Alienware needs 3 essential items for HD media centers

Right now, there are three essential items for any computer that costs over $3,000 and is a media center:

  1. Two digital cable tuners to record one HD program while watching another
  2. A Blu-ray or HD-DVD drive to watch HD movies
  3. NVidia 8500/8600 GT video card to optimize performance of HD content

A couple days ago I complained about Alienware’s Hangar 18 lack of CableCard support and Blu-ray/HD-DVD drives. The Hangar 18 has none of these right now, which is kind of surprising. However, they are planning to offer these items in an series of upgrades over the next couple of months.

My main concern though with the Hangar 18 is the chassis, which only has one more available slot for a digital cable tuner. In order to have two tuners, it appears that you will need to use external tuners, which kills the the point of having such a stylish case. To be fair to Alienware, only one vendor offers these three items: Velocity Micro PC. Hopefully this will change soon to drive down prices.

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    1. Digeo’s Moxi DVRs Are Competition for Tivo and Vista Media Center » Floppyhead - Digital Media and Home Theater Computers Says:

      [...] I am not sure why a company would release a media center type device without CableCard support right now (Alienware Hangar 18 also comes to mind). The Moxi Home Cinema Edition HD DMR sounds like a product that is dead on arrival. The Moxi Multiroom HD DMR looks more promising, though its success will hinge on its price-point. If it is more expensive that a Tivo Series 3, then I think it will never gain traction in the marketplace. Moxi is also working on an OCAP solution. From the Digeo website: Moxi for OCAP is a software-based version of the Moxi user interface optimized to run on lower-end set-top boxes and other hardware using the cable-industry standard OCAP middleware platform. Compatible with multiple hardware platforms, Moxi for OCAP provides cable operators increased flexibility in bringing the Moxi user experience to their customers as they strive to effectively compete with IPTV and satellite service providers to acquire and retain customers. [...]

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