Thursday, January 7th 2010

LaCie Introduces LaCinema Mini HD

LaCie today unveiled LaCinema Mini HD, the all-in-one WiFi High Definition media center. Its amazingly small and stylish design packs a big punch, bringing your HD movies, photos and music collections to your widescreen TV in full 1080p resolution.

LaCinema Mini HD bridges the gap between the computer and entertainment worlds in full HD quality. Featuring built-in high-speed 802.11n WiFi, LaCinema Mini HD brings a DLNA media player and server to your home without wires.

Transferring content to the LaCinema Mini HD is easy through the bus-powered USB connection for maximum transfer speeds, or by connecting the drive to a home network. Users can conveniently load files wirelessly from their computer or via the Ethernet connection.

"The new LaCinema Mini HD offers a full-featured media center by combining high storage capacity, compact design, and seamless store-and-play functionality," commented Salem Tirane, Digital Home Product Manager. "Users will benefit from large HD video format compatibility and the convenience of built-in wireless N streaming."

Playing movies is as simple as connecting the included HDMI video cable and selecting the wireless network. The drive is instantly ready to play content stored on its internal hard disk, attached USB drive or networked PC, Mac, or NAS (network-attached storage).

LaCinema Mini renders full HD 1080p movies in uncompromising quality on TVs and makes any movie, photo or music file accessible at your fingertips. Thanks to an extensive list of supported codecs, LaCinema Mini HD permits seamless playback of MKV, AVC, DivX and many more files on TVs. It is even possible to display album cover art and to create music-accompanied slideshows.

Encased in the latest minimalist design from Neil Poulton, LaCinema Mini HD is a fusion of art, simplicity and technology that can fits perfectly into any TV setup. Since it is also easy to carry, LaCinema Mini HD is ready to play back entire digital libraries anywhere, whether at a friend's house or at a holiday party.

Availability
LaCinema Mini HD is available in Europe in Europe and will be available worldwide later this year through the LaCie Online Store, LaCie Reseller+, and LaCie Corner, starting at the suggested retail price of $299.99.
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12 Comments on LaCie Introduces LaCinema Mini HD

#1
Mussels
Moderprator
hmm, DLNA?

For those unaware, thats the fancy thing that lets windows 7 stream to other 7 machines/Xbox 360's

my only concern is that since windows 7 cant stream/send MKV files, that one feature may go unused (but this has my full support as an awesome little box!)
Posted on Reply
#2
pjladyfox
by: Mussels
hmm, DLNA?

For those unaware, thats the fancy thing that lets windows 7 stream to other 7 machines/Xbox 360's

my only concern is that since windows 7 cant stream/send MKV files, that one feature may go unused (but this has my full support as an awesome little box!)
There are some other concerns over this as well and here are a few that come to mind:

1. MKV video support - There are quite a few media tanks and/or video streamers that say they support MKV but it's usually with limitations. For example the C-200 seems to occasionally choke on 1080p encoded video in an .MKV container for no reason whatsoever.

2. MKV subtitle support - Goddess help you if you try and play a .MKV container with subtitles with support for this ranges from perfect to non-existant. The following issues have to be addressed before I will consider ANY streamer and/or media tank:

a. Proper Advanced SubStation Alpha .SSA/.ASS subtitle soft-encoded and hard-encoded font support

b. Proper IDX/SUB subtitle format support

c. VobSub support

3. DTSHD+TRUEHD+LPCM Passthrough Support in MKV - Nuff said.

And none of this is even touching things like AVCHD streaming with no stuttering, AVCHD/M2TS .sup subtitle support, .M2TS HD audio support, and I could come up with others as well.

My hope is that, someday, a box will come out that will cover all of this so that my dream of a true digital home will come true. ^_^
Posted on Reply
#3
hotwasabipeas
by: Mussels
hmm, DLNA?

For those unaware, thats the fancy thing that lets windows 7 stream to other 7 machines/Xbox 360's

my only concern is that since windows 7 cant stream/send MKV files, that one feature may go unused (but this has my full support as an awesome little box!)
You can stream MKV files to your Xbox 360. I do it all the time and it works brilliantly. You need to download DivX Plus HD for Windows HERE.

And then you need to sign up for the DivX Plus Tech Preview and install that program and you will now be able to watch all the HD content you want on your Xbox!
Posted on Reply
#4
MadMan007
by: pjladyfox
There are some other concerns over this as well and here are a few that come to mind:

1. MKV video support - There are quite a few media tanks and/or video streamers that say they support MKV but it's usually with limitations. For example the C-200 seems to occasionally choke on 1080p encoded video in an .MKV container for no reason whatsoever.

2. MKV subtitle support - Goddess help you if you try and play a .MKV container with subtitles with support for this ranges from perfect to non-existant. The following issues have to be addressed before I will consider ANY streamer and/or media tank:

a. Proper Advanced SubStation Alpha .SSA/.ASS subtitle soft-encoded and hard-encoded font support

b. Proper IDX/SUB subtitle format support

c. VobSub support

3. DTSHD+TRUEHD+LPCM Passthrough Support in MKV - Nuff said.

And none of this is even touching things like AVCHD streaming with no stuttering, AVCHD/M2TS .sup subtitle support, .M2TS HD audio support, and I could come up with others as well.

My hope is that, someday, a box will come out that will cover all of this so that my dream of a true digital home will come true. ^_^
So long answer short - build yourself a budget HTPC :D Maybe the OS would make it a bit rough but I know you can get a suitable machine for the price of these CE devices.
Posted on Reply
#5
pjladyfox
by: MadMan007
So long answer short - build yourself a budget HTPC :D Maybe the OS would make it a bit rough but I know you can get a suitable machine for the price of these CE devices.
You are not the first to suggest this and, normally, I would agree with you. Heck, I was eyeing one of the Mac Mini units at one time for exactly this purpose. However, after going thru several different ways of trying to make this work I ran into one or all of the following:

1. Cost was over $300 (my limit for something like this)
2. Performance would be inadequate for 1080p HD video streaming
3. Would be louder than our current Xbox 360 we use for media streaming.
4. Unable to stream over 802.11n wireless network from a Windows Home Server or shared folder.

I had considered going the transcoding route via Tversity but after playing around with the software it killed the video quality of the file being transcoded it would buffer and/or stutter during the process. -_-
Posted on Reply
#6
Mussels
Moderprator
by: hotwasabipeas
You can stream MKV files to your Xbox 360. I do it all the time and it works brilliantly. You need to download DivX Plus HD for Windows HERE.

And then you need to sign up for the DivX Plus Tech Preview and install that program and you will now be able to watch all the HD content you want on your Xbox!
i have that. its buggy as hell.

Only supports files with one audio stream, doesnt work well with subtitles, cant use DTS audio, etc.


my HTPC plays everything under the sun, and i built it dirt cheap out of spare parts at the time. Over the years i slowly upgraded it however (a dual core 3800+ 939 can decode 1080p easily, so you can always get an older PC for media use)
Posted on Reply
#7
pjladyfox
by: Mussels
i have that. its buggy as hell.

Only supports files with one audio stream, doesnt work well with subtitles, cant use DTS audio, etc.

my HTPC plays everything under the sun, and i built it dirt cheap out of spare parts at the time. Over the years i slowly upgraded it however (a dual core 3800+ 939 can decode 1080p easily, so you can always get an older PC for media use)
Hmmm, well that at least explains why it seemed to choke on some of the various .MKV files I was playing around with. :( If they ever manage to get the bugs worked out, to say nothing of adding features that are missing like DTS audio and subtitles, it might be worth something but if they think they're going to get away with cheaping out on it they had best just stop working on it. Nothing worse than a half-a$$ed job on something that most will buy thinking it will have these features and getting robbed.

Really wish a decent HTPC could be built cheaply for what I want to do but I always seem to hit the $400 to $500 range when I try. And when I factor in I'd be building two, well, that pretty much kills that idea. -_-
Posted on Reply
#8
Mussels
Moderprator
by: pjladyfox
Hmmm, well that at least explains why it seemed to choke on some of the various .MKV files I was playing around with. :( If they ever manage to get the bugs worked out, to say nothing of adding features that are missing like DTS audio and subtitles, it might be worth something but if they think they're going to get away with cheaping out on it they had best just stop working on it. Nothing worse than a half-a$$ed job on something that most will buy thinking it will have these features and getting robbed.

Really wish a decent HTPC could be built cheaply for what I want to do but I always seem to hit the $400 to $500 range when I try. And when I factor in I'd be building two, well, that pretty much kills that idea. -_-
its also got the game-ending bug like divX has had for years, where it sometimes corrupt thumbnails and causes explorer to crash on you. It happens to me if i'm encoding video files in handbrake, and open the folder before its done (so long as this preview is installed) - only way to get into the folder from then on, is by removing the divX preview, rebooting, deleting thumbs.db, and reinstalling the divX preview... its rather annoying.
Posted on Reply
#9
Wile E
Power User
by: pjladyfox
You are not the first to suggest this and, normally, I would agree with you. Heck, I was eyeing one of the Mac Mini units at one time for exactly this purpose. However, after going thru several different ways of trying to make this work I ran into one or all of the following:

1. Cost was over $300 (my limit for something like this)
2. Performance would be inadequate for 1080p HD video streaming
3. Would be louder than our current Xbox 360 we use for media streaming.
4. Unable to stream over 802.11n wireless network from a Windows Home Server or shared folder.

I had considered going the transcoding route via Tversity but after playing around with the software it killed the video quality of the file being transcoded it would buffer and/or stutter during the process. -_-
Try PS3 Media Server. Get the most recent beta from their forum, and I believe it will actually recognize the 360 by default, and set the proper profile. If not, you can find the 360 profiles in the forums. Works better than Tversity, but not as well as it does with a PS3.
Posted on Reply
#10
pjladyfox
by: Mussels
its also got the game-ending bug like divX has had for years, where it sometimes corrupt thumbnails and causes explorer to crash on you. It happens to me if i'm encoding video files in handbrake, and open the folder before its done (so long as this preview is installed) - only way to get into the folder from then on, is by removing the divX preview, rebooting, deleting thumbs.db, and reinstalling the divX preview... its rather annoying.
Ugh! You've GOT to be kidding they still have not fixed that??? That crap has been going on since, if I remember right, around version 5. :banghead: And to think I picked up a copy of version 7 recently hoping to get a chance to play around with it this weekend. :cry:

I learned awhile back after I had an entire folder of encoded videos wiped out to never use the same box and/or hard drive you do your video streaming from for your encoding. WAY too easy for something to get either deleted or corrupted losing hours of work.

I swear I really do love video streaming and/or encoding but when you start digging into this stuff and you find just how convoluted a mess it STILL is after all these years it makes you wonder if they are ever going to fix things. I mean, it should NOT take you 3 days of digging thru forums and manuals to try and figure out the reason your video plays in fast forward is due to the encoder choking on adding a AC3 audio track to a Divx video in an .AVI container (something that SHOULD be doable according to the specs I've read).

by: Wile E
Try PS3 Media Server. Get the most recent beta from their forum, and I believe it will actually recognize the 360 by default, and set the proper profile. If not, you can find the 360 profiles in the forums. Works better than Tversity, but not as well as it does with a PS3.
I may have to look into that when I've got some free time since you're the second person I know personally who has used it who has had some favorable things to say about it. But doesn't it use the same tech as Tversity does?
Posted on Reply
#11
Mussels
Moderprator
sad part is, the free versions (Xvid/X264) have none of these silly, crippling bugs - its just that theres no alternatives to divX to enable streaming in win 7 for MKV yet
Posted on Reply
#12
Wile E
Power User
by: pjladyfox
Ugh! You've GOT to be kidding they still have not fixed that??? That crap has been going on since, if I remember right, around version 5. :banghead: And to think I picked up a copy of version 7 recently hoping to get a chance to play around with it this weekend. :cry:

I learned awhile back after I had an entire folder of encoded videos wiped out to never use the same box and/or hard drive you do your video streaming from for your encoding. WAY too easy for something to get either deleted or corrupted losing hours of work.

I swear I really do love video streaming and/or encoding but when you start digging into this stuff and you find just how convoluted a mess it STILL is after all these years it makes you wonder if they are ever going to fix things. I mean, it should NOT take you 3 days of digging thru forums and manuals to try and figure out the reason your video plays in fast forward is due to the encoder choking on adding a AC3 audio track to a Divx video in an .AVI container (something that SHOULD be doable according to the specs I've read).



I may have to look into that when I've got some free time since you're the second person I know personally who has used it who has had some favorable things to say about it. But doesn't it use the same tech as Tversity does?
It's a java based front end/GUI, and the encoding aspect is Mencoder based. You can use either Avisynth to decode, or standalone with mencoder.

It takes a little configuration, but is worth it in the end. Works a hell of a lot better with subs than Tversity does, and my Athlon X2 6400+ seems to handle most content just fine in terms of transcoding. Haven't tried any 1080p stuff from the Athlon, as all my 1080p stuff is on the QX rig, but seemed to do fine with everything else I threw at it.
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