Sunday, February 25, 2007
This particular bundle of electronics and software is designed for the business person or student on the go and to allow them to watch either digital television or high definition television anywhere where it's available over the air. It can also be used to watch an unencrypted digital cable TV signal directly from a wall connection.
Although the T14A is primarily designed for use with a laptop computer, it will also work with any Microsoft Windows based computer that has the right hardware and software. In that sense it's easy to imagine it being well geared for at student who might want to watch TV, but has limited room in a dorm room and therefore will find the idea of watching over the air TV on a desktop computer attractive.
While the T14A has impressive aspirations, there are a number of things that cast doubt onto how functional it will actually be for the vast majority of people. For example, the T14A requires some pretty hefty hardware on the part of the computer in order to function. For example, just for watching standard definition digital television it requires a computer with at least three gigahertz of speed on a Pentium III chip and two hundred and fifty six megabytes of RAM. That's not that out of line these days, but if you want to watch over the air high definition television, you'll need at least three gigahertz of speed and at least five hundred and twelve megabytes of RAM. While the RAM isn't that much for a lot of computers these days, three gigahertz is a little harder to come by in a laptop. This is especially true for anyone who's hoping to use a somewhat older computer and may eliminate much of the student market just because of the fact that students are less likely to have the money to keep up with the latest technology.
Another factor that may or may not reflect the quality of the technology that goes into the T14A, but is disconcerting none the less is the poor use of English on the Artec website. While in all likelihood the manufacturers of the T14A are perfectly competent electronics engineers, there's something slightly disturbing about a company that won't handle a detail as basic as making sure its website is intelligible.
That said, the T14A from Artec represents a positive step forward when it comes to melding television and computer technologies in a user friendly way.