Let’s get the first hurdle out of the way: SE2 Labs‘ ITC One home entertainment system costs $25,000. Assuming you’ve got that to spend, though, what do you get for your money? How about an XBox 360, Wii, Apple TV, iPod dock and DVR, together with “audiophile grade” mods and power conditioning, all in a single standalone case. Gizmodo spent a little hands-on time with the ITC One, and just as you might imagine came away wondering exactly who it’s aimed at.
Thankfully SE2 Labs haven’t just slotted all the hardware into one big case, plugged in a multisocket power cord and left it at that. Instead, power is centralised (as is networking), individual cases have been modified, and upgrades on connectivity made; for instance, some of the optical audio output sockets have been bypassed directly to the base connections. The company also claims that centralising the power source reduces standby draw by half and operating draw by 33-percent. There’s also a nifty LCD screen and a multi-function remote with motion sensitivity.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. Blu-ray currently isn’t even an option, and when it is it’ll take the place of the Wii. Gizmodo isn’t convinced by the A/V mods (the upscaler and power conditioning come in for particular critique) and the fact that the remote beeps when you press a button on the main unit (just in case you’ve lost it down the back of the couch) doesn’t add up to the ITC One being worth $25k.
You have to wonder who SE2 Labs are aiming this at. Serious home media enthusiasts – i.e. the sort who have that much money to spend – will usually go for a built-in system; that basically leaves those who rent, rather than own, where they live. The ITC One sounds well-built and reasonably thought out (Blu-ray decision aside), but they could making a product that nobody really wants.