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EI Adding Media Center PCs, Servers For Custom Installs

Columbus, Ohio — More rack-style Media Center PCs for the custom install channel will hit the market with the summertime launch by Exceptional Innovation (EI) of five home media servers based on the Windows Vista Media Center PC platform in the summer.

The launch marks the first time that the company will offer its own home console combining home-control and entertainment functions. Other products marking the company’s hardware debut will include in-wall touch screens, home control servers, and storage server hardware this year.

The company’s networked Lifemedia home-control/entertainment servers will start at $4,500 and be the only such products sold preinstalled with the company’s Lifeware home-control software. Lifeware, however, is certified for use on other custom-oriented products such as Russound’s Smart Media Console, Integra’s NVS-7.7 Integrated Media Center and other devices. A homeowner purchases the rights to the software, which is then loaded onto the media center.

Exceptional’s servers will offer 500GB to 4.5TB of storage space for digital music, movies, pictures and recorded TV. Different configurations include a digital CableCARD, NTSC or ATSC tuners, and DVD RW Drives. HD-DVD and Blu-ray drives are planned.

The line’s five models range from a set-top box to a four-rack high-performance edition. All models run Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Operating System.

The components are said to simplify installation through the following front-panel ports: two USB, one FireWire, composite A/V and S-video. The rear-port complement consists of 7.1-channel analog and optical S/PDIF audio outs, HDMI, DVI-I, S-Video, component and composite video, two RS-232, IR input/output and two 12-volt trigger relays.