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Should Your Next PC be a Media Center?

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, December 11, 2003

Should your next PC be a media center? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The concept is not a new one. Back in the mid 90s, Gateway came out with what it called the Destination. A computer with a built in TV tuner... and a big screen monitor. It didn't catch on the way Gateway had hoped. But now... the Media Center edition of Windows XP from Microsoft has revived the idea..and lots of computer makers are jumping on board. Including Gateway. It's new 901 Media Center PC is designed to look like a high end stereo component. Philip Osako is VP of alternative form factor desktops... .

"It brings digital media, entertainment and the Internet into the family room. It's really designed to connect into your home theatre system."

It includes a wireless keyboard and pointing device from Gyration... and the ability to pause live TV, record shows onto the hard drive... and on the higher end model... burn them onto DVD. Gateway is also selling an all in one Media Center... .flat screen TV. There's plenty of competition from Hewlett Packard, Dell and even some notebook media centers from Toshiba. Osako says this time, the time for the concept is right...

"Everyone's getting into digital photography and everyone's getting into digital music and I don't know of anyone who isn't surfing the Internet now. And with that and with broadband it seems like a great time for digital convergence products."

Intel, Microsoft and other tech giants are betting the time is right as well. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.