ACE LMS 250 – New Under $1000 HTPC with CableCard Support

. Friday, January 2, 2009

Can I say Alleluia? Finally a multimedia system capable of being center of all your movies, music and pictures PLUS a real replacement for Cable Company DVR.

Let me remind you – the fact is – If you got cable company and looking to replacement for the cable DVR box which cable companies lovely call a “service” and charge extra $10 monthly – doesn’t meet your standards – You my friend pretty much stuck – As the only tuner on market with support for ALL cable channels (most of them encrypted) is ATI Digital Cable Tuner – and the only way to get it is on special OEM custom pc, normally only big players like HP or DELL would get licensed to use this technology.

The reason is quite simple – Content providers pressed on device manufactures to insure protection if their precious HD content from dirty pirates :) and the way to do it is to create Secure Data path – basically making sure you can’t pigtail into the data stream.

MythTV/AppleTV/XBMC can claim same DVR functionality till tomorrow, but only for CLEAR QAM, without support for encrypted cable TV channels. This is a really unfortunate, but more about later.

ACE Computers - Small Custom PC’s company from Illinois is introducing new HTPC system target the crowd of people like you and me who hate the cable companies and the fact you required to pay monthly fee to use DVR feature. The new LMS 250 system will start at mere $999 and will offer Intel ViiV platform with Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66Ghz or and AMD Triple Core CPU, 2gb RAM, 500Gb Hard Drive and a DVD Burner and custom version of Windows Vista Home Premium.
Extra $250 will give you BlueRay Drive, Acoustically dampened case and A Second ATI Digital Cable tuner.

The price is tempting of course, especially in light, that the next runner up cost $500 more at base model, however I’d like to reminder of Broadcast Flag DRM [5C] despite being deemed optional by FCC was in fact implemented by Microsoft on their Vista Media Center application and it didn’t took long to taste the bitter taste of unable to Pause/Rewind or Record some of TV shows which content providers decided – basically rendering the DVR useless for these shows.

In the end it is we are customers will need to vote with our wallets if we need such devices and product or not. Time will tell, but let me tell you as we are Witnessing the slow but sure death of DRM on digital audio, Broadcast flags will be thing of past, like black and white TV without remote controls :) Eventually……

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