Why is Alienware entering the Media Server space?
In any new immerging space in the computer industry Alienware will always see a fit for itself and its exciting products. Alienware believes that the “Media Server” space has not yet been clearly defined from a usage standpoint. We believe that the hardware to implement a media server has been around for about a year or so but that the actual end user usage model is only now beginning to be defined. As people move towards more digital formats, like digital cameras, music, videos, and phones, they will require a home device that can store and wirelessly share all their digital files in their home. We see the HD Media Server as a home appliance, similar to an air conditioning and dishwashing unit, something that no new home should be without. The Alienware HD Media Server addresses this usage model and takes it a couple steps further, by utilizing the media server device as an HD cable content streaming and recording device as well, providing your home with the best in visual output and quality.
iMuse Music Servers
What can you tell me about the HD Media Server being announced at CEDIA EXPO?
We feel that CEDIA is the perfect venue to announce our HD Media Server and showcase it to Installers, Distributors, and Channel Partners. We will be showcasing the new HD Media Server and Hangar18 in the Lifeware booth #320. We will be giving demonstrations on installation, media center, and content streaming throughout the day. CEDIA attendees can also enter in to win one of three Hangar18 systems at the Alienware section in booth #320.
What are some of the newer additions to the Second Generation Hangar18 that weren’t in the previous version?
Some of the newer additions that Alienware will be showcasing at CEDIA for Hangar18 are Blu-ray optical disc, for full 1080p movie visuals, and an external cable card port that will only be offered to Channel Partners.
Why have you decided to take advantage of a different sales channel for this line of digital home products?
We feel that the HD Media Server is a perfect fit for home builders, Installers, Integrators, and Distributors because the product requires an extensive hookup and installation that only Channel Partners can provide. We believe that this will provide the end user with an optimal product experience and the turn-key feel that users are looking for. At the end of the day we want them to concentrate on using and integrating the HD Media Server into their lives and not have to deal with any pains that may come from a user installation that could spoil the product experience.
Can the average consumer buy and install your Media Server or do you recommend a professional installation?
We recommend a professional installation for an optimal end user experience.
Many of us are confused about cable cards, HD cable boxes and the quality of HDTV display and recording with Media Servers. Is there a simple explanation about these issues that you can share with us?
A good home theater setup begins with the central piece, the HDTV. There are two basic types of HDTV resolutions 720 and 1080, 1080 currently being the maximum HD resolution output. There are also two types of screen outputs “I” for interlaced and “P” for progressive, these are usually placed next to the resolution type to denote what output the unit is capable of (example: 1080p). HD content is outputted via your cable or satellite set top box and usually requires a cable or satellite user card to identify that you are certified to view your HD content. Media centers and servers are just beginning to utilize cable cards to bypass your set top box and allow you to record your HD content. Without cable card utilization, your media center and server can record your HD content; however, it will be downgraded to standard resolution quality. Currently, there is no solution to record HD satellite content to a media center or server.
What do you think is missing in the home theater market, and how does your line of products fill this void?
Alienware believes that the end user usage model has not been clearly defined in the home theater market and that working with Channel Partners the HD Media Server can begin to define a clear usage model. We see our HD Media Server as filling a void in this new digital age that allows users to interact wirelessly with all their digital memories on a seamless level in their homes. Having technology like 4 terabytes of storage and Draft N wireless allows this usage model to meet the technology it needs to succeed.
What areas of your experience from your PC gaming division were you able to draw from and utilize in your digital home division?
We have utilized all sections of our experience from PC gaming into our digital home division. This has allowed us to create the marriage of high-end technology with excellent build quality in this division all while never losing sight of our end user experience.
Is there still more to come in the future for the digital home and Media Server markets?
I think you will see Alienware on the forefront of this market and going forward you can expect to see technologies and offerings from us that continue to break the industry mold.
Marc Diana, Product Marketing Manager, Desktops
As the product marketing manager for the desktop segment, Marc Diana is responsible for all marketing strategy and execution activities for desktop computers. These activities include product planning with product management counterparts, pricing, demand generation and sales support. In addition, Marc’s marketing duties involve roadmap planning, product introduction and end-of-life (EOL) management, overall positioning and messaging, sales training, support and financial management. He is one of the many forces behind the successful new Alienware P2 chassis.
An avid gamer and cutting-edge PC hardware fanatic, Marc joined the Alienware team in 2004. Since that time, he has quickly adopted the company’s “build it as if it were your own” motto and is committed to building the best high-performance PCs. Marc holds a Bachelors degree in Political Science from Florida International University. Before joining Alienware Marc was the director of operations for Medical Accounts Systems, a Miami Mercy Hospital affiliate.