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Old Media Center PC's offer more than new iMac

Kevin C. Tofel

So we had a video iPod announcement as well as some new iMac news yesterday. [...sound of crickets chirping...] Not too much on the high-def front here, although we should give kudos to Apple for adopting the H.264 or MPEG-4 format for the "vidPod."

The new iMac is supposed to have Media Center-like qualities, but folks like Thomas Hawk are underwhelmed; and they should be. This is a baby step in a 100-meter dash Mr. Jobs! Providing 320 x 240 videos via iTunes is the perfect use for the new iPod, but for an iMac with a built-in monitor? No way.

I see this as trying to leverage something that shouldn't be leveraged. It's almost as if the video capability for the new iMac was an afterthought or a way to gain additional iTunes revenues. The novelty of paying $2 for a QVGA video on your PC will wear off quickly, folks.

Apple, if you want to catch up to Microsoft in this area (did I just say that?), we need to see built-in HDTV tuners and timeshifting capabilities. How about high-def DVD support? Oh, and we don't want to see Macs with built in monitors if we're just going to pipe high-res content to a much larger display. Sorry, I'm not inviting a Mac into my entertainment room until the Mac can bring me more entertainment.

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