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
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,
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.