updated 11:15 am EST, Fri January 12, 2007
Gefen home theater devices
Gefen has released a trio of Mac mini-shaped home theater devices at the CES trade show in Las Vegas. The company's simply-titled Personal Video Recorder captures video directly from digital sources -- including FireWire ports from digital cable or satellite boxes and camcorders -- and transfers it directly to removable USB storage such as external flash drives. Video is recorded in MPEG-4 format, and users can manually switch inputs to keep more than one device attached, according to Electronista. Two versions are expected in late February: a basic, standard-definition version will ship for conventional footage, while an HD version will ship with native 1080p support and HDMI output. Pricing is undetermined for either model. Also released at the expo is the HD Mate Scaler and its Home Theater Scaler counterpart. Each is built to convert and upscale video from common television-oriented sources into digital signals.
Gefen says the HD Mate is particularly well-suited to Apple's Cinema HD Display as it accepts both dual component and single DVI sources, upscaling the former to resolutions as high as 1080p while maintaining a pass-through for the DVI signal of a computer's video card. In turn, the Home Theater Scaler accepts component and HDMI input and converts non-native signals to an HDMI-equipped TV's native resolution, including 1080p. Both scalers include the analog and optical audio outputs required and create less than one frame of delay in the signal, making it possible to connect an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 for gaming. Both devices are scheduled for availability in January for $350 (HD Mate) and $450 (Home Theater).