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Gateway upgrades its PC-TV

Gateway improves it 31-inch screen, adds 3D to its Destination PC-TV model.

Gateway 2000 (GTW) has beefed up its 300-MHz Pentium II Destination PC-TV with better screen technology and more graphics horsepower.

PC-TVs are typically priced above $3,000 and come with extra-large screens, high-end PC technology, and TV capability. One of the primary target markets for these pricey systems has been the home, with the intention of allowing people to operate a PC or watch TV from a sofa in the living room--typically the domain of the TV.

The improvements to the Destination are primarily targeted toward home users, especially game fanatics, said Bill Graber, marketing manager for the Destination line. High-end computer games currently support higher screen resolutions than Gateway has offered to date. Games can also utilize powerful, high-end 3D graphics chips, another feature which Gateway had not been including with its 300-MHz Pentium II Destination.

Accordingly, the monitor on the D6-300 will now support a maximum resolution of 800 by 600, he said. Formerly, Destination's monitor, which measures a whopping 31 inches diagonally, has supported only 640-by-480 resolution. The D6-300 also incorporates the Apocalypse 3Dx 4MB graphics accelerator. Until recently, 3D accelerators were too expensive to incorporate, Graber said.

The 3D graphics card will also be available as an add-on for the D6-233, D5-200, and D5-166 Destination PCs.

While PC-TV remains a miniscule segment in the overall PC market, it is growing, said Graber. DVD-ROM, a high density memory format which will allow people to watch films on PCs, is finding increasing acceptance among consumers, computer makers, and media producers. Digital TV is similarly expected to accelerate over the next few years. Combined, the two trends should drive demand for all-in-one devices like Destination, which can provide visually rich computing environments as well as a large screen viewing format.

Ironically, although PC-TVs are geared to consumers, approximately half of those sold go to businesses for distance learning and presentations.

"50 percent of our business is with business," Graber said. "More businesses have digital access than consumers right now."

The D6-300, which includes a 300-MHz Pentium II processor, is available now for a starting price of $4,699.