Fiire's Linux-based media center ties it all together

Joshua Topolsky
J. Topolsky|08.16.07

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Fiire's Linux-based media center ties it all together

A clever group of whippersnappers have got the right idea when it comes to home entertainment, namely, LinuxMCE-based systems that don't break the bank but offer a pretty stacked feature set. Fiire, a company which manufactures and sells modular media boxes and remotes aimed at unifying your media center has a few items it'd like you to see. The whole shebang is based around the FiireEngine, a $799 box that acts as a central hub to your media world, and features an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ processor, 1GB of RAM, 160GB hard drive, RAID support for six eSATA drives (for a total capacity of 6TB), and an NVIDIA 6200 graphics chipset. The system has DVI, VGA, component, and S-Video outs, but strangely no HDMI -- which might be a deal-breaker for some. The Engine is meant to be accessed through the company's FiireStations ($499-899), set-top boxes or wallmount units that stream media from the FiireEngine to any location you want, using low voltage processors and a frugal selection of hardware. Finally, to control the open-source system, the company offers the FiireChief ($149), a multi-function remote which can "follow" a user from room to room, allowing you start a video in one spot, move to another, and have the players automatically switch locations. All in all, a fairly interesting package from a somewhat unknown company, though how integrated the system is remains to be seen, and the lack of HDMI support is a little troubling.
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