Thursday, October 10, 2002

WSJ.com - Personal Technology: Mossberg on HP Media Center PC "...But the Media Center PC is done in by its TV function. The TV picture it produces is fuzzy and dark, even on the $750 flat-panel monitor H-P supplied me. Microsoft says this is a function of the lower resolution of TV compared with that of a modern PC monitor. The company suggests that users can improve the TV picture by upgrading the video card or hooking up a standard TV to the computer, but these steps would totally defeat the purpose of buying the costly Media Center in the first place. ...
Secondly, if the Media Center is meant to serve as the shared TV in a room with roommates, it could be a bust. When one of the roommates needs to use the PC to write a paper, or do e-mail, it's unavailable as a TV for the rest of the group. The small TV window you can run while doing other things is useless for group viewing. A cheap TV set would be better. ...
So, my recommendation on this PC is decidedly mixed. For music, photos, DVDs and video clips, it's very nice, and provides new capabilities in a small room. But as a TV receiver, it's suitable only for people willing to put up with a really bad picture."
(He has lots of complimentary things to say as well, earlier in the article, but I doubt they matter much if the TV features don't work well.)
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