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AMD's All-in-One Media Machine 121

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the kitchen-sink-not-included dept.
Drakewolf writes to tell us that despite the many failed attempts to bridge the gap between the PC and home entertainment systems, AMD has released several new products at CES under their LIVE! brand. The centerpiece was the AMD LIVE! Home Cinema, an all-in-one device that combines a set-top cable box, stereo receiver, DVD player, digital video recorder, and a PC.
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AMD's All-in-One Media Machine

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  • *droll* I wonder, will i need a loan just to buy one?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by God'sDuck (837829)
      I think I'll wait until after Microsoft sues the pants off of AMD for using "Live!" for the name of an online service combiner.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by thebdj (768618)
        It won't happen for a few reasons. 1) Microsoft doesn't hold a trademark on "Live!", sort of makes it hard to sue for that, 2) The trademark they have is for "XBox Live", 3) The people with the closes trademark ("Live!") is actually Creative Labs.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by MojoStan (776183)
          Also, one of the requirements of AMD LIVE! [amd.com] is Windows Media Center Edition, so it's obvious AMD created this spec in cooperation/partnership with Microsoft.

          I'm pretty sure the GP was joking, though, about MS suing AMD for using the word "Live."

      • It's not a great name, no matter the outcome of a possible lawsuit.

        Why not calling it the

        Any (or All)
        Media
        Device

        (ok, I don't really expect those guys in marketing to like geeky recursive acronyms, nevermind :P)
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by brusk (135896)
      Sir or madam,

      I find your remark barely humorous, not rising to the level of "droll."
  • failed attempts? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by macadamia_harold (947445) on Monday January 08, 2007 @02:08PM (#17511020) Homepage
    Drakewolf writes to tell us that despite the many failed attempts to bridge the gap between the PC and home entertainment systems

    You mean like the xbox360? or the macmini running frontrow?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by flynt (248848)
      I have Media Center running on my laptop hooked up to a 24" monitor, which doubles as my TV. I can watch DVDs, slide shows, live TV, and recorded TV, it's simple. I can drop recorded shows into a directory which automatically converts them and puts them on my iPod. Even Media Center is not a failed attempt as far as I'm concerned.
      • by AK Marc (707885) on Monday January 08, 2007 @03:13PM (#17512060)
        Then you don't understand what they mean by "failed attempt." There are a number of products out there that do the job well. There are none that have gotten consumers to buy them in large numbers. Just because the products work well and have been delivered and sold doesn't make them a success. All have fallen short of their sales goals, so all of them are failures. You own a failure. That isn't a personal attack, it is a statement of fact. It works well. But it is a failure because your neighbors don't have it, don't want it, and probably don't know what it is.
        • Microsoft announced in their keynote that 80% of the Windows PCs sold this year were Media Center Edition boxes. If even half that number are actually using them as such, that's a pretty solid userbase.

          I'm also using it (and a 360 as a media extender in the TV room) which is honestly a pretty sweet freaking setup.
          • Unless a whole bunch of businesses are buying MCE machines for their office workers, I don't see how that could possibly be true.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ucklak (755284)
        Once HD can be recorded off another output device (component/HDMI) then I'm interested.
        Otherwise, it's a failure.

        Cablecard and HD-DVR's are failures at this point. Equipment for cablecards doesn't meet spec for cablecards and vice versa.
        Your TV takes a cablecard but PPV doesn't work or any other extra that the crappy STB does.

        HD-DVR's have nothing but bad news on all the forums I've read and people I've talked to - constantly rebooting, loss of recorded shows, noisy.

        High end TV's now have a warm up time lo
    • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Monday January 08, 2007 @05:38PM (#17514448)
      You mean like the xbox360? or the macmini running frontrow?

      How about five years of Windows XP Media Center Edition?

      Granted, a huge number of OEM PCs today are shipped with MCE pre-installed, because TV tuner cards got really cheap and the OS license is hardly different than XP Pro or Home. But how many of those end up hooked up to the TV in the living room?
  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday January 08, 2007 @02:10PM (#17511056) Homepage Journal
    All-in-One devices (of any sort) tend to do all of these related things, but none of them particularly well. On top of it, if one of it's functions quits on you, you generally have to replace the entire thing, since the all-in-one device will typically not integrate with anything external.

    I understand why they continue to gain popularity (takes less space, you get all the functions for one price, uses less power, etc.), but in general you can always seem to do better from a functionality and features standpoint from individual components than from any integrated 'all-in-one' device.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Umbrel (1040414)
      Most likely we would be better with just USB stackable (wireless?) devices for physical media inputs (VHS, DVD, etc) and a really good software to handle it, or USB a hardware panel. Something like a all(you want)-in-one modular kit.
      • replace usb with firewire or e-sata
        • by Andy Dodd (701)
          Or Ethernet a la Silicon Dust's HDHomeRun HDTV tuner.

          RF in, transport stream over Ethernet out. :)

          BTW, from all I've seen of the ATI OCUR (most likely the Cable STB aspect of this system), it's just a USB device (there are provisions for one variant to be mounted internally but it's fundamentally USB still). Of course, thanks to CableLabs it's effectively an "all in one" thing as it's locked in with Vista's DRM (May never be supported by MythTV sadly due to this) and at least now will only be sold with new
    • It's not that simple. Do you have an add-on Ethernet card in your PC? Aren't you afraid the built-in one will quit on you? How about a PCMCIA wireless card for your laptop?
      • by css-hack (1038154)

        I don't know about you, but I do.

        The on-board ethernet did quit on me, and in my laptop I use a PCMCIA card for compatibility with my school's wireless network (which is newer than my laptop).

        • HTPC is the way to go. This fucking thing cost a 1000 bucks, For around 300 I built a HTPC out of parts I ordered from newegg. It does everything POS does at a quarter the cost. I also have more control over it, anything goes bad in it and and I can replace it an not the whole box. The software was free too, you can use mythtv or mediaportal.

          I presonally chose mediaportal because mythtv just simply kicked my ass with out working up a sweat.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MindStalker (22827)
      Looks like this "AMD LIVE" is a generic PC that comes with a bunch of Free software.
      http://www2.amdlive.com/us-en/free_downloads.aspx [amdlive.com]

      ^^ Note some of this is truly free software, most of it is only free with the "AMD LIVE" PC.
      Though it does look like once you have a subscription you can install most of it on other computers to share your Media Center experience across the household.
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      You seem to think this device was built for consumers.

      This device is build for DRM and Copyright owners. It's designed to control you and what you watch.

      in that regard it is the perfect device.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        This device is build for DRM and Copyright owners. It's designed to control you and what you watch.

        It's designed to control what you can do with the media they send down the pipe. Insofar as it will be used to circumvent your fair use (and other) rights, that is a bad thing. On the other hand, it doesn't have to be used in the wrong way. It just will be :P

        In terms of actually preventing you from doing things, it doesn't really change anything. There will still (for the foreseeable future) be an analog out

    • ...they are called Windows Media Center PCs, or Linux PCs running MythTV.

      These have not caught on because they are too complicated. Mapping all these functions onto one box leads to a hard-to-use box. That makes little sense these days, when PCs are CHEAP! The mainframe days, when one box NEEDED to do many things because the box was expensive, are over. Instead we get little specialized boxes that are good at doing one thing. Home routers, TiVos, and iPods are all devices packed with a ton of computing powe
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by melstav (174456)

      I understand why they continue to gain popularity (takes less space, you get all the functions for one price, uses less power, etc.), but in general you can always seem to do better from a functionality and features standpoint from individual components than from any integrated 'all-in-one' device.

      Yes, you can almost always get "better" from discrete components than you can from an "all-in-one". And some discrete components give you better results (and likely cost more) than others. I can build a home entertainment center from discrete components for well under $1K. Or I can spend $20K.

      When you're dealing with a consumer market, there is a point at which the "goodness level" becomes "good enough", and this point varies on a consumer-by-consumer basis.

      Many people want the higher quality achieved by

    • by slashkitty (21637)
      None of these all in one devices seem to handle video in / out very well, or make good remotes. For all the example hardware they have listed for AMD Live, it's just a regular computer w/ a dvd burner and some special software.
    • by sumdumass (711423)
      You might have a good point here. I buy "boom box" radios that have a cdplayer or tape drive in it to carry around and have something were normal sterio equiptment wouldn't work. But I do have a componant sterio with seperate reciever, cdplayer, real to real tape, dual drive casset tape, amplifyer, and record player (missing the needle). And although a tv with DVD or VHS built in is availible, I still prefere to buy seperate players and run them thew the 7.1 surounds sound system that integrats into my home
  • by macadamia_harold (947445) on Monday January 08, 2007 @02:10PM (#17511068) Homepage
    The centerpiece was the AMD LIVE! Home Cinema, an all-in-one device that combines a set-top cable box, stereo receiver, DVD player, digital video recorder, and a PC.

    This device is to computing what the spork is to silverware.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You mean... Awesome?
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      This device is to computing what the spork is to silverware.

      A metal spork is a wonderful thing to take camping.

      This device provides all the functionality most people need!

      Sooner or later all cable boxes will be replaced with cable modem set top boxes which perform the set-top box functionality, the cable modem functionality, have an ethernet out to your real PC or your network, and which have the DVR functions built in. Most of them probably will be DVD players. Most of them will not have an FM re

      • new cable boxes have cable modem build in to them they even get there own IP.
        also you don't not what to force people buy cable internet net with cable tv.
        I have cable tv and dsl.
  • A tad overpriced? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Simonetta (207550)
    ...an all-in-one device that combines a set-top cable box, stereo receiver, DVD player, digital video recorder and PC.

    Let's see, at Fry's a cable box is about $50, on Craig's List a stereo is about $30, at Best Buy a DVD player is about $39, a digital camcorder is about $250, and a PC on the web at PriceWatch is about $400.

    So AMD is selling the whole package at about $3000? Jeez, such a deal. What does AMD stand for anyway? Advanced Money Disease?

    You Know that
    • From TFA:
      With all that technology in one box, it won't be cheap. Feen said the starting price for Home Cinema will be $1,000 and can go up to $3,000, depending on options.

      Also you forgot to mention what your times worth....
    • by ByeLaw (186453)
      DRM!! Exactly! Hopefully consumers will get wize to this DRM infested crap and steer well away.
    • it starts at $1000, which given it's also a decently powerful modern computer (something you forgot to add to the list), isn't too bad.

      and given that some of the stuff amounts to high end computers, like the notebook listed, the $3000 piece isn't too unreasonable.

      Still, if I want to make a multimedia machine, I'll go Intel. Actually, if I want anything right now, I'd go Intel. Was an AMD fan starting at the K6-III and ending with the Core 2, but... well, the Core 2 just owns. Actually even a P4 would have t
      • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Monday January 08, 2007 @02:54PM (#17511750)
        it starts at $1000, which given it's also a decently powerful modern computer

        However, I doubt that most people would actually use it as a computer. A couple of years ago I put together a MythTV box, and I had the idea that as a bonus it would be handy to have a computer system in my living room. It turns out that even though it's a perfectly fine computer, I rarely if ever use it as anything other than a PVR. Even though it's directly hooked to an HDTV monitor with an HDMI cable, the resolution still isn't very good for reading text. Somehow it's a lot worse at showing high-contrast details than the equivalent pixel-count computer monitor would be; TV electronics just don't seem to be designed with text in mind.

        Sitting way back on the couch makes matters worse, and using a wireless keyboard on my lap is incredibly clumsy and frustrating. Just browsing the web feels klunky, and doing any kind of serious work is out of the question. Even a lot of PC games seem to be written assuming that you're sitting upright in a chair with both a mouse and a full 104-key keyboard on a stable surface in front of you. It seems to me that investing in a high-end system for the living room would be a waste of money for most people.

        • Way out of my budget - especially since I had an old PIV 2.26 system with 2 100 gig drives taking up space in the basement. It's been neglected more and more since I bought a Mac Book Pro last year.

          I am in the middle of putting my old motherboard in a "media-case" from Antec. I was looking at Myth TV, but I'm getting a DVR from the cable company. I also read where it took a certified Red Hat engineer 30 hours to get everything working right. I just don't have to time to fiddle - I need it to work, so ad
          • by swillden (191260) *

            I was looking at Myth TV, but I'm getting a DVR from the cable company. I also read where it took a certified Red Hat engineer 30 hours to get everything working right. I just don't have to time to fiddle - I need it to work, so adios Myth TV.

            30 hours is a bit much, it's not nearly that bad, as long as you have well-supported hardware.

            It will be more work than the DVR, but it will also *do* a lot more than the DVR, which is why many people find it worth the bother.

            • I have d/l the first 2 iso's of Fedora Core 6, so I haven't totally ruled it out. I'll get the rest tonight probably. I have a linux guru at my job, he prefers SUSE. I have no real preference for any distro, but would like it to work without a lot of hassle. It's also true that I would learn a lot if I went the Myth TV route, and there's something to be said for honing my skills.

              I currently commute about 5 hours each day, so there's not a whole lot of time left in the day when I get home.
              • by swillden (191260) *

                I have d/l the first 2 iso's of Fedora Core 6, so I haven't totally ruled it out. I'll get the rest tonight probably. I have a linux guru at my job, he prefers SUSE. I have no real preference for any distro, but would like it to work without a lot of hassle.

                If you decide to give it a shot, I'd highly recommend Knoppmyth. If you happen to have the right hardware, it'll work with zero hassle. If you don't, it still shouldn't be too bad.

                I currently commute about 5 hours each day, so there's not a whole lot of time left in the day when I get home.

                Five hours? That's really painful.

                • Someone at my job also suggested Knoppmyth, so I'll give it a look. I am indeed an "extreme commuter," but I was able to buy a house in the country, my son is in a good school, so it's worth it. Plus, I commute in a Prius, which is cheaper than the two monthly bus tickets my wife and I were buying.

                  Apple TV looks pretty good, but I'm sure it's not in my budget.

                  BTW, really nice pictures on your site.
                  • by swillden (191260) *

                    Someone at my job also suggested Knoppmyth, so I'll give it a look.

                    If you run into any issues, feel free to email me. No guarantees, but I've done a little with MythTV. My system works beautifully, except when I tinker with it -- which my kids beg me not to do :-)

                    I am indeed an "extreme commuter," but I was able to buy a house in the country, my son is in a good school, so it's worth it.

                    Yeah, you've got to arrange the important stuff somehow. I do it by traveling about 20% of the time and telecommuting the rest. I also bought a house in the country, but the suburbs moved out to surround me, so I'm currently looking to move to the boonies. I figure if I buy 40 acres or so I'll be able to

        • You just don't use it right. I thought the same thing when I built mine, it would be nice to have spare computer to do bitch work with. The primary purpose of my htpc is to show video and play music, which it does damn good. The secondary purpose is a place to put my long term shit that I don't want taking up cpu time on my desktop. Such as encoding video or shirking dvds.

          I just copy the work over to the htpc then remote desktop in. Set up what I want it to do an walk away from it. I come back in

      • With amd the lowend starts with a good video card with intel you get GMA 950
        • UGH, I would sport the extra $50 to get a GeForce ?200 or ?300 card over the GMA... The price isn't that big of a difference at that range.
    • by rolfwind (528248)
      Forgetting for the moment that this starts at $1000, not $3000, and that for $400 you get a truly barebones PC - can you integrate all those devices seamlessly, with minimal cables, and so on?

      I believe the Mac has done well with some integrated products (and not so well on others) that were priced more than the sum of the parts alone. People pay for a seamless experience.

      I'm not asserting that AMD will deliver on those promises though.
    • by Nasarius (593729)
      a digital camcorder is about $250
      You plan on taping TV shows with a camcorder?
      • by drinkypoo (153816)
        You plan on taping TV shows with a camcorder?

        Not only can you do that with any camcorder with a video input, but if that camcorder is a MiniDV camera with video input and the ability to act as a bridge - which even some $500 MiniDV camcorders will do - you can use it to stream DV to your PC for recording.

        • You plan on taping TV shows with a camcorder?

          Not only can you do that with any camcorder with a video input, but if that camcorder is a MiniDV camera with video input and the ability to act as a bridge - which even some $500 MiniDV camcorders will do - you can use it to stream DV to your PC for recording.

          Yeah, because paying $500 for a camcorder as a video capture device for your PVR is so much more economical than a $60 Hauppage card... [newegg.com]

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Not only can you do that with any camcorder with a video input, but if that camcorder is a MiniDV camera with video input and the ability to act as a bridge - which even some $500 MiniDV camcorders will do - you can use it to stream DV to your PC for recording.

            Yeah, because paying $500 for a camcorder as a video capture device for your PVR is so much more economical than a $60 Hauppage card...

            Please try not to be an ass. That Hauppage card doesn't have a camera with a decent zoom lens, nor does i

            • That Hauppage card doesn't have a camera with a decent zoom lens, nor does it have a MiniDV tape for recording video while the PC is turned off.

              Look, I'm sick of you're all-in-one fanboyism.

              If I want a digital video capture device, I should not be compelled to buy a bundled camera and zoom lens that I may not want, nor a MiniDV tape drive.

              Bring back the good old days, when a video camera was a shoulder-mounted behemoth that weighed sixty pounds and you still needed to feed its signal into a separate VCR in
            • The original question [slashdot.org]:

              You plan on taping TV shows with a camcorder?

              referenced the fact that the camcorder was being mixed up with a Media Center/MythTV/Tivo type of DVR for recording tv shows. Of course a camcorder is useful as a camcorder, but a camcorder as a camcorder is not useful or efficient or economical in a PVR solution. Of course you can use it as a PVR and as a camcorder, but if you're going to use it while you're on vacation or while you're at your cousin's wedding or wherever else, you can

      • You plan on taping TV shows with a camcorder?

        You got to admit, this would bypass any DRM restrictions.
  • by chia_monkey (593501) on Monday January 08, 2007 @02:29PM (#17511358) Journal
    Everyone continues to talk about the digital convergence, yet we're still seeing two big problems. The first, which is evident here...is price. We're not going to see widespread adoption of new media hardware (and software) with pricepoints like this. Only the rich (and geeky) will shell out that kind of dough for something so cutting edge right now. Second, we're still in early-adopter stage for many of these devices and the average consumer still isn't "trained" to use these devices. Remember when Tivo came out? It was mostly the technically savvy people that bought it. This device still resembles a computer too much to be adopted and placed in the living room of the common household. Some day though...
    • by AK Marc (707885)
      Also, until the entire thing is cheap enough, or owned by my cable company that I rent from them, I'll recommend against people buying it. I know lots of people with combination TVs (TV/DVD/VCR). They think it's great, up until something breaks. When the VCR doesn't record anymore, but will still play, do you spend more than the cost of a new VCR to have someone look at it, not even knowing if it will be fixable? Do you hook up an external VCR to your TV with a VCR? You can record TV with it, but you c
      • by Rich0 (548339)
        You'll note you used the word "Macrovision" about a half-dozen times. This is the other problem with digital convergence - the newer DRM schemes make Macrovision seem quite friendly indeed. I'm reading lots of recent mythtv emails from people whose firewire feeds are now being encrypted and they're now up the creek.

        Pretty soon people will be selling TV-mods to add firewire outputs to them. They already make them for tuner boxes but they are pricey (and I'm not sure how they handle DRMed content).

        And yet
      • Because of the cost of the combo TVs, most of the people I know with broken equipment limp along, cursing it. For me, with all separate components, I switch individual compenents whenever I want

        If you have a seperate system and the DVD player breaks, you spend $30 and buy a new DVD player.

        If you have a combi system and the DVD player breaks, you spend $30 and buy a new DVD player.

        If you have a problem with macrovision you go into the 'service menu' of the DVD player and turn macrovision off.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by garcia (6573)
      This device still resembles a computer too much to be adopted and placed in the living room of the common household. Some day though...

      I don't know what TiVo you're talking about but both my standalone TiVo and my DirecTiVo look pretty much like my DVD players.

      The reason that TiVo has a low adoption rate is the fact that it costs $14/month to use it (standalone) and most people can't see the point of paying $14 to disrupt their lives being disrupted by TV show programming times. It has nothing to do w/how
      • Low adoption rate for Tivo? I don't know what planet your living on but in my neck of the woods everyone an thier dog has a tivo or dvr. It changes the way you watch tv alright. I'm using mine to shift BSG back to Friday night where it belongs, if I continue to watch BSG that is.

        It even suggests shows that it thinks I might like. That is kind of unnerving though. The damn thing has better taste in tv than I do.

  • by straponego (521991) on Monday January 08, 2007 @02:41PM (#17511552)
    Have you ever noticed that any product with "!" in the name... well, there's no delicate way to put this... sucks?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Look, for $1000, a "home entertainment machine" that sucks is probably going to be a big seller, but for $3000, this thing better swallow.

      (Hmmmm...probably should post AC on this)
    • I assume you're thinking along the lines of Microsoft Plus! (you know the extra desktop themes you could pay extra for).

      I agree, adding an exclamation point on the end of your product name is one of the gayest naming conventions out there (Top of the Muffin TO YOU!), but you can't forget about some at least decent products carrying that flaming point of exclamation...

      Yahoo!
      Creative Sound Blaster Live!

      While I prefer Google over Yahoo!, (notice awkward punctuation) it's still a very popular search
  • by stu42j (304634) on Monday January 08, 2007 @02:47PM (#17511644) Homepage
    "They can't stream content if you want video. The connection isn't the problem, the problem is NAS isn't fast enough to get content on the wire," he said. With a faster processor in its Media Server, data can now be streamed off a server, either wireless or wired.


    WTF? I stream videos off my 400mhz K6 fileserver and have never had problems with CPU load. Are NAS devices seriously that slow?
    • by forkazoo (138186)

      "They can't stream content if you want video. The connection isn't the problem, the problem is NAS isn't fast enough to get content on the wire," he said. With a faster processor in its Media Server, data can now be streamed off a server, either wireless or wired.

      WTF? I stream videos off my 400mhz K6 fileserver and have never had problems with CPU load. Are NAS devices seriously that slow?

      No, they aren't. But, they are trying to convince everybody to do it wrong in order to sell more hardware. I think

  • amdlive.com (Score:2, Informative)

    here is the official (English language version) website for the subject product. http://www2.amdlive.com/us-en/ [amdlive.com] AMDLive appears to be simply a media software suite available on computers with AMD processors.
  • Ok, so now in addition to Creative's Live! line of sound products, XBOX Live!, and MS' Live.com search, we have AMD's Live! home media PC.

    Yeah, sounds like the boys over in marketing really worked hard on that one.
  • I will stay away from AMD. Still angry after wasting 3 days trying to get rid off audio stuttering on an AMD3200x64/Hauppauge dedicated PVR system which murders a XEON2.8x2 in Mathematica.
    • There are known issues with a few sound cards and RAID or SCSI cards eating up the bandwidth of the PCI bus that cause this. I have an AMD 3000+ running three simultaneous high def streams and no stutter.
    • by Andy Dodd (701)
      Were you using onboard audio in both cases?

      In that case, it's the motherboard manufacturer's fault, not AMD's. Some motherboards have junk onboard audio (like my ASUS A7V8X-X), others have very good onboard audio. (Intel has a VERY heavy push towards requiring motherboard manufacturers to meet certain minimum specifications in order to get their "High Definition Audio" certification, I think AMD has similar requirements for Live!)

      Get a decent sound card. MythTV works great for me:
      Backend is an Athlon 64
  • I tend not to like "all in one" type units, especially the first generation of them, as they tend to be not very reliable, nor any easier to use. They definitely aren't any cheaper than separate components.

    The time when "all in one" starts to make sense, is when the combining the components makes the aggregate easier to use, and is cost comparible or even cheaper to buy than the separate components, with reliability nearly equal to or surpassing the separate component versions.

    The point of "all in one" on s
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      An example of something that doesn't quite make sense is the MP3/camara/Cellphone/PDA/GPS/Kitchen Sink.

      Says you. All of those things but the sink make absolute sense in a single device because they're all devices you want to carry with you, in fact they are all devices that derive all of their usefulness from being on your person. ALL OF IT. NO EXCEPTIONS. So why would you not want to carry all these things at once?

      I wish that you luddites who don't understand the purpose behind convergence - to help you

      • by Steve525 (236741)
        The biggest problem I have with a MP3/camara/Cellphone/PDA/GPS is the form factor. Cellphones need to have an appropriate shape and size to be held by hand to your ear and mouth. PDA's and GPS's benefit from big screens. If you make a cellphone with a big enough screen to be a useful PDA and GPS it is cumbersome to use as a phone, and visa versa. The MP3 player and camera also might add size and cost to the phone (particularly if you want 30 GB of space for your music), but this will decrease with time.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          The biggest problem I have with a MP3/camara/Cellphone/PDA/GPS is the form factor. Cellphones need to have an appropriate shape and size to be held by hand to your ear and mouth. PDA's and GPS's benefit from big screens. If you make a cellphone with a big enough screen to be a useful PDA and GPS it is cumbersome to use as a phone, and visa versa.

          Of course, if it has bluetooth and/or a headphone jack, it is no longer cumbersome to use as a phone (and you don't have to hold it up to your head, either.)

          • by Steve525 (236741)
            Of course, if it has bluetooth and/or a headphone jack, it is no longer cumbersome to use as a phone (and you don't have to hold it up to your head, either.)

            Ah, but if you are carrying around a headset, you are carrying two devices. (And the whole point of this convergence thing is to have one device do everything).

            Your phone sounds pretty nice. Can you play music from the uSD card, or is the memory only used for storing pictures?

            the coked-out mofos at Edge Wireless want $50/mo for unlimited EDGE GPRS.

            See
            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              Ah, but if you are carrying around a headset, you are carrying two devices. (And the whole point of this convergence thing is to have one device do everything).

              There's such a thing as going too far. Besides, using a bluetooth headset is a feature because your phone can sit in your pocket where it belongs, but you don't NEED to use it.

              Your phone sounds pretty nice. Can you play music from the uSD card, or is the memory only used for storing pictures?

              I can play music from it, or store videos to it.

      • 1.3 MP camera that has no focus, sucks compared to the other "real" one I have. Besides the fact that the camara SUCKS big time even by 5 year old standards, I can't seem to get them off my phone easily.

        The MP3 Player SUCKS compared to my iPod Nano. It sucks power faster than anything else I do with the phone, making it useless beyond the occasional whatever. Not that I've ever really used it, because it SUCKS so much. Besides the fact that it SUCKS, I can't seem to get it to sync any MP3 stuff with my comp
    • by Steve525 (236741)
      Computers are already all-in-one devices, so this does make some sense. After all, a computer has all the pieces of a DVD player (or a HD player with the right drive), a PVR (if you have a TV card), a mp3 jukebox, and a front end for media stored anywhere (including the web), and perhaps a game machine. So, if you are going to make a computer based set-top box, you might as well include all these things. (For the games, downloadable retro games or similar are probably all you should attempt, though).

      Th
      • Computers are programmable muti-devices, agreed. But they are limited by design. Just look at this statement of yours ....

        "After all, a computer has all the pieces of a DVD player (or a HD player with the right drive), a PVR (if you have a TV card), a mp3 jukebox, and a front end for media stored anywhere (including the web), and perhaps a game machine."

        If it has, if it has, if it has. Sure, most computers are coming with options to include or already includes items that make it Multimedia, however, most co
  • I don't see this as an "all in one" device. It's really just a TV set for today. Inputs are an Internet connection, a cable TV connection, a 5.25" drive for optical media, and a remote control. Outputs are a screen and speakers. You can select various sources and view them. No big deal.

    If it weren't for digital rights management, this would be straightforward. But the DRM on the cable signals, the streaming media, and the discs complicates the problem.

  • AMD has released several new products at CES

    Excuse me but...has AMD actually released anything? Can I go to my local AMD store/website and actually buy these systems from them. I doubt they've released anything except some reference designs for other manufacturers using AMD produced components and branding.

  • by gatesvp (957062)

    So basically, AMD came out with Live! as a marketing tool (a la VIIV) and now they have actual integrated devices. That's fine, this is nothing new. But all TFA talks about is the hardware and hardware is not the issue, UI is the issue.

    If you're selling an integrated box, it needs to be truly integrated. You need a bundled remote, a well-designed 15-foot UI, a bundled wireless keyboard and mouse. You need the system to be pre-configured to support a "media output" (TV) and a small monitor if the user has

    • by ratboy666 (104074)
      "I want to do more than just "play" the DVD, I want an option to "rip" the DVD and store it. But you can't bundle that right now (legal issues). I want to play music, rip music, download music and podcasts and connect to subscription services all in one. But this stuff is still independent from the services that play movies.

      And for the second generation, I want to hook up a second PC in the basement and have it talk to the first PC upstairs. And then I want these guys to share a media library. I want multip
  • The all-in-one media machine is the Pioneer BD player. Everyone else is still low def.
  • by felonious (636719) on Monday January 08, 2007 @06:29PM (#17515446) Journal
    This is nothing new and it seems to be all hype. If you have digital cable, in my area, you get a free cable box w/PVR built in. I have multiple DVD players, HD-DVD at that, 7.1 SS Home theater setup, an a HTPC(not store bought).

    The biggest issue I have with these premade, pieces of shit, is they are way over-priced.
    You could build much better, with multiple form factors, depending on preference, much cheaper.
    Most of the hardware that goes into these things is generic crap.
    Cheap hardware+SFF=Profit!!
    The $1000 version is probably Celeron based with minimal RAM. It probably lacks what's needed period and is only listed so they can say they have a cheaper model. It's just like the cheaper versions of the 360/PS3 which nobody wants.

    For my next HTPC I've bought a mac mini, which I'm going to dual boot in XP. Parallel looks ok but I'm told it's not that great. Mojopac shows a lot of promise, but I have to learn more about it. Anyway, running XP on a mac mini gives me great SFF, but lacks some things. I can make it all work depending on how much I will use said function. They make external drives that match the mini so storage won't be an issue and the SFF can't be beat. This will be my first mac, but it's only for the SFF not the OS, as I'll be running XP to get the HTPC stuff going.

    For those wanting to build there own you can do so with top notch components for way under $1500.
    When I was looking at doing this I built multiple versions on Newegg. Below I've listed specs off of memory...
    Shuttle XPC case/mobo/ps(need to upgrade) $169 after 20 rebate
    AMD64 4200X2 - $169
    1GB Corsair XMS DDR2@800mhz - $130
    SATA 320GB HD - $95
    Win MCE 2k5 - $109
    Haupage dual TV tuner (PCI) $130ish
    GeForce 7950 gt or gs (can't remember) $189
    DVD Drive $30
    That's the bulk of it and it's $1021

    $3k can kiss my ass and so can $2k, it's a rip and generic hardware.
    $1021 plus an hour or so piecing it together=priceless!
  • by Sodki (621717)
    Yeah, I have one of those old AMD cards. It was called Sound Blaster Live!.

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