September 04, 2007
| by Rachel Cericola
Alienware’s got new higher-end Media Center PCs coming soon, but you won’t find them at your local Best Buy—and for good reason.
Alienware will offer CableCard support for the Hangar 18 through an external OCUR (OpenCable Unidirectional Receiver) box. Here’s the hitch: OCUR will only be available through professional home technology installers/resellers. “We feel that OCUR is a solution that requires the expertise of a reseller and installer to perform an optimal customer experience, which does not warrant direct consumer sales of OCUR-equipped products,” says Marc Diana, product manager for non-mobile products.
The company is no stranger to the market; they launched Hangar 18 (pictured) last year. Supplies sold out, and now the company is ready to make an even bigger step into the Media Center scene.
Alienware is also promising a higher-end Media Center product with CableCard capabilities and other premium features. There’s no name, but we do know that it will have four swappable hard drive bays for up to 4TB off storage. A Blu-ray option will be available, as well as an option for distributing audio to four separate zones. It will accommodate two CableCards via internal receivers.
They also haven’t announced how Lifeware’s automation software will fit in, but Derek Kaminski, product manager for Alienware’s Digital Home group, they’ll squeeze it in somehow. The Media Centers will be Lifeware-ready, which means they will be optimized for digital entertainment, rather than for word processing and web surfing.
No pricing for either product has been announced, but expect them to be competitive.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.