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Shuttle's New Mini Features Satellite TV

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 6 comments

Today Shuttle Inc. announced its new mini PC system, the XPC H7 4500H, a media extravaganza stuffed with Microsoft's Media Center TV pack for Windows Vista and a DVB-T tuner card for satellite TV reception.

Shuttle Inc's new Mini-PC, the XPC H7 4500H is another one of those PCs promoted with a special gimmick. Instead of sporting a unique laser-etched image provided by consumers, the new PC offers something actually very unique: a TV tuner card capable of receiving DVB-S transmissions from Sky digital, Dish Network, and even Bell T.V.  Granted consumers will actually need a subscription to these Satellite TV services--and a satellite dish mounted on the roof as well. Would be buyers can browse the guide, pause and even record TV shows right from the comfy couch.

So what's inside this thing? By default, the H7 4500H offers the Intel Pentium dual core E2220 CPU (2x2.4 GHz) and 1 GB of DDR2-800 (2x 512 MB) memory using the Intel G45 Express chipset. Additionally, the mini-PC features an SATA 320 GB hard drive, a DVD +/- dual writer, on-board sound, Intel's GMA X4500HD using a 256-bit 3D engine and clocking in at 400 MHz, but without the satellite TV tuner installed. That's right: the default configuration doesn't even offer the promoted satellite TV tuner, and still costs consumers around $900. There's no monitor, no keyboard and no mouse. Still, because the rig uses Intel's integrated GPU, the H7 4500H can still cough up full 1080p high-definition playback. The GPU also supports Intel's Clear Video Technology, DirectX 10, DVMT 3.0, and even offers both VGA and HDMI output. Additional connectors included in the rig include SPDIF, eSATA, FireWire and 6x USB.

However it's always fun to see what can go into a rig and the price tag that follows: in this case, $2891 USD. For that price, the H7 4500H looks more like what Shuttle promotes: an ultra-cool multimedia center. Under the hood are Intel's Q9550 Core 2 Quad-Core (4x2.83 GHz), 4 GB DDR2-800 (2x2048 MB) memory, a SATA 1 TB hard drive, and a Blu-ray writer (software 8 channel). Along with on-board sound and a 25-in-1 card reader, the H7 4500H also takes advantage of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 285 with 1024 MB memory and the oh-so-coveted TV-Tuner Hybrid HW MCE card. This card offers both analog and satellite broadcasting as well as an FM tuner. The TV tuner pack also comes with a MCE remote control and a receiver.

Just for grins, the maxed-out H7 4500H also sports an XPC-branded Logitech UltraX wireless keyboard and mouse, Shuttle's XP19 19-inch Widescreen LCD monitor, a PC08 + WLAN module WLAN 54 MBit/s (IEEE 802.11b/g), and a cool little bag to tote around this multimedia beast. The actual chassis is made up of H7-type aluminum, painted black, measuring barely 32.6 x 20.8 x 19 cm (LWH). Shuttle's I.C.E. (integrated cooling engine) keeps the innards from getting too toasty, using Shuttle's heatpipe technology and a linear controlled 92mm fan.

"Microsoft has moved the development of Windows Media Center forward and released the new Windows Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista," explains Tom Seiffert, Head of Marketing & PR at Shuttle Computer Handels GmbH. "Based on the XPC Barebone SG45H7, a complete solution to meet highest requirements towards functionality, image quality and multimedia formats have been created."

There's definitely a lot cooking in the oven when consumers start throwing in upgrades. At its minimal configuration, Shuttle's XPC H7 4500H isn't too shabby for the price, however the rig doesn't get overly appealing until the much-hyped DVB-S satellite TV tuner is thrown into the mix. As of this writing, Shuttle made the mini-PC's debut over in the UK, however it's only a matter o time before the rig makes its way over here in the States.

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  • 0 Hide
    bone squat , March 27, 2009 10:50 PM
    What is so great about it? I could build one of those crappy shuttles for WAY less than they're asking. Why do people want such small little boxes? If you aren't man enough to carry a mid-size or full size ATX case then you shouldn't have a computer. Laptops are ideal for portability. If you're going to have a desktop don't get one of these. Build your own and save a buttload of cash. Why does Tom's keep coming out with these advertising articles? At least give benchmarks of temperatures and noise figures - at LEAST some performance numbers. This is purely an advertisment. LAME.
  • 0 Hide
    thejerk , March 28, 2009 1:03 AM
    When did computer manufacturers start thinking they can charge outrageous prices for their products? 2009 is the Year of Retarded Computer Pricing.
  • 0 Hide
    cletus_slackjawd , March 28, 2009 2:23 AM
    The MSI Wind Nettop D130 FTW. Save a couple grand and have most of the functionality. Shuttle is a good company but the kits seems awful pricey.
    I want to know more about this satellite card. I'm on the DISH network, so I how much is the card and how is this going to work better than the DVR they already offer? Is there copy protection to overcome for HD content?
  • 0 Hide
    thedipper , March 28, 2009 5:37 PM
    cletus_slackjawdThe MSI Wind Nettop D130 FTW. Save a couple grand and have most of the functionality. Shuttle is a good company but the kits seems awful pricey.I want to know more about this satellite card. I'm on the DISH network, so I how much is the card and how is this going to work better than the DVR they already offer? Is there copy protection to overcome for HD content?


    Since Apple came along.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 28, 2009 10:23 PM
    I had hoped I could find one with an antenna to pick up HD-TV signals, or satellite.

    That costs the user nothing.

    Also playback of blueray/dvd/HD h264 etc...
  • 0 Hide
    flemlion , April 1, 2009 8:48 AM
    The DVB-T tuner is for Terrestrial reception, the digital version for picking up digital TV signals using an antenna. It's not really foreseen to carry HDTV, for that purpose the second generation DVB-T2 is being defined.
    Note that with digital, you might need a subscription to decode what you pick-up with your antenna.

    For satellite TV reception you need the DVB-S tuner, or even better a DVB-S2 tuner. As with DVB-T, the DVB-S2 is more suited for HD-TV, even though BBC HD is transmitted over DVB-S.