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Tech Industry

PCs and TVs get DVD

Hi-Val introduces a DVD-ROM drive for PCs that can also play DVD titles on a television.

    A Santa Ana, California, company called Hi-Val has introduced a DVD-ROM drive for PCs that can also play DVD titles on a television.

    The new drive promises to eliminate the need for a separate, standalone DVD players to view movie titles. Standalone players add features to standard DVD-ROM drives like subtitles in different languages, parental ratings controls, control over frame viewing angles, and the ability to switch between wide-screen and letterboxed screen formats.

    The Hi-Val DVD Home Entertainment systems will offer the features of standalone players by bundling a Toshiba DVD-ROM drive with a PCI encoder board and transmitters. Users don't have to hook the television system to the computer; a wireless radio frequency transmitter sends information directly to the set. An audio system can also be set up in a similar fashion, the company says.

    Minimum system requirements are a Windows 95 PC with 133-MHz Pentium or higher and 8MB of free memory, according to the company, though a 166-MHz Pentium and 16MB of free memory are recommended.

    Hi-Val is selling all necessary hardware along with six DVD-ROM titles at an estimated price of $999.