THE first time folks see a media center PC
in action the shop assistant demos the "instant-on" way it powers up from standby, and then avoids eye contact while seasons change, civilisations crumble and stars explode before it switches back on.
And as our tech editor Steve Zurier reports in this month's issue, the biggest digital daddy of them all, Microsoft, offers a new Media Center PC
for $1,400 that will automate the home and route digital pictures, music, and video from room to room.
The world's largest software company has unveiled an array of new products recently, including the pen-based Tablet PC, the multimedia Windows Media Center PC
and software for mobile devices, under a strategy to reduce its dependence on desktop computers.
HP Media Center M1180.UK pounds 1200 0845 270 4222, hp.co.uk This media center PC
is contained within a rather living room unfriendly desktop tower.
Company products and services include: custom built PC systmes, custom build laptops, refurbished laptops, newest media center PC
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Also new from Gateway is the Media Center PC
($3,999 and up), which brings together on one platform digital media features such as TV viewing, TV recording, digital music, digital video, digital photography and DVD.
Home videos stored at Digital Silo can be played on demand from a Broadband-connected computer, Media Center PC
(www.digitaljoy.com), or MSN TV2 (www.msntv.com) connected to a television.
Once PrimeTime starts burning a DVD, the user may continue watching TV or listening to music on the Media Center PC
It's a high-spec Pentium 4 Media Center PC
, with a 160-gig hard drive for recording Sky Plus-style and a built-in DVB Freeview tuner.
HOME CONTROL: Home buyers can now access HAI's security, temperature, and lighting applications through Microsoft's new Media Center PC
and operating system.
Microsoft has used a modified version of Windows to attract an early audience for what its calls the Media Center PC
, which hooks up to televisions and allows users to watch movies, listen to music and flip through digital photos using a remote control.
Fujitsu Computer Systems has launched the LifeBook N6410 notebook, a Media Center PC
that delivers an outstanding entertainment experience by combining Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 with the quick responsiveness delivered by Intel Core Duo mobile technology.