Media Center PCs have a troubled reputation as practical home entertainment devices. Installation, configuration, and chronic customer service issues have been common to open-platform PC-focused systems and software.
Integra has developed its new NVS-7.7 integrated media center and content server to tackle the issue head-on. It’s a purpose-built multimedia PC, engineered from the ground up for custom installers who want to avoid the hassles that have plagued the Media Center PC platform, in home theater and whole-house audio installations.
Integra’s designers worked with custom installers and programmers to make the NVS-7.7 much easier to set up, operate, and maintain in order to reduce the number of hours lost to customer support issues. The company says its new box provides a seamless, streamlined solution for the custom installation community. It retails for $3,000 (US).
The Integra NVS-7.7 provides a powerful suite of features for integration with home theater and audio installations. It offers 400 GB of storage for audio and video media, and proprietary Integra-designed audio circuitry. The electronics features Intel’s ViiV™ technology, plus high-end Wolfson DACs and the company’s acclaimed Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry (VLSC).
“The power, flexibility, all-in-one capabilities, and high storage capacity of media center PCs have made them an essential tool for custom installers,” says Integra Marketing and Product Planning Manager Paul Wasek.”However, these systems are first and foremost PCs, with all the attendant configuration and support issues that can add up to a customer service nightmare for small to medium sized installers. Integra’s solution to this problem was to design a system that is first and foremost an AV component – it just happens to be built on a PC Platform.”
The Integra NVS-7.7 features Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition™ 2005 operating system running on a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 Dual 820 processor and 1 GB of DDR memory. A 400 GB hard drive is included for storage of a complete library of audio and video files. It includes Intel’s VIIV™ technology to capture, store, and distribute a complete range of media formats throughout the home, including WMV HD, MPEG -1/-2/-4, DivX, JPEG, WMA, MP3, AAC, and PCM.
For Audio reproduction, the NS-V7.7 features an exclusive Integra-designed audio card that includes high quality Wolfson 192kHz/24-bit DACs with the company’s acclaimed Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry (VLSC) for smoother and more detailed stereo analog output. It is also the world’s first media server product to include Dolby Master Studio technology suite for complete 7.1-channel surround sound processing, including Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Live, ProLogic IIx, Dolby Headphone, and Dolby Virtual Speaker processing.
“Our goal was to make it as easy to set up and use as any of our other AV components,” continues Wasek. “With the NVS-7.7, Integra tames the convoluted configuration and programming process, giving installers a complete product that delivers the most powerful source and integration features ever available, yet is no more difficult to set-up, install, and maintain than a high end A/V receiver. And with Integra’s acclaimed dealer support and training programs behind them, dealers can feel confident about specifying media servers into every job they do.”
The NSV-7.7 includes both digital ATSC and analog NTSC tuners for recording and playback of TV broadcasts, and an FM tuner for radio broadcasts. The front-loading DVD/CD tray can be used to capture video recorded on DVD, DVD +/-R/RW, CD-R/RW, VCD and data based optical discs. Additionally, a multi-format front-panel 8-in-1 card reader is included for use with portable storage media, including SD/MS, MS-Pro, and Smart/Flash memory cards. For further expansion and integration, there are four USB 2.0 ports, and high speed Serial ATA-II port for support of storage transfer speed up to 1.5 GB/second.
Integra has designed the NVS-7.7 to be fully compatible with RS-232 and IP-based control systems, making it much easier for installers to offer media PC integration with their whole-house system installations. The NSV-7.7 includes DVI, VGA and component video outputs that are compatible with high definition video. There are also S-Video, and composite video outputs for connection to complete range of video displays. For network distribution, the media center is compatible with all Integra Net-Tune Clients for streaming audio, and content can be shared with other Windows MCE platform devices via a standard Ethernet network.