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Broadcasters confront fast-changing digital future

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CANNES: "Be afraid. Be very afraid." That's what "traditional" broadcasters present during Wednesday's presentation by Microsoft Windows eHome GM Joe Belfiore, were told while he outlined his vision of a future where the consumer would be enveloped in a digital environment (the platform naturally provided by Bill Gates' software behemoth) all linked up via the PC.

Intel's digital home group CTO Kevin Corbett also stressed the importance of the PC in a digitised world. According to Belfiore, Windows XP Media Centre and devices like it

will become powerful platforms for immersive content delivery, wired and wireless extensions of which will be able to hook up to a wide range of devices at home and on the go.

"The PC represents the single greatest opportunity for content

creators," said Belfiore. "The entertainment PC is at the centre of our vision of the digital home, controlling different media streams to different media," Corbett said.

The next five years will see technology change media consumption more than has been witnessed in the last 50 years.

And what if one were to choose a competitor like Apple as a platform? Could one pick and choose which digital devices according to preference? That's where you enter tricky terrain. Belfiore's response to such a query from the audience was expectedly noncommittal.

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