A look at DISCover: Part Two -  Alienware

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posted 6/11/2004 by The GN Staff
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Home theater PCs are becoming very popular and Alienware is jumping in to produce one. Here's our little chat with Brian Joyce at Alienware on the DHS line.

Gaming Nexus: What prompted Alienware to enter the HTPC market? How did you learn about the DISCover technology?

Brian Joyce: Obviously, we’re always looking for ways to satisfy our customer need. You’ll recall that we had partnered with Microsoft with Media Center. It was just a matter of finding a form factor that was going to meet up with our standers in terms of quality and quiet and atheistic. Once we did that, it was a product waiting to happen

Gaming Nexus: What parts are Alienware specific and what are directly pulled from DISCover?

Brian Joyce:Ok, let me clarify this. The DHS systems that have launch currently do not include the DISCover software in them. When that becomes available, we intend to offer it. At this time, the DHS stands on its own merit with the 6-in-1 entertainment center functionality that most people are familiar with with the Media Center OS. The DISCover technology is really essentially going to be an additional feature. It makes sense for a living room environment and we think the DISCover technology is a nice enabler for the gaming aspect of the gaming room PC.

Gaming Nexus: For the system itself, what parts are user upgradeable ?

Brian Joyce: It’s very much like a desktop so you will be able to upgrade processor, memory, video cards, hard drives, etc. Just like a desktop. Far more upgradeable obviously than a consumer electronics component is.

Gaming Nexus: I’ve built three myself. With DHS, what does it have to offer to those that are experts that built their own?

Brian Joyce: You’ve built your own system so obviously the biggest challenge and Microsoft’s largest addition to the space is the integrated OS. Obviously that in of itself for most of us who aren’t do it yourselfers, that’s a big thing. Not having to worry about 17 different applications. Having the simple OS interface is the key. Secondly, we worried about all the things that I’m sure you were challenged with when building your own system being power, heat, and noise being huge. The system engineering aspect is what Alienware are experts at so we handle that for you.

Gaming Nexus: What about plugins?

Brian Joyce: It will allow everything at Media OS center allows of course. We will obviously be offering the next version of the OS as soon as it’s available in September. All of the standard plugins that fit into the OS are fine. In terms of how they are going to handle the remote interface to the applications I honestly can’t comment on it as I don’t know.
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