-- Company Also Introduces Major Software Upgrades For Existing Products --
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INDIANAPOLIS, IN, September 8, 2004 - Escient, a world leader in advanced digital home entertainment solutions, today announced the next step in the evolution of its award -winning FireBall line of digital music management products with the introduction of the FireBall E2 -300. The new Escient FireBall E2 -300 provides users with significantly larger capacity (300GB), integrated web interface, enhanced digital audio performance, as well as unparalleled accessibility over a home network via PC and other control devices. In addition to the introduction of the E2 -300, Escient also announced that it will offer a software upgrade for all of its existing FireBall E -40, E -120, and DVDM -100 products that will deliver increased functionality and easier PC interaction while enhancing the user experience. The software upgrade will be made available to all owners of FireBall E -40, E -120 and DVDM -100 products free of charge in late fall 2004. Escient also announced the EWP -1000 Wireless Web Tablet, an accessory to the FireBall lineup that provides untethered command and control of FireBalls from anywhere in the home.
Escient President Bernie Sepaniak said, "Escient is committed to staying ahead of the curve in all aspects of digital audio and entertainment management, providing our customers with advanced solutions for getting the most enjoyment out of their entertainment collections. In creating the FireBall E2 -300, we listened closely to what our customers wanted. At the top of the list was an
even larger hard drive to store more music, as well as an easy -to -use web interface and advanced system integration capabilities."
Escient FireBall Music Servers - The Complete Music Management Center
Escient's award -winning line of FireBall digital music managers are Internet -enabled home entertainment products that manage users' entire music collection and seamlessly integrates into their existing home audio setup. The FireBall series can handle huge collections of digital music files stored on the internal hard drive, as well as over 1200 CDs (stored in up to three mega -changers controlled by the FireBall) - all through an easy -to -use onscreen interface that makes it simple to find and play any song, album, playlist or artist in the user's collection. The FireBall series also features a built -in CD/CD -RW allowing users to conveniently rip CDs directly to the internal hard drive as well as effortlessly creating customized CDs.
E2 -300 Offers 300GB Hard Drive, Plus Enhanced PC Interface Capabilities
With its 300GB hard drive, the new Escient FireBall E2 -300 can support significantly larger music collections, over 1000 hours of CD quality music using the new FLAC encoder (Free Lossless Audio Compression) or over 4000 hours of MP3 music (depending on compression rate). In addition, the E2 -300 has new functionality that significantly improves FireBall's PC interface capabilities, enhancing both flexibility and ease of use.
With PC -compatible file -sharing services, consumers can easily copy and transfer music files between the E2 -300 and their PC (Windows, Mac and Linux OS). Users simply mount one FireBall volume on their PC or Mac desktop using the built -in CIFS services. Audio files can then be transferred easily to and from the FireBall, allowing for applications such as system backup and system restore as well as integrating digital music collections. The PC -compatible file -sharing services also allow users to stream and listen to audio files directly from their FireBall to a computer on the same network.
The browser -based internal Web server feature lets users operate the E2 -300 from a computer web page the same way they would control it from their TV screen interface. The internal Web server on the FireBall generates HTML pages accessible from any computer on the network. This allows users to control the FireBall remotely the same way they would with the included remote control and wireless keyboard.
Enhanced Digital Audio Performance
The E2 -300 features Free Lossless Audio Compression (FLAC) encoding and decoding support. This 'lossless' encoding provides improved MP3 audio when ripping music from CDs, eliminating the loss of information inherent to conventional MP3 compression while taking half of the disk space of an uncompressed song. In addition, the E2 -300 user interface improves the entire record/rip process, allowing faster and easier recording from the internal drive and connected external changers. User interface improvements include new Disc Insert Preferences that let users specify which specific actions to take when inserting a disc, such as: Display Data, Play, Record, Record & Eject. The E2 -300 is designed to integrate seamlessly with many Denon, Marantz, and McIntosh A/V receivers. By connecting the FireBall to select receivers via an RS -232 serial connection, the FireBall will automatically control the receiver with no additional programming required.
FireBall Software Upgrade
The new software upgrade for existing FireBall E -40 and E -120 will provide virtually all of the same user enhancements and increased functionality as the E2 -300, including the internal Web server and PC -compatible file -sharing services, as well as the improved user interface. The FireBall DVDM -100 software upgrade will include these features as well as adding the capability to play FLAC content from a FireBall E2 -300. These software upgrades will be available to consumers free of charge.
EWP -1000: FireBall Tablet Control Without the Wires
The EWP -1000 Web Tablet is an 8.4" LCD color touch -screen display specially designed for wireless control of the full line of Escient FireBall products. Using the EWP -1000's built in touch -screen keyboard and remote control functions specifically tailored for FireBall functionality, users can control their movies and music, burn CDs and playlists, as well as input large amounts of data from the comfort of their couch or from anywhere in their home. The EWP -1000 comes standard with a built in desktop cradle for recharging the battery and a USB port to connect directly with the PC.
Scheduled for retail availability in October 2004, the FireBall E2 -300 will carry a suggested retail price of $3,999. The EWP -1000 Web Tablet will carry a suggested retail price of $2,499.
Escient is a division of D&M Holdings U.S., Inc., and is the pioneering leader in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, sales, distribution and support of a groundbreaking category of audio/video products that meld the power of the Internet seamlessly with intuitive home -entertainment devices. Escient's products and services are designed to enhance the entertainment experience by providing previously unheard -of ways to access music, movies and related content throughout the home. The company possesses a deep portfolio of designs for new products including media servers, DVD systems, remote players and networking and streaming devices, that are brought to market under the Escient brand through a channel of over 800 locations throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Mexico, and in partnership with other leading global consumer electronics brands.
About D&M Holdings Inc.
D&M Holdings Inc. (TSE II: 6735) is based in Tokyo and owns the Denon, Marantz, McIntosh Laboratory, D&M Professional, ReplayTV®, Rio® and Escient® brands. Denon, Marantz, McIntosh and D&M Professional are global industry leaders in the specialist home theater, audio/video consumer electronics or professional audio markets, with a strong and long -standing heritage of manufacturing and marketing high -performance audio and video components. The ReplayTV, Rio and Escient brands represent award -winning technologies in digital home entertainment. Additional information is available at www.dm -holdings.com.
Statements in this news release that are not statements of historical fact may include forward looking statements regarding future events or the future financial performance of the company. We wish to caution you that such statements are just predictions and that actual events or results may differ materially. Forward looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties surrounding competitive and industry conditions, market acceptance for the company's products, risks of litigation, technological changes, developing industry standards and other factors related to the company's businesses.
Escient and the Escient logo are registered trademarks and FireBall is a trademark of Digital Networks North America, Inc.
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