French multi play provider Free has announced its new set-top box, the Freebox Revolution, that brings together TV, phone, internet and gaming capabilities. The heart of the device is the Intel Atom CE4100 chipset.
The set-top is one of a new generation, of which we will see many in the months to come, and which offers not only IPTV, fixed line VoiP telephony and broadband access, but also internet browsing, home networking and other functionalities. Just a few weeks ago, French operator SFR launched their own next-generation box, the Neufbox Evolution.
The Revolution, the sixth version of the Freebox, is actually two devices, the Freebox Server router and Freebox Player STB. It offers a 250GB hard drive, an 802.11n Wi-Fi module, a Blu-ray drive, web browser, games and comes with a motion-sensing remote. There are our Gigabit Ethernet ports, front USB 2.0 port and two back USB ports, eSATA port, a DECT CAT-IQ base to connect up to eight cordless phones, integrated mini-speakers and wake-up alarm. The box is designed by Philippe Starck.
Free will offer five games from Gameloft with the box, including Asphalt 5, N.O.V.A. – Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance, Real Football 2011, Uno and Let’s Golf! 2. Asphalt 5 and Let’s Golf! 2 will be included in the Freebox offer and are downloadable from Freestore. The others can be bought; more games will follow later. All new boxes will come with a handheld gamepad for controlling the games services.
The Freebox Revolution will be available next year, but can already be pre-order priced between EUR59.99 to EUR119.99 depending on the type of Free subscription. Free will continue to offer its basic triple-play service at EUR 29.99 a month, but will charge an additional EUR 5.99 per month for fully-unbundled lines.