Microsoft is rumored to be going into production of a streaming media box despite the presence of a similar function within its Xbox gaming console. It’s a kind of set-top box that serves as an intermediary between a source signal and a display device such as a television screen delivering media contents with enhanced quality and commonly used in satellite or cable television systems. The source can be in the form of an antenna (UHF or VHF), broadband, telephone line, Ethernet cable, coaxial cable or satellite dish.
The plan would relegate Xbox into a mere gaming device although it contained streaming media features. It will be a simple device that resembles that of a Roku set-top box with prototypes already seen in the wild but not the store shelves. These prototypes are Kinect-supported along with its voice and motion control while other features are provided that will enable them to work with other Microsoft devices. The simplicity in features is intended to provide ease in writing software that can support other devices.
If the rumors are true, the box will replace Xbox as a media entertainment device other than the gaming functionalities, which remains with the Xbox of course. It can be a cheaper alternative to a Xbox game consoles such as Xbox 360 which costs $199. However, the rumor is yet to be confirmed with Microsoft keeping its mouth shut for the time being.