storage by hooking up USB 2.0 storage devices to their 6141’s or, expand the existing storage of their 9242’s by using the same method. Additionally he talked about the upcoming support for the Archos 605 and 705 portable media players. They too will be able to connect to BEV’s most recent receivers for both recording and playback of video.
No word on whether BEV will allow 9200 owners to do the same thing with their receivers, but given that they are also equipped with USB 2.0 ports, it seems logical that they would. Here’s hoping!