A fresh rumour is suggesting RIM is working on a BlackBerry-branded media box, similar to Apple TV. It will apparently pull heavily on the BlackBerry Presenter lineage, which was an accessory that let you shunt PowerPoint presentations over Bluetooth to a projector or other display. The kicker is that the software will be QNX, and support third-party applications (though it won’t be quite as consumer-focused as Apple TV). Still, one would hope that the big players like Netflix and Hulu would find their way on board.
Although it sounds a little far-fetched, RIM has been pretty aggressive on the accessory front over the last little while. The Bluetooth visor has been a great way to take calls and shunt audio out to your car stereo over FM transmission. I use the Bluetooth media gateway all the time to get my BlackBerry-stored music out to my big speakers. The PlayBook launched with a plethora of accessories, and even came with a great neoprene sleeve.
There are a few things that I would expect from a BlackBerry media box: for one, it would need to do video mirroring of the PlayBook. For now, this is only something you can do when plugged in through HDMI, but that’s impractical if you want to be controlling anything from the couch. RIM has promised in the past that DLNA support would be coming to the PlayBook, so you could do that sort of thing over Wi-Fi. That’s much more agreeable, since I already have a DLNA TV, and would rather not have to get a separate piece of hardware. However, DLNA’s only really useful for accessing particular multimedia files, not mirroring what’s on the screen (like YouTube videos pulled up in the browser). Besides that, an SD card slot, some local storage, and network sharing would make such an accessory a great midway point for transferring files to and from mobile devices. What would you guys like to see in a similar product? Anything in particular missing from Apple TV that would make it a good fit for smartphone owners?