A vexing part of video streaming services or set-top boxes, irrespective of their surfeit, is being forced to time and time again use a different interface each time.
Isn't there a way to solve that? To bundle these services together in a clean, streamlined, and organized interface? Caavo, a new media company with $15 million in funding, has an answer, and it's "yes."
Folks Responsible For Sling Box Aims To Unify Your Video Streaming Apps
The people behind Caavo, a new multi-set-top box solution for video streaming apps, are also the crafty perpetrators that made the Sling Media's Sling Box, suffice to say Caavo constituents are privy to an edge in that sphere. Its new namesake set-top box hopes to make the lives of home theater geeks easier by bundling up to eight different services simultaneously.
Think of it, as put by Engadget, as a super-powered universal remote, allowing users to not only shift between gadgets connected to the set-top box but to also search content across all the services, kind of like macOS's Spotlight feature.
Its $399 price tag, however, make it appear as an unseemly solution for cash-strapped folks who are only looking to score a cheap but functional recourse for the amount of video streaming apps and devices they have to sift through. Andrew Einaudi, one of the cofounders, says that the price is "premium but approachable," which he backs reasonably: if users can afford to buy that many streaming devices, so much so that they start looking for a multi set-top box solution, then they can afford Caavo.
Apart from its price, Caavo itself could be a problem. Because it's a set-top box, it adds to the overall clutter. While all the cables for other devices will be rerouted to Caavo, they're still present. Best not to imagine how chaotic that setup looks, but Caavo looks and feels beautiful, regardless — it's sleek, classy, and refined, complete with a detachable wood panel that divorces it from generic template aesthetics of most set-top boxes out in the market at present.
Universal Switching And Searching
All told, still the most interesting feature of Caavo is its ability to seamlessly switch between devices and search content across them. After users log on to their specific video streaming services, they can use the remote to search for programming by voice commands. Ask it to start playing Please Like Me, for example, and it'll bring up Netflix via one of the connected streaming devices.
Users may specify which streaming service opens with a specific device. For example, Amazon Video may be configured to exclusively launch through Fire TV and nowhere else. What's more, since Caavo also tracks streaming behavior, it can continue a particular movie or TV show from where the user last left off.
There's very little of what Caavo can't do — it supports Alexa, universal switching and search, 4K playback, and even, in the future via a software update, HDR10 support.
The set-top box isn't due for release until this fall, and some features are still being developed as we speak. In terms of DVR functionality, it doesn't support all, save for Dish and DirecTV DVR, a scarcity that'll only balloon by virtue of "direct partnerships," according to Caavo, as reported by The Verge.
Caavo plans to release around 5,000 units of the set-top box initially, just to make sure that the tech is "absolutely nailed" first and foremost.
The company was founded by Andrew Einaudi, Ashish Aggarwal, and Blake Krikorian, the latter Sling Media's cofounder. Krikorian passed away suddenly in August last year.