updated 04:50 pm EDT, Fri October 6, 2006
Monster Cable Einstein
Monster Cable has always existed at the periphery of home theaters in the literal sense of the term: most know it only for its cables and other accessories that play only a minor part. Not content with this role, Monster intends to get attention with its first proper home theater equipment by targeting luxury buyers, says CRN's Jeff O'Heir. The company is planning a home theater ecosystem codenamed Einstein that would ease the process of sending high-definition audio and video throughout a large home. At its heart will be the Nucleus, a $4,000 device that would serve as a media hub and home automation box; this would in turn connect through gigabit Ethernet or WiFi to local Electron devices ($2500) that would serve as the owner's direct controls over everything from home lighting to videos. Click through for more, including launch details and the extravagant DVD and satellite players that form part of the Einstein system.
More interesting from the user's perspective would be the playback devices themselves. The Proton ($2400, pictured) will be a 200-disc DVD changer that can play two DVDs at once to any point in the Einstein network, while the Astro ($1500) should be unique for its ability to stream Sirius satellite radio to as many as three different receivers in a single house. Monster has made a conscious choice to use Linux for the software, writes O'Heir, preferring the interoperability made possible by an open standard instead of favoring certain devices and formats over others. The completed hardware will be formally announced at the January CES show in Las Vegas and ship to dealers by late March.