One of the greatest pains in the life of a cord cutter is you
can’t get all the premium video services you want in a single
box. For example, if you’re invested in the
Apple TV ecosystem but also want to watch The Grand
Tour with your Amazon Prime subscription, you’re out of
luck—Amazon’s video service is not on Apple TV.
A new start-up named Caavo
thinks it has a solution for all your set-top box woes… and
it’s another set-top box. Well, that’s a little unfair. It’s
really a fancier, more intelligent video input switcher, but
even that doesn’t quite capture what the
$400—yes, $400—Caavo aims to do.
The box made its debut at the Recode conference, as first
The Verge. The Caavo features enough HDMI ports to connect
almost every set-top gizmo that even the most exuberant A/V fan
would have. (The box will work with a wide range of set-top
boxes and sticks including Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku,
cable boxes, game consoles, and Blu-ray players.) Then the
box’s software deep-links to the content inside each of those
individually connected boxes, and pulls them all together in
Caavo’s basic interface.
The end result: You can access iTunes movies and Amazon Video
from the same screen. You still have to have the original
boxes, but instead of switching between HDMI ports, Caavo puts
all your inputs onto one screen, controlled by a single remote.
The box itself offers eight HDMI ports, two USB ports, an
ethernet jack, and a 3.5mm jack for an IR extension cable. The
footprint is fairly large at 16 inches wide, and the Caavo
weighs in at four pounds. It features a steel bottom for
stability and a wood top in either bamboo, mahogany, and tiger
Caavo will have an Alexa skill allowing you to control the
device from your Amazon smart speaker, and will also ship with
its own voice control-enabled remote.
The story behind the story: Caavo is a
somewhat simple but effective idea for anyone with a growing
set-top box collection. It’s not clear, however, what set-top
box makers will think of it. The major technology companies are
currently battling it out to dominate the living room with
their various set-top boxes, services, and HDMI sticks. They
may not take kindly to a third party that effectively turns
each set-top box into a white label service.
Then again, the set-top box makers may not be too concerned
about Caavo at first as this is definitely going to be a niche
product. Again, when it ships this fall Caavo will be priced at
$400. Caavo told The Verge its price is “premium but
approachable” for those motivated to get a single TV experience
from a multitude of set-top boxes.
This story, “Caavo wants to cure streaming video headaches by
unifying your set-top boxes” was originally published by