One of the leading manufacturers of video cards, Nvidia, has stated that it expects worldwide shipments of media centres – PCs used to play video, music and games in a living room environment – to treble in 2004. This would take global figures to around six million units.
Huang Jeh-hsun, president and CEO of Nvidia made the statement at Computex 2004, saying that demand was picking up, and further growth was expected as prices fell.
Most media centres are still based around a PC paradigm – and many home users find PC concepts and interfaces off-putting. Operating systems such as Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Centre Edition are a step in the right direction but are still daunting for casual users, and it’s frankly a pain to have to boot up your PC and navigate menus and settings just to watch K-PAX on DVD.
Nvidia’s optimism on increased shipments, however is no doubt inspired by their own range of products, principally their nStant Media platform. Currently a laptop-only solution, nStant Media allows users to use digital content without having to boot into an operating system – and consequently uses less power too.