escient

When we last heard from Escient, the company was pitching its Fireball DVDM-100, a $2,000 set-top box that hooks into a Sony DVD-changer and provides an onscreen interface for browsing and accessing DVDs. Nearly two years later, the company is back with the Fireball SE-D1, which matches the features of the earlier unit, but comes at half the price. Of course, that doesn't mean the SE-D1 is cheap; you'll still need a DVD-changer, and possibly one of Escient's expensive media servers, in order to get the full value out of this thing. In the end, chances are you'll spend a lot less — and have a more flexible system — if you use a home theater PC and rip archive all of your DVDs to your hard drive.