SMART TV ~ to many eggs

  acfc 16:16 27 Aug 2006

I've seen the Packard Bell Smart TV S320 in PC world and while it's obviously expensive I was certainly impressed.

Is the risk of all my eggs being in one basket to big?

Has anyone bought one and can comment?

Should I wait untill more manufacturers come up with some competition to drive down the price?

I was waiting for Vista before considering new PC but I'm sorley tempted so any feedback would be appreciated.

  ArrGee 09:37 28 Aug 2006

It looks pretty good. You seem to be getting a fair bit of kit for £2000.

It's very similar to my current set-up, however, as I bought all mine separately, it set me back around £3500 (although the TV is a 46 inch)

Personally, I wouldn't wait for Vista. I tend to wait around 6-8 months after a new OS is launched before taking it on.

The system you are thinking of includes XP Media Centre, which will happily cater for your needs.

It would be a good idea to go into PC World and ask for a demo, including the functionality of Media Centre.

  acfc 10:08 28 Aug 2006

Thanks for the response ArrGee

Does your seperate system give similar functionality? and does the PC part look right in a sitting room? Seperates remove the problem of your telly breaking and losing the PC!

I would actually like a 36' version (my lounge couldn't handle more) but the Media Centre PCs I've seen look like PCs

I went to PC world and certainly the mediac centre part worked well. Obvioulsly couldn't get a feel for how the PC would cope with all the programs I use but the spec is reasonable

  ArrGee 10:45 28 Aug 2006

My system gives pretty much exactly the same functionality. The only main differences are that I also have my Sky + box plugged into the PC, and the PC is also connected to the HiFi system.

In terms of the PC in the sitting room, I actually use a laptop which permanently sits on-top of the HiFi and looks quite smart.

The laptop has the sole function of acting as a Media Centre. It has all my music, dvds, photos etc stored on it.

If you are looking to use the Smart TV as purely a media centre, then I would say it's a good recommendation. However, if you are going to use the PC aspect for other purposes, such as work, then I would be inclined to go the separates route.

As you say, in an integrated set-up, if one part fails, the whole lot would have to go for repair.

For a good site on the TV you have seen click here

  acfc 16:49 28 Aug 2006

ArrGee I have 2 other PCs with XP but when I get a new one I would want it to be my main unit.

I think I'll add a TV card to my 2 year old Dell which is small and quiet and use it with Media Centre to see how it goes.

Thanks for your input

  BubbaUK 20:23 30 Aug 2006

If anyone does get hold of one of these, please let me know.

There is a review in the magazine 'What Video & HDTV' - it gets a generally positive review but concerns are raised over the stuttery video playback.

Apparently this is due to Windows Media Centre upscaling form the US 50Hz to 60Hz - does anyone know if this is true for all media centre PCs and will it exist in vista Media Centre (if there is one?).

  ArrGee 09:53 31 Aug 2006

Not quite answering your question BubbaUK, but there has been a fair amount of speculation as to whether or not Vista will support a 'Media Centre'.

Hope this puts your mind at rest...
click here

  BubbaUK 11:24 31 Aug 2006

Thanks for the info .. at least I now know there will be a Vista MCE.

I think I'll hold back from getting the S320 until vista comes out and the DVD drive is substituted for a BluRay (or whatever) drive.

Looks like a nioce box, though :)

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