Niveus ZONE HTPC: Blu-ray & multi-room from $1.5k

We've drooled over Niveus' multi-room HD hardware before, but it's only now that the company has released a relatively mainstream product our meager blogger budgets could even hope to afford.  The Niveus ZONE is a Core 2 Duo based small-form-factor media player, capable not only of upscaling DVDs and playing 1080p Blu-ray content, but distributing it to other networked ZONE units around the home.Video demo after the cut

While the ZONE will work as a standalone unit, it comes into its own when more than one are installed.  Then each ZONE can share content with each other, or with network-attached storage, including Digital Cable boxes or 3rd-party TV tuners for DVR duty.

The ZONE PC itself has a 2GHz T5750 processor, 2GB of RAM, Intel GMA 4500HD graphics, gigabit ethernet, a 160GB hard-drive, slot-loading Blu-ray drive, HDMI 1.3 and eSATA ports, and can output 7.1 surround sound.  It runs Windows Vista Home Premium together with Niveus' own software suite, including the Movie Library app which handles saved DVD and Blu-ray content.  The whole thing measures just 6.5 x 6.5 x 1.97 inches and uses less than 50W.

The Niveus ZONE media player is available now, priced from $1,499 per unit.  There's also a new user community, Niveus Forums, where buyers and dealers will have access to early software builds and tech support.

[via Automated Home]