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Turning Your PC Into a Home Entertainment Server

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Turning your PC into a home entertainment server. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Most of the big computer makers are selling media center PCs... running a special version of Microsoft Windows for recording TV shows and digital music. If you already have a fairly new computer, adding an internal or external TV tuner isn't very difficult. And a company called SnapStream Media is selling a software package called BeyondTV... that will let you get the most from your investment. CEO Rakesh Agrawal...

"You can now leverage your wireless network for example and watch shows on different devices around your home. Including televisions, including other PCs, including PocketPCs. You can even take shows and copy them to handheld devices and carry them with you while you're traveling on the road."

The software, which sells online for under sixty dollars, offers some unique features such as the ability to reduce the size of video files... to save space on hard drives or PDAs...

"There's also a feature called Smart Skip. And what Smart Skip does is it automatically recognizes changes in scenes in a TV broadcast. And similar to the way chapters work on a DVD, you're able to jump from one chapter to the next chapter."

The idea is to make it easy to skip past commercials when you're watching recorded programs. SnapStream sells kits bundling the software with a TV tuner card for under 180 dollars. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.