Altech Computers has announced the release of the world’s first Media Centre to incorporate a Blu-ray drive.

The Maestro Pro 2 Blu-ray edition features a Blu-ray optical drive from Samsung enabling the playback of the latest High Definition movies and the burning of HD content recorded on the Maestro to Blu-ray media with a capacity of 25 or 50GB.

Kevin Hartin, National Sales Manager at Altech, said: “Altech is pleased to once again be the first to bring next generation technology to the Australian market, much like we did last year with Intel Dual Core and VIIV compliant Media Centers.”

“Thanks to our strong partnerships with key suppliers such as Samsung, we continue to deliver cutting edge solutions with Premium Media Center products such as Maestro”, Hartin said.

Blu-ray is currently supported by more than 170 of the world’s leading consumer electronics, personal computer, recording media, video game and music companies. The format also has broad support from the major movie studios as a successor to today’s DVD format. Seven of the eight major movie studios have already announced titles for Blu-ray, including Warner, Paramount, Fox, Disney, Sony, MGM and Lionsgate.

The initial line-up is expected to consist of over 100 titles and include recent hits as well as classics such as Batman Begins, Hero, Ice Age, Kill Bill, Mission Impossible, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Matrix. Many studios have also announced that they will begin releasing new feature films on Blu-ray Disc in conjunction with DVD, as well as a continuous slate of catalogue titles every month.

Hartin says “If the hype in the US market is anything to go by, High Definition will be the next major driver of new technology into the Digital Home. After visiting CES earlier this year, I believe that Blu-ray will win out in the HD war and a first to market position will enable further ground to be gained. As always, Altech is again first to market and will no doubt maintain the position of Maestro as Australia’s number 1 Media Centre”

The Maestro Pro 2 Blu-ray edition, shown at launch will be available through major retailers and specialist hi-fi stores in June, with a RRP of $3999.

Technical specifications are as follows:
– Zalman HTPC Chassis and Advanced Cooling solution
– Antec Neo 430W High Efficiency Power Supply
– Intel 945 Chipset Motherboard
– Intel Pentium D 930
– 3.0GHz Dual Core CPU
– 2GB Corsair DDR2 RAM
– Dual Samsung 250GB SATA2 HDD
– Samsung 2x BD-RW Optical Drive

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