Why you'll own a Media Center PC someday

By Derek Sooman on December 16, 2002, 11:01 AM
When I wrote my University dissertation on the Internet, one of the things I discussed in class a lot was the possibility one day of a single PC system being the heart of a home's multimedia system. This was a few years back and a lot of people laughed at this idea, but now its not looking so ridiculous.

"One day, you will wake up and new computers will have all the Media Center features and there will be add-ons to integrate most of your entertainment systems with the computer. I expect the consumer electronics industry will develop products to compete with Microsoft on this. So far, however, none of the companies has stepped forward with anything like a vision, much less the fairly complete one Microsoft can offer and has the ability to implement. "

I've long wondered why no one builds a PC system that resembles something more like a hi-fi seperate, or something akin to a video recorder or DVD player, perhaps with some kind of smaller keyboard and a remote control. This sort of thing is only just starting to catch on but I think in the future my idea of a PC at the heart of the home multimedia system won't be so silly. Already my main machine connects to the TV to play DVDs and divx and also to the hi-fi to play mp3s as one might play audio CDs or tapes. The PC is already at the heart of my home entertainment system and the systems of many other computer geeks. One day I think it will be in the average home as well.

More here.

How does your PC interface with your home entertainment system? Post a comment here.




User Comments: 6

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Vehementi said:
Both of the main functions of my machine at home is watching DVDs and listening to music...So I'd say I'm part of this. In the future, I imagine I'll have a seperate computer, with one of those small form factor cases, with a DVD drive and my entire collection of mp3s (ripped from all CDs I own ;) ). That would be cool...It would be right above my TV, and act as a TiVo as well with an ATi AIW card :DDefinitely...
bedlam_4 said:
#1 You need to get out more.#2 Bill Gates finally came up to speed with you, announcing this year that the company will be working towards total integration of computer & home entertainment systems. He then unveiled some hardware (can't recall what exactly).#3 Bill Gates needs to get out more.Actually, I welcome the idea. I am out way to much. I think that the biggest logjam is the present high cost of processing power. As soon as you can buy proprietary systems that don't require a degree in computer science (think ps2, x-box), or cost an arm and a leg. Compact the size down to no more than .5 cu meter. Then we will have an acceptable mainstream consumer product. I figure 5 years or less. Then I can drive down to K-mart and buy one:grinthumb
bedlam_4 said:
Now, here's a lot of ifs that belong in dreamland.If the technology were avaible and I could afford it. I would like my house to have one big powerful server. Kept hidden away like the furnace. Each bedroom would have hookups for a large monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals (your normal work/play station). Cd changers for music and DVD's would be accessable to the mainframe. Each family member could access any movie or cd in the library. The library would consist of e-books, books on cd, cd music and dvd's in the changers, stored music and movies, all stored documents, games on cd, and stored games. I would also like to be able to track and access home system info such as oil and electrical consumption. Now a lot of apps like these are already available on the boats that I fish on. A central computer sceen plots courses, shows radar and gps data and places it all on a chart. These systems can actually allow boats to be remotely navigated via sattalite.The system on our boat costs upwards of $150,000. U.S. This is way to spendy for a household.I would like to see a home system in the $5,000 range for a basic model. Mabe $10,000 - $15,000 for the delux model
Vehementi said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by bedlam_4 [/i][b]Now, here's a lot of ifs that belong in dreamland.If the technology were avaible and I could afford it. I would like my house to have one big powerful server. Kept hidden away like the furnace. Each bedroom would have hookups for a large monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals (your normal work/play station). Cd changers for music and DVD's would be accessable to the mainframe. Each family member could access any movie or cd in the library. The library would consist of e-books, books on cd, cd music and dvd's in the changers, stored music and movies, all stored documents, games on cd, and stored games. I would also like to be able to track and access home system info such as oil and electrical consumption. Now a lot of apps like these are already available on the boats that I fish on. A central computer sceen plots courses, shows radar and gps data and places it all on a chart. These systems can actually allow boats to be remotely navigated via sattalite.The system on our boat costs upwards of $150,000. U.S. This is way to spendy for a household.I would like to see a home system in the $5,000 range for a basic model. Mabe $10,000 - $15,000 for the delux model [/b][/quote] a) You can already find those in Sharper Imageb) Any of you fans of the Simpsons? That episode w/ the computer house that talked like a robot, then Matthew Perry, then Pierce Brosnan, where the house tried to kill Homer and and...yeah anyway. It might end up like that ;)c) That would be tight.d) That would run up some [b]high[/b] electricity bills, and not to mention you have to call a guy w/ all kinds of certifications to come and fix it if anything went wrong. Just think of all the problems we have today (surf around the forum some ;) ) and multiply that by about 10.e) Windows House.NET 2401 ;)
Phantasm66 said:
I don't think that having a home entertainment system powered by a PC at its core makes you need to get out more, any more than having a good hi-fi system, good speakers or a good DVD system does.In this case, its about choice and versitility and a PC based system gives you more of that.
bedlam_4 said:
A real advantage to having a single processor over several stand alone systems is that you are only upgrading one system and evryone benefits from the upgrade. Dad can play the latest games, little Suzi can use the latest print and photoshop software, ect.
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