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Acer Launches Media Center System clear.fi

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 7 comments

Acer revealed a lot of tablets today. We saw a dual-screen 14-inch laptop called the Iconia, along with a myriad of other Windows 7 and Android devices. However, along with their tablets, Acer also launched a media sharing system called clear.fi.

clear.fi is essentially home media center set-up that allows users to easily share content across all the computers, laptops and phones in the house. It comes embedded on Acer-brand devices and supports multiple formats across multiple platforms and it all runs through WiFi. The idea is that no matter what room you're in or device you're using, you'll always be able to easily access your pictures, videos and music.

Obviously this is an extremely useful application, especially for households with three or four laptops. However, with this comes a problem. What if you don't want people accessing your hard drive? Your in-laws come over for Thanksgiving dinner and you're looking at holiday snaps when all of a sudden, someone clicks somewhere they shouldn't and you're left trying to explain away the more, er, private things on your computer. Acer told us today that there's a shared folder for each computer, so you can pick and choose what you want accessible by clear.fi. If you're still not into sharing, you can choose to leave certain machines off the network completely.

For people visiting your house and logging onto your WiFi for a limited time, it's a similar deal. A little notice will pop up asking them if they want to share anything or if they want to leave sharing off.

As an additional feature, clear.fi also allows you to upload and share pictures to social networking sites like Facebook and Flickr. There's also a YouTube channel where you can watch videos or push them to another device in the house for streaming.

clear.fi is a great idea for people who perhaps would have no clue how to set up a home media server, but the less tech-savvy might have a problem differentiating this from the likes of Google and Apple TV, which focus on selling the customer new content rather than allowing them to do more with the content they already have. Conversely, users who want new content may initially overlook clear.fi because, for now, it's focusing on media the user already has. When Acer launches its 'alive' store next year, customers will be able to buy content from there and push and pull that content to and from different devices on their clear.fi network. However, until then, it's just a big library of what you already have.

Display 7 Comments.
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  • 0 Hide
    damianrobertjones , November 23, 2010 8:28 PM
    Windows Home server
    Windows Media Center

    Already have them so I'm ok. But, I might get a 10" win7 tablet if it has great battery life.
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , November 23, 2010 9:08 PM
    .query(filetype=*), AMAZING!
  • 0 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , November 24, 2010 12:23 AM
    not a horrible idea. It wont draw the crowds like an apple product, but i suppoose ther is a market for it.
  • 0 Hide
    segio526 , November 24, 2010 1:32 AM
    If it supports live TV, that would be fantastic. I love Windows Media Center, but the lack of new extenders is starting to sting. All MS has to do is let me buy a nettop and use it as an extender, but NOOOOOO, they have to be all stupid about it. I would be more than happy to buy acer nettops if I could watch the live and recorded TV on my main PC.
  • 2 Hide
    AIstudio , November 24, 2010 6:59 AM
    At least one company is starting to think about this, although I have been doing this for a few years already. The HUGE problem they have at the moment is Wifi. You cant stream 1080p content through it as it isnt fast enough, let alone if everyone in the house is using the wifi for there devices. It will bring your router to a crawl.
    Faster Wifi IS on the horizon but until then this system will fail, stutter and baulk causing no amount of unhappy customers.
    Good to see this starting though, well done ACER!!!
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , November 24, 2010 2:01 PM
    doubtful tom's readers won't have mostly already doen setups liek this with existing platforms... but this brings it to the masses so to speak, intresting tech :D  hope its easy for them to use
  • 1 Hide
    cookoy , November 27, 2010 12:57 PM
    instead of watching a family video together in the living room, each one watches it in his/her own room. then they can have something to talk about at breakfast.
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