Print 16 comment(s) - last by Pythias.. on Jan 23 at 11:14 AM

MSI Media Live BVI

Alienware Hanger

AMD Live! Home Cinema prototype
AMD's Live! now with an integrated 5-channel amplifier

AMD kicked off the week by announcing its latest AMD Live! Home Cinema. AMD Live! Home Cinema systems attempt to consolidate home theater and PC functions into a single set top box. Functionality of Home Cinema systems include video, music and photo display, TV viewing and recording, viewing internet content, physical media (DVD, HD DVD, Blu-ray), ability to export video to portable media devices and streaming capabilities.

MSI is providing Live! Home Cinema reference platforms to system manufacturers such as Alienware. The MSI Media Live BVI is the barebones behind Alienware’s upcoming Hanger Live! Home Cinema system.

Underneath the covers of the MSI Media Live BVI is an NVIDIA GeForce 6150LE integrated graphics core paired with the nForce 430. It supports socket AM2 processors and DDR2 533/667/800 MHz memory with a 4GB maximum limit. The integrated graphics core supports HDMI video output with support for HDCP content protection. There’s also one PCI expansion slot for peripherals such as a TV tuner.

MSI has also equipped the Media Live BVI with an integrated 5-channel amplifier. The integrated amplifier is capable of delivering 100-watts of power to each channel. Nevertheless, the internal Class D amplifier has a dedicated 45-amp rail to ensure power delivery. Disappointingly, it is unknown what the total harmonic distortion of the integrated amplifier is. While the internal amplifier powers the front, center and surround sound speakers, users will have to have a powered subwoofer to experience 5.1-surround sound.

Expect AMD Live! Home Cinema systems to arrive in the near future with prices beginning around $999.99.

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By GTaudiophile on 1/10/2007 7:29:23 AM , Rating: 2
AMD releases a computer with nVidia hardware inside!

Seems funny to me!

RE: Funny?
By Samus on 1/10/2007 8:38:58 AM , Rating: 2
why? they welcome their competition (ATI vs nVidia) if that's what you're talking about.

did anyone really think AMD was just ganna give nVidia the finger and tell them to bug off?

RE: Funny?
By Pythias on 1/10/2007 8:53:46 AM , Rating: 1
It makes no sense to help your competitor sell products.

RE: Funny?
By Rage187 on 1/10/2007 9:07:38 AM , Rating: 4
It does when your bottom line depends on it.

Nv is by far the largest chipset maker for AMD and helped them get to where they are. This isn't a high school romance where grudges are held.

Imagine the board of directors trying to explain feelings to the stock holders.

RE: Funny?
By Pythias on 1/23/2007 11:14:59 AM , Rating: 2
And now, AMD owns ATI, which is in direct competion with nvidia for its market share, so lets help our competitor take our business! Brilliant!

RE: Funny?
By mindless1 on 1/11/2007 7:32:01 PM , Rating: 2
Sure it does, if your two alternatives are to get something to market ASAP and sell one of your CPus, OR, not, lose the sale of the CPU ++, too.

By Visk on 1/10/2007 11:36:40 AM , Rating: 2
Excitement = 0

RE: hmm
By mino on 1/10/2007 6:49:33 PM , Rating: 2
Well, seems to me the AMDTI merger presents its first fruits.

Do you really think the folk at AMD would cme out with this alone?? Not a chance. This is IMO the result of ATI consumer group think-tank combined with AMD execution.

ATI allways lacked execution while having plenty of visionary projects unfinished.

I actually see this having a huge success potential, especially if executed correctly by its partners. Especially that MSI machine was sweet.

Imagine a _SINGLE_ device acting as a TV/Internet/Video/Audio box with _everything_ inside single box! Just plug your TV(or some wondefull 27" 1920*1200 LCD) and speakers and you are ready to go!

I would go for such a solution istead of classical Home Cinema system any day.
Thats also the reason MSI integrated the AMP - most Home Cinema systems have AMPs integrated.

And ... most home Cinema systems are NOT upgradeable with Tuner/GPU or CPU or firmware(OS) for that matter ...

RE: hmm
By Java Jack on 1/12/2007 9:06:30 PM , Rating: 2
I think the potential of the box is not fully realized by the community yet.

This is clearly not meant to be another PC in the living room. It is more of a full home theater solution like other Consumer Electronic (CE) devices, with PC functionality.

With an OCUR card (internal or external to the box) and Vista, you can access HD content both OTA and Protected/Premium content (HBO, etc.) right from the box without a need for your cable box. Though, I would like to see more than just OCUR, so you can hook up to Sattelite as well.

With Vista, or any Linux solution, you can use this as an MP3 server, PVR/DVR, Photo Slide Shows, Games, Movies, etc. You can also serve content to other screens in the home via streaming.

Since it is still a PC, with internet connectivity, you can browse/surf the web, get You Tube, Google Video and other viral video content in your living room. No more downloading onto your desk PC and watching on small screen.

With the internal amplifier and DVD drive, you no longer need an AVR or HTIB/DVD player. With full 5.1 audio, capable of 1000 Watts (must be peak), you should get pretty impressive sound provided you have a decent set of speakers. Since the price of the box is $1K, I would expect they offer some type of high end AVR features, but that needs to be seen.

You get the functionality of multiple boxes from a single solution and one remote. What I like about this approach is that while each box in a multiple stack can do some of the things, not one of them can do it all in one platform.

It's great that you get the best of the PC formats (Mpeg 2, Mpeg 4, MP3, AVI, WAV, JPG, etc.), with the amplifier, with a single remote, and a accesibility to large flat panels (LCD and Plasma).

Heck, I think it is interesting because I don't have to get those support calls from my wife every time she wants to listen to music or watch a movie asking "which button on which remote do I hit again?". No more searching for CD's and fumbiling with jewel cases because all the music can be put on one box. With a large enough HD, you can essentially have all your movies on the drive and have video on demand and then stream it around the house.

If this all works without a keyboard and is completely remote driven, then I think this has a very good chance at success.

I also like that the boxes are much smaller than current HTPCs in a horrizontal form factor. Every other box on the market is just too dang big (17 inches in depth? Spare me). These boxes look like they would fit on the shelf very nicely, not bad looking either. I would like to see some other options though.

RE: hmm
By Java Jack on 1/12/2007 11:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
Also, given that AMD and ATI only merged a few months ago, I am sure these boxes were started long before the AMD/ATI merger. It takes longer than 4 months to creat a product like this.

Therefore, this must have been an AMD initiative. Also, the systems are running an nVidia chipset, therefore, ATI would never have started a platform like this with an nvidia chipset.

Slick but $$$$
By walk2k on 1/10/2007 1:01:54 PM , Rating: 2
Well these are pretty slick, but way too pricey. Why do you even need a AM2 with all that horsepower to watch TV? I already record and playback HDTV at 1920x1080 with an old P4 and Geforce 6 that I had laying around. Problem is it doesn't have a CableCard tuner so it can only record clear-QAM cable channels (or with Firewire, un-copy-protected channels from the comcast cable box..)

The choice of an amp is VERY peculiar. I doubt most people looking for a HTPC are going to want it. They are already going to have an external amp/receiver.

Give me a cheap DVR style computer with dual CableCard tuners and upgradeable HDDs for $400-500 please. I can already get a Tivo S3 for $800...

RE: Slick but $$$$
By Tewt on 1/10/2007 2:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
From the little I read on other sites, DRM seems to be the reason why more and more horsepower is needed. Anybody that can verify or heard this as well? Regardless, I will be staying away from any Live or ViiV branded computers. Keep that old system running.

RE: Slick but $$$$
By walk2k on 1/10/2007 4:39:13 PM , Rating: 2
Hah. I'm sure it's not "that eeevil DRM"... sounds like linux-fanboy FUD to me.

Dual-tuner DVR set-top boxes like the Tivo and Motorola units can record and playback HDTV just fine, and I highly doubt they have anything like a AM2 with 4 gigs of ram....

Business can be cut-throat
By Beenthere on 1/10/07, Rating: -1
RE: Business can be cut-throat
By KenGoding on 1/10/2007 1:18:38 PM , Rating: 2
Just a question... what would happen if AMD pulled a nasty stunt? Would you then boycott both brands?

RE: Business can be cut-throat
By Tsuwamono on 1/11/2007 10:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
even if AMD killed a bunch of little orphans im sure intel would find a way to use their processors to somehow poison a whole orphanage.

AMD has always been the good guy and Intel has always been the bad guy.

Me... Im the grey guy who buys which ever suits him better at the time.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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