After Michael Douglas kicked off the XStreamHD press conference, company reps gave us the 411 on what the hell it is. First, yes, it is yet another way to get HD movies into your home, though they won't exactly be "streaming" — you'll download and store the flicks on a server, which you get in a package with a media receiver that connects to your home theater system and home network. How do you get the movies? Via satellite, though the company doesn't actually have one; the system uses "existing" satellites to deliver the data somehow, though you will of course need a dish (not included in the package, natch).
The big selling point, emphasized repeatedly at the press conference, is that XStreamHD is capable of delivering full 1080p high-def video and lossless audio — pretty much the highest quality possible today from current HD formats. Nice. There will be options for renting and owning titles, and they will be copy protected (DTCP DRM, for those who care). The system, which will include three off-air HD tuners and be capable of outputting four HD streams at once, will cost $399.
At least that's the plan. The company hasn't even started beta testing, so its plans for an October release sound a little optimistic. But as presented, XStreamHD looks like Vudu on steroids — an HD-movie junkie's dream.