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MTV flogs own-brand PCs to students

This way madness lies

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MTV, the formerly hip cable music channel, is to flog PC and PC-type hardware under its own brand name.

The range is targeted at "the Internet and entertainment savvy MTV demographic" - in other words American college students who live term time in dormitories.

Supplying the hardware is US system builder Lan Plus, which sells PCs also under the Northgate brand. AMD gets a look-in, a design win if you will, as the MTV boxes are powered by Athlon XPs.

So what's on the table: the press release is a heart-sinker for anyone who has seen the many failed attempts of PC manufacturers to pretend that they can do consumer electronics properly. The end result- to date- is invariably a horse designed by a committee. Will the MTV PC be any different? In the absence of product - it ships in Spring - and a detailed spec, we will have to make do with the marketing blurb.

First up, this "phenomenal product virtually replaces the television, personal computer, DVD player and music CD/FM stereo. Just think about the impact this will have on dormitories, as well as homes and lofts with limited space," Bob Anderson, Lan Plus biz dev director gushes.

And just think about the impact on the customer when it breaks - no TV, no PC, no DVD player, no radio. This is why the project is so risky for MTV - selling expensive kit which can break is a quick method of turning brand extension into brand suicide.

The MTV PC line is also designed to enhance the gaming experience (how?) and will come in various colours and form factors. Also, some MTV content will be available exclusively on the beasts.

It will be interesting to see if the MTV PC brand makes its way over to the UK, where its many music channels are staple fare on cable and satellite TV. Somehow, we think it will not make the journey. ®

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