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By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2005-10-15 Print this article Print

PC makers and Microsoft will use many methods to lure enthusiasts with content. The latest Media Center update also includes a better way to organize large DVD collections. It allows Media Center PCs to connect to 200-disc DVD changers, which will hit the market this fall. The Media Center software includes a graphical interface that shows the cover art for each DVD in the changer, as well as a description of each movie.
"Our research has shown that the enthusiasts in this category have about 100 DVD movies. Now they dont have to fiddle around with [DVD] books they need to open up to find DVD discs," Karim said. "Now they can load up their entire collection."
HP is including two custom features within its Media Center PCs. One will allow people to view the games they have loaded on their machine, while another will provide a special link to iTunes software. HP preloads iTunes on its Pavilion consumer PCs. "We feel that this product is now primed for the living room, and were taking a chance in being possibly more aggressive than we need to" by offering it at $1,499, Karim said. But "Im all about mass adoption of these devices and not just keeping them for wealthy and affluent people." Don MacDonald, general manager of Intel Corp.s Digital Home Group, even signaled a growing emphasis on content from the chip maker. MacDonald, who gave the opening keynote at DigitalLife on Friday, said Intel wants to make Viiv, its a forthcoming consumer PC hardware platform, the basis for distributing a wide range of content, not only to PCs, but throughout the home. During his keynote, the Intel executive demonstrated a PC running Intels Viiv media server, software that translates multimedia file formats so they can be shared between devices. The demonstration morphed an AVI format movie, recorded on a handheld video camera, into a video stream that could be viewed on a television designed for MPEG2 files. Later, in an interview with Ziff Davis Internet, MacDonald said Intel sees offering content as just one more way for computer makers to compete. And "competition will drive the [content-rich] world were looking for," MacDonald said. Editors Note: Matt Hines contributed to this story. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.

John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

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