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MediaREADY kicks out budget-friendly MC HTPC

Darren Murph

While not quite available to hit one of Engadget's Gift Guides, MediaREADY is deviating from the MP3 / PMP market to unveil a svelte new box that boasts very respectable innards and a very tempting pricetag. Simply dubbed the MC, this media center PC sports a typical, AV-like enclosure made to sit pretty beside your receiver, DVR, and theater-guarding Robosapian, and packs a decent listing of specs. Touting its own "television-optimized interface," the machine apparently provides all the comforts of Windows MCE, including TV recording, CD / DVD playback, digital slideshows, jukebox functionality, and the bevy of other multimedia-related tasks HTPCs are known to handle. Beneath the hood lies a mysterious 2.8GHz Intel processor, anonymous TV tuner / hardware video decoder, 512MB of RAM, 200GB hard drive, DVD burner, Ethernet, built-in 802.11b/g, wireless keyboard / trackball combo, and an IR remote. On the flip side, you'll find USB connectors, inputs for composite and S-Video, outputs for VGA, DVI, component, and S-Video, and audio ports for the usual stereo and optical / coaxial digital goodness. The sweetest bit about this well-rounded machine isn't the average assortment of components nor the overly simplistic name, but rather its $899 pricetag, which will look mighty appealing next to the much more expensive competitors when it lands in January.

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