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LaCie LaCinema Premier - Not AppleTV

More than an external hard drive, almost a media server, the new LaCinema tries it's hand at the Apple game.

At first glance, LaCie's new LaCinema Premier looks the part of a nicely-priced media server. Starting at just $230, this box has real world storage (500GB-1TB), a decent, if unimaginative onscreen interface and quiet, fanless operation. It throws the usual audio and video formats to your big screen TV and supports Windows, Mac and Linux machines. It also upscales your content to 1080i when necessary and handles the 5.1 sound from your ripped, er, home movies.

What's missing? For starters, connectivity. In order to get said movies, music and pics onto your hdtv, you need to LaSchlep the 2lb box to your computer, transfer everything via USB 2.0, walk back to your TV, plug it in, rinse and repeat. For the traveling types, that might be acceptable. For the average home theater junkie, it goes against everything that is convenient and lazy. For connections, it has only composite, S-Video, and component. No HDMI?! Audio ports inlcude optical and coax, which is standard for this type of device these days.

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