CCrane WIFI2 Radio

Taking Digital Content into the Family Room

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Taking digital music, pictures and video into the family room. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. With wireless home networks growing in popularity, devices that connect family room TVs and stereo systems to digital content stored on PCs in households are being introduced left and right. Computer makers like Sony, Gateway and Hewlett Packard have entered the business... as have networking companies like Linksys. One of the latest devices is being made by Pinnacle Systems... best known for digital video editing software. The company's ShowCenter sells for about 300 dollars. Senior product manager Mike Iampietro... acknowledges... it's getting to be a crowded field...

"Well I think that's a good thing. It shows there's a lot of interest in doing this sort of thing. What makes ShowCenter stand out is video. A lot of the devices out there either don't do video at all or they don't do video as well as ShowCenter does. Pinnacle Systems is a video company and we've brought that expertise to it. As a result, our device is able to handle video in either MPEG 1, MPEG 2 and MPEG 4 formats natively. So we do a great job of moving video over the network and playing it through your TV."

The more compressed formats help if you're trying to watch video over an 802.11b wireless network..instead of faster wired or 802.11g connections. If you are most interested in bringing in digital music or photos... you can settle for less expensive solutions than Pinnacle's ShowCenter. Competitor Prismiq makes a MediaPlayer ... capable of video as well... that sells for about fifty dollars less. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.