HDTV, PVR and on-demand video - all-in-one. High-end box loaded with extras - one of the largest, most expensive and sophisticated PVR / set-top boxes analyzed to date. Dual-tuner allows simultaneous watch / record / playback. Available in 160GB - the box analyzed came with 80GB drive. Large amount of memory content (512Mbits of SDRAM (256Mb DDR), 64Mb flash) with ability to expand through DIMM slot.
The 8000HD is intended as a complete HDTV/PVR solution. As such, it commands a large price premium, which places it in the highest end of the market. This will appeal to serious A/V and home theater enthusiasts, but is much too expensive and feature-laden for the casual media consumer.
Due to the large feature complement, high component count, lack of integration, and the 80GB hard disk drive for the PVR feature, the 8000HD is a very high-cost unit; in fact, the most expensive set-top box we have analyzed. Though the physical construction is not elaborate and the assembly costs are relatively reasonable, the sheer quantity of parts required to achieve the feature set comes at a price.
The items below are the major cost-driving components, totaling $155 and representing almost 70% of the total materials cost:
Hard Disk Drive
MPEG-2 Encoder/Decoder IC's
I/O and Controller ASIC's
Memory IC's (SDRAM & Flash)
RF Front End IC's
The large size, the use of a separate front panel PCB and it's associated mechanicals, and the use of a separate (and fairly complex) power supply assembly all increase the mechanical complexity slightly. Also, a fairly high number of fasteners are required for assembly. These factors all increase the cost of assembly, but somewhat marginally relative to the overall complexity of the product.