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.