Entertainment PCs under $2,000

About The Author

CNET Editor

Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury

TiVo may be in the news at the moment, but what a lot of people don't know is that the technology to record and rewind live TV is available now -- from most new PCs.

Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate give the owner a wealth of digital entertainment at his or her fingertips. While media centre PCs have yet to take off -- they're seen as too noisy and technical for most users -- we have collected here a broad cross-section of the different PCs available on the market. We set each manufacturer the task of providing us with a PC under AU$2,000 which could be used as a PVR, but which was also versatile enough to become a general workhorse.

All of these units ship with remote controls, and are configurable to your needs. They range from the petite Pioneer Dreamvision VIIV, which is a plug-and-play media solution, to the uber-games machine, the Enspire Vitesse XPS. In between you have the elegant Altech Maestro Fusion which most resembles a home theatre component, and the Acer Aspire E700 MMX1 which cheekily exceeds our $2,000 stipulation.

So, what is the best way to spend your two grand? It really does depend on what you need. If you want performance, then the Enspire is a killer, and excellent value with its inclusion of a 19-inch Samsung screen. But if lounge-friendly is your game, then the Altech system is well worth a look.


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