Media Center PC

Shuttle H7 barebones HTPC for AMD Phenom AM+ CPUs

In a year dominated by budget ultraportables and desktop-replacing laptops, it’s easy to forget that there are plenty of users out there who are still looking for desktop and HTPC machines.  Shuttle have announced just the barebones system for them, the H7, small enough to fit neatly under a flatscreen for media PC duty, but compatible with AMD’s latest Phenom AM2+ processors for when grunt is necessary.


Acer Aspire X1200 HTPC for budget dual-core entertainment

As home entertainment PCs go, Acer‘s new Aspire X1200 isn’t exactly going to win any awards for its looks, but considering it’s been cleverly shaved so as to be rack-friendly you’re probably not really meant to leave it out on show.  Inside lurks an AMD Athlon X2 2850e processor, NVIDIA GeForce 8200 graphics and an HDMI port capable of spitting out 1080p video.


HP TouchSmart PC launches early

HP’s TouchSmart PC may not have MultiTouch but it’s still proving popular; despite the $1,249.99 starting price tag I’ve heard many people say they plan on picking one up.  The 22-inch high-definition desktop was meant to launch on July 13th, but according to HP’s online store the IQ504 model and IQ506 model are actually shipping today. 

Hands-on demo video of the HP TouchSmart PC after the cut


Sony VGX-TP1 Media Center PCs with Blu-ray & HDMI

Sony continues its hat-box obsession, with another pair of circular Media Center PCs.  The white VGX-TP1D and the black VGX-TP1DQ/B both feature Intel’s 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo T8100 CPU, 2GB RAM and GeForce 8400M GT graphics.  Where they differ is in storage and optical drive: the TP1D has a 320GB hard-drive and a dual-layer DVD writer, while the TP1DQ/B ups that to 500GB and drops in a Blu-ray drive.


Mitsubishi, NVIDIA & Aspen to produce 3D home cinema package

There’ve been a few 3D TVs and displays in the press recently, some requiring special glasses and some not, and today Mitsubishi, NVIDIA and Aspen Media Products have announced their collaboration on a home theatre system offering straightforward access to both 3D hardware and content.  Based on the Aspen Media Server, basically an HTPC with huge storage capacity and 1080p high-def graphics, the new range will use NVIDIA’s GeForce FX Go graphics (and specifically their 3D stereoscopic capabilities) together with Mitsubishi’s 3D-ready Home Theater HDTVs.


Cannon PC demo six CableCARD recording on Media Center PC

Bad news if you’re the sort of person who starts feeling guilty at having recorded dozens of shows but not actually watched any of them: Cannon PC have just released a demo video of their latest Windows Media Center mod, simultaneously recording six high-definition programs via six separate CableCARDs.  If you’re not familiar with Media Center, you might not see why that’s special; not only does the OS only natively support two CableCARDs, but usually gobbling up all that HD footage would quickly gobble up all your CPU cycles.

Check out the demo video after the cut


Dell Studio Hybrid mini PC breaks cover

It might look like a blurry humidor, but in actual fact this is Dell’s upcoming Studio Hybrid mini PC.  Clad in what’s believed to be orange plexiglass, the machine – an update of the bamboo eco computer seen in April – may be small but the spec list certainly isn’t shy: an unspecified Intel chipset, 4GB of RAM and 320GB hard-drive makes for a very reasonable compact computer.


HP MediaSmart Connect wireless HD media streamer up for pre-order

First spotted back in January at CES, HP networked media player – then known as the MediaSmart Receiver – is finally available for pre-order. Now called the MediaSmart Connect, it still has WiFi a/b/g and dual-band draft 802.11n, two USB ports for plugging in removeable storage and a bay for HP’s Pocket Media Drives. Output is via HDMI or component video with optical audio, and a convenient front-mounted button toggles between 1080i and 720p.


HP TouchSmart PC gets slick upgrade

HP have announced their latest touchscreen desktop computer, the TouchSmart PC, with a 22-inch widescreen display, DVD burner and optional TV tuner.  Specs include Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of RAM, wireless networking and memory card slots, together with a webcam and microphone.  Probably of more interest, though, is the touchscreen itself, which lets uses browse media, go online, edit photos and more, all with a single finger.


ASUS Mini PC Nova Lite PX24 super-compact media center

It’s not all Eee at Computex; ASUS have also unveiled a desktop PC bearing their own branding, the Mini PC Nova Lite PX24.  The company is calling it “the world’s smallest high-definition PC”, by virtue of its compact dimensions – 242 x 184 x 51mm – and separate ATI RV620 graphics card.  That’s capable of outputting 1080i/1080p through the Nova Lite’s HDMI and DVI ports.  Processing grunt is courtesy of an Intel Celeron 220 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM.


AMEX Digital RM-mp1 Wireless USB touchpad media remote

AMEX Digital have taken a break from making DVD and Blu-ray decks to unveil their new RM-mp1 remote control.  Using Wireless USB rather than IR or a proprietary RF link, the RM-mp1 works as a media remote, a presentation controller and for general PC control courtesy of the built-in touchpad and mouse buttons.  It’s also fitted with a USB pointer for momentarily dazzling anybody who tries to throw eggs at you during presentations.


Gigabyte M700 IPTV UMPC with digital tuner base-station

With the array of Eee-style budget notebooks clamouring to play the role of your companion PC, Microsoft’s UMPC format is being forced to think outside of its traditional box to score sales. Gigabyte have stepped up with the M700; while it may look like a typical 7-inch touchscreen slate, in actual fact it’s running VIA’s 1.2Ghz processor with the new VX800 chipset (with Chrome 9 graphics and video decoding hardware) and is part of the company’s latest IPTV push. The M700 is in actual fact a mobile media center, complete with a dock that packs a digital TV tuner and IPTV streamer.

Check out the video overview of the Gigabyte M700 after the cut


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