Multimedia Computer

A multimedia computer is a computer that is built and developed with the specific purpose of player movies, pictures, music, and/or video games. The term “multimedia computer” has faded in and out of the public consciousness since the late 80’s, and its specific meaning has also changed much. This is mostly due to the constant advancement of computing technology, as low-end computers today would not be called multimedia computers, but would fare better at that task than any computer developed more than a decade ago. Today’s multimedia computers are the best devices at playing multimedia in the world, surpassing any other form of multimedia viewing.

The earliest multimedia computers were not able to give an equivalent experience to the other types of media players in their time periods. For example, the earliest multimedia computers, developed in the late 80’s, were not able to reproduce a video with either the quality or length of a VHS player and cassette. The typical computer disk at the time (the floppy disk), could not hold more than a megabyte of information. Today’s video formats typically require more than 700 megabytes to run a 90-minute movie. The meant that those computers were restricted to playing video games that were likewise inferior to the other available equivalents at that time.

In today’s marketplace, those limitations no longer exist. Many external hard drives today are capable of carrying a terabyte of information, which is the rough equivalent of more than 100 DVD’s, or 20 Blu-Ray discs. Because so much media can be stored on computers, or in their peripheral devices, the ability of a multimedia computer today is drastically higher than it was 20 years ago. Also, most computers are able to read the standard methods in which multimedia is often used (like DVD’s or CD’s), there is no need for anything to be stored on a hard drive at all.

The selling potential of multimedia computers depends on their versatility. A typical modern multimedia computer can function as a high-definition video player, an internet browser, a music player, a CD, DVD and Blu-Ray drive, and a picture viewer. This is more than almost any other device, and a computer, of course, is also able to run thousands of other applications, while storing all of that information on its hard drive or an external one. This all works to create a device that is capable of being much more versatile than any other type of media player, and that can outstrip the performance of most of them.

However, the disadvantage of multimedia computers lies in the price. A good multimedia desktop can cost over $700 USD. If all you want to do is watch DVD’s, it’s possible to buy a DVD player for less than $50. Also, DVD players are more portable instruments than a desktop PC. A laptop negates this somewhat, but these cost even more, and a multimedia laptop can cost over $1,000. Furthermore, the versatility of a computer means you’ll use it for more tasks than just watching DVD’s, and this makes it less convenient than just having a regular computer and a laptop. If you’re using it for games, most game consoles don’t cost more than $400, and they can also play DVD’s, music, pictures, and sometimes even surf the internet. They also have hard drives. Lastly, even laptops aren’t as portable as most music players, so they also lose out in that arena.

If you’re looking for a multimedia computer, the first thing to look at is its video card. This controls its graphical capabilities, and the quality of image it can project. For example, if you want to watch movies in true high definition (1080p), you’ll need a video card that can play movies at 1920 by 1080 pixels. Also, if you plan on using on a TV, you’ll need to check to see if it supports the same outputs as your TV does – usually, composite (or S-video), component or HDMI connections.

This Multimedia Computer Review is Written/Updated on Jul 25th, 2010 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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