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Thursday, 17 September 2009 11:13

Reviews out, HP Dreamscreen no scream

Written by Nick Farell

Image

Although websites low


Reviewers who
have got their grubby paws on the new HP Dreamscreen say it is a really cool idea but the number of websites available to use the technology is small.

The HP Dreamscreen basically involves putting smart screens around the home to display content from the Web and PCs. The HP DreamScreen displays content from the Web without needing to be hooked up to a PC, using its built-in wireless connection. It can also be hooked up to a PC to play music or video stored on the computer in a different room, or to display photos like a digital picture frame.

It is being billed as a user-intuitive device that's always on, always connected to the Internet, to bring Web applications that don't require PCs. The screens use a remote control and a touch panel for input, and can also be used as an alarm clock, to check the weather or to play any of about 15,000 global radio stations, HP said.

However they don't come with a web browser, which limits the Web content that can be viewed.  But it does connect to various sites using interfaces to display their content. The initial partners are Facebook, the music site Pandora and the photo site Snapfish. The DreamScreens can be hung on a wall or put on a table in living rooms or kitchens, and look more elegant than most PCs, according to Karim.

The products come in 10.2- and 13.3-inch sizes, priced at US$249 and $299, respectively. They sell in October in the U.S. through Best Buy, Amazon.com and other retailers. The device may support TV viewing in the future/ It may also pull video content from TV stations.

The Dreamscreens are Linux based and come with 2GB of internal storage so that photos, music and movies can be stored locally. It will have a USB port and a memory card reader, from which digital content can be played. It supports multiple MPEG video formats; the JPEG, PNG and bitmap (BMP) photo file formats; and MP3, WMA, AAC and WAV audio formats. HP didn't comment about the processor inside the product.

Nick Farell

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