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When is a TV not a TV? When it’s also a media centre PC.

When is a TV not a TV? When it’s also a media centre PC. Such is the marriage made in Fujitsu’s DeskPower TX, which allows you to watch your favourite video sources, play games, browse the Internet or work on files in Microsoft Office — all from your favourite lounge room seat.

Look beyond the 32 inch (81-82 cm) widescreen LCD display to find a compact, yet gutsy machine comprising a Pentium 4 Processor with Hyper-Threading Technology running the latest Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2005. It has a hefty 600GB drive to fill with (a claimed 450 hours of) recordings from either or both of its dual analog TV tuners (upgradable with Media Centre Edition-compliant high def PCI cards). Used up all your storage? Burn off your video lovelies with the integrated dual-layer DVD writer.

Convergence products are wonderfully convenient when all facets are working properly but resentment of the whole quickly sets in when one part fails. Fujitsu Product Manager, John Lee, assured SmartHouse no such fears should be held for DeskPower TX’s computer. “Apart from the motherboard, which is Fujitsu propriety technology, everything can be individually upgraded with compliant third-party products. That includes the processor, hard drive, DVD drive, and RAM.”

The display is physically attached to the computer and has no direct input for external sources so cannot be used as a standalone device – but, with this much multimedia power on tap, you’d hardly want to.

With computing power comes computing problems. Fujitsu’s anticipated response has been the inclusion of a Hardware Diagnostic Tool, based on PC-Doctor software, which is claimed to easily rectify system inefficiencies.

Claimed specs include a 500cd/m2 super-bright display with 800:1 contrast ratio and 170-degree wide viewing angle. A dedicated soft-dome tweeter and subwoofer help performance along on opposite sides of the audio spectrum.

Multimedia functions are controlled by a single remote control unit. More detailed commands can be made via a wireless multimedia keyboard and mouse.

The approximate RRP is $5500.

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