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Hardware capable of displaying and authoring Computer based Multimedia is continually evolving. Traditional PC based systems are giving way to mobile devices such as Smart phones, Tablets, Laptops, Personal Computers (PCs) and Smart TVs.

Computer based Multimedia can be delivered in a variety of ways

  • Stored on the hardware's internal storage (Flash Memory, Solid State Drive, Hard Disk Drive)
  • Stored on removable media (Optical drive: CD (640MB) , DVD (4.7GB), Blu-Ray, USB memory stick, USB Hard Disk Drive)
  • Served from the Internet

The type of hardware you use will depend on what level of multimedia you require.

From a user you would consider whether you want to be mobile (Smart phone, Tablet, Laptop) or fixed (PC)

For a developer you would probably use a fixed computer with multiple monitors, although there are many very powerful Desktop replacements (powerful Laptops with large screens!). You would also look at a portable computer solution if you need to visit a client's site, although if the multimedia is web based it is unlikely that your client would not have a web connected device (especially if they are asking for a web based multimedia solution)

Peripheral devices

To support multimedia a variety of peripheral devices can be considered (in some cases these devices are built into the hardware device) and can include:

  • Basic devices
    • Keyboard - these can be virtual as on a tablet or smart phone
    • Pointing input device: Mouse or touch screen
    • Speakers: Commonly with the monitors, or standard with smartphones, tablets and laptops.
  • Monitor/Screen. These can be touch screen and vary considerably in size. For a developer it is usual that they have a dual monitor setup (may be more than two)
  • Digital Camera (Used for both still images and video capture) Can take a variety of forms
    • Can be a web camera to capture images or video, or for use in applications such as Skype
    • Can be part of the device (Smart phone, tablet )
    • Can be a separate - a traditional digital camera or movie camera (most often using Flash memory)
  • External Storage devices
    • USB drives, External Disk Drives (Solid State Drives (SSD), Hard Disk Drives (HDD)
  • Drawing devices (Digital tablets)
  • Smartboard devices - can be touch whiteboards or infra-red sensor based on the projectors
  • Cloud storage - Hosted on the Internet (Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive)