Media Center PC

Album Cover: The Downward Spiral

"Everything's blue in this world...the deepest shade of mushroom blue."
NIN / The Downward Spiral

Posted on January 23, 2003 6:21 PM in Computers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

I had a chance to play around with one of the new Media Center PCs today at work. It's interesting to approach navigating your computer with a remote control. It's certainly obvious that the product is in a "Version 1" state, but overall the Media Center system was put together quite nicely. With only a few steps you've got your whole television lineup at your fingertips. A few more and you can browse through your entire Music collection, ordered however you like based on ID3 tags. The My Photos section is a nice touch, too, as you can skip from photo to photo in your collection, viewing each in a full-screen letterboxed mode. There's a fade transition between photos just to give it that nice extra visual touch.

Before I start to sound like an ad for the flavor of XP, though, I should say that it probably isn't a computer I would buy if I was going for a main workstation. If you've got the bucks to throw around (roughly $1600 without a monitor) it's a nice thing to add to your collection of geeky tech equipment, but I feel like the overall performance of the system is bogged down by all the advanced video and audio features. Nevertheless, it was fun to play around with and explore.


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