Ceton provided an update tonight on the status of their forthcoming Echo Windows Media Center Extender. They also gave us some insight into the progress of the much-anticipated Q. Ceton had initially planned to give the potential Echo beta testers all of the information they would need to make a final purchasing decision by the end of September. Then the plan was to begin shipping the hardware during the first week of October. Obviously they missed that deadline by a few days due to them continuing to tweak the software on the Extender. While no new dates were provided they stated that the beta test would begin soon and that they will still be releasing the Echo for the holiday 2012 season.
The Ceton Q update was a little less clear. One thing is certain: Ceton won’t be releasing the Q this year as they had initially planned. You can read the full release below, but essentially due to Microsoft’s inability to provide clear details about the future of Windows Media Center in their Windows Embedded Standard platform Ceton is unsure how they will proceed. They aren’t abandoning the project, but they may need to “re-envision” it. At this point they are hoping to release that product sometime in 2013.
As promised, here is an update on the Ceton Echo, Ceton Q and Ceton Companion apps.
Ceton Echo Update
We’re still putting some finishing touches on the Echo software and beta units will not be going out this week. Alpha testing is going very well; it’s just taking a bit longer than we planned. We’ve built in extra time to the schedule for things like this and everything is still a go to have the Echo released in time for Holiday 2012.
We’ll provide an update on beta timing as soon as we can.
Ceton Q Update
Since previewing the Q at CES in January we’ve learned more about Microsoft’s plans for Windows Embedded, the operating system on which the Ceton Q is based (at CES we demonstrated the Q running on Windows Embedded Standard 7). While Windows Media Center is available with the consumer version of Windows 8, it is still unclear whether Media Center will be offered in the next version of Windows Embedded. We expected that question would have been resolved by now but it’s hasn’t. So, what to do???
We’ve been discussing a few different options internally for a while and frankly we haven’t decided the best path forward yet. What we have decided is that the Ceton Q as previewed at CES will not launch this year as we planned 10 months ago. It’s possible the Q will launch in 2013, either as initially envisioned or perhaps re-envisioned, but we can’t guarantee that at this point. We know there is a ton of interest in the Q and that this news will be disappointing to a lot of you but we think it’s important to be upfront about where things stand.
Ultimately, we want to make sure that we deliver great products that customers will love for years to come. Given the flux at Microsoft around some of the key components we were relying on, we simply don’t feel we can do that with the Q at this point.
Ceton Companion Update
And last but not least … the Ceton Companion. If you haven’t checked out the apps yet, it’s never too late. They’re a great addition if you use Windows Media Center with any type of TV tuner, not just Ceton tuners.
Since we launched Companion less than a month ago, we’ve rolled out updates to the Companion Services (the utility that runs on your PC) as well as to all versions of the app for the different platforms. We’ve also introduced a version for the Barnes & Noble NOOK as well as an update that optimizes the app if you’re using the new iPhone 5 and a version that supports the new Kindle Fire HD. Phew!
How many apps can you think of that launched on Apple iOS (including iPhone 5 optimized), Android, Kindle Fire and NOOK at basically the same time? Yeah, the Companion team is pretty amazing and has been awful busy as you can probably tell!
So that’s it for now. Please stay tuned for more on the Echo soon.
As always, thanks for all your support and encouragement!
-The Ceton Team