adBlockCheck

New $5,000 Multimedia Computer System Downloads Real-Time TV Programs, Displays Them On Monitor

Top Headlines

Science & Technology

Books Vs. E-Readers

Though e-readers have increasingly supplanted books in the digital age, many bibliophiles defend the importance of physical texts. Here is a side-by-side comparison of physical books and e-books

Disney Begins Uploading Obama’s Consciousness To Hall Of Presidents Robot

BAY LAKE, FL—In an effort to provide park visitors with the most true-to-life attraction possible, Walt Disney World officials announced Monday that computer technicians have begun uploading Barack Obama’s consciousness into his animatronic robot likeness at the Magic Kingdom’s Hall of Presidents exhibit.

Facebook’s Plans For The Future

From instant articles to live video, Facebook continues to look for new ways to expand its reach and offerings. Here are some plans on the horizon for the social media giant

Brita Unveils New In-Throat Water Filters

OAKLAND, CA—Representatives from Brita, the nation’s bestselling brand of household water filtration products, held a press event Wednesday to unveil a new line of filters designed to be installed directly inside users’ throats.

Video Game Henchmen Plan Meetup Around Explosive Barrels

LEVEL 5—A group of video game henchmen patrolling the warehouse hideout of their criminal mastermind boss informed reporters Wednesday of their upcoming plan to take a brief break from making their rounds to meet up around a stack of five highly explosive barrels.

Study Links Clinical Depression To Getting Dunked On

BOSTON—Identifying a significant factor contributing to the development of the mental health disorder, researchers from Harvard Medical School published a groundbreaking study Thursday that reportedly links clinical depression to getting dunked on.

How Dating Sites Match Their Users

With millions of people opting to use online dating sites to meet new potential romantic partners, many are wondering how computer algorithms can enhance their chances of finding “the one.” Here are the steps that dating sites take to match compatible users
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

New $5,000 Multimedia Computer System Downloads Real-Time TV Programs, Displays Them On Monitor

HOUSTON—The highly touted "Internet Revolution" took another major step forward Monday, when Compaq unveiled the breakthrough Compaq Presario 6000, a $4,995 multimedia computer system that enables users to download files containing network-television programs and display them on a computer monitor.

Joseph Ryback of Salinas, CA, enjoys an episode of <I>Home Improvement</I> on the Compaq Presario 6000. Ryback praised the advanced new computer system, calling it "just like TV, only a computer."

"Imagine watching TV at the click of a mouse, instead of a remote control," Compaq director of product development Bill Welborne said. "With the Compaq Presario 6000 and a few reasonably priced add-ons, you'll never have to watch TV on a television again."

According to Welborne, for a $49 monthly fee, owners of the Presario 6000 will be able to access network websites, where 300MB ".vid files" will be available for download. The downloaded files can then be conveniently viewed on the Presario 6000 using a special TV-dedicated version of Netscape Communicator 4.0, priced at just $89.95.

A sound card enabling users to enjoy the sound that accompanies the downloaded TV images is also available for $349.

"Pictures, sound—this is the promise of the Multimedia Age realized," Welborne said.

Demonstrating the technology, Welborne stood proudly beside a prototype of the Presario 6000 as it displayed an eight-minute segment from a recent 3rd Rock From The Sun episode, downloaded from an NBC server in under 75 minutes.

"Please note that this is a television program," Welborne said, "but it is being displayed on a computer monitor."

More exciting still, the viewing can occur in real-time concurrent with the download, provided the user owns a dedicated T1 Internet connection.

"Yes, the image is somewhat grainy and limited to just six frames per second," Welborne said. "But the technology will only improve as 466 MHz processors with more efficient Pipeline Burst Cache and Accelerated Graphics Ports with 10 MB VRAM become standard in the consumer marketplace. And when they do, the images will be remarkably crisp and detailed, every bit as good as that of, say, a 19-inch Philips-Magnavox TV."

"This is incredible," said Wayne Messers, a Huntington Beach, CA, systems analyst who sampled the Presario 6000 last weekend at the National Computer And Electronics Expo in San Diego. "I'm watching TV, but there's a keyboard in front of the screen."

Added Messers: "There's also a disk drive to the left of the screen."

"When I buy my 6000, I'm going to have all my co-workers over to view the first-ever Spin City episode downloaded from the Internet," said Peter Rinaldi of Escondido, CA. "I feel like I'm a part of history just buying this product."

The Presario 6000 will be the first computer to feature the forthcoming 550 MHz Intel Pentium III processor, with MMX2(TM) technology. It is this revolutionary new chip that will enable the Presario 6000 to play television programs on its monitor, a capability virtually unheard-of in an electronic device.

As for the future, Compaq promises even more astounding breakthroughs.

"An even bolder technology still in the planning stages involves a plug-in computer peripheral featuring rows of metal coils which heat up when activated," Welborne said. "Once this device is perfected, computer users will actually be able to convert bread into toast. The future is now."

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close