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Consumers want PCs to deliver ‘all home entertainment’

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British consumers want to put the PC at the heart of their home entertainment systems, a survey conducted by UK polling organisation Mori has concluded.

That result will come as music to the ears of Microsoft - that's what its Windows XP Media Center Edition is all about, after all - and to Packard Bell, which sponsored the survey and sells home entertainment PCs.

But the survey's conclusions seem rather self-selecting. According to Mori, 64 per cent of home PC users said they would "find the prospect of having one single entertainment system for watching TV, downloading films and music and playing computer games appealing". Of that group, 75 per cent agree that "the PC is appropriate as a single home entertainment unit".

Pardon us for being picky, but saying the PC is 'appropriate' isn't the same thing as selecting it as a preferred platform.

And what about those numbers? Mori spoke to 985 home users, of whom 64 per cent favoured a single home entertainment device (630 people), of whom 75 per cent said they thought the PC is just such a device (473 people). In other words, less than half - 473 out of 985 (48 per cent) - home PC users reckon the PC should be placed at the centre of the home entertainment universe.

Still of those who do favour such a role for the PC, there are as many computing novices as tech-savvy users, and pretty balanced support across the spectrum of users' ages, notes Mori.

More pertinently, 81 per cent of respondents said they see their PCs being used increasingly for "watching, downloading and creating films; watching TV; playing computer games; and downloading, creating or listening to music". Around 69 per cent of them said they are already using their computers for these applications. ®

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