Hi-Fi PC to play DVDs from BIOS
October 21, 2002

VIA's Hi-Fi PC will play CDs and DVDs straight from a program called "PlayNow!" sitting in the BIOS. Without the overheads of an operating system loading from hard disk, a DVD or MP3 CD will play from startup in about 5 seconds. The OS will boot as normal if no DVD is present. Currently PlayNow! won't play content from a connected hard drive, just from a CD/DVD. The Hi-Fi PC won't be sold direct by VIA, but will be provided to manufacturers in a barebones form - they will add their own branding. Although the imminent EPIA-M is at the heart of the Hi-Fi PC, the extended BIOS functionality won't be - licensing issues have prevented this. Shame! Incidentally - though VIA haven't admitted it, we're pretty sure we've tracked down who made their prototype Hi-Fi PC. Check out the LCD here and the speakers here... ;-)

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