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Philips announces PC-TV

Philips is shipping a PC-TV that features a 233-MHz MMX Pentium processor, digital surround sound, and a DVD drive.

Philips Electronics announced a PC-TV convergence product that can serve as the centerpiece of a home entertainment network.

As reported by CNET's NEWS.COM in September, Philips is manufacturing a PC-TV called the DVX8000 Multimedia Home Theater that features a 233-MHz MMX Pentium processor from Intel, digital surround sound, and a DVD drive which can play back DVD movies and DVD-ROMs as well as CD-ROMs and audio CDs.

The device is expected to compete with from Gateway 2000's Destination PC-TV and Compaq's PC Theater. But while the Compaq and Gateway systems come with large monitors, Philips will sell the DVX8000 as a standalone component, without a monitor.

But the DVX8000 can be hooked up with a user's existing big screen television. According to Philips, the unit includes technology that will offer better picture quality when displayed on a television. This is important since to date TV screens have not offered the image quality that users have come to expect with more precise PC monitors.

The unit essentially serves as the center of a home theater setup because the computer comes with built-in connectors for stereo equipment and can control other pieces of equipment either through a wireless keyboard or a remote control device. A user interface gives access to audio and video functions, including VCRs, cable boxes, and satellite receivers. Philips offers hook up to any other audio-video equipment a consumer has already purchased.

Users can view television broadcasts and Internet content on screen simultaneously in resizable windows, but the PC doesn't have to be running in order to watch TV.

Philips says the DVX8000 is selling through audio and video specialty retailers at a suggested retail price of $5,000. The device will also be on display at Comdex.