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Digital Media in the Family Room

Techstination feature for Monday, September 22, 2003

Bringing digital media to the family room. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Hewlett Packard is among a growing number of companies making devices that link digital content... such as music and photos stored on PCs... with TVs and stereo systems in the family room. The company's Digital Media Receivers come in two versions... .for wired or wireless networks and start at under 130 dollars. But is there really much of a market for this kind of thing? Product manager Perry Ralph says HP believes there may not be yet... but... there will be...

"It's obviously going to start out slow as any new technology does and then it will ramp up over a period of time. But we're very in the long run on this type of technology. We feel that there's so much benefit from a consumer's perspective to digital content as far as organization is concerned and then distributing it to wherever you're at within the home or even on the go... that's really something that's going to allow this market to take off."

To use the media receiver... you store digital music and photo files in specific directories on one or more PCs. You then access them through an on screen interface on your TV using a remote. Unlike some rivals... the system is not designed for digital video files... .

"Obviously as more video becomes important to consumers, HP will deliver a video solution in this type of product at some point in the future."

HP's competitors include Linksys... .as well as Sony and Prismiq which have devices on the market now that can network video... along with photos and music.