Philips continues to do interesting things in the wireless home entertainment area. To complement their Stremium line of A/V devices, the company has announced a partnership with the Dixon group to market the Freeline brand of media center PC’s. Or at least mostly media center PC’s; these run vanilla XP rather than Windows MCE, a curious choice for a PC in this market segment.
The announcement is sparse on technical details, but it appears that the Freeline PC’s will come with built in wireless networking along with some kind of integration that will allow them to share digital media with Philips’ extensive line of A/V equipment. At least, that’s the implication; without more details it could just be clever marketing for basic WiFi and media capabilities that we’re all used to.
Notable in the announcement is the promise that the PC’s will come with “top-of-the-range” features including DVD+R. In a world where it seems everyone has gone plus/minus agnostic for writeable DVD’s, it will be curious to see if Philips is sticking exclusively to the +R camp.
One thing that is clear is the machines’ first rate industrial design. Other than Apple, most computer producers in the States don’t put a lot of energy into hardware design — or at least, if they do, it’s probably best that they don’t admit it. The Freeline design is unmistakably European and very elegant.
Of course, all of this potential goodness is a matter for background education and perhaps some jealousy from those of us in the US; as is all too common with Philips products, there are no plans to market the Freeline brand in the US.
Filed in: Entertainment PCs