August 22, 2006 7:48 AM PDT

Sony desktop doubles as flat-screen TV

Sony launched on Tuesday the Vaio VGC-LS1 desktop, which serves dual roles as personal computer and TV.

The system comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse, as well as with a remote control that can switch the monitor from a Windows-based PC to a TV, thanks to a built-in tuner. With technology similar to a digital video recorder, TV shows can be saved on the computer's 250GB hard drive and burned onto DVDs.

Sony has also designed its new computer for space efficiency: Like Apple Computer's iMac, the VGC-LS1's hardware is packed into the back of its LCD screen.

Sony Vaio VGC-LS1

The 19-inch screen isn't well-suited for TV watching from more than a few feet away. But media enthusiasts and space-confined apartment dwellers may jump at the chance to have a single machine for checking e-mail and watching "Grey's Anatomy."

Like many other PCs with built-in TV tuners, the Sony VCG-LS1 comes with Windows Media Center, Microsoft's answer to the rising demand for all-in-one multimedia access. Media Center sales were slow at first, but this spring, Microsoft reported that third-party research found that a whopping 59 percent of Windows-equipped computers sold in the United States were Media Center PCs.

Sony's new machine, which will be compatible with Microsoft's long-awaited Vista operating system, will ship starting in mid-September. Eager media fans, however, can preorder it now.

The VGC-LS1 features Intel's 1.83GHz Core Duo processor and 2GB of RAM.

The computer retails for $2,099. That's more than a comparable "regular" desktop but less than other compact PCs with TV tuners. Dell's XPS M2010, for example, costs between $3,000 and $4,000, depending on feature customization.

See more CNET content tagged:
Sony Vaio, Media Center PC, Intel Core Duo, Sony Corp., TV Tuner

4 comments

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iMac + eyeTV Hybrid is better
That is too expensive. You can get a 2.0 GHz Core Duo based machine with 20" widescreen monitor and a good graphics card, built-in iSight camera, 802.11g, bluetooth, frontrow and Apple Remote control and all other hardware niceties + Mac OS X and all the built-in software. All this for under $1700 from Amazon.com. All that was lacking was a HD tuner. Now, Elgato has the USB 2.0 plugin tuner that does both analog and HD TV. The nice eyeTV 2.0 software works with apple remote and has a nice full screen interface. This add-on is $150.00. So for $1850 you get better hardware and software.
Posted by bommai (172 comments )
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URLs
I figured I will include the URLs.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/imac/" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/imac/</a>

Remember, if you like Windows XP Media Center edition you can buy it for like $110 through an OEM purchase and install it on this machine with bootcamp.

Elgato eyeTV Hybrid.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.elgato.com/index.php?file=products_eyetvhybridna&#38;PHPSESSID=feab959f291b652c583b0eec9b5ed57a" target="_newWindow">http://www.elgato.com/index.php?file=products_eyetvhybridna&#38;PHPSESSID=feab959f291b652c583b0eec9b5ed57a</a>
Posted by bommai (172 comments )
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Big Deal...my PC has been doing this for years
It's amazing how companies keep regurgitating old ideas and claiming they're new.

Anyone can buy a PC and a TV tuner card, or an ATI All-in-Wonder card for under $1000 and do exactly the same thing. Like I have to buy a Sony or Apple product to do what my PC has been capable of doing for years.

Now, just maybe, if it was a laptop.....
Posted by Mergatroid Mania (8395 comments )
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World's longest running case of sticker shock
When Sony first came out with the Vaio concept a few years back it was cutting edge and fresh and worth the $2 grand for early adopters. Today you would have to be out of your mind to spend this for what Sony is offering, especially since the quality of the pc innerds and the integral case concept is nowhere near as sleek and top-shelf as the original Vaio's. Greed has been Sony's downfall through the years and it's a shame, because they ought to be dominating consumer electronics but they lack the savvy to turn those concepts into cash. Being too greedy with licensing fees and too stubborn on price points is their recipe for hara-kiri...
Posted by Razzl (1318 comments )
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