NEWS: Enjoy your digital media on your TV with Pinnacle's ShowCenter 250HD

You know how it is: you've got hundreds of photos and hours of video on your PC, but you'd really like to be able to view them all on your TV.

Fear not. Pinnacle's new ShowCenter 250HD (£130) is designed to make streaming content from your PC to TV a breeze. It's a plug-and-play system, with no software to install. It simply connects to your PC either via a wired Ethernet connection or wirelessly using the 802.11g wi-fi standard.

Hook-up to your TV is either via component, Scart or S-Video. If you have an HD-ready set, the Pinnacle ShowCenter 250HD will output high-definition content up to 1080i resolution via the component output (there's no HDMI connection).

The device supports HD playback from Windows Media Video 9, DivX HD and MPEG-2 files. Two digital outputs – one optical, one coaxial – can transfer sound to an AV amp or receiver.

As for music, it will handle MP3, WMA, WMA Pro, WMA Lossless, WMA-DRM, PCM and WAV files.

It's also compatible with universal plug-and-play (UPnP AV) media servers, can stream content from Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows XP PCs, and can access files stored on USB storage devices such as a flash drive or digital camera.

Minimum system requirements are as follows:

  • PC with Windows Vista or Windows XP with SP2
  • Pentium III/Athlon 1GHz or Celeron/Duron 1.2GHz processor
  • 256 MB of RAM (512MB recommended)
  • UPnP AV compatible media server (Windows Media 11 or Windows Media Connect 2 recommended
  • Wi-fi 802.11b/g home network, or network hub with at least one 100base T Ethernet port
Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.