SE2 Labs’ ITC One Saint John NB
Saint John, NB
SE2 Labs’ ITC One
October 8, 2008 By Dennis Burger
Don’t call it a home theater in a box—SE2 Labs’ ITC One packs a lot of functionality into one sleek package, and does so with style to spare
Within ten minutes of unpacking and installing SE2 Labs’ long-awaited all-in-one device, the ITC One, I realize that something is seriously wrong. Most of my video outputs aren’t working and one speaker isn’t getting sound. I’m seriously dreading having to lug this behemoth back to my front door to send it back.
Not a very flattering intro, I know, but this unfortunate incident ends up being key to my realizing what an amazing product SE2 Labs has created.
For the past year I’ve followed the ITC One with reserved interest—after all, having an upconverting DVD player, Media Center Extender, Xbox 360, Wii, Apple TV, Vidikron video processor, and Bryston amplifiers and SP2 surround sound processor all in one box is enough to pique any bona fide tech geek’s interest.
But then again, isn’t having all of that stuff crammed into one chassis simply asking for trouble? To be honest, I expected the ITC One to be a bit of a kludge. And the fact that I had such problems out of the box didn’t sway my opinion much. But strangely enough, fixing those problems did.
I quickly found myself in the hands on SE2 VP of Operations Jeff Walker, who connected to my ITC One via the ‘net and within minutes determined that my internal connections had come loose. Try diagnosing a problem that quickly with your big rack of disparate gear. I double dare you.
“You’re going to have to open her up,” he said. And of course that’s not what I wanted to hear, but actually, opening up the back panel ended up being an amazingly easy and enlightening experience.
First off, I didn’t have to undo any of my audio or video connections to open up the ITC One; the chassis design is, quite frankly, brilliant. The internal design, though, is even more so. Every connection is labeled in bright, silk-screened print—and this is on the inside, mind you, where only your custom installer will need to dig around in the event of individual component failure or, in my case, apparent simian delivery men previously in the employ of American Tourister.
Under Jeff’s direction, within seconds of cracking the case I find an HDMI cable and a phoenix connector that had been shaken loose during shipping. But I stick around inside for a bit longer to admire the layout.
All of the component circuit boards (contrary to early misconceptions, the ITC One isn’t a boxful of boxes) are vertically arrayed, with ample room for airflow between then. Massive fans move air from inflow vents at the bottom of the chassis, over the circuit boards, to exhaust vents at the top. Yet despite all of that cooling, perfectly placed baffles ensure whisper quiet operation.
Back on the outside, the centralized design of the back panel ensures that every connection’s label is still easily located and read, even with every input and output...