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Escient Vision Products Due In Feb.

Indianapolis — Escient said it will ship its Vision series VS-100 ($3,999 suggested retail) and VS-200 ($5,999) media management systems in Februrary.

At the same time, the company will add the VC-1 ($1,999) zoned media player and VX-600 (SRP: $7,999) large capacity media server with four 1TB drives in a RAID 5 configuration.

When Vision products were originally unveiled at September’s CEDIA Expo, Escient said content would have to be loaded onto the products’ hard drives using a PC.

“Now we are announcing that consumers will be able to store and manage their media content directly via the front-panel drive on the Vision products,” said Bill Carson, Escient general manager said. “So now they will be able to take the content that they have the legal right to import and manage via the DVD drive of the Vision VS-100, VS-200 and VC-1 products.

“Our product imports all of the CSS encryption along with the video content, and we add another level of encryption on top of that,” Carson said, explaining that if a user streams content via a VS-100 to a VC-1 (a second zone player), the content is kept within the network.

The VS-100 and VS-200 include hard drives with capacities of 1TB and 2TBs, respectively. They will also control CD/DVD mega-changers, though they won’t distribute the changers’ DVD content to other rooms.

Other improvements include HDMI 1.3 ins/outs, a 720p/1080i onscreen user interface, video up-scaling to 720p/1080i, compatibility with Rhapsody subscription-based interactive streaming services, back-up RAID storage and Gigabit Ethernet support on top of 10/100 Ethernet support. A Gigabit Ethernet connection delivers faster copying from a PC and reliably streams up to five SD video streams simultaneously, the company said.

The VS-100 features 1TB RAID5 storage, and the VS-200 features 2TB. Both stream audio and video over Gigabit Ethernet to a VC-1 client, which features CD/DVD player, HDMI 1.3 in/out, ability to copy CDs and DVDs to the VS-100 and -200, access Rhapsody and Internet radio stations, up-scaling to 720p/1080i and high-definition onscreen interface.