Entertainment PC (2009)
Spreety started in 2007 when a family installed a PC in the family room, in place of the TV, cable TV box, DVR, DVD, CD, AM/FM Radio, etc.
With the advent of High Definition online TV shows, the 2007 configuration has been updated for 2009:
The 2009 Entertainment PC has:
- a dual core processor running Windows Vista Home Premium.
- 4 GB of RAM.
- a 25.5" monitor.
- a wireless-N network.
- a dedicated video card.
- 5:1 speakers.
- a 3 Mbps Internet Connection.
- a Gyration remote control.
For more specifics, see the Entertainment PC E-Book
, particularly sections 3 and 4.
Since 2007, many of the online TV glitches have been resolved, so the spare TV with rabbit ears is gone, and the Spreety family completely watches TV online.
Archive: Family Room PC (2007)
Spreety started in 2007 when a family installed a PC in the family room, in place of cable TV.
In addition to all the links on Spreety, the family enjoys watching home videos, looking at digital photographs, and reading email from the comfort of the couch.
The PC is:
- A Pentium 4 HT equivalent running Windows Vista.
- Has 2 GB RAM.
- Has a 22" monitor (and wishing for larger).
- Has a wireless-N network.
- Has a surround sound card and speakers.
- Has a 3 Mbps Internet Connection.
- Has a Gyration remote control.
Spreety was designed from the ground up to be couch friendly, and every page is tested with a Gyration remote control.
Configuration wise, Vista was set to large fonts, large cursor, 1280x1024 resolution, 125% IE7 resolution (see lower right hand corner), and just about every non-essential service was turned off.
Did the family save money? While the family no longer pays $650+ a year for cable TV, there was $1,100 in hardware costs (comparable to HDTV / Surround Sound costs), and an additional $10 per month for a DSL upgrade.
Does the family watch more? With the Internet, there are thousands of channels, over one hundred
thousand TV episodes, and millions of clips. Most sports are online ($), and for news, almost every
locality, region, and country shares content. Simply put, there is more than anyone can watch.
Currently, there is some exclusive content on Cable TV that is missed, however,
in the long run, Cable TV cannot technologically keep up with the Internet.
While the family sees the potential for a bright future with Internet entertainment, the emerging technologies are not without glitches. So, the family keeps around
an old TV with rabbit ears for the occasional live content on a major network.