I am fully aware this is the sort of unit that looks best in a spartan room with glass walls set smack dab in the middle of the wind-blown Swedish tundra*, but golly I think the new Sony HES-V1000 Home Entertainment Server looks neat.
The big black tower makes me regret that I've already used my once-a-day reference to the 2001 monolith, but somehow we'll muddle through. The HES-V1000 stores up to 200 discs deep inside, switching them into the built-in Blu-ray player (which supports DVD and CD, of course), or even letting you store video on its 500GB hard drive. (Where that hard drive content comes from I'm not sure; they surely aren't letting you rip DVDs.)
The HES-V1000 uses the "XrossMediaBar," as seen in the Playstation 3 or PSP, when you're controlling it on your TV. But if you'd like to control it by standing over it, perhaps sacrificing an infant or something—it is Sony, after all—then you can also use the backlit touch-sensitive buttons along the top.
It also talks to all the wacky media gadgets that Sony makes that nobody really ever buys, like LocationFree. You can put a HES-V1000 in your media temple for just $3,500 come October.
Update: Gizmodo's Brian Lam says: "I played with the Sony HES-v1000; Doesn't stream anything but audio." Considering I don't even own a Sony audio device, I'll survive. Brian also says it has motorized panels, like every good thing you don't need should.
Press Release [Sony.com]
* Alternately: A smeared rainbow of nighttime lights in any given Asian megalopolis.