, the kings of the small form-factor PC, has expanded beyond their traditional cube-shaped case design and adopted a slimline desktop chassis to create one of the most complete HTPCs we've seen, the stylish XPC Media Center.
“The Shuttle XPC Media Center combines advanced power and noise reduction technologies, industry leading audio and video capabilities, and a powerful yet easy to use software interface to create an entertainment focused home computer ideal for the living room,” announced Ken Huang, chief designer and architect of the XPC.
The Shuttle XPC Media Center is Pentium M-based, sporting a 1.73GHz processor on an i915 motherboard, with 512MB of DDR-333 memory; it supports up to 2GB. Graphics are handled by a 256MB NVIDIA 6600 LE PCI-Express x16 card, so gaming performance will be modest, but certainly more useful than integrated graphics. Video outputs include DVI, VGA, S-video, and Component signals, and image quality is vastly improved by NVIDIA's Pure Video
The system can support up to two digital or analogue tuner cards, allowing you to record two programs at once, record one while watching another or even watch two different shows simultaneously.
Storing your recorded programs, movies, and music will be no problem: there is a 250GB 7200rpm SATA hard drive and 4X dual layer DVD drive. Import your photographs using the 8-in-1 card reader, supporting all major formats, and you can slot a 2.5" notebook drive, dubbed Storage-2-Go - in the front-mounted docking bay to transfer files or use it as a removable backup.
Creative provide the audio via a 7.1 Sound Blaster Live! chip with all the connectors you would expect, including optical S/PDIF in & out. The busy back panel also sports FireWire and USB 2.0 ports to compliment those mounted at the front. There is even an FM radio receiver built in.
You can network your XPC Media Center using the on-board Broadcom 10/100/1000Mbit Ethernet - with Wake-on-LAN support - or the built-in 802.11 b/g Wireless networking. If you own any Media Center Extender devices, which will soon include Xbox 360, you can pipe music, TV or video to other parts of the house using the XPC as the server.
The launch of the Shuttle XPC Media Center is being timed to coordinate with the release of Update Rollup 2 for Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005. When developing the Shuttle XPC Media Center, engineers worked closely with Microsoft to ensure the system would work flawlessly with the new features added to the operating system, including Away Mode, dual tuner support, and compatibility with new Media Center Extender devices and Xbox 360.
Shuttle bundle everything you need to get started, including software, cables, FM radio and WiFi antennae, Media Center remote control and wireless keyboard. Exact pricing was unavailable at time of press, but for more information about the Shuttle XPC Media Center and the features of Windows XP Media Center 2005, check out the XPC Media Center mini site
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Removable 2.5" notebook drive provides security and portability for your data.
Under a front flap you will find an 8-in-1 card reader, USB and FireWire ports and headphone / microphone jacks.