After bailing out of the plasma HDTV market, Pioneer seemed destined to selling Blu-ray players and A/V receivers, but it has a bigger idea in mind with its Entertainment Tap (or Project ET) networked concept player. At its heart, it's a streaming media box that plays files from your networked PCs on your HDTV as well as offering online services like Netflix's on-demand video. But the company is trying to offer a few features that will put it ahead of the pack of similar devices.
At this week's CEDIA home theater expo, Pioneer had a Entertainment Tap unit on display with 1TB of hard drive space, along with built-in Wi-Fi and a built-in Blu-ray player. It also has the ability to control home automation products via its Zigbee 2-Way remote control. It works well with iPhones, not only playing media back from the phone, but also letting the device control home theater functions. And like Internet-enabled TVs, it will offer applications like Twitter, even allowing you to tweet what you're watching or listening to followers with the ability to purchase the media directly from the tweet.
Like all concepts, Project ET sounds really cool, but isn't ready for release. Pioneer hasn't offered a release date or even any details about specific products that will emerge from this project. Considering that it can't be that tough for a competitor to add a 1TB hard drive to a Blu-ray player with built-in Wi-Fi, Pioneer might to hurry along with retail models pretty soon.