Enspire Digital AVR-500 review: Enspire Digital AVR-500

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Whisper quiet operation. Watch one channel while recording three others. Excellent performance. Feature packed.

The Bad At the expensive end of the scale. Not quite as much storage as others. Internal cabling not hidden.

The Bottom Line Built by a local manufacturer, the AVR-500 is the epitome of a fully featured HTPC box; if there’s a way you prefer to digest your media, chances are this box can handle it.

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Built by a local manufacturer, the AVR-500 is the epitome of a fully featured HTPC box; if there's a way you prefer to digest your media, chances are that this box can handle it. Obviously, you'll pay a premium for the privilege, but when compared against the combined price of a PVR, Blu-ray player and media server, it's actually outstanding value.

This is a full-sized HTPC, contained within a sexy SilverStone case that looks very much like a high-end amplifier. At the heart of this box is Intel's excellent, new quad-core i5 3550 CPU. Running at a maximum frequency of 3.7GHz, it's not just the CPU's raw MHz that helps this box obliterate our encoding benchmarks. The processor also includes Intel's new HD Graphics 2500, a speedy integrated graphics chip that is adept at encoding media files, thanks to Intel's Quick Sync technology.

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Where to Buy

Enspire Digital AVR-500

Part Number: CNETEnspire Digital AVR-500

Typical Price: $1,491.00

See manufacturer website for availability.