Over that last few weeks at work I’ve been annoying my co-workers with how great my Windows MCE 2005 machine is. Almost all of them respond back with, “But I don’t want to plug a computer to my TV”. You can tell I work with people that don’t really know much about the electronics already plugged into their TVs. My response back was that they probably already have some type of computer plugged into their TV. Do you have a Playstation or XBOX? That’s a computer. What about a TiVo? Last time I opened mine up, it had a couple hard drives and a PowerPC CPU in it. I would even argue that a DVD player is a computer, sure, not by tradition definitions, but it does have circuitry in it that controls the laser tracking and simple menu logic.
I do agree that traditional computer form factors don’t look good around a TV, but horizontal component like form factors have been around for a couple years now. The difference with this product is its size — 14″ wide and 2.5″ tall. Tranquil PC, a UK based company, released “the world’s first slim, silent, affordable Windows Media Center 2005 device”. It holds about 100hrs of standard definition recordings, but don’t expect it to record or playback HD since its 1.2ghz CPU isn’t powerful enough. They also offer, as an option, a 802.11g wireless card which makes this little beauty easy to install in older homes where Cat5 doesn’t exist. The unit can be bought for about $1500 in the UK… I don’t know if they ship to the US or if the tuner card would tune in our frequencies (it uses a DVB-T tuner). Definitely something for our friends in the UK should look into if they are in the market for a standard definition TiVo alternative.
[via Michael C.]