miércoles, septiembre 28, 2005

Todo sobre los PCs de salón


Ordenadores pensados y diseñados para colocarse y dejar en el salón de casa, para sentarse ante el televisor con un mando a distancia y disfrutar de todas las posibilidades de reunir en un solo aparato: equipo de sonido, grabador y reproductor de DVD, conexión a Internet, etc. Son los PCs de salón.

Los Home Theather Personal Computer (HTPC), PCs de salón o PCs de entretenimiento son ordenadores creados para colocarse en la sala de estar del usuario y poner a su disposición todas las posibilidades del entretenimiento digital: ver y grabar películas o canales de televisión, visualizar las fotografías o imágenes captadas por sus cámaras, conexión a Internet, juegos… Es decir, reunir en un único dispositivo todos los aparatos digitales del usuario y que todo ese contenido multimedia sea de fácil acceso y gestión, gracias a un mando a distancia y a intuitivos menús en la pantalla del televisor.

Los HTPC se diferencian del PC de sobremesa o portátil tradicional en que son silenciosos, disponen de mando a distancia (no necesitan ni teclado ni ratón) y se presentan con atractivos diseños para no desentonar en el salón. Suelen carecer de cables y de monitor, ya que se conectan directamente a la tele. En algunas ocasiones vienen con una pequeña pantalla en la que muestran información básica, con tarjeta capturadora de televisión y disponen de conexión WiFi. En cuanto al audio, se cuida muy mucho la calidad del mismo y que ofrezcan sonido envolvente para una experiencia lo más parecida al cine.

Se muestran en la mayoría de las ocasiones en formato barebone (ordenadores pequeños, generalmente en forma de cubo) o con aspecto muy similar, pueden llegar a confundirse, al de los reproductores de DVD tradicionales.

... Y LOS NOMINADOS SON...

Philips Showline Media Center MCP9350i

En septiembre, en el marco de la importante feria de electrónica de consumo IFA 2005, celebrada en Berlín, Philips presentó el Showline Media Center MCP9350i, su PC de salón y primer fruto de un acuerdo de colaboración firmado con Intel. Compañía ésta última que prevé en 2006 sacar su plataforma creada específicamente para el hogar digital: Intel Viiv.

El Showline Media Center MCP9350i llegará a Europa en octubre. Lleva en su interior el procesador Intel Pentium 4 a 3.0-GHz con Tecnología Hyper-Threading y la familia chipset Intel 945 Express y el sistema operativo Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, para que el usuario disponga en pantalla de un menú de fácil navegación y por el que acceder rápidamente a todo lo que ofrece su ordenador y saca el máximo rendimiento en prestaciones multimedia al equipo.

Es de destacar su grandísimo disco duro de 250 GB. Con el PC de salón de Philips y gracias a la conectividad Wireless, Wi-Fi (802.11g/b), el usuario verá videos, música y fotos, navegará por Internet y dispondrá de televisión bajo demanda desde cualquier lugar de la casa. Es grabador de CD y DVD. Permite ver un canal de TV mientras se graba otro. Soporta audio multicanal y video de alta definición, así como tarjetas de memoria SD, MMC, Memory Stick y CompactFlash. Dispone de conexiones IEEE1394/FireWire y USB 2.0.

MEGA 865 PRO

Este barebone de MSI viene con modo Instant On, que ofrece acceso directo, con sólo pulsar un botón, a la reproducción de DVD/VCD/CD/MP3/FM/TV (Tarjeta de TV opcional). El MEGA865 PRO viene con procesador Socket 775 para CPU Intel Prescott 3.4 GHz y chipset Intel Springdale 865G e ICH5. Su sistema oprativo es Windows XP. Soporta canal dual DDR 266/333/400 x 2, máximo hasta 2.0 GB. Sus dimensiones son: 210 x 306 x 175 mm.

Gracias al controlador de audio Realtek ALC658, que incorpora, al conectarlo a un monitor LCD o a una televisión los usuarios disfrutarán de un alto nivel de sonido en los efectos de las películas haciendo que la experiencia sea similar a la del cine. Por otra parte, el MEGA865 PRO puede equiparse con una WLAN 802.11g. Además, incorpora un lector de tarjetas 7 en 1. Soporta formatos de tarjetas CF, MS, SmartMedia, SD, MMC, MS-Pro y MicroDrive. Las cámaras digitales fotográficas y de video, reproductores de MP3, PDAs y otros dispositivos digitales son compatibles con este MEGA PC.

ASUS S-presso SP-111

Estamos ante otro barebone. Es el ASUS S-presso SP-111 que destaca por incorporar una pantalla táctil, que permite controlar las pistas de CD/DVD, volumen, canales de TV, radio y más, sin necesidad de tocar el teclado. Además, el usuario puede disfruta de TV, DVD, CD, MP3 y radio FM sin tener que arrancar previamente el sistema operativo (modo Instant-On).

Dispone de procesador Intel Pentium 4 3.4 GHz. Ofrece LAN: 10/100 Mbps y audio 5.1. Sus dimensiones son 243 x 181 x 330 mm y su precio ronda los 300 euros. Es USB 2.0 e integra lector de tarjetas 7 en uno. El sistema operativo es Windows 2000/XP. Integra software Home Theater. Soporta varias tarjetas gráficas AGP 8x para proporcionar potentes gráficos para juegos 3D y películas de efecto especial. Está preparado para ser montado o desmontado con suma facilidad.

Media Center XPC

El fabricante Shuttle ofrece su Media Center en cuatro configuraciones básicas completamente adaptables a las necesidades de cada usuario. Al igual que en los dos casos anteriores se presentan en forma de cubo.

Las cuatro configuraciones vienen con el sistema operativo de Microsoft pensado para los PCs de salón, Windows Media Center Edition 2005. El procesador elegido es el Intel Pentium 4 excepto la gama G5 2000m, que incorpora el de 64 bits de AMD. Los precios van desde los 750 a los 1.280 euros. Los Media Center XPC cuentan con un cuidado diseño y se integran perfectamente en el salón. Soportan sonido 7.1 y permiten a los usuarios grabar vídeo, programas de televisión y parar emisiones en directo. Alta calidad en la reproducción y grabación de audio, la posibilidad de almacenar fotos y vídeos, así como reproducir música, radio y películas directamente desde Internet.

Hush Media Center

Otro fabricante que al igual que en el caso anterior ofrece varios modelos es Hush Technologies. Entre ellos destacan los que se presentan con el sistema operativo Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition 2005, que ofrece todas las funcionalidades de Windows XP más nuevas como ver y grabar televisión, gestionar y organizar la música, reproducir DVDs y mucho más.

Los Hush Media Center Edition en lugar de mostrarse en forma de cubo, tienen un aspecto similar a los reproductores de DVD actuales. Son cuatro PCs de salón: los dos más caros integran procesador de 64 bits de AMD y los dos más baratos vienen con Intel Celeron e Intel Pentium M. Disponen de antena inalámbrica y sonido 5.1.

HP Z545 Digital Entertainment Center

La propuesta de HP, Z545 Digital Entertainment Center también viene con el nuevo software de Microsoft para este tipo de PCs y dispone de un disco duro de 200 GB ampliable hasta 360 GB.

Es de destacar su panel trasero que cuenta con múltiples opciones de conectividad (ocho salidas RCA, una digital SPDIF). Es WiFi y cuenta con dos sintonizadoras de televisión para hacer posible la grabación de varios canales así como las pausas en vivo. En su interior alberga un procesador Intel Pentium 4 530 a 3.0 GHz. Entre las aplicaciones incluidas se encuentra una versión especial de iTunes (Apple) para ser manejada desde el mando a distancia y gestionar toda la colección musical. Además incluye en su parte frontal un completo lector de tarjetas 9 en 1 que soporta los tipos más comunes de estos medios de almacenamiento.[Via]

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