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March 2006

This chapter is from the book

MONDAY: MARCH 27, 2006

THIS WEEK’S FOCUS: Windows Media Center

WHY YOU NEED A PC IN YOUR LIVING ROOM

Why exactly would you want to put a PC in your living room? Simple—a Media Center PC performs the functions of several different audio/video components, all in one box. When you hook up a Media Center PC to your home theater system, you can do away with your CD player, DVD player, and hard disk recorder—and gain additional functionality, to boot. Here are just some of the uses for a Media Center PCs:

  • Recording television shows, via the PC’s built-in tuner and hard disk, just like TiVo and similar DVR devices

  • Storing and playing digital music, either by ripping your CD collection to hard disk or by downloading digital music from the Internet

  • Playing music from CDs, using the built-in CD drive

  • Recording CDs, using the built-in CD burner drive

  • Playing movies from DVDs, using the built-in DVD drive

  • Recording DVDs, using the DVD burner drive included with most Media Center PCs—which lets you burn DVDs of the television shows you record

  • Listening to Internet radio, via the PC’s Internet connection

  • Viewing digital photos, which you can store on the PC’s hard drive

ON THIS DAY: ALASKA EARTHQUAKE (1965)

On March 27, 1965, south central Alaska was rocked by a giant earthquake. The quake measured between 8.3 and 8.5 on the Richter scale and released more than twice the energy of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The death toll was only 131, but property damage was very high.

FACT OF THE WEEK

Digital Connect magazine (http://www.digitalconnectmag.com) reports that one million Media Center PCs will be sold in 2005, with four million projected to be sold in 2006. Media Center PC owners use their PCs to create or burn CDs and DVDs (72%), listen to digital music (69%), play video games (68%), watch DVDs (63%), edit photos (45%), watch TV (45%), record TV (42%), create slideshows (38%), and edit videos (37%).

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