Become a Media Baron
Will home media centres do to the entertainment industry what video did to the radio star? With new technology reshaping our lounges, homes could soon become fully functional media hubs.
Digital home, digital convergence, digital hub, digital lifestyle: these have been marketing buzzwords and hyperbole for the past decade with their use ramping up in recent years. However it's only been in the past 12 months that the digital home has become a mass-market reality.
While us faithful nerds may have been the only ones connecting our PCs to our stereos and TVs a few years ago, now big corporations are coming to the party with specialised media adaptors, full media PCs and all the bits the bobs you need to fully kit out your lounge room.
None is more obvious than Microsoft's release of Windows XP Media Centre Edition in Australia on the 13 October. PC Authority
has been covering this much-delayed operating system for over a year now, and it's good to finally see it has arrived on our Antipodean shores. We've taken a detailed look at this specialised home entertainment and multimedia incarnation of the Windows XP operating system it from page 86.
But it doesn't end there. We've rounded up a huge variety of products this month, including PCs and notebooks for those of you who don't own a digital entertainment PC and would like to put one in the lounge, products for those that already have a digital entertainment PC or notebook but want to stream your movies and music into the lounge, and lots of digital TV tuners for those of you who want to turn your old PC into a stonking digital TV PVR.
The reviews we've written of the standalone PCs are quite different to what you're used to reading here in PC Authority
. These are notebooks and PCs designed to integrate within your existing home hi-fi setup, and therefore gaming or benchmark performance means little. What we're after is solid audio, crystal video and the capacity to store it all, and the reviews will reflect this.
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This Group Test appeared in the November, 2004 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine