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I Want My MTV... PC? 261

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 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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2002 @07:38PM (#2834030)
    If this thing has digital rights denial built in, that must mean it's made to allow pirating of any copyrighted material whatsoever, thus denying the Constitutionally given rights of content creators and copyright holders, no? That sort of thing ought to be illegal.
  • Say it ain't so? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Brontosaurus Jim ( 528803 ) on Sunday January 13, 2002 @07:43PM (#2834053) Homepage
    Damn, doesn't MTV remember the past? They've tried this sort of thing before, and where did it get them. I think it was in 95 or 96, they considered releasing a similarly themed "Media Box" that was part laser disc, part cd player, part tape deck, part vcr, etc, etc

    Needless to say it failed (You don't see any around anymore, do you?). During it's short lifespan (Remember those annoying commercials with the flashing colors and slow, loud beat?), a friend of mine picked one up.

    I've never seen a worse piece of consumer grade electronics in my life. The laser for the cd must have been loose or something, because it would skip on just about every damn cd. And the tech support? It was a nightmare.

    Basically my friend was told to bugger off because they had stopped production. In the warrenty it covered against this, so he was SOL.

    And now they want to try this sort of thing again? God I hope they do a better job.
  • Wrong Audience (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fleabag ( 445654 ) on Sunday January 13, 2002 @07:46PM (#2834060)
    People at college...

    - Have lots of spare time
    - Don't have much money
    - Are subject to a LOT of peer pressure in respect of the technology/clothes/whatever they own.

    MTV aim to satisfy them by:

    - Stopping them from ripping their friends CDs
    - Appealing to "convenience" (look, you don't have to waste time with normal PCs and that Linux stuff...)
    - Guaranteeing that they will have the credibility in class of an AOLer

    Am I the only person who sees something strange in this...or do you need a qualification in marketing to see how this works?
  • by TheViffer ( 128272 ) on Sunday January 13, 2002 @08:04PM (#2834119)
    The PCs should ship in the first half of the year and are likely to be priced starting at about $1800

    Targeting 18-to-24-year-olds,

    Hummm .. last time I check the majority of college students can not drop $1800 for a "products centered around video-game play" (direct quote). During that time for me .. things like food and a roof over my head were considered luxuries.

    I am curious, is MTV going to have a show dedicated to explaining to these mindless fools on how to beg and whine to have your parents buy one for you? Get student loans to pay for it .. or lists of credit card companies to apply to get those nice plastic cards to buy it.

    This shall die a long and painful death as MTV executives try to figure out why there marketing is not getting these to sell. Guess that means the 1 total hour of music videos a day they show will need to get cut back to 30 minutes to allow space for more advertising.
  • by Ieshan ( 409693 ) <> on Sunday January 13, 2002 @08:07PM (#2834127) Homepage Journal
    I'm in college now, and I have to tell you, MTV will do amazing with this if they promote it the right way.

    Most college-age guys and girls want nothing more than to write papers and play music on. Sure, it's an amazing waste of processing power, but that's all they want.

    If it says Windows, the goons think "Word", and if it says MTV, the goons think "Music". Word and Music, that's the only reason they need the PC anyway.

    The internet is a big factor, but people are slowly starting to realize that the internet is available anywhere with a connection, and isn't PC dependant at all. They're still shaky on the music and processing part, for some reason.

    Oh well, I expect to see dozens of these in the dorm room next year.
  • by da_Den_man ( 466270 ) <> on Sunday January 13, 2002 @08:09PM (#2834135) Homepage
    Is the fact they they chose the AMD Athlon Series of chips to build these waste - of -space devices. That doesn't in any way account for the prices however. $1800 dollars is way too much for this type of system. if they were really inclined, a person could put one togther for less than $500. Just my .02
  • by JWhiton ( 215050 ) on Sunday January 13, 2002 @09:05PM (#2834289) Homepage
    Well, I'm a bit cynical about all this, but here's my theory:

    MTV built itself up in the 80s as being a cool, rebellious channel that played all sorts of music. Because old habits die hard, they still have this reputation today. I think that somewhere along the line, MTV's bottom line changed from playing music videos to being a profitable corporation. Marketing became the controlling force, and if a show wasn't generating buzz or good ratings it would be axed. Anyone remember Headbanger's Ball?

    So then comes along shows like The Real World. People watched them, and MTV decided to experiment a little more with what people would watch. As I recall, in the early 90s they experimented with animated shows like Aeon Flux and Beavis & Butthead. But on the whole, shows like Road Rules probably got higher ratings than videos, as well as being a better target for merchandising.

    I think MTV today is just a further reflection of this trend. It has little or nothing to do with music any more, it's just shows that are designed to be watched by a certain demographic (teens who need someone to tell them what's cool). Unfortunately, that demographic isn't terribly intelligent, and the shows reflect that. MTV will never take a risk on anything that would potentially bring them lower ratings and less advertising cash.

    Or maybe I'm just completely off-base. You be the judge!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2002 @09:58PM (#2834462)
    I think this computer would be lousy on technological grounds alone. I don't think that is why it will fail in the market, though. It will fail because parents won't buy it.

    I'd say that the people willing to buy one would be between ages 12 and 18, maybe 20 or older if there were a compelling reason to buy one (there is none). In the typical household, the computer is used by the whole family. I don't think the computer will become like a gaming console or a bookshelf CD player until it becomes smaller and less costly. Until then, parents will choose a computer they would be comfortable with keeping their spreadsheets and personal correspondance on. I don't think many would be comfortable with an MTV-branded one. In the eyes of the typical consumer, Apple, HP, and Dell (and yes, even Microsoft and AOL) are all trusted brands. MTV is not.

    I would say that college students have more say in buying the computers they bring along with them, whether or not they are the ones paying. In my own experience, however, most clueless ones buy directly from the college bookstore. No college bookstore is going to be carrying an MTV-branded computer. Most other people will bring an old computer from home, or buy one by mail-order or at a local store. Most of these people watch MTV once in a while, and maybe think well in general of the MTV brand, though they or their parents know enough to buy a computer on its own merits (whether price, performance, or what it comes bundled with). I don't think these people will be too likely to buy one. Although the average person doesn't know the technology well enough to build a computer, they know the technology well enough to know what is inside.

    If the people at MTV market this product carefully, the company might make a small sum off of it. Which of course is why this computer is being sold; not because you yourself like the computer or what is being played on MTV and corporate radio. More likely than not, however, this product will be a flop.
  • Re:Ugh, MTV... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2002 @10:34PM (#2834579)
    Lets put it this way.......
    Music television started as a great channel in the 80's, but eventually sold out so bad it makes me throw up. They play a select handful of videos, pump up the ones they can make money off of and drop the ones they cant. I have to agree that this is the mtv generation, but only because way to many mindless idiots sit around and watch it. This themed computor is just another way for MTV to get in on a new market. Anybody who isnt stupid will relize this and stay far far away from them...........
  • It could be big... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pinkpineapple ( 173261 ) on Sunday January 13, 2002 @10:59PM (#2834652) Homepage
    at least from the minority stand point.

    And it may actually take a big market slice away from already small percentage that is controlled by Apple Computer. Apple is trying to get the rest of us interested about looking at them and the company is diving right into the music market with iPod and the new "digital nub" iMac. Having MTV jumping in there with more than they can provide like for example content, may causes some tooth ache to SJ and its mignons.

    PPA, the girl next door.

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray