Consumer Electronics and Computers
day living depends on many forms of electronic gadgets. The value of
these devices is greatly enhanced by the marriage of consumer
electronics and computers.
What are Consumer Electronics
electronics are all the electronic devices that are used by everyday
people as an aid and enhancement of their normal living. The term is
meant to exclude electronics that are used for specialized purposes
such as MRI or CAT scan machines, military radar systems and space
exploration control and command electronics to name a few.
Consumer electronics includes;
- audio: digital recorders,
MP3 players, ipods, and home sound systems
- video: home theater, TV, DVD
- digital imaging: cameras,
- phones: cell phones,
- pda's: Palm or Windows
based, phone add on
- gaming: game consoles, game
- computers: computer systems,
- auto: GPS systems, security,
- other emerging technology:
assorted systems of various kinds
All of the various consumer systems interface with
computers in one way or another and they all benefit from the
Computer and Consumer Electronics
audio devices such as iPod and other digital music players depend on
the computer for getting the media that they play. The user needs to
download music, games and movies from the computer to have the media on
Modern audio devices can get music from various
sources such as iTunes
directly into the device using a wireless connection. However, the
computer is still needed to get many forms of material that may not be
available otherwise. Additionally, having the files on the computer
provides an extra layer of backup in case the information on the
portable audio device gets wiped out or the device is lost or stolen.
cassette tape player is going the way of the dodo. There currently is
no similar device which is portable and has some sort of cartridge,
tape or storage device to keep recorded sound and offload the player.
Transferring files to and from the computer is the main way of
maintaining prior recordings. Some devices have memory sticks or cards
which can be used to store music. However, this method of maintaining
collections of music and the like doesn't seem to have a wide
following. Additionally, different cards and sticks are not
interchangeable between different recording devices.
files to the computer and burning a DVD or CD of the files provides for
a method of generating portable media that anyone can use in their CD
or DVD players. However, some digital recorders capture the sound in
file format that is not suitable for burning onto a cd and special
procedures or programs are needed to convert the music or other media
to a format that can be used to create an audio CD. If this is an issue
for you, you should check what kind of files your digital recording
device creates and if they can be directly burned to DVD.
audio and video setup that recreates a cinema quality experience in
your home is known as a home theater. In order to accomplish this, the
user needs a large screen, surround sound and some source of video such
as a DVD player. The addition of a computer to the mix allows for
storage and playback of movies as well as enhanced 3D game playing on
the wide screen.
In order to support this, the user needs to get
a video card with DVI outputs that can connect to large flat screen or
projection TV. More information about video cards is available at Video
a note of caution. There is a program called PCShowBuzz that claims to
play TV on your computer. Reviews indicate that it only plays obscure
channels and there are virus concerns also.
DVDs can be played directly on one's computer with
either Windows Media player or some other third party program such as PowerDVD.
can create their own video productions from video clips. The clips can
come from different sources on the web or users can download their own
videos from their video cameras or digital video recorders. Programs
such as Windows Movie Maker or Nero PhotoShow Deluxe
enable the users to put together the clips with all sorts of bells and
whistles such as menus, video transition effects and special effects.
These programs guide the user through every step of the process and
make creating entertaining and professional looking home videos easy.
cameras depend on computers for a number of things. Digital camera
software allows the pictures and videos produced on the camera of
digital video recorder to be transferred from portable device to the
computer. Different software programs allow pictures to be reviewed and
displayed so that bad pictures can be discarded and good ones kept and
organized into albums or other sorts of collection if so desired.
Pictures can be doctored and blemishes removed
with video editing software such as Photoshop Elements
or other free video editing software programs. Red eye can be removed
as can other undesirable items. Videos can also be edited and improved.
The images can be published to the web to various
is a free web site that allows you to publish your pictures so that
anyone you want to can view them.
Downloaded pictures can be printed on photo
printers using special photo paper.
people use VOIP (Voice Over IP) phones that use the broadband
connection that connects you to the internet to provide them with phone
service. Since this phone capability is not viewed as an official phone
service, the government doesn't tax it like it does regular phone
services so that it comes out quite a bit cheaper than standard
Things to consider in switching to this kind of
service include the question of 911 availability, sound quality and the
ability to keep your original phone number.
These services also
offer enhanced features that are not offered on landline phones such as
free automatic redial of a busy number, not requiring the entry of 1
before long distance numbers and online access to call and billing
history as well as control of features.
There is more detailed information in my Voip Communications
or personal digital assistants such as a palm pilot contain provide
portable useful information to the user such as calendars with
appointments and time based tasks, contact lists with information about
phone numbers, email addresses etc, notes for various and sundry
purposes, task lists, portable browsing, music and more. Many such
devices support email as well.
Most people maintain email and all
the other features on their computer in a single program such as
Microsoft Outlook or a combination of programs. Synchronizing the data
between the PDA (the PDA can be integrated into a phone) and the
computer allows a person to have their information up to date in both
provides software to synchronize data between PDAs and Outlook or
Music and PDA programs such as portable Office
compatible word processing or spreadsheets can be downloaded. Documents to Go is one such
program. Various programs of other kinds including games are also
is one source of these programs.
Many auto onboard systems are controlled by
computers relate to GPS systems such as Garmin, Magellan, Tom Tom and
others by downloading new maps to them and also providing for software
upgrades and fixes via a USB connection.
world of consumer electronics is huge and we've covered a small
fraction of it. The potential for synergy between consumer electronics
and computers will only continue to grow and provide great benefits to
from Consumer Electronics and Computers to Ask the Computer Doc home