Mohu aerials go hybrid
February 21, 2014
The US company best known for its Mohu Leaf TV antenna is introducing a new device that combines over-the-air TV with online video services. The company will launch a Kickstarter campaign for its new Mohu Channels product next week, offering early adopters a chance to get the device for as little as $79.
Mohu Channels is a small, 4.8-inch long and 2.6-inch wide adapter that connects to a Leaf or any other TV antenna and plugs into a TV through an HDMI cable. The device is based on a 1.5GHz ARM Dual Core Cortex A-9 processor, according to specs that appeared on Google this week . It has 802.11 a/b/g/n Wifi on board, but also features an Ethernet port – ideal for those that don’t have good Wi-Fi reception near their TV.
The Channels comes with a mini-sized backlit QWERTY keyboard as a remote control that features integrated RF and IR capabilities to use it as a regular TV remote control as well. The remote also offers motion control, so users are able to use it as a gesture/pointer device to select and launch apps and channels.
Full remote controls don’t necessarily make for the most user-friendly remotes, but Mohu seems like it’s justified going into that direction because it integrated a full web browser into the device, capable of viewing videos on a variety of websites.
The device also offers access to a number of apps from online video services, including Netflix and Hulu Plus — but unlike other streaming devices, it doesn’t present these in an app grid, but instead integrates them with a live channel guide, allowing users to switch from live TV straight to Netflix and back. It’s an interesting approach, and one that’s clearly geared towards a more mainstream audience used to cable boxes and their TV guides, as opposed to advanced cord cutters that only watch online video anyway.