updated 12:00 pm EDT, Thu September 6, 2007
Alienware HD Media Server
Alienware today released a companion piece for its Hangar18 home theater PC. The HD Media Server is designed to feed the Hangar18 and other systems with live and pre-recorded HD content. Slots for four hard drives give it up to 4TB of disk space for downloaded movies, which can be hot-swapped for upgrades. Internal CableCARD support also lets the device either play HDTV shows as they happen or record them for later use. A slot-loading Blu-Ray drive provides a third option for watching HD video as well as a backup option for offloading content. Owners can also backup content online if necessary, Alienware says.
Content can be shared across the network either through one of two Ethernet jacks or across Wi-Fi. Locally, the device can play video directly through HDMI and produce 7.1 audio with Dolby Digital support. Complex setups can convert the hub into a home automation tool that integrates lighting, security, and even air conditioning, Alienware notes.
Unlike the Hangar18, the Media Server isn't offered with a public price and is meant for individual users as well as professional installers setting up an integrated home theater, including in new homes. Pricing requires a custom quote and can include custom hardware and special services.