VidaBox Introduces LiivNAS : Dune Edition with Media Management and NAS Support

If you are not familiar with VidaBox, the company makes some of the best media center computers, extenders and servers in the business. Today the hardware maker announces its latest version of the LiivNAS — this one co-branded with Dune Player. “LiivNAS: Dune Edition is highly unique as the only archiving and storage solution with official external/NAS storage device support, plus integration with popular control systems,” states Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox.

The new LiivNAS is intended to streamline library creation. The LiivNAS: Dune Edition features a Blu-ray/DVD/CD drive, internal 500GB hard disk drive and expandable storage capacity with USB or NAS external hard disk drives. It is also energy efficient, using as little as 15-25 watts of energy during peak usage, which allows for an always on instant response user experience.

liivnas

The box also promises lossless video recording of DVD and Blu-ray discs with no compression, and automatic meta-tagging of both music and movies.

All of this functionality does not come cheap — the LiivNAS: Dune Edition is on sale by Dune Player for a price of $1,699.95. You can visit VidaBox to check out their other products, but be prepared for sticker shock.

VidaBox Introduces Power-Over-Cat5 Charging

VidaBox, makers of high-end Media Center computers and media servers, today announced a brand new product that brings charging capability to your Cat5 cables.  There are actually two new products – the vPower Station and the vCharger.  To my knowlege, VidaBox is the first manufacturer in this field, although there have been ways of extending USB via Cat5 around previously.

The vPower Station can connect a single CAT5/5e/6 cable at up to 328 feet [100m] long, and provide steady power to the vCharger, which has a powered USB port.  The vPower Station is a 4 port adapter.  The vCharger has one ethernet port and one USB port for charging a device.  The vCharger is also backwards compatible with Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) switches as power sources.

While both devices are aimed at custom installers, as are most of the VidaBox products (they even state in their press release that “The vCharger can be also used in a table-top environment, or custom-built into new or existing furniture, as its gloss black finish gives it a high-end look that blends into any environment,”), the retail price makes them a real possibility for the general consumer market.

Both products, the vPower Station and vCharger, retail for $99 each and the purchase of 4 vChargers will get your a free vPower Station.  You can head over to the VidaBox site to check them out, find out more, and place an order.

VidaBox Debuts New vCharger & vPower : Complete Power-over-CAT5 Charging Solution for USB Devices

VidaBox vCase3 $50 Coupon Deal

If you are a Home Theater PC fan then you probably know the name VidaBox.  They are a high-end manufacturer of HTPC’s, media servers, and accessories.  In addition to that they also sell a few components for DIYers.  One such component is the vCase3, which is a PC case that enthusiasts can use to build their dream system in.

The vCase3 is sleek component that fits perfectly into a media rack.  Despite it’s size it has space for 3 HDD’s which allows users to pack in up to 9 GB (by current standards).  The HDD storage is rubberized and suspended to cut down on noise.  The front panel contains 2 USB ports and a card reader.  It has space for a Blu-Ray drive (full size, not slim) and takes as standard ATX power supply.

The regular price is $239, but right now they are offering a coupon code that gives a $50 discount.  You can visit the vCase3 site and when purchasing the box use the coupon code SPRING11.

Black Friday Deal For A Great Media Center Keyboard

Just a quick heads-up for anyone looking for a great Media Center (HTPC) keyboard.  Vidabox is offering their keyboard today for US $55.  I reviewed this keyboard a while back.  I have been using it for over a year now and still love it.  It has small trackball at the top right and the left/right click mouse buttons are on the top left.  In between are a host of buttons for Play, Fast Forward, Rewind, Pause, etc., which are compatible with Windows Media Center.  The keyboard works via RF so you don’t need direct line of site to your HTPC and don’t even have to open the cabinet door of your entertainment rack. It’s about the size of a laptop keyboard so it fits nicely in the drawer of the coffee table too.

I paid $79 when I purchased mine, but it now retails for $62 and is only $55 today.  I am almost tempted to buy a second one just in case something happens to the first.  It’s that good.

Vidabox Releases RoomClientV2 Today

Vidabox has been busy lately.  For the second consecutive week they have announced a new product.  Today it is the RoomClinetV2, which is a media extender for streaming Blu-Ray, DVD, music, and photos from a media server.

This is a sleek, slim box that you can fit almost anywhere.  It packs Intel Dual Core 1.8 GHz processor, 2GB of DDR2-800MHz RAM, a slot-loading Blu-ray/DVD±RW/CD drive, and a 80GB 7200 rpm hard drive.  “The RoomClientV2 is our least expensive extender to date with a built-in Blu-ray drive,” explains Steven Cheung, President of VidaBox, LLC. “We’ve combined full 1080p, high definition Blu-ray playback, along with our comprehensive suite of media streaming capabilities for both online and stored content – all into a single, ultra-compact unit.”

They claim it can be mounted to the rear of any HDTV and is especially effective for such locations as a bedroom because of maximum noise level of only 28 dBA.  The size is listed as: Height 1.5″, Width 7.37″, Depth 11.03″, and a weight of only 3lb, 1oz.

As for connectivity, it has 1 front USB 2.0 port, 1 USB 3.0 port, 1 rear USB 3.0 port, 10/100/1000 LAN port, eSATA port, 1 optical SPDIF-out, 3.5mm analog 2.0 stereo out, 1 HDMI 1.2 output, and 1 DVI output.

Front view

Rear view

Top view



Vidabox Releases ThinClientV2 Media Extender

VidaBox today announced it’s new ThinClientV2 Media Extender.  For those wondering where all of the Media Extenders have gone since the Windows Vista days – and the question is asked a LOT on the Media Center sites – here is a brand new one that is top-of-the-line.

It features eSATA, 10/100/1000 LAN, VGA, HDMi, SPDIF, and 4 UDB ports all on the back.  There’s an additional 1 USB port on the side, and, on the front, it has 1 USB, 1 analog stereo, and 1 headphone jack.

It’s relatively small, measuring just 1.5″ in height and 7.44″ in both width and depth.

As for the internals, it sports an AMD Neo Dual Core processor with 2GB of DDR2-800MHz RAM and an 80GB hard drive.  It accepts NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuners and PAL/DVB-T formats.  It also has built-in 802.11N, as well as a built-in multi-format card reader.

Below are High-res images of the front and back that Vidabox was kind enough to supply me with.

While their press release states “The new ThinClientV2 design uniquely balances both performance and low cost,” I have not been able to find pricing as of yet so I can’t say if it is truly a good deal.  As for the performance part of that statement I don’t doubt that it will be very fast and efficient.  It has all of the bells and whistles as far as its hardware specs, connectivity options, numerous USB ports, and even a card reader.  While the 80GB hard drive may seem small I don’t think that’s an issue since this device really isn’t for storage, it’s for accessing files stored remotely on an HTPC or media server.  My one complaint is that they didn’t go with USB 3.0 since devices are now starting to appear for the new spec.  It may have been an effort to control the price though.

The High End Of Media With Vidabox

Vidabox (pronounced Vee-da-box) is a high-end computer/entertainment manufacturer.  This is a comprehensive whole-house solution for those who want the best, but are also willing to pay for it.  The Home Theater PC’s, Media Servers, and Controllers are all top-of-the-line and they are all ready to take your home to the next level.  And, the customer service is top-notch.

If you are looking for an end-to-end solution then this may be where you want to begin.  They have Media Centers, servers, extenders, and accessories.  You’ll still need to go elsewhere for your TV and A/V receiver, but they’d be hard-pressed to compete in that area with such heavyweights as Pioneer, Samsung (for TV’s), Yamaha, and Harman-Kardon (for receivers).

The Media Center PC’s come in a range of options with storage going from 2TB to 18TB, with the higher end being a RAID5 solution.  Blu-Ray drives are standard on all versions, as is Windows 7, built-in card readers, and TV tuner cards.

The servers are rack-mountable and range in storage from 8TB to 44TB.  Like all servers, they are headless – no monitor, keyboard, mouse, or remote is needed.  All servers are RAID-enabled.

They also make extenders with several different models available.  That will allow you to expand your Media Center and server out to your whole home.

But, perhaps my favorite products are the accessories.  A while back I reviewed the wireless keyboard/mouse with RF, which I have used for more than a year and absolutely love.  They also have something called the vController which is compatible with iPad and allows full remote control of your home entertainment system.

This system is not cheap, but if you want products that give you everything possible in today’s world of ever-changing home media then it may be the best solution that money can buy.  Combine it with good TV’s and receivers and you’ll be set.  And Windows Media Center has lots of home automation plug-ins available if you’d like to really expand what all of this hardware can do.