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Media PCs the future of the digital home


Consumers are becoming more sophisticated in their use of technology and as such, the tasks that today's home computers are required to carry out have become more diverse and demanding.

"Thankfully, all of the major vendors in the consumer IT space have had some time to embrace this trend and build devices that cater for a broader range of user needs," says Jason McMillan, HP business unit manager at Tarsus Technologies.
"Popular technology vendors HP have responded by introducing a new breed of computers designed expressly for digital media to the shelves of retail stores worldwide.
"Whereas the computers that were available to the public over the past couple of years were aimed at one or another specific task, today's computers have sufficient processing power and graphics performance to satisfy literally all home users' requirements."
Those needs, he says, include interacting with friends and information sources over the internet, as well as enjoying still photographs, video content and music – all from a single point in the home.
"Vendors have taken it a step further," he says, "and made it easy for these needs to be satisfied."
As an example he cites HP's Pavilion range of notebooks and desktops, which come with remote controls, thereby allowing users to interact with their media from the comfort of their couch; provide support for a wide range of memory technologies used by digital cameras and music players; and offer high-resolution screens and video outputs, making them capable of integrating their computer into the heart of their living area.
McMillan adds, that things are about to become far more exciting on the digital media computer front.
"Over the next two quarters we're expecting to see the Pavilion range's value proposition get even stronger," he says. "With Hybrid Blu-Ray and HD-DVD optical drives catering for the next generation of video content, integrated HSDPA modems allowing users to easily and cost-effectively gain access to high-speed broadband internet connectivity, and HDMI-outputs which will enable users to view high-resolution content on the new range of high-definition televisions.
"The consumer market has shown a strong appetite for converged 'do-all' computers and the momentum this has created is showing no evidence of slowing down – I believe this has good implications for consumers," he concludes.