Computer companies have been trying to get off your desktop and into your entertainment rack for a decade. Ever since the invention of tuner cards for PCs and giant computer monitors that doubled as TVs, they've been pushing the "convergence" of entertainment and computing on a wary public. The reception from A/V enthusiasts has been, to put it politely, less than enthusiastic.
In his CES keynote address, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates announced that an external HD DVD drive will be offered as an accessory for the Xbox 360 later this year. The add-on will turn the game console into a high-definition movie player. He didn't announce its price.
Microsoft has sided with Toshiba and Intel in the next-generation-DVD format war.
Sony DCR-SR100 hard-disk camcorder with ECMHW1 wireless microphone
JVC may have started a trend with its Everio line of hard disk-based camcorders. Toshiba and Sony at CES on Wednesday announced models that banish the tapes and discs home video enthusiasts tote like Kleenex and equipped the cameras instead with internal hard drives.
Family gatherings are always a convenient excuse to pull out the camcorder and start shooting. If you thought your choice of weaponry was confined to the 10-year-old MiniDV tape format, guess again. You'd be ignoring two of the hottest trends of the last few years: hard-disk recording and high-definition TV. It's not your fault.
Not too long ago, if you wanted to record an HDTV program, you had to take a quaint step back in time and use a VCR - a digital VCR, but still a VCR. Today, there are a number of hard-disk options for recording HD, but if you want to save the program so it won't be accidentally erased from the hard drive, you have to resort to - you guessed it - a VCR.