Computers are becoming increasingly like TVs
Computers are becoming increasingly like TVs, and vice versa, so which dominates your living room at the moment?
With the success of the BBC's iPlayer and other internet-delivered catchup services, computers are looking more like home entertainment centres, and televisions, set-top boxes and game consoles such as Sony's PlayStation3 are behaving a lot more like computers.
Models in Sony's Bravia line of flat-panel televisions have network connections and can run applications such as a calendar and a digital picture viewer. Like a computer it has a USB 2.0 port to connect thumb drives with pictures or music. You can also stream music, video or images from any Digital Living Network Alliance compatible device. DLNA devices include a wide range of electronics and computer gear including Nokia and Sony-Ericsson multimedia model mobile phones, Microsoft's Xbox 360, the PS3 and media-focused broadband routers.
Yah//oo has created Internet@TV, a collection of small internet applications that can run on network-connected televisions from Samsung, Sony, LG, or set-top boxes from AT&T in the US or TiVo's digital video recorder. The applications allow you to watch YouTube video, check the weather, traffic or stocks, update Twitter or play Sudoku.
Many people already have powerful computers in their living room such as the Xbox 360 and the PS3. The third instalment in Sony's once market-leading PlayStation series is bigging up its ability to run the iPlayer. The Bravia-connected TVs have the same XMB – cross-media bar – interface as the PlayStation, and it's not a stretch to think that TVs will soon run services such as Channel 4's 4OD.
Microsoft already has a beachhead in the lounge with the Xbox 360, but computer makers have their own plans for living room domination. More on that another time. Currently, I fall on the computer side of the divide and run media centre software to watch Freeview and surf the catch-up services. What is your home entertainment set-up? Have computers moved from you home office to your living room?
Do you have a connected TV or something even more cutting edge?