S1Digital announced recently that they’ve completely redesigned a Media Center HTPC, starting from square one.
The new Media Center features a custom designed, “living room friendly” case primarily cooled by heat pipes. But, more importantly there’s some impressive hardware under the hood. It’ll feature up to four CableCARD HDTV or two ATSC/QAM and NTSC tuners, 3TB of RAID-5 storage (standard), a Blu-ray drive (profile 2.0), Gigabit Ethernet, 4GB of memory, an Intel E8500 Core 2 Duo, an ATI All-In-Wonder 3650 (sporting HDMI, DVI, component and VGA outputs), a Logitech DiNovo Mini Bluetooth keyboard and a media center remote. It will also support “up to three zones of audio and video streaming (via Extenders or other Media Centers).”
So how much does something with that much hardware run the average consumer? Why $5,999 of course! And that’s standard (though, to be fair, the standard load out is mighty impressive).
MSI has been pretty active on the ultra portable PC front, and seems eager to pioneer in an otherwise uninspiring category of computers. After launching the first hybrid storage netbooks a few weeks back, they are now set to debut the first dual core Atom 330 enabled HTPC. The new MSI NetTop D130 will sport 2GB of DDR2 memory and comes standard with a built in DVD burner and 7.1 channel surround sound.
MSI is marketing this as an alternative to stand alone DVD players and are quick to emphasize how easy it is to hook up to modern LCD or Plasma displays. With a peek power consumption of around 35w, it’s defiantly an appealing package. We will have to hold out on passing a verdict however until we see a price and get to play with one in the lab. Currently it is expected to retail in the $200-$300 dollar range but unfortunately MSI has not finalized the pricing.
If you're tired of tiny form-factor HTPCs run by underwhelming processors, the newest version of the Epson Endeavor ST HTPC is a shot of adrenaline. As Nexus404 reports, the new ST120, which measures only 75x185x195 mm (or approximately 2.95x7.28x7.68 inches), features powerful processing and movie playback power:
Core 2 Duo processor running at speeds from 2.26-2.8GHz
GM45 Express chipset
1GB DDR2 RAM with upgrade options to 4GB
80GB to 250GB SATA hard disk
Blu-Ray or DVD drive
So, what's the catch? Catch us after the jump to find out.
It looks like Netgear has been keeping busy fixing the world’s problems. First they made tech green and now they’re responding to the generic home theater PC, with the (early) introduction of the Digital Entertainer Elite.
Thanks to some shots from the FCC, we can get a first look at the Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite that’s expected to be announced at CES. The all-in-one features the ability to play every digital format that you’d want at rates up to 40Mbps, the same as Blu-ray. And while it may not have a TV tuner, it does include a Wireless-N adapter.
On top of the component, optical and SCART outputs, it’ll feature HDMI so you can watch all your favorite media at up to 1080p. Also, should you find yourself packing movies onto a SATA HDD, you can toss that in there as well.
No word yet on pricing, but keeping in mind that it’ll feature the ability to play just about any type of digital media that you can think of, it’s safe to bet that it’ll cost a pretty penny.
We love to have tons of cool electronics hooked up to the big living room TV -- who doesn’t? But, if you’re like us, your significant other is less keen on seeing all that awesome black plastic and shiny metal, and you probably did the same thing we did: Went out and bought an overpriced, crappy piece of mass-produced furniture that has doors. Doors! And what do those doors do? They create hot pockets of electronics-killing heat that will shorten the life of our precious gear. All to keep the wife happy.
Fear not, heat haters. We put the Maximum PC brain trust to work in assembling a quick, quiet, and easy cooling solution for, well, just about any cabinet you’re willing to cut a hole in. We tested our solution with two of the hottest pieces of hardware we could find: an Xbox 360 and an AppleTV. With both boxed turned on, and with the door closed, the internal temperature of the cabinet quickly hit 130F. But after we mounted our heat-triggered fan, we saw the internal temperatures hovering a scant degree or two above room temperature. Want to find out how we did it? Hit the jump!
Gizmondo and Crunchgear report that Acer's new Aspire X1200 is loaded with multimedia features in a slimline mini-PC form factor. Featuring nine USB 2.0 ports, a full-featured Flash memory card reader, and an HDMI port, the X1200 is ready to connect to your home theater system. It also features AMD Athlon X2 dual-core processors, 4GB of RAM, DirectX 10 support, and PCI Express v2.0.
For a complete feature rundown and available configurations, see me after the break.
While SSDs continue to come down in price and up in performance, hard disk drives keep ballooning in size. And just when we thought we were becoming spoiled with storage space, Hitachi hits us with a humdinger by announcing plans to release a 5TB hard drive by 2010. That's FIVE freaking terabytes in a single 3.5" drive, or half the storage capacity of the human brain, claims Dr. Yoshihiro Shiroishi from Hitachi. In more concrete terms, 5TB equates to about 5,000 hours of video, or more than a million songs. Throw two drives together and you could store a human brain's worth of porn!
Hitachi's pledge trumps an earlier prediction the company made back in October 2007 when it said 4TB of storage would be likely by 2011. Instead, Hitachi will employ Current-Perpendicular-to-Plant Giant Magnetoresistance (CPP-GMR) magnetic read heads to pack an additional terabyte than initially anticipated, and a year sooner than predicted. CPP-GMR will make it possible to achieve data densities of 1TB or more per square inch, paving the way for even larger hard drives.
Home theater buffs will undoubtedly herald Hitachi's announcement, but what about everyone else? Are we reaching the point of diminishing returns in terms of hard drive space? Post your thoughts in the comments section.