Exceptional Innovation developers of the Life|ware software packages that integrates advanced digital media management and home automation into Windows Media Center. Exceptional Innovation stepped into the hardware ring last year with their Life|media media servers based on Vista WMC. Life|media and Life|ware products have always been geared toward the professional CE installation market and so it is no surprise that Exceptional Innovation has chosen to use CEDIA Expo 2008 as the venue to announce their their new LSM-170 series of Life|media servers.
The LSM-170 series is an entry-level product that seems to be particularly positioned for single room installations. LSM-170 series machines will incorporate a 5.1 surround sound amplifier and decoding, a step down from the 7.1 amp in previous Life|media servers, but will be the first to include built-in support for the ZigBee home automation mesh-networking protocol. With the LSM-170 series not set to ship until the first quarter of 2009, Exceptional Innovation is leaving the door open to possibly adding support for other control protocols.
At launch, Exceptional Innovation plans to have two models available:
The LMS-175, which will include support for dual CableCards. It should sell for less than $4,000.
The LMS-172, which has dual NTSC/ATSC tuners but no CableCard. It is expected to be “substantially cheaper” than the LSM-175.
Finally, it should be noted that the LSM-170 will support the Media Center TV Pack. Exceptional Innovation has not committed to offering the TV Pack on their other Life|media servers.