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Editorial: World of entertainment

Editorial: World of entertainment

The Sydney Exhibition Centre will play host to the biggest home entertainment exhibition this country has ever seen. Starting with a trade-only session on Friday, My Home Entertainment Expo will showcase millions of dollars worth of equipment from a huge selection of vendors that are looking to win the hearts and minds of Australian consumers.

From an IT reseller perspective, it is a fantastic opportunity to get your hands on new technology and gain an overall feel of how the digital home market is starting to take shape. The exhibitor list contains a host of leading IT and consumer electronics vendors from HP and Toshiba to Sony and Sharp.

But it also includes some new faces for the IT channel to consider as potential business partners. Among these are home designers that act as consultants for consumers with lots of money to spend on the latest equipment but no clear idea of how it should all be put together.

Partnerships with this sort of company could throw up some serious installation revenue streams for people with networking knowledge that are intent on getting into the digital home game.

Resellers who are not so keen on partnering with other organisations but still want a slice of the digital home pie would do well to take a good look at the interactive displays and presentations at My Home Entertainment Expo. There has been much written recently about IT resellers lacking the necessary skills to create the consumer desire needed to sell consumer electronics. For those of you thinking about tackling the digital home market, this show could be an excellent opportunity to look at the use of floor space in showcasing these products and think about how your business could do the same.

With Christmas just around the corner, resellers involved in the gaming market would benefit from a visit to the GamePro Live expo. Dedicated to the needs of the gaming enthusiast, it will bring all of the latest consoles, accessories and titles under one roof. Publishers will also provide expo visitors with a sneak preview of upcoming titles.

Another highlight for resellers will be the opportunity to see Toshiba demonstrating its new Qosmio G10 notebook, which is based on Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE). Altech will also be showing off one of its new MCE machines - the small form factor Mini Maestro.

The Media Center battle between the multinational heavyweights and the local systems builder community promises to be a fascinating one, particularly during the next year or two.

If the PC is to make its way into lounges up and down the country, it is vital that manufacturers move away from the traditional tower form factor. Optima chairman, Cornel Ung, pointed to set-top boxes as the biggest obstacle that PC manufacturers face in trying to get their products moved out of the study. PC builders are looking to find a form factor to match that of the set-top box while the AV specialists building these products work on increasing functionality to a point where there will be no need for a computer in the lounge. The race is on.

Brian Corrigan is Editor of ARN. Reach him at brian_corrigan@idg.com.au


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