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A Media Center... Sans Microsoft?

Techstination feature for Thursday, August 25, 2005

A media center PC…that leaves Microsoft out of the picture. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. PCs that use the Media Center Edition of Windows XP from Microsoft are growing in popularity. They let you watch and record TV…and provide an improved interface for accessing your digital music and photos as well. But there is competition. A company called Video Without Boundaries has created what it calls its MediaREADY line….of Linux based boxes that hook up to the family room TV. Executive Vice President David Novak says the latest model is the 700 dollar MediaREADY 5000….

"It has DVD record capability, it's got a television tuner so you can tune to television broadcasts and it comes with a program guide, very similar to how Tivo operates. The guide data is offered as part of the purchase of the box. It will work with any analog cable service, digital cable or satellite service that you may have."

The box includes a120 gigabyte hard drive…a wireless keyboard and mouse…a Web browser and itlets you store and access digital photos and music. But unlike a Microsoft based PC….you won't be able to use editing or other types of software. Video Without Boundaries …makes a handheld media player….that can work with or without the MediaReady box. The Flyboy sells for about 350 dollars….and can store up to 40 hours of movies or recorded TV….along with photos….and MP3s. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.