Alienware DHS 5-Series Media Center


Alienware DHS 5 Front

Alienware DHS 5 Front View

Photo Courtesy Alienware

If you see a small, squat black alien in your living room, don?t fear. It?s probably just Alienware?s new DHS 5 media center system. It doesn?t have designs on the world, just your living room.

Shaped much more like a device which fits into your home entertainment center than a computer, the DHS 5 is Alienware?s latest entry in their DHS series of digital home systems. Designed with convergence in mind, this 17? x 18? x 5.9? aluminum, black anodized finish rectangular machine has come looking to kick your VCR, DVD, PVR and various other three letter combos to the curb.

At the heart of this new media center are three cutting edge items which Alienware feels gives the DHS 5 the upper edge: DISCover console technology, Windows XP Media Center 2005 and AMD64 processor technology.

The DISCover console technology, according to Alienware, allows DHS 5 owners the ability to automate PC game play and ?blur the line between gaming consoles and PCs.? This is done when inserting the game?s CD the first time, which prompts the DHS 5 to automatically install and optimize the title if it is one of a growing number in a specialized online database. The next time the game CD is put in, the game automatically starts.

At the heart of the software side of the system is Windows XP Media Center 2005. The latest in the Media Center Edition of XP, the 2005 version offers ?dual tuner support, better navigation and a more integrated, remote driven environment.?

Several features related to this version of Windows make the Alienware DHS 5 a potential living room king.  In the realm of Tivo, the DHS 5 allows users to schedule and record television programming up to 14 days in advance.  Two basic tuners can be added, allowing one channel to be watched while another is being recorded. Support is enabled for recording and playback of High Definition television with the addition of a third Over-the-Air HD tuner. Pause, play and rewind features are also offered.

Alienware DHS 5 Back View

Alienware DHS 5 Rear View

Photo Courtesy of Alienware

Other Windows XP Media Center 2005 features supported on the DHS 5 include storage and display of digital photos with a custom, musical slideshow option and digital recording and transfer of FM broadcasts.

For storage options of all of those videos, MP3s and digital photos, Alienware offers up two choices. One, your standard hard drive, ranges in size from an 80GB Seagate to an 800GB Hitachi. The other involves the use of RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) technology, which essentially combines the storage capacity of two separate hard drives into one.

The DHS 5 offers up a lot externally. Behind a drop down panel is an 8-in-1 USB 2.0 internal media reader which offers support for nearly every type of portable media card. There are also USB 2.0, FireWire 400, Stereo In, Stereo Out and other ports (including video) for connectivity to other devices. Alienware has also added an ?InfoPanel?, which displays the command and control options currently being used.

Alienware DHS 5 Front Bay Open

Alienware DHS 5 Front View With Bay Door Open

Photo Courtesy of Alienware

Graphics support for the DHS 5 comes from high end ATI cards like the RADEON X800Pro. The DHS 5, for those who want lots of memory, is configured to handle up to 4GB of SDRAM system memory via four DDR DIMM sockets. All of this is cooled with an ultra quiet AMD architecture.

Other features of the DHS 5 (some optional) include CD/DVD write and record, Ethernet and wireless support, digital 5.1 surround sound support, an ergonomic remote control, and sharing of archived content with other TVs in the house via a Windows Media Center Extender.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Computing

Dell XPS 13 vs. Asus Zenbook 13: In battle of champions, who will be the victor?

The ZenBook 13 UX333 continues Asus's tradition of offering great budget-oriented 13-inch laptop offerings. Does this affordable machine offer enough value to compete with the excellent Dell XPS 13?
Home Theater

Want to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV? Here's how

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen from virtually any device available.
Computing

Prices of some components on the Alienware Area-51m will melt your wallet

Some of the most top-end components for the Alienware Area-51m laptop are expensive, pushing up the final costs for gamers looking to purchase the latest parts and experience the best performance.
Computing

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.
Computing

Watch out for these top-10 mistakes people make when buying a laptop

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.
Computing

Don't spend a fortune on a PC. These are the best laptops under $300

Buying a laptop needn't mean spending a fortune. If you're just looking to browse the internet, answer emails, and watch Netflix, you can pick up a great laptop at a great price. These are the best laptops under $300.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Computing

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?
Computing

AMD Radeon VII will support DLSS-like upscaling developed by Microsoft

AMD's Radeon VII has shown promise with early tests of an open DLSS-like technology developed by Microsoft called DirectML. It would provide similar upscale features, but none of the locks on hardware choice.
Computing

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.
Computing

Is AMD's Navi back on track for 2019? Here's everything you need to know

With a reported launch in 2019, AMD is focusing on the mid-range market with its next-generation Navi GPU. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Computing

Cortana wants to be friends with Alexa and Google Assistant

Microsoft no longer wants to compete against Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant in the digital assistant space. Instead, it wants to transform Cortana into a skill that can be integrated into other digital assistants.