LaCie's LaCinema Rugged HD Enclosure Outputs 1080p Video, RuggedlyS

LaCie's new LaCinema Rugged HD is a 250/320/500GB, USB-powered external hard drive marketed as a multimedia player: It'll output 1080p video to a TV over HDMI, and has a rugged enclosure in case you keep your HDTV in the woods.

The LaCinema Rugged HD packs pretty much everything you'd want in a mutlimedia enclosure, with a plethora of output jacks (HDMI, composite, optical A/V) and a fat list of supported codecs. It'll both upconvert standard-def video and output true HD in formats like H.264 and MKV, along with support for major audio and photo formats.

It comes in 250GB, 320GB, and 500GB capacities (2.5-inch drives, presumably), priced at $170, $200, and $230, respectively, which is pricey for a hard drive but pretty fair for a media center. All models come in that goofy rugged casing; we're not sure why electronics makers keep trying to tell us to go outside, but they're clearly going to keep ruggedizing everything in sight. I can tell you that my external hard drive has seen sunlight maybe twice in its lifetime. Accidentally, of course. The LaCinema Rugged HD line is available now. [LaCie]