i-Mate X-Stream TV swallows media centre PC

20 February 2007 No Comment Mike Evans

i-Mate X-Stream Media Hub with Media Center PC and wireless router

This must be the mother of all media hubs. The i-Mate XStream Media Hub is an LCD TV with 720 and 1080i support that comes complete with its own PVR, wireless router and Media Center PC built-into its super-thin frame. The PC comes complete with 500GB hard drive, and can display content either on the TV, or wirelessly push it around the house through the X-Stream’s very own built-in wireless router!

The wireless router will stream content to a variety of other devices around the house. Obviously, i-Mate would rather you streamed it to other i-Mate devices, and so has handily released several other gadgets for just such a purpose.

i-Mate X-Stream Dock
The X-Stream Dock, for example (see pic, left), is a little black box that runs Windows CE, and which can plug into a TV and display the content broadcast to it from the X-Stream media hub.

Impressively, though, it also acts as a thin client. Simply plug in a keyboard, monitor, and mouse, and it’ll act as a PC, with all the processing and storage taken care of by the X-Stream media hub.

Another i-Mate device is the Momento photo frame, which display pictures that are streamed to it from the X-Stream. Better still, though, it also supports RSS, enabling you to display any picture you like from Flickr or any other online photo app that supports RSS.

The momento is available now in Dixons (or should that be Currys.Digital), of all places, for £179 for a 7″ frame, or £269 for 10.2″.

It’s getting difficult to keep up with these ever-changing converged gadgets. Dedicated media hubs that support wireless streaming now seem somewhat old-fashioned, as their functionality is increasingly being incorporated into other devices, be they TVs, DVD recorders, or even XBox 360s.

Just as TVs have swallowed Freeview tuners, rendering the separate Freeview Set Top Box obsolete, it can’t be too long before a high-end HDTV without its own media streamer looks just as old fashioned as a CRT TV looks now.

Gotta love the pace of technology!

[Source: Wired]


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