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February 11, 2008

Blue-Laser Player To Enable Blu-ray Disc Copying

Manufacturer of high-end home entertainment servers, Kaleidescape, will release a Blue-Laser player sometime in 2009. What exactly is a Blue-Laser player? It's a device that will work with all of Kaleidescape's home entertainment servers that supports H.264, VC-1, and MPEG-2 formats, and let's you copy Blu-ray discs onto your Kaleidescape server for storage and playback.

Kaleidescape licensed the DVD Copy Control Association's Content Scramble System which enables the company to bypass the copy protection on DVD's and as of next year, Blu-ray discs. Kaleidescape home server owners will be able to store roughly 33 Blu-ray movies on a 750 GB disk cartridge, allowing them to be stored, organized, and played back from the server rather than from the original disc.

Not surprisingly, Kaleidescape has no plans to support HD DVD unless it "becomes a more successful format".

Via Marketnews

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 20, 2008

Media Servers: LaCie LaCinema Premier A Better Storage Solution Than Media Server


Marketed as a "digital media hard drive", this quasi-media server, the LaCie LaCinema Premier is a decent storage and transfer solution for all your multimedia files. Manufactured in 500GB, 750GB, and 1TB version, the Premier hooks up to your computer via a USB 2.0 port from which you can transfer your videos, music, and pictures. The inconvenient part about this is that when you're done, you have to disconnect it, move it to your television where you connect it via composite cable and view or listen to the content on your TV. Any content will be upscaled to 1080i if necessary. Strangely, given the popularity of HDMI, there is no HDMI support at all with the Premier.

The LaCie LaCinema Premier features silent operation, a plain but easy-to-use interface, and supports most audio and video codecs. Rather than a dedicated media server, we'd recommend the Premier as a multimedia storage or backup solution.

Available in February 2008, the Premier will be priced at $230 for 500GB, $329 for 750GB, and $460 for 1TB of storage space.

Via press release

Justin Davey at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 20, 2007

HP Blackbird 002 - Perfect Media Center Powerhouse


Sure it's more a gaming PC, but come on - look at it! It's a monster media center for watching TV in the making. The Blackbird features an aluminum casing, liquid cooling, LED lit interiors and back panels, an open BIOS to allow overclocking, and can be customized to include an array of various CPU,GPU, and RAM options. We think just playing some PC games on our 40" LCD TV has to happen with this thing. Wow.

Via acquire at HP Blackbird

Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 21, 2007

Resources for Building your Own Windows Media Center

As more consumers are becoming interested in turning their PCs into Home Media Centers, we've gotten a lot of emails asking about Media Center resources. I ran across a website that will help you build a Windows Media Center from scratch. doesn't have tutorials on building a Media Center but is an online databases of ratings on how well a certain component works with Window Media Center as you can see from this screenshot:

What a great resource for you do-it-yourselfers.


Compare Prices: Windows Media Center Operating System

Compare Prices: Media Centers

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 6, 2006

TiVo or Windows Media Center - Which One for You?

My brother-in-law bought a new computer the other day with Windows Media Center. The funny thing is he didn't even know what it was until I showed him how easy it was to record TV right on his computer. So if you're looking for a PVR, should you look at WMCE or should you stick with TIVO? Digital105 has a nice little article that discusses the differences between WMCE and TiVo:

There are two basic ways to enter the world of the Personal Video Recorder (PVR): through a dedicated hardware unit, like a TiVo or ReplayTV, or through a software-based PVR that runs on your home computer, like Windows: Media Center Edition (WMCE) or MythTV. In this article I will compare the most popular form of each platform, TiVo and WMCE, to help you figure out which one would be best for you.

Both TiVo and WMCE have the same basic functionality: after you tell them which programs to record, they find them, and automatically record them from your television source (antenna, analog or digital cable, or satellite feed). They both have the ability to create a "Season Pass" (TiVo's terminology) for a show, which will record all episodes of a show, or just new ones if you prefer. These "Season Passes" are in kept in a prioritized list, which determines which program will record if more than one are on at the same time.

The article has some pretty decent points but it would of been nice if they also mentioned DVR cable boxes as an option too. In fact, cable DVR boxes seem to be getting bigger because they're so well integrated so well into your existing cable service.

At Digitial105

Compare Prices: TiVo

Compare Prices: Media Center

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 19, 2005

Sneak Peek - NEC All-in-One Box

There's not a lot of details about this NEC Valuestar all-in-one that contains HD TV, DVR and PC, but it looks pretty impressive. According to Gizmodo:

The NEC HD TV-PC will run you about $2800, but its basically a Windows Media Center Edition 2005 with a start-up time of only 2 seconds for TV mode after a complete shut-down.

It's definitely a sweet looking device and if it's really only $2800, we'd say it's quite a steal. We'll get you more details when they come out.

At [via Akihabara News]

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 9, 2005

Build Your Own MythTV Box

mythtvIf you're looking for a media center and you're comfortable messing around inside a computer case, you'll want to strongly consider building your own system. Oreilly has a really nice tutorial that walks you through building a media center running MythTV, the extremely popular GPL home media suite for Linux.

The tutorial is a multi-part article and starts with the hardware and most importantly the TV capture card:

This one is easy. The HD-3000 from pcHDTV is one of only two capture cards for Linux, and the direct descendant of what was once the only card available. I purchased multiple cards so that I could build a multiple-tuner system. Furthermore, Jack Kelliher, the founder and CEO of the company, is deeply committed to open source software's role in television.
Overall, this is a excellent article to understand what's involved in building your own media center box.

Read Building My MythTV Box, Part 1: Hardware

William Hungerford at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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