Gateway, Inc. on Wednesday introduced the Gateway™ Connected DVD Player, said to be the first product of its kind to deliver wireless PC connectivity to U.S. customers.
According to the company, the new DVD player offers consumers a simple and affordable way to deliver virtually any digital media format from their PCs to their home entertainment centers. The device reportedly gives consumers the capability to access progressive-scan DVD movies, MP3 music files, and digital photos in the living room.
Gateway said the new DVD player is part of its transformation from a traditional PC company into a branded integrator of personalized technology solutions. The company on May 8 announced an ambitious plan to launch 50 new Gateway-branded products in 15 consumer electronics and technology categories by the end of 2003.
"Consumers have been looking for a way to enjoy their music, movies and photos in the most comfortable room of their house," said Matt Milne, Gateway's general manager of digital solutions. "The Gateway Connected DVD Player is a new and affordable means to bring digital content into the living area. This revolutionary device underscores Gateway's commitment to deliver solutions that make it easy for consumers to discover, access and control their digital media."
Using the connected DVD player, consumers can reportedly retrieve content from any PC in the home via a wired Ethernet connection or an 802.11b wireless network. Advantages of a wireless network include simplified set-up and a cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
The unit's progressive-scan DVD technology reportedly delivers high picture resolution and twice the image quality of regular television when playing DVD movies. In addition, the player reportedly works straight out of the box with just a few clicks necessary to install the software on the PC. The system connects through a home network to retrieve data from a designated networked PC and supports MPEG and WMA audio streaming. Navigation of the Gateway Connected DVD Player is done by a seamless user interface displayed on the TV.
The player is Windows-compatible and supports composite, component, and s-video signals. It is also compatible with multimedia databases such as Windows Media Player and Music Match and runs a wide array of file formats such as DVD, CD-R/RW, JPEG, MP3, Kodak picture CD, Dolby Digital® and DTS Digital® encoding.
The Gateway™ Connected DVD player is now available at retailers for U.S. $250, which includes a wireless 802.11b PC card or 10/100 PC card with a 10-foot Ethernet cable and 90-day warranty. Available upgrades include video cables for component video, a wireless 802.11b router with a 4-port switch, and broadband service.
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