S1Digital to roll out Xonar-equipped HTPCs

We've seen (and heard) ASUS's Xonar HDAV1.3 HDMI card that is able to pass along lossless digital Blu-ray audio up close and personal, so it was only a matter of time before the hardware found its way into a custom-install HTPC. In this case, the first to market might just be S1Digital's P500 Media Center HTPC. As we said after our demo at CES, the ArcSoft + Xonar setup is a little involved, so it's probably a good fit for the custom-install world where integration legwork carries a high premium. S1Digital's free Windows 7 upgrade offer will remove the "instantly obsolete" barrier to entry, so really the only one remaining is that pesky $6,000 entry price. Any other OEMs are welcome to jump in and try to beat S1Digital to market, but we wouldn't count on a much cheaper option just yet.