X-es is HD Ready
When using X-es in combination with a Compatible Blu-ray drive or Sattelite HD receiver X-es is able to work with multimedia up to 1080p. The system itself can output up to 1920x1080 on a computer monitor or flatscreen TV. The monitor or TV has to be able to work with these resolutions!
An assortment of tuners
If you just want the ability to watch tv and record some programs, you can use the standard analogue tuners. These twin tuners can record a showing and still let you watch another program. Or you can record 2 showings at the same time. If you want a bit more there is a possibility of adding more inputs, connect your video recorder to archive your old recordings or to digitize your preciouswedding video or add a sattelite HD receiver for that crisp clear image.
The standard X-es system is equipped with two Hauppauge PVR 150 tuners. If you can find one, the PVR 500 is an excellent replacement doubling your recording capabilitys
Nox Media HTPC Casing
The Casing comes from Nox media and is made from classy brushed black aluminum. The dvd drive hides behind an alumium bezel and the USB ports and the cardreader are behind aluminum covers as well.
Over all this casing makes for an excellent candidate with room to spare for future expansion while being moderately priced and reasonably sized. Off course you are free to select any casing to fit your taste.
MSI K9N Neo-F V2
With an AM2+ socket and a Nforce520 chipset the MSI K9N Neo-F V2 looks like an interesting option. With the possibility to connect up to 4 drives in raid configuration huge multimedia archives will be a viable option and with 3 pci ports there's room enough for those valuable television tuners and dolby digital soundcard.
Motherboards are subject to change, Hardware evolves faster then one can develope for it but we will try to seek out the most standardized options for X-es
AMD X2 BE Series
For a nice bit of processing power we chose to use AMD cpu's. Although the newer Core Duo's from intel are a good bit faster, AMD continues to produce processors that have a great value-for-money.
For X-es we chose to use the AMD X2 BE series. Not only is the Brisbane processor fast enough to cope with the huge amounts of data easily, tests show that to completely load this processor one needs to be recording from 6! tuners. Needless to say that this energy efficient model gets the job done.
1024Mb DDR2 Memory
Although our good friend Bill supposedly said back in '81 that 640Kb of memory would be enough for any computer userwe opted to go for a bit more. Mythtv and Linux are both happy with a meager 512Mb's but when you plan to use more then 2 tuners we strongly suggest atleast 1024Mb, or if you don't wat to run into boundries watching HD content, just slap another gigabyte in.
We ship all X-es systems with 1Gb or more depending on the chosen configuration.
Nvidia Geforce 7200TD Silent
With excellent (although closed source) linux drivers and full device support we chose an nVidia based passive cooled card. With the absence of any fans and moving parts this card is the quiet option to go. Because HTPC's are normally placed in the living room silence is a great virtue.
By choosing passive cooled cards we also try to provide an energy efficient solution. Because the card lacks any active cooling, it has to be more energy efficient to not overheat and burn out.
Although these cards are energy efficient, we advise not to touch these cards when the system is running.
Up to 333 days of television storage in 1 single machine
Starting at 500Gb and with solutions up to 4000Gb the X-es system is ready for some serious multimedia! With all the space saving measures in place this means up to 8000 hours* of recorded television!, this is almost a year of television (333 days).
When applied in a redundant configuration the harddisks can take up to 2500Gb. The excess space is then being used to store duplicates of your files to ensure quick recovery after a harddisk crash.
These numbers are based on transcoded recordings using a low quality profile. Since television signals are low quality themselves this results in small files. Low quality means 500Mb/hour recording
5.1 Digital surround
Using the excellent Aureon 5.1 cards from Terratec, the X-es system can provide you with a full digital surround experience. Just hook the system up to your amplifier using an optical cable and play from a source with surround sound.
For users not having a DTS enabled amplifier the system offers normal stereo output.
A lot in 1 cardreader
Supporting the most exotic memory cards, the supplied cardreader enables you to quickly import movies and images from you digital camera, mobile phone, or other usb or card enabled device.
Supports atleast: Compactflash, Smartmedia, Microdrive, XD-Card, Memory stick, Secure Digital and Multimedia Card.
Xilence Power supply
With a lot of power supply's tested we can say that the Xilence 480W is a good choice. Reasonably priced and reasonably quiet. Although there are more efficient and quieter PSU's out there, we chose this for it's durability and quality.
If desired X-es systems can be supplies with a variety of power supplies, passive cooled PSU's are possible however rather pricey.
DVD rewriter for watching dvd movies or archiving your favorite shows
Use it to import all your precious dvd's so looking for the right disc or being confronted with scratched or unreadable discs is a thing of the past. Or use it to watch that late night rental you picked up on your way home.
You can also use the archive function to keep a copy of those favorite showings.