VidaBox Media Center Goes Both Ways

High-end systems integrator VidaBox doesn’t seem to want to wait for the looming grudge match between HD DVD and Blu-ray next-generation disc formats to resolve itself in the marketplace—or wait for possible hybrid players which potentially support both formats—so the company has thrown caution to the wind and announced it’s LUX and MAX media centers now offer support for both formats, making them the first commercially available systems to offer dual Blu-ray and HD DVD support.

"The Dual HD LUX and MAX systems are perfect for those who can appreciate convenience, high-fidelity audio, and high-quality video performance in a single, easy-to-use package," says Steven Cheung, VidaBox’s co-founder, in a statement. "High definition is the new video standard, and many customers want the ability to play both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs. […] There’s no need to buy two separate high definition disc players, nor is there a need to use a PVR/TiVo, stereo, DVD player, etc. when everything—TV, movies, music, pictures, and more—can be easily accessed from a single remote at the touch of a button."

The dual-drive LUX and MAX Dual HD systems support both Blu-ray and HD DVD media at full 1080p resolution, sport HDMI/HDCP digital outputs, and offer dual analog and dual HDTV tuners which potentially enable users to record four programs (two standard resolution, two HD) simultaneously. The systems are powered by AMD 4600+ dual core processors, sport 8 MB of RAM, support 7:1 surround audio, incorporate an Nvidia 7950GT video card, and offer 750 GB to 3.75 TB of storage. Both units run Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, offer near-silent operation, and utilize "Vidasafe" technology to protect media programming from hard drive failure; the MAX sports front-panel touch screen so you don’t have to hunt for a wireless remote or keyboard to control the system.

But going with both Blu-ray and HD DVD will be pricey: the LUX starts at $3,499 and the MAX at $4,399, with dual-format support tacking on a $1,629 premium on top of that. But look at the bright side: you might be able to watch every single movie title released so far on either format before the war ends or hybrid players hit the market!

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