Merging digital media


Staff member
Feature-packed PCs are becoming home entertainment hubs

By David Ranii, Raleigh News & Observer
February 23, 2004

The new Gateway FMC-901X looks nothing like a computer. But it could provide a glimpse of the future of home computing.

It's a squat device that resembles an oversized electronic component - such as a TiVo recorder or an FM tuner - and, like them, it's designed to be connected to your TV or stereo.

The machine is a powerful PC with all the usual functions, from e-mail to word processing. But it's also a digital entertainment hub. It can turn your computer monitor into a television, or a television monitor into a computer screen. It's a digital video recorder that, like TiVo, can make "live" TV pause and rewind. It's a digital jukebox that can manage your CD collection. It receives FM radio signals, plays and burns DVDs and organizes and stores digital photos.

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That is one sweet looking case. ExtremeTech did a review back in December. I love the fact the the front panel ports are hidden, but I wonder how easy it would to mod it (ie. put an IR receiver or VFD under the DVD drive). The price might scare a few people off, but they are really using top of the line components.... A little overkill actually. You don't need an ATI 9800Pro for tv out, unless you're an avid gamer.

Now, how to get my hands on an empty case.


Edit: Came across a pic of this unit with the front plate off. It looks like it does indeed have a display (hard to see, but looked like a 2*20) positioned directly under the DVD player.