updated 01:30 pm EST, Tue December 4, 2007
NEC Lui Media Remote
NEC on Tuesday rolled out Lui, a new platform that it believes can replace the conventional integration of a home theater PC. Rather than depend solely on a media extender hub, the new concept relies on remotely controlling a home Lui Server and streaming music and videos directly from its hard drive: remote control would be handled by a lightly-equipped computer or handheld that only needs enough power and storage to make the connection, NEC says. The server could use WiMAX to establish a connection between all the devices at ranges longer than for Wi-Fi.
In NEC's initial product line, two remote computers will be available. An ultra-mobile PC (pictured) will include a 4.1-inch touchscreen that slides up to reveal a full keyboard; it should include at least Wi-Fi and run Windows CE. A larger, 10.6-inch ultraportable notebook will also be an option and removes the hard drive that would normally be found in such a system. The Lui Server itself is driven by Windows Vista and will include digital tuners to play and capture TV. It will also support piping content to computers and other media hubs that support the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standard, such as Sony's PlayStation 3. A PCI-based expansion card could even provide a separate, basic Core 2 Duo system to use the home server for work, according to NEC.
Standing out from most concepts, NEC plans to launch Lui in at least its home country of Japan in the first half of 2008, when pricing and the full specifications for the systems will be made available. [via Impress]