All-In-One PCs – the new face of home entertainment

By Nitesh Devanand, Dell Consumer Product Specialist, at Drive Control Corporation (DCC)

With the blistering pace of advances in all things digital, technology is increasingly becoming simpler to manage, easier to use, and part of the furniture and fabric of life. In the past, our ideas of home entertainment were largely constrained to a complex and bulky ecosystem of standalone media devices that, for the average non-tech user, were difficult to manage. Devices did not connect with each other, and those that could were error prone at best. Misconfigurations often had unknowing, yet serious security and privacy consequences.

Enter 2013 and the connected home is a step closer to reality. Consumers now have a plethora of All-in-One computing devices to choose from. Today’s multi-purpose PCs are stylish enough to move out of the bedroom and into the lounge, and provides all round home entertainment functionality. These devices have ample storage capacity and serve as the gateway to control all the entertainment functions and peripherals in the home network.

In fact, technology is now accessible to anyone in the family, be it to listen to music, watch movies, live and recorded TV, or play games. Add applications such as YouTube, Twitter, Skype, there is little else needed for a great night in. Users are able to find, access and manage all their wireless devices and entertainment requirements from a single centralised operating system blending a mix of DVDs, CDs, Ethernet and WiFi.

A full range of All-In-One PCs are available to the South African market and the design incorporates the entire computer within the display panel, meaning no more towers or PC boxes and fewer cables. The mouse and a keyboard can be connected to USB 3.0 ports or used wirelessly to further reduce cable clutter. Because there is no need for an additional box, the All-In-One range saves valuable desk space, and the slim flat panel display can even be wall-mounted. The screens all sport high resolutions for full high definition (HD) viewing of the latest movies and games.

With the emergence of Windows 8, Microsoft has designed a touch screen operating system (OS) that is optimised to enhance the media entertainment experience, combining aesthetics, ease of use and high performance. The OS has been built from the ground up as both a tablet and desktop interface, providing a hybrid approach to computing on PCs and mobile devices.

Virtually everything that can be done with a mouse and keyboard can be done by hand – panning, zooming, organising and arranging applications so that they are customised to the user’s preference. Users can browse thousands of apps, with feature-rich content covering anything from the latest eBay deals, movie reviews to exotic travel destinations.

As the main stream OS in computing today, Microsoft has simplified the development and support of applications across devices, and combined with the latest hardware configurations require little or no modifications for anyone to get in on the action.

Additionally, home users generally develop their entertainment systems incrementally, be it additional wireless speakers, adding a new printer or external hard drive, and with the combination of Microsoft and Dell technologies, have the peace of mind that most devices are supported, avoiding issues such as vendor lock-in or incompatibility in the future.

In closing, the way that we engage with our entertainment systems is changing and we are more connected than ever before. It is only a matter of time before other home appliances such as refrigerators, physical security and our energy requirements are all connected and controlled from one single device, to create the ultimate connected home.

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All-In-One PCs – the new face of home entertainment