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Sunday, January 13, 2008

The idiot box is becoming smarter now.

There was a phase when TV suddenly had reached a point when it was being called the idiot box. Then came TV on the computer and now everything every where. Especially since start ups like Joost et al hit the scene.

What makes this interesting is, in todays digital era most of our valuable memories (aka pictures) and entertainment including home videos are in digital format. Keeping a desktop next to your flat screen will only make the stars collide.

Some time back I had pondered upon an idea of bringing all this together in one box somehow and had stumbled upon the concept of HTPC (Home Theater PC). This would do everything needed or at least what I could dream of. Interestingly, also found softwares in FOSS (Free Open Source Software). After brainstorming with Swash and before I could start any thing I was MIA.

Now, if looking at the XBOX logo you are wondering WTP am I smoking here. Well, thats what I thought when I looked up XBOX in detail. This bugger could be answer rather the best answer to my digital worlds collide and become one theory. XBOX's marketing team has hardly highlighted its hidden abilities, one being - media hub!!

Yes, XBOX can be used to stream videos, audios and digital picture files from your computer on the network to your TV/Home Theater. This is without any additional purchases. All you need is the computer should be running XP, Zune software or Windows Media Player 11+. This can also be acheived by using devices from Netgear, D-Link or Apple TV. I found the list to either not cost effective or not very kewl. Even heard they are not easy to setup except, of course, Apple TV.

Now, you can play games, watch TV, stream videos or audios in one place. Thats what I call the - Geek Appeal.

But, only drawback, with recent change in the DVD market and most of the studios aligning behind Blu-Ray XBox gained one disadvantage. It only comes ith HD DVD.

Note, I have seen no place that mentions Playstation 3 to have the media hub feature or for that matter any other game console.
Except for the Blu-Ray part and lack of direct ways of capurting Internet streams, I give full points to XBOX even though Playstaion 3 is sexier looking.