Pinnacle ShowCenter

5th November 2004 at 00:00
Pinnacle's ShowCenter (pound;199) is a godsend for people who have masses of video, music or picture files on their PC they want to share through a standard TV.

It's a slim silver box that sits near your TV, just like a DVD or video recorder, but there the similarity ends. Via an Ethernet or wireless network connection (wireless card needed) it checks out all the media files on your Windows PC (alas, it doesn't support Apple), organises them into editable sections and allows them to be played back through your TV (and hi-fi). You control it all with a standard, if large, remote control.

To get going you install the software on your PC, link it to the ShowCenter, by cable or wireless, and then run it from the TV. The only hitch I encountered was getting the TV to recognise the new PC "server". By the time this had been done manually (the only time the manual was needed) the automatic recognition had already kicked in. Heavy users of digital media would appreciate this device for home use, but it could be equally useful in the public area of a school that needs to share its digital media.

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