What Are the Different Types of Multimedia Systems?

G. Wiesen

There are many different types of multimedia systems, which are usually developed or designed to meet a particular purpose or for use in a certain environment. Home systems, for example, are intended for enjoyment by a relatively small group of people and for use in a fairly small space. There are systems designed for use in the workplace, which may be intended for somewhat small groups and are used in offices for presentations or employee training. Larger systems are developed for use at trade shows and conferences, and are designed to reach a potentially massive audience.

Some multimedia systems feature a projector.
Some multimedia systems feature a projector.

The modular nature of multimedia systems allows many of the same pieces of technology to be used in a variety of settings. A multimedia system is basically a combination of hardware and software used for viewing or displaying different types of media, such as audio and video. Home systems, for example, are usually designed to allow for one or a few people to view programs in a home environment. These often include a television screen or similar monitor, which may be fairly large, and speaker setups that may utilize surround sound and are typically centrally located.

Home multimedia systems often include a television screen or monitor.
Home multimedia systems often include a television screen or monitor.

Multimedia systems for use in an office, on the other hand, might utilize multiple monitors and computer terminals, as well as different speaker systems. Depending on the size of the presentation being made, or the materials being covered, a single screen might display an image that is also visible at separate computer terminals. Rather than using a monitor or television screen, this type of system often uses a projector and a screen to produce a large image. For training purposes, systems can be used that allow a single presentation to be made for an entire group, while each individual is at a computer and able to interact with a personal version of the presentation.

Some multimedia systems may include a projector screen.
Some multimedia systems may include a projector screen.

There are also multimedia systems that can be used in much larger venues, such as trade shows, conferences, and speaking engagements. These systems use a number of different displays all showing the same images simultaneously. This allows a single speaker to have one large display that he or she refers to while making a presentation, with smaller displays throughout a room that can be more clearly seen by those farther from the main screen. Multiple speakers can also be used in such systems to allow those in a large space to all clearly hear the speaker.

Multimedia systems may include video game players.
Multimedia systems may include video game players.

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Discussion Comments


I have attended a couple of graphic design seminars for work, and I have always been impressed by the multimedia systems that the speakers used. They are demonstrating techniques to a large audience, so they have to have big equipment.

The speaker has a small computer hooked up to a huge display screen. The audience can see whatever he does on his computer enlarged several times for easy viewing.

He speaks into a small microphone attached to his clothing. The sound goes through large speakers so that everyone can hear him without straining.

I'm sure this type of multimedia computer system is quite expensive. They charge enough for attendance at these seminars that they can afford to pay for the equipment, though.


I have a multimedia system at home, but I didn't know that was what it was called until reading this. We always referred to it as the entertainment center, though I suppose that term actually describes the shelving on which it sits, rather than the actual electronic setup.

We have a large flat-screen television that we purchased with our tax return money a few years ago. Our little TV that we had sitting upon a small table was kind of hard to see from across the room, and the sound only came out of the small speakers at the base of the TV itself.

We bought some speakers for the new TV so that we could have surround sound, and the difference is amazing. I feel like I'm in a movie theater every time we turn off the lights and watch TV.

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