BlackBerry 'Cyclone' media streamer appears in images, three years after its rumored existence

By Bla1ze on 18 Mar 2014 08:22 pm EDT
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Three years ago, there were plenty of rumors that BlackBerry was working on a media-streaming box similar to that of the Apple TV. The project at some point ended up being shelved never to see the light of day and that was pretty much the end of it. There's been no talk of a revival of the product but some purported images of the device have now appeared and they're certainly interesting.

 

Honestly, looking at the images I can't really quite understand as to why BlackBerry decided to scrap the idea. I'm sure they have their reasons but in the days of Apple TV's and many other streaming media boxes, BlackBerry was in the middle of creating a product their customer base actually wanted before the likes of Google and others and after seeing these images, will still likely want if it can be done right.

As we can tell from the images, it would have connected to your TV through HDMI, have Wi-Fi included and offer media server support from your device through that as well. Additionally, you would have been able to access YouTube, Slacker and various other services through the box with even mentions of Netflix having been part of the offerings.

After seeing the images, what do you all think? Is this something BlackBerry should put back on the table as an option? Arguably, they were a little ahead of the game here and gave up on it. If it combined some of the already existing functions of media streamers out there on shelves today and offered access and mirroring of content on my BlackBerry I'd scoop one up in a heartbeat. Let us know in the comments below what you think.

Reader comments

BlackBerry 'Cyclone' media streamer appears in images, three years after its rumored existence

208 Comments

If it was like a BlackBerry version of Apple TV then definitely!

BlackBerry Z30 STA-100-2 running 10.2.1.2102 :D

That is why they canceled it.

Thanks God because we don't have the same ecosystem as apple.

I think we are going back to security and the enterprise world is wise and that is our only way for a comeback

Posted via CB10

Yeah, but not everywhere, here in Switzerland, no Movies, no Music, only apps and games in BBW...

So with this BlackBerry TV, even today, at best case, it would end up like the super coordinated software updates (e.g. I'm on 10.2.1 since months and Verizon just came out... ehm... yesterday)

Ferrari ZetaDieci 10.2.1.2141

To hijack comment, this was not a rumor I was a beta tester for this very cool item. Never saw the light of day but was nice.

Posted via CB10 on my blazing fast Z30 on 10.2.1.2141

Yep. And then they called them all back. :( Would have liked to have run with these instead of the WDTV boxes.

Yeah, I think you've nailed it. The device looks like it was kind of cool, but without content it would have been dead in the water.

I'm sure these boxes were $5 throw-away devices to access a.......well, let's just say a hopeful eco-system that would have expanded BBerry's reach with the consumer. Imagine paying for access to a media library on your smartphone and then having the same access at home. Yes, I know....Apple did just that.

Well that's how you create ecosystems. Imagine if this box ran QNX/BB10, then netflix would have surely developed an app for it. And that would have meant that we would also get a native Netflix app for BB10 smartphones.

Play Starcraft? Join our Channel: C001242DE

A media streamer with no Netflix :S Umm yeah Sure, sign me up hehe... Wonder if this had anything to do with it being scrapped...... Not just Netflix but others as well.

If blackberry buys Roku, and are able to offer those services on its box with the BlackBerry integration it would be a hit.

Posted via CB using my Q10

I think there is a bigger reason. "Internet of things" is supposed to connect your mobile device with "things", like car and your home entertainment system. Since some companies might not be too cooperative, they are making their own systems to connect in the whole lot. If they pull it off well, it can be a huge win!
I think BlackBerry has quite a few surprises left for us

You have hit the nail on the head. Would this be a money generating endeavor. The answer is no.

Just look at Apple TV. It is an endeavour that, at best, doesn't loose money. If Apple could ditch it without looking bad, they would. BlackBerry made the right decision. Sorry but let's stop this silly trip down memory lane.

Posted via CB10

And pricing was the issue the first time round as to why it never saw the light of day. There cost was almost higher than what apple tv was supposed to sell for. So much innovation at BlackBerry. However when you are not big enough to buy up the supply chain or influence ecosystems it is hard to beat the Giants to market. I think this product makes a lot more sense now with what is available between BlackBerry World, and apk files plus bb10 in general. This might prevent others from going to apple TV and then changing their mobile device to apple as well. Perhaps selling this thing at break-even is what BlackBerry needs to do.

Posted via CB10

I would have bought one if it was in the $50 range. Ordered a Chromecast this morning now that's available in Canada :)

Not sure, it would definitely be a gamble. I guess better to show up to the party at 1am and order a johnny walker on the rocks, then never show up at all.

Posted via Z10 10.2

If optional, I would really buy this product. I'm sure it will work flawless on our bb10 phones and PlayBook.

"Initiated from my Q10 "

Oh and i probably wouldn't buy one... I like BlackBerry alot but not in the budget right now.

Posted via Z10 10.2

Got the cable used it on a vacation trip at the hotel streamed a netflix movie and was more than happy with it. (used the Hotel's wifi and an Android port of Netflix on a leaked OS.)

My issue is that at home I still have a functioning analog TV... so HDMI output is sort of worthless....

Probably another case of not reading the tea leaves right. BlackBerry has been to concentric with their thinking i.e. BBM cross platform decision. They need to be less proprietary and more open i.e. Android compatibility. I think the steaming thing has passed but they do need more products then just handsets. They are moving ahead on the software front so that may be good enough for now.

I agree with a yes and no. Yes to being more open. More open to working with developers of software and hardware. Open to making deals and bringing more into the blackberry world. I also say no because I would not want to see what android has become with severe fragmentation that android has. IMO

Posted via CB10

I'm starting to get into HTPCs therefore it wouldn't interest me; however if it's something that can go head to head with the competition I say go. ;)

Here's to BlackBerry one day releasing this.

Powered by BlackBerry (Z10). Join my #BBM Channels C001227CF, C00476C37, C003829C9, C002454C9,C002190AC, C00120CE3

They got bigger things to worry about than this unfortunately. Like next to zero US and Euro market share.

Posted via CB10

Oh god please. Really? Like an amazing Torch? Or amazing PlayBook. There is no time to work worry about mowing the lawn when the kitchen is on fire.

They scrapped it because it was an obvious failure. Apple makes money on devices and content distribution. BlackBerry looses money on devices only meanwhile.

This is when BB10 did not exist back then. Imagine this thi.g going against Google Chromecast (30$?) with there YouTube oomph and now imagine BlackBerry with errr *crickets*.

I'm Zeeing a bright future for Blackberry

All I see is a picture of what looks like my PB laying face down on the carpet? I am all for multiple BB devices, why not, I would rather a BB than a Sony or whatever.
This should have been part of all their "non phone" devices. The PB and my music gateway should have been upgraded to a media center, it's a natural evolution. Too many decisions related to staying a phone company.

Sent while driving from my Crackberry.

If there ever was a use for the old school BlackBerry trackpad/button combo this would be it! Clicking around on my Apple TV's remote to get to an icon at the bottom of the home screen can be quite annoying.

Why!!!
Unless this thing does something that none of the other little black boxes that is already in the market does, it will only appeal to a small percentage of BB users. Even though this thing may work with non BB devices, it will not get a second look by non BB device users due to the branding.

With so many people cutting the cable and ditching their satellite for internet tv. If a BlackBerry 10 streaming box was loaded to the brim with cutting edge technology of course it would be a hit.

Posted via CB10

I'm in the market for Streaming from my phone to the TV. If, BlackBerry comes out with a Miracast Dongle or something similar to Apple TV for a reasonable price under $50, I'd buy it.

Posted via CB10

Can't you just plug in your micro-hd port to your tv's hdmi port?
How much is this going to cost to sell and market?
I guess BlackBerry needs it for public perception, but that's it. if u own a BB10 phone this is a luxury good.

Posted via Z10 10.2

I'm still at the point that buying BlackBerry products (besides the phones because I can't do without one) will have to wait until I know BlackBerry won't put the product on the back burner like they did the playbook.

Although I may change my mind and eat my own words.

Posted via CB10

Do you think Netflix would have supported it? Or Amazon?

It will be the same as BB10. It ran BB10 actually.

Posted via CB10

Don't get how this plays to their strengths as a company. Cripes... it's taken Apple (with the iPod, iTunes and iTunes store available before the first Apple TV) eight years to stop calling the Apple TV a "hobby"

Posted via CB10

This should be reintroduced as a product. No surprise that BlackBerry blew their chance to get ahead of the game.

Posted via CB10

I would have and still would buy it. But... at this point why not have a good tv app that you could just put on your phone in a multimedia doc (another item I would have bought)

Posted via CB10

It's a pretty crowded space with Roku, Apple TV, WD Live and Netflix available on most devices.

It would have to do something pretty unique...

Posted via CB10

The other media boxes are popular because Linux based xbmc is available....if BlackBerry made a box, they would need developer support for Xbmc......so if they could get the support, I would be all over it.

Posted via CB10

If it played more common video files than the Apple TV does it would sell. No one wants to re-encode their video files.

Posted via CB10

Interface is very PlayBooky. Though, mentioning Netflix made me sigh and dream of what might have been.

It's a neat idea, and I would've probably consider it if they had actually brought this to market. Now? Unlikely. They'd have to have pretty amazing streaming solutions to change my mind.

Sure. Whatever it was built on before if they want to go at it again it may need to be redone with a QNX based os

Posted via CB10

It's already based on QNX.

Powered by BlackBerry (Z10). Join my #BBM Channels C001227CF, C00476C37, C003829C9, C002454C9,C002190AC, C00120CE3

Put a stripped down version of BlackBerry 10 on it and get it out on the market is what I would say if BlackBerry was planning on being more then a niche device maker with irrelevant share of the consumer market.

I'd take 10 if it was under $100 though.

Yes please. If it let's me stream my BlackBerry device completely wireless I'm definitely in.

Posted by Antoniius via my sexy white Q10.

A late 2010/early 2011 release date might have worked out. That would have put it just a little bit behind apple TV. I wonder why it was halted?

Posted via CB10

I think this is a good time for them to get back into this if they do it right.. they have a perfect chance to try to be first ones to provide a box with h.265 support, hdmi 2.0 for 4k, maybe gigabit port for network and something else to make it future proof and yet backwards compatible with everything else that out there.. there is no such box out there now and this would definitely interest lots of customers... they would need to be one step ahead..

Posted via CB10

They have some ground to cover. What would make me buy one would be the following:
Ability to use phone as remote
Full streaming of any content in the phone as well as EVERY other content provider available via Apple, Roku etc
Complete video bridge and notification so I can see everything i choose to on my TV from my phone. i.e. sms, BBM, email, pin messages etc.

Posted via CB10

I would love this! Mirror my device so I can use it on my TV as my screen! This would be great as I purchased movies on my blackberry and would love to have it all accessible on my TV without taking up space on my phone!

Posted via CB10

I have a Media Gateway and I love streaming my music to my stereo through it. I think that I'd they did decide to pursue it, it would have to be another branch in addition to QNX, BlackBerry smartphones, BBM, and BlackBerry MDM. Call it BlackBerry Media perhaps. But it should be a separate entity from the other areas.

Posted via CB10

Based on previous experiences with other tv media box abortions like WD and Sony Internet TV " powered" by Google TV/abortion. I would rather eat my own ass.

I've got a miniHDMI on my TV dedicated to my z30. It does everything I could ever want in terms of media. No more stupid fukkboxes for me.

Posted via CB10

Apple TV is an archaic piece of shit. Don't fall prey to Apple products. Blu-Ray is 5000000 times better than Crapple TV and you don't have to wait for any download wait times.

Team BlackBerry

The margins would look like something that took place with the playbook. Won't work not because late to the game but because others like amazon or apple can afford to loose money on each one they sell. Total game losses. And the nail on the coffin.. what the hell would you need this worthless gizmo when you have mirracast wireless connection to the TV or hdmi connect for that matter. What blackberry really needs is a dock station to connect the phones to charge and connect to the TV. Bottom line.. sell phones.

Posted from a Blackberry Z10

Give it BlackBerry Bridge. A PlayBook 3.0 a la BB10 interface with access to android runtime. Access to the appstore and DLNA/Miracast, coupled with at least 64gb on board storage and ports for more support and they should have a winner. Oh Yea, don't forget the BB10 browser with a proper ad blocker.

Posted via CB10

No they should not...First be successful in enterprises and then there will plenty of money and time for crazy concepts.

Posted via CB10

I would like it!!!!! If it supports wifi streaming of dlna. Supported multiply codes. Have hdmi and USB 3. And then support apps like Netflix crackle slingplayer that sort of stuff. I kinda hope they would come out with one I have just been looking for a apple TV or a roku

Posted via CB10

It's already obsolete for the those of us using the Z30 with a Miracast capable TV etc. And even if you don't have one I hear there are adapters you can buy. I was so thrilled to use Miracast today to mirror stream my Z30 to my Miracast compatible TV. :)

Posted via CB10

I'd buy this in a heartbeat! Sad they didn't release this years ago!

I also find it odd that some don't actually favor this, I envy Apple users for streaming media from their iPhones and iPads to their TVs and at my house, I have to get up and plug my device in.

I think they should most definitely put it back on the table and it should have BlackBerry Bridge like support for Blackberries.

Posted via CB10

Come on, you don't want release something already in the market, unless if it include something very interesting or innovative, otherwise no point n lose money

Posted via CB10

It would have been a flop just because it said BlackBerry on it. Then Apple would release Apple TV and everyone would praise it at how new, innovative, and convenient it was.

Posted via the super amazing BlackBerry Q10

There is no way this could meet the same price point as chromecast. instead of wasting capital on this, they should invest in building compatibility with chromecast or roku and calling it a day.

Made by Foxconn would make it competitive. I didn't investigate further, I know from earlier it's made by "an undisclosed Asian manufacturer".

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

I don't see a point know, in the world of Roku, apple TV, smart TVs, chromecast, they would just be entering a market with very little space, and only a small segment of BB users willing to pay for the Tue in to BB services. Apple users get AppleTV. Android users use chromecast. BB doesn't have enough users to support it in the long run, and In this market, with all of them pretty much doing the same thing the only benefit is how it works with your phone. And there are just not enough BB phones/tabs out there. I would have gotten on 5 years ago.....back before I got an android.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

They need to work on a secure connected home. The background they have could pull that off, with the only issue being Google. But second place is good enough for blackberry. *Trust me, Apple's Airplay doesn't cut it for more than music*

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

This is amazing! I had just recently experienced using Apple TV and was considering purchasing one for my gf.. If thid was something BlackBerry thought about putting back in their future plans then I'd most definitely buy myself one of these if I could hook it up and connect it to my BlackBerry! :D

Posted From MY #SwagBerry ALL BLACK BlackBerry Z10! #TeamBlackBerry #BlackBerryGang #BlackBerryFaithful #BlackBerryLoyalty #BB10Swag #Z10

If it can do Miracast on it and have at least 3 more USB ports. I would buy this for sure. Actually, depending on the price I would buy 4. That's exactly what I'm looking for right now. I would also appreciate their security and privacy over any other company out there.

I like the idea. I would definitely buy one. However, realistically right now. No. Let's be real. BlackBerry has to get back to where it was or up there. We know BlackBerry has the best phones and os on the market, hands down.

This got me to thinking. Someone mentioned how BlackBerry was looking at security. To me security is #1 above all else. The idea that crossed my mind was to mix this device (have apps stream media using its own bb10os that can be controlled from your phone) with a mix of a personal NAS (like a buffalo). One that is just as secure and only the owner has they key. Also we could use it as our own cloud storage. So we can access no matter where we are at.

Posted via CB10

Too late and besides with a smart TV you can already stream content to your TV play Netflix etc.

Z30 and loving it!

Come on, bec it's BlackBerry you saying it, really tell us what is amazing about, anything innovative?

Posted via CB10

I guess this device can work seamlessly with our BlackBerry phones, including BBM video call, listen to music from the phones, watch videos and pictures from the phones, do video presentation, all without cable connection. Good for both personal and enterprise use.

Posted via CB10 by Z30

Just release the box and see, keep it as an offering and manage economic stocks only. If demand rises produce more.

Iam looking for playbook 2 with BB10 and this box.

Posted via CB10

Foxconn cooks could piece one together in cooperation with BlackBerry, make the price competitive, and see adoption rates.

This would also feed into improving content in BBW.

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

They should definitely bring this back! With the power of Miracast this would be so easy to use compared to today's alternatives like miracast adapters or plugging directly using hdmi.

Posted via CB10

This would be great, if BlackBerry did it right. As in give people the features they want, and don't decide for people what they can do with the thing.

Unfortunately BlackBerry did some things early on in BlackBerry 10 that showed that if they ever did make this kind of device, they'd most likely fall in line like the rest of them.

Right now all the major players in these media streaming devices (Apple, Chromecast, and Roku) are restricting too many users from utilizing the boxes like they want to. They severely limit the codecs the devices will handle, and make it very difficult, or impossible, to stream one's personal files off their PCs.

Sell me the device, don't dictate to me what I can do with it by deliberately limiting it's capabilities.

Posted via CB10

If it made it easier to view my content on a larger screen he'll yeah I'm having difficulty understanding how to use. Miracast and wifi direct and among other options to view my content from a blackberry 10 smartphone.

Posted via CB10

I would buy it...IF it supported the popular streaming services such as NetFlix, Hulu, Crackle, HBOGo....I don't use Hulu much and I never use Crackle, but I know there is a pretty large demand for it....

With the improvements to BBW in the past three years and all of the updates to BB10 I would definitely be interested, especially if there's a wee update to the PlayBook, giving a more 'complete package' of BlackBerry products.

Another media streamer? Bad idea. I insist that what Blackberry need is the capacity of adding any TV or PC/Mac Monitor to be using as a Blackberry 10 mirror image. I like the idea that have a 24" monitor and a bluetooth Keyboard, and use my BlackBerry Q10 with it, wireless. Use Docs to Go, watch my BlackBerry World movies, make video calls. Just using a PC without a PC.

God Bless You!

Posted via CB10

Interesting. Was looking for a AppleTV (using a Mac mini). Maybe i should wait? On the other hand: i am using a BB stereo gateway...when i use my Playbook for streaming i can not control the volume from my PB. When my girlfriend uses her Sony Smartphone for streaming she can.

BlackBerry key to success will really be pricing, if they were able to make a device that they could sell for less than the competition then they'd have a chance. Consumers can't justify paying premium prices for BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

It would have been awesome to have a BB10 version of this but as always, BlackBerry is always late to the party and misses the bus. They always come out with cool concepts but never follow through.

I currently have an Apple TV2 and a Chromecast. If BB were to continue this they need a good ecosystem with seamless integration: quality smartphones, definitely a tablet as well and most importantly CONTENT. Ditch the remote control (ancient piece of equipment), instead have remote apps. Oh, and it needs to be cheap.

Yes please. I already have media streamers on all but one tv in my house. I am going to get another hopefully it is a BBTV.

Posted via CB10 on ZED10

I don't know about this. I mean I already do this by connecting my Playbook to my TV through my HDMI Cable and using my Z10 as a remote control, via Bridge. Instead, why not make more apps for PB,like Crackle, Hulu and Netflix... HBO Go, Max Go, on Demand from your local cable providers... etc... or better yet build a new tablet with BB10 and Bridge that works as a tablet and connects to your TV via HDMI like PB. You'd knock two birds with one stone. Tablet and BlackBerry TV. You can then determine how often people use their shall we call it PB 2 with their TV and decide if there is a demand for this sort of thing on BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

They built it to its full form in its product development cycle. but there were multiple issues with it.

1. When development teams showed it to senior leadership its usage, Mike L said he wanted this functionality to be in your phone not in another device.

2. It was done at a time when Porche design was already over budget and playbook 2 was on a stretch.

3. There were some regulation challenges on how it functioned. But basically what it would do was, once you selected all your shares cyclone would go and collect all the metadata information on your whole network and automatically add videos to video and audio files to music. Exactly like what bb10 does now.

4. And finally to top it all of some idiotic VP had a problem with a little scuff mark on front side of the product and wasn't willing to spend any more time to fix it. So it was put on indefinite hold on final build (4) and later just cancelled.

This was a top secret product back then, Very few people in the company actually have this. The current BB link interface is derived from the interface they made for cyclone. It looked exactly like the content screen in bb link just super fluid.

Sad it went away!

I just signed in only for this great idea!

I need this gear for my home theater!!! Please BlackBerry let this happen!

Servus from Austria! :D

Posted via CB10

What is the advantage of this over getting a smart tv or just hooking up your z10 or PlayBook with hdmi cables?

Posted via CB10

you can use your pc or mac...e.g. i use eyeTV for recording movies from TV. hdmi cable is always a pain to do, cause my second monitor uses this port already.

I remember when this was first rumored. This needs to be placed out into the world very well or it will just flop

Posted via CB10

Would have been cool but BlackBerry was right to can it.

BlackBerry needs to get back on track!

Posted via CB10

My first thought was it would fail badly. My second thought was if it has bbm and could run xbmc it would be flicking awesome.

Posted via CB10

Why make it just a media player when you can put a camera in it and enable video calling via your television in the same little box?

Posted via CB10

I think a BlackBerry media player for in your home has real potential.

QNX is already a leader of automotive entertainment systems that will connect to mobile devices.

That existing knowledge and established OS could go a long way towards a home media player that allows people to use a TV with their BB10 phone (or other phones.)

I dont think Blackberry building any eco system anytime soon. Its better they cancelled it because without a massive eco system, and no support from Netflix this device simply wont take off..
Reality is this device may sell around 50,000 units and thats it.

If they can make the Blackberry phone works with Chromecast and Apple TV, which I guess will take less resources than making this device, at least that will help Blackberry increase their phone sales a bit.

You cant be the underdog with 3% market share without other services to backup and expect to sell a media streamer device.
If not, just let this device can run XBMC and then we are talking business...

Yes they should also no they shouldn't because BlackBerry is on a budget right now and so if they make it, it won't have good quality

Posted via CB10

I think blackberry should be careful because of how fragile the companies is but at the right price I would love one.

Posted from the coolest phone ever BLACKBERRY Z10

Put it out there for 1/2 the price of an Apple TV and it will sell if you ADVERTISE it properly.

Hell I'd buy 1 for sure!

I wonder what Thorsten Heins' "device that I am so excited about, to be launched at Years' end..." was.

I was thinking that it may have been either the qwerty keyboard overlay for the touch screens, some sort of dumb-tablet for all BB10 devices, or perhaps this.

Anyone know the answer?

Even if sold at break even pricing, it could produce revenue through advertising. Google has been doing it, others can to.

Tim Smith from my Z10 on Rogers

Get me one of these and a build of XBMC along with a controller for emulator games and I will snap one up!