CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Culture

Coming attraction on DVDs: PC content

Sonicblue is looking to solve all your PC and DVD needs with a new device that can play movies as well as access content on your personal computer.

Sonicblue is looking to solve all your PC and DVD needs.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based consumer-electronics maker on Monday announced its new DVD player, the Go-Video D2730. In addition to playing DVD movies, the new player will be able to access content on PCs, such as photos, music and videos, via a wireless network connection. The company will demonstrate the device at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and will begin selling it for $250 in the first quarter of 2003.

"There is a lot of good content locked up in PCs that people want to enjoy from multiple rooms in the house," said Ed Brachocki, vice president at Sonicblue. The company is expecting to add wireless networking to other devices, such as its ReplayTV digital video recorder, as part of Sonicblue's ongoing strategy of connecting consumers to digital media, he said.

The player is part of a growing effort in the PC and consumer-electronics industries to combine technologies, making digital media such as images and music stored on PCs accessible on consumer-electronics devices using wired or wireless networking.

DVD players are the fastest-selling products in consumer-electronics history, and manufacturers have been adding new features to players to capitalize on their popularity while promoting other emerging technologies such as wireless networking.

Sonicblue's DVD player will be able to connect to networks via an Ethernet connection. Consumers will be able to purchase 802.11b PC cards to connect the player to a PC using wireless networking. 802.11b, also known as Wi-Fi, is a technology that allows the creation of wireless networks with a radius of around 300 feet.

Analysts have been forecasting that wireless networking is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years as consumers complement their high-speed broadband access with wireless networks and as manufacturers add the capabilities to devices such as tablet PCs and handhelds.

Susan Kevorkian, an analyst with research firm IDC, pointed out that in the past, companies such as Dell Computer and Compaq Computer have tried to sell standalone devices that allowed consumers to access digital content. While those products largely failed, the timing and the way the new devices are integrated may result in a better outcome.

"This time around, these more robust digital receivers are less of a novelty and more practical," Kevorkian said. "They are leveraging a compelling technology with one that people already understand, a DVD player."

The Go-Video D2730 player's software will let consumers view content on their television that's stored on their PC using a remote control for navigation. The customer will be able to stream music files and other content on the DVD player.