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No more PC-TV for Compaq
Contributed by Hemos on Mon Jan 12 at 8:38AM EST
[Technology] From the not-quite-ready dept
Compaq said today that they will be exiting the PC-TV home theatre arena, due to high prices, and not much consumer response. So far, this area has been dominanted, if that word can be used, by GW2K's Destination Systems, but this has not proven to be the money maker that computer makers were looking for.

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Reader Comments

Michael Holve
Mon Jan 12 at 10:05AM EST

The problem with this "technology" is that our modern TV's really make lousy monitors, even from across the room. It doesn't matter if you have a 13" or a 32" - the problem is you're still limited to 640x480 resolution. Sure, this is great for games that work at that or 320x240 resolution, but that's about all. WebTV. Ha, now that's funny. Ever see the web on a TV?

PC-TV's, the worst of both worlds.
Simon Janes
Mon Jan 12 at 10:46AM EST

The biggest factors to why PC-TV's never took off are:

  • Price. These sets are usually riduculously overpriced and require you to buy really special machines to hook into your stereo.

    I could go out now, buy a $130 radio-controlled keyboard/mouse, a $99 SVGA->NTSC converter, slap it on my Linux box, fiddle with all the Xresources (the one thing that's kept me from doing this) and voilla, a Linux/TV.

  • Windows95. I can't imagine Windows95 being a stable platform for being an "appliance". PC-TV is basically sold like an appliance.
  • Utility. There is basically no real utility to having a PC-TV other than making the remote-control even more complicated. People have enough problems programming the clock on their VCR. Writing your term paper on your TV is resoudingly dumb. Surfing the Internet or playing MP3's is about all the PC-TV will be used for.

I have seen WebTV, and I was impressed, but the product is a false path, you can make your current desktop computer do the same thing with about $230 of hardware. And the best thing about that is, when you're sick of it, you can convert your PC-TV back into a PC.

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