Ceton Echo Lives – Beta Begins in September

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It’s been a while since we’ve checked the Echo’s pulse, so today’s news that the beta invitations went out today and will be starting up in September is welcome news. With no news on the fate of SageTV and Microsoft’s indifference towards Media Center in Windows 8, it’s awesome to have a touch of hope for those of us who feel pain at the thought of using a MSO provided DVR. Of course the real thrill will be when we hear that the Q is finally coming (looks like we’ll have to wait for September for status), but I’ll take what I can get.

Full PR after the click.

It’s Been a Busy 6 Months …

As you probably remember, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, we previewed two new products we have been developing for release in 2012: the Ceton “Echo”, a next-generation Windows Media Center Extender, and the Ceton “Q”, a whole-home DVR and multi-function entertainment device. Customer response and enthusiasm for both products has been incredible. It’s clear there is a lot of pent up demand for solutions like these that help people realize their dreams for connected entertainment devices and services. Everyone here at Ceton is really excited and thanks you for your enthusiasm!

Ceton “Echo” Update

Today we are informing the folks who have been selected to participate in the Ceton “Echo” beta program. It’s an exciting next step on the path to launching the Echo later this year. Those selected have been notified by email from us at [email protected]. We received thousands of beta applications but only have about 1,000 beta slots available, so we weren’t able to accommodate everyone who signed up unfortunately. We did our best to ensure we have a great pool of testers who represent the Echo customer base at large. Echo beta units will ship to testers in September. The Echo will be available from a variety of retailers for general consumer purchase in time for the 2012 holiday shopping season at a suggested retail price of $179.00. The Echo will be available in the US to start, with expansion to select international markets over time. We’ll provide more details on our US launch date and international plans later on.

Ceton Companion Update

In addition to the Echo and Q previews at CES, in April we announced the Ceton Companion, a family of mobile apps that bring the Ceton experience to iOS, Android and Windows phones and tablets. Initially the Ceton Companion was just going to be a key feature of the Ceton Q, but we decided to make it available to anyone with a Windows Media Center PC. Hundreds of customers have been beta testing the Companion for the last several weeks and feedback has been very positive. We plan to launch the Ceton Companion apps by the end of August!

Ceton “Q” Update

We’re still hard at work on the Ceton “Q” as well.  We’ll provide an update on our plans for the Q in September. 

New Retail Partner: Buy.com

And as a final note, we’re excited to bring on board a new retail partner, Buy.com. As of this week, our digital cable tuners, InfiniTV 4 PCIe and InfiniTV 4 USB, are now available on Buy.com for $199 with free shipping so please check them out!

Thanks for all your support and encouragement!

The Ceton Team

  • $180? I may as well buy a

    $180? I may as well buy a 360S. If it were $150, then maybe.

  • Great news that the Echo is

    Great news that the Echo is closer to release! Only, $180 seems kind of pricey considering the 360 is $200. Although, we don’t know too much about the what extra features the Echo will have (native MKV support, etc). If the timeline of the InfiniTV’s price says anything, it’ll be down to less than $100 in a year or so.

  • Sadly, I have to agree. I was

    Sadly, I have to agree. I was fortunate enough to have been selected and was almost the best day of the week when I got my “You’ve been selected!” email… until I saw the price.  Wife & I both almost from the same breath said, “we might as well buy three more Xbox’s.”

    BestBuy & Target have sales all the time for the XBox4gb (No Kinect) for around $150 (199 plus a $50 store card).  Just can’t justify it when they are effectively the same price.

    Such a shame.  I REALLY was looking forward to it.

    Maybe they’ll come down in a year or so like the tuners did.  In the mean time, I hope Ceton has great success with this product regardless my decision to back out of the beta.  Great group of people over there.

    • We’ll have to see how it

      We’ll have to see how it performs. Personally, I am willing to pay more for form factor, CEC, not having to transcode files*, HBR Audio, etc. Besides think about how much the InfiniTV and 360 have come down in price over time…

      * May require Q

  • I’m excited for this and

    I’m excited for this and happy to support an innovator at that price. I’m excited to find out the specs and what it can do. I’m all in if it supports native bluray on extenders. ready to jump on the Q also since my HTPC is still rocking an Nvidia 8200 and getting long in the tooth.

  • Here is what will make the

    Here is what will make the Echo worh $180 to me

    All the usual codec suspects but must include

    MKV with Subtitle Support

    DTS, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD

  • I’m a little disappointed

    I’m a little disappointed with the announcment today. The price while a little higher than I wanted it to be isn’t a deal breaker. The timeline however might be. With it not going into Beta until September, that means the release will probably not be until November or December (barely making their 2012 date). As much as I was interested in switching everything over to Ceton Q and the Echo, if Tivo releases their extender first without fees, then I’ll probably just stick with that.

  • I got the invite and signed

    I got the invite and signed up for the Beta program.  It is a bit pricey, but if it provides support for formats over and above what the X-Box can handle it’s a bargain.  I’ve got an X-Box slim 4GB that I used as an extender for a while, but it’s still too noisy and runs way too hot for use as an extender, IMHO.  Nobody in the house plays games on it so right now it’s just taking up space.

    If Ceton’s track record for the InfiniTV4 carries over to the Echo, I’d expect the price to drop to around $100 or even less once they’ve recovered their startup costs.  I paid $399 for my InfiniTV4 when it first came out and never regretted it.

  • I dont get people

    I dont get people complaining about the price. The price point is not so expensive to discourage people from buying the product. Wait till they announce the features. At least Ceton is keeping MC alive. I am wiling to vote with my money for continual WMC development. I bet with the Q the eccho>than the 360.

    • amador wrote:

      I dont get

      [quote=amador]

      I dont get people complaining about the price. The price point is not so expensive to discourage people from buying the product. Wait till they announce the features. At least Ceton is keeping MC alive. I am wiling to vote with my money for continual WMC development. I bet with the Q the eccho>than the 360.

      [/quote]
      Ditto.  While MS puts future MC support in question Ceton is pushing ahead.  I paid the full price of $400 for the Ceton InfinityTV 4.  Top notch product.  Do not regret it at all.

  • I wish we could have gotten a

    I wish we could have gotten a features list of just the Echo functionality w/o the Q, before we had to commit to the Beta at that price.

    From everything I read so far, without the Q, your Extender functionality would be the same as any other basic Extender.  Now, if that’s not the case, and other apps like HBOGo, Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, etc… are included in the Echo, w/o the Q, then I’d tend more to agree that it’s worth the price.

    Now what I’d really like to see is some sort of Tiered pricing where you get one Echo, and pay for what functionality you want to activate.

    If you just use it for an HTPC Extender, no Q or other features, then you purchase a license in the $80-$100 range.  if you intend to pair it with a Q and all the other features, then you pay the $180.