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I Want My MTV... PC? 261

Posted by michael
from the look-for-them-in-real-world dept.
Tsar writes: "MTV Networks is putting their imprimatur on a line of entertainment-oriented PC's to be available early this year. Targeting the college-age crowd, they'll have TV &amp radio tuners, DVD players, remote controls, and 'MTV-specific content.' CNN has this article on CNN's SCI-TECH page, but the original story was posted last Thursday on IDG.net. There's also news of MTV's impending digital music player, which uses DataPlay's 500MB matchbook-sized discs with built-in digital rights denial^H^H^H^H^H^Hmanagement."
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I Want My MTV... PC?

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  • Anyone remember? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Beltec (548130) on Sunday January 13, 2002 @07:37PM (#2834024)
    Anyone remember the other theme based PC's and what happend to them? Barbie ring a bell? Ok, so this may have more of a chance, but really, MTV doing a computer?? Besides, I'd rather build my own anyhow, so I guess it really dosn't matter to me :)
  • Apple (Score:2, Insightful)

    by brodiedreamyou.ca (542180) on Sunday January 13, 2002 @07:40PM (#2834038)
    Sounds very similar to the digital hub that apple keeps talking about, i think i'd personaly take the apple, but it is interesting that they have tv and radio tuners, kinda like the sony vios... hmm sounds like alot of this stuff has been done before:)
  • by PeeOnYou2 (539746) <chokeondis@hotmail. c o m> on Sunday January 13, 2002 @07:42PM (#2834045) Homepage
    You have to realize how hardcore a lot of teens are about MTV. Yes, the rest of us can see how lame it really is... but those who are sucked into it eat, sleep, and breathe it. If MTV says something is, IT IS dammit!

    I should know.. my little sister would die without it. I think she even has withdrawals sometimes.

    I can't wait to see if she wants one of these once they start advertising them all the time.
  • College age crowd? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CajunArson (465943) on Sunday January 13, 2002 @07:43PM (#2834049) Journal
    The last time I saw MTV (and its been a while) it was more geared
    towards teenie boppers than college students

    Maybe they are hoping a whole bunch of stupid freshman with
    rich parents will buy? Or is this more for the N'sync/Brittney Spheres crowd?
  • by 2nesser (538763) <2nesser@cogeco . c a> on Sunday January 13, 2002 @07:47PM (#2834068) Homepage
    Anyone dumb enough to buy this system (there are many out there that we all know) is going to be an impulse buyer. They won't do any homework on what system to get nor will they care.

    I like music, and I like the idea's of having a radio and tv tuner in my box. But I won't pay the cash that MTV (or whoever building these systems) is bound to charge when I can put them in myself for a lot less.

    For those out there who know nothing of computers, they will happily follow each other over the cliff like mindless zombies, just as they do today with Micro$ofts products. It's all about marketing and creating a WANT when people don't NEED it. Maybe that crazy movie Fight Club was right?

    I've always wanted one of those hotwheel computers! =)
  • by outlier (64928) on Sunday January 13, 2002 @07:49PM (#2834073)
    I can see someone buying one brand of endorsed sneaker because they are different from other sneakers. Sure, [famous player] endorses them, but they have unique properties that aren't available in other shoes (e.g., the cool patterns and pumps and stuff).

    But, with a PC with publicized (and easily duplicated) specs, where's the benefit. If they add anything to the price for the "MTV" logo without adding some extra software or cool design features, there's nothing to stop Dell and every other computer manufacturer from creating their own "Compare to" models with equally cool colors, etc...

    Where's the benefit?

  • by Splat (9175) on Sunday January 13, 2002 @07:58PM (#2834099)
    I think it's most important we look past our obvious hatred of MTV (I concur with all previous posts) and look at the technology behind this idea.

    I for one would love an all-in-one box with a custom designed UI that did DVD/TV/Radio/Music with a remote that I wouldn't have to build.

    Sure you can buy yourself an ATI All-In-One Card, use some software (or for your geeks, string together some perl scripts), purchase a serial port remote control doohickey and spend forever configuring it - but you won't get the same desired result.

    This is similar to TiVo. Sure, I can use my ATI Card to record TV show, but my PC is not optimized for TV watching. A dedicated appliance that can provide all this stuff for the non-PC literate is a very marketable idea.

    A previous most mentioned the college audience is the wrong target - and I think you're correct. The market they should really be aiming for is the teen crowd. I'm not, and never was part of the MTV demographic but the appeal of a cool little machine that can play my new Britney Spears DVD and record TRL (Carson is so hot! WH000000!) is probably something that appeals to a lot of teenyboppers.

    Time will tell if those goes the way of the Barbie PC. I hope for the success of neat all-in-one integrated devices for the average consumer, but I have the gut-feeling of impending doom for such a venture.

    But hey, maybe all those castoff MTV Boxes will make neat hacking toys in a a year or so.
  • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworldNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday January 13, 2002 @08:01PM (#2834110) Homepage
    College students these days ARE teeny boppers. I swear, most of them seem to see college as just an extension of high school...
  • Why no console? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ebbomega (410207) on Sunday January 13, 2002 @08:07PM (#2834128) Journal
    As mentioned before, a thematic PC has already been proven to be a load of crap, basically toys for overpriviledged kids *coughBarbiecoughHotwheelscough*. While this does appeal more to the College/High-School generation that has a big sale rate for computers (Common graduation gift, I spose), understand that they are going to be buying them for that purpose: College and High school... so the odds of getting an entertainment-based system over something with a bit more practicality are slightly lower.

    So the question is here: Why not just make an entertainment-based Console computer? Honestly, stop trying to make them PCs and come up with the Nintendo/MTV MusicCube or something like that... Be a helluva lot cheaper and thusly more likely that you're going to make some kind of dent on the market itself...

    Then again, you could just buy an X-box...
  • by demaria (122790) on Sunday January 13, 2002 @08:38PM (#2834215) Homepage
    "Remember those annoying commercials with the flashing colors and slow, loud beat?"

    You've just described....every MTV commercial, ever. :)

    Although failure the first time around doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't try again, after learning which mistakes you made in the past.
  • Whine anyone? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ImaLamer (260199) <john DOT lamar AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday January 13, 2002 @09:08PM (#2834305) Homepage Journal
    I know this will be taken as a troll, or flame-bait. But here I go.

    Everyone has put down MTV, the MTV computer idea, and so much more. It goes to show one thing:

    Computer geeks don't get pop culture

    Someone above posted:
    Even if you are a college student, would you want your computer to come from a channel that headlines a show where people pierce their asses? Not me, I just don't see this idea being sucessful.

    I guess that person doesn't realize that many, many people watch that show [Jackass]. MTV is way more than just a shiny things type of network. It's young 'veejays' are usually working 100 times harder behind the scenes. It's movie awards, while a comedy show, has really challanged the Oscars by giving awards to movies that the majority actually like. The Matrix would be a good example. No doubt that movie was a hit, but no nod from the academy.

    If anyone is closer to what is on the minds of the public [from age 11-2?] than MTV, where are they? No doubt their success is proof.

    Will this venture work? Maybe not. But if they got these machines hooked up to a broadband connection - it could be another MTV.

    Remember, music artists spend millions to put their music on TV when they receive no immediate reward. Computers offer much more than TV.

    I think free music would be one big draw. And even without DRM it would keep some piracy at bay. Think a thousand mp3 streams at your finger tips. MTV has the money and power to put that together.

    Most college students I know are downloading mp3s and using P2P just to have something to listen to.

    If they don't try to make this a computer, and more of an appliance that plays music, movies and videos... it could work.

    Just something to think about.
  • by Monkelectric (546685) <slashdot@@@monkelectric...com> on Sunday January 13, 2002 @09:19PM (#2834336)
    About 18 or 19 (college age) is about when even the dullest of college students are able to think for himself and develop his own tastes, instead of liking whatever is put infront of them...

    I say this, because, I don't know *any* college students (and I know alot being employed by a university) who watch MTV, infact I would say that most despise it. These are the same college students who were "sticking it to the man" on napster... MTV *is* the man.

    Oh and guess what, college students are chronically poor by definition.
  • Re:Whine anyone? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Maul (83993) on Sunday January 13, 2002 @09:24PM (#2834348) Journal
    Your post makes sense, except that many college
    students are beyond the "do whatever MTV tells me"
    mentality. Of course, maybe I'm wrong since I only
    hang out with other CS people.

    A question I have that is hard to answer:

    Does MTV merely understand teen pop culture well,
    or are they part of a process that creates it?
    Or is it a bit of both?
  • Re:Whine anyone? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by until(0) (533975) <da5id @ w i n t e r - m u te.com> on Sunday January 13, 2002 @09:27PM (#2834358) Homepage
    HAHAHA

    Geeks don't get pop-culture huh?

    Some of us 'geeks', happen to not only enjoy their constant programming, but digital / conventional arts as well...

    Some of us prefer to listen to the likes of The Birthday Party, Joy Division, and Teengenerate as opposed to Aaron Carter, Lil Bow-Wow and Sugar Ray....

    Some of us prefer to think for ourselves rather than allow a corporation define who and what our 'generation' consists of.

    Some of us are insulted abosolutely at the term "MTV Generation", and dislike the fellow members of this stereotype that persist in perpetuating its use and facade.

    Some of us would rather not hear those of you out there who would stand in the face of individuality and shout the usefulness of conformity and ignorance into the masses.

    And finally...
    Some of us, speak truth ::

    "Hi
    I?m your video DJ
    I always talk like I?m wigged out on quaaludes
    I wear a satin baseball jacket everywhere I go

    My job is to help destroy
    What?s left of your imagination
    By feeding you endless doses
    Of sugar-coated mindless garbage

    So don?t create
    Be sedate
    Be a vegetable at home
    And thwack on that dial
    If we have our way even you will believe
    This is the future of rock and roll

    How far will you go
    How low will you stoop
    To tranquilize our minds with your sugar-coated swill

    You?ve turned rock and roll rebellion
    Into Pat Boone sedation
    Making sure nothing?s left to the imagination

    M.T.V. Get off the
    M.T.V. Get off the
    M.T.V. Get off the air
    Get off the air

    See the latest rejects from the muppet show
    Wag their tits and their dicks
    As they lip-synch on screen

    There?s something I don?t like
    About a band who always smiles
    Another tax write-off
    For some schmuck who doesn?t care

    M.T.V. Get off the air

    And so it was
    Our beloved corporate gods
    Claimed they created rock video
    Allowing it to sink as low in one year
    As commercial TV has in 25

    ?It?s the new frontier,? they say
    It?s wide open, anything can happen
    But you?ve got a lot of nerve
    To call yourself a pioneer
    When you?re too god-damn conservative
    To take real chances

    Tin-eared
    Graph-paper brained accountants
    Instead of music fans
    Call all the shots at giant record companies now

    The lowest common denominator rules
    Forget honesty
    Forget creativity
    The dumbest buy the mostest
    That?s the name of the game

    But sales are slumping
    And no one will say why
    Could it be they put out one too many lousy records?!?

    M.T.V.?Get off the air!
    NOW"

    -- The Dead Kennedy's ('M.T.V. - Get off the Air')
  • Re:DRM (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2002 @09:53PM (#2834444)
    The only rights I want to pay for are for the consumers:
    - being able to rip MP3, DivX etc out of disks that I purchase.
    - being able to exchange for damaged media
    - being able to play the contents wherever, whenever on whatever player of my chosing.
  • Re:MTV and Music? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2002 @11:08PM (#2834668)
    Wait - I'm a college student, so I should be smart/old/wise enough to know this...

    But there was a time when MTV played something you call "music videos?" That sounds like the coolest thing man! How long ago did they do this? And why don't they do it anymore???

    Actually, the last time I saw a music video on MTV was during an episode of Beavis and Butthead. That also happens to be the last time I willingly watched MTV (never seen music vids on it while at a friend's place)...

    Truth be told (and I'm preaching to the choir here), MTV is crap. Nothing but pure, unadulterated marketing and brainwashing. They do it via the hotness of a 50%-plastic Britney Spears (with 100% silicone tits) and various "ghetto thugz" rapping about their "homiez" and whatnot on some sub-28-IQ-requirement TV show with Carson Daly...

    The only college kids that actually watch MTV anymore are the hardcore partiers, i.e. frat guys. Everyone else laughs at said frat guys' collective juvenility! :)
  • Re:Whine anyone? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ImaLamer (260199) <john DOT lamar AT gmail DOT com> on Monday January 14, 2002 @01:40AM (#2835034) Homepage Journal
    I think it's a bit of both. [reminder: NOT A FAN BOY]

    The people who run MTV are sometimes the same people you see on screen. During the 80's and 90's MTV was mostly run by people who provided for an older audience. The people who ran MTV were young, 20's, and they were trying to put on an adult show. Not for older adults or people looking for class, but they were giving people what they wanted, and influencing pop-culture their own way.

    Now I think we are seeing a shift to trying to understand and create {pop} culture as well. MTV doesn't do bad at providing adult programming as well. But most of what we see is adults and young adults trying to show kids culture. They touch on issues, but 9-5 it's mostly an adult showing kids groups or groups for kids. By kids, I mean teenagers - younger than the people who we are talking about now.

    MTV though does have it's strong points. Wrestling, IMHO, is a bad move. But Jackass, and the Real World are two college age staple programs. These shows do appeal to many college age, 'hip', `poppy', type of kids.

    This product could catch on and because of that bring back that 18-24 year old audience. They seem to be slipping when it comes to music videos.

    But MTV2 seems to provide a better range of more complex music and music styles. If this thing could stream MTV2, that could be a hit. I know more people in college, living on campus, that have computers [and no cable] than cable tv.

    Depends on the specs and functions. If it works well, and provides a 'cool' set of tools - it could take off.

    Will MTV start a revolution in music distribution? Maybe. Something to think about again. They depend on it, as well as the artists depend on MTV.

    A sane DRM system and internet distribution channel could sure help a whole bunch of us. MTV provides a jukebox at a certain cost, and sell [basically] singles to burn. You burn at home - the machine is the key. With the computer they provide the appliance and ease of use. Combine that with a library of music, Voila.

    If it becomes easier than P2P and the many steps in between - the appliance becomes your computer and personal CD creation station. Normal people would just get this because ease of use and features. It's like a Tivo for music. I guess.

    Just a thought.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2002 @05:17AM (#2835377)
    Which would you rather have for 1800 bucks.

    A) The MTV logo?

    B) A flat screen monitor, a dvd burner, a computer that isn't butt ugly, firewire ports, did I mention a computer that isn't but ugly?, oh yea and a BSD based OS

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