Originally posted by Amorph:
<strong> As for integrating all your stereo components, most modern amplifiers do that quite well.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Amplifier, huh? Glad you brought that up. I have an amplifier, a receiver to be more accurate, that I bought a few years back and it was obsolete about a year after I bought it. Was it broke? No, but it didn't have Dolby 5.1 that DVDs use (and now their moving on to an even better sound processing specification). Furthermore, my receiver has no idea whether my VCR is on or if it's set to VCR/TV and even if it did know it has no way of controling them.[/qb]
I guess I never paid attention. I have a new amp, but only because the old one died a while back. The whole stereo - and I mean stereo
, as in two channels - is currently in storage because I have no place to put it right now. When I do have room, I see no reason to change it. Two speakers will handle everything I need them to - mostly, music. I don't own a TV. Haven't in years. Not because I can't afford one.
Obsolescence is in the eye of the beholder.
What I do know about the progress in this kind of convergence I know because my roommate is busy building a low-end home theater in the living room.
[quote]<strong>Now, consider the alternative- a true digital hub. The computer easily interprets new sound standards (say Dolby 7.1
) and sends them to the amp (which it can turn on and control) by firewire. All my television shows are organized like on Replay, but I can burn them to DVD or add additional firewire drives for more storage. The hub can stream them to any computer in the house by ethernet or airport (higher compression of course) as well as act as a file server.</strong><hr></blockquote>
This would require a setup where the amp could feed any number of speakers over a FW cable or two (with all the speakers daisy-chained together). I'm not sure how feasible that is, or when it would become feasible. As for the rest, when my roommate turns on his amp from his all-in-one remote, all the connected components also fire up, so that appears to be something of a solved problem. It could be more elegant, but it can also become more elegant without bringing a computer into the mix.
Want to burn TV shows to DVD? Good luck. The industry tolerates videocassettes because they got Congress to pass the AHRA, and because they have relatively poor video quality which degrades (rapidly) over time (and also because the Supreme Court ordered them to). DVDs are capable of capturing broadcast-quality video and replaying it for years at full picture quality, in addition to enabling lossless copying an arbitrary number of times with no degradation. (TiVos are indeed one-way, so they can't be used that way.) You can bet money that as soon as the medium goes digital, the streams will be encrypted. It's already illegal to break that encryption, or abet the breaking of that encryption in any way. So there goes TiVo and ReplayTV and the rest, unless the broadcasters decide to allow some limited ability to delay the shows (but you can bet the ad-skipping features will vanish). Rebroadcasting signals? Good luck. You won't be able to compress them, because they're already going to be compressed. But even if bandwidth is not an issue, I doubt the industry will want you to be able to. They'll want every display that gets a signal to have a cable hanging off of it, and a subscription.
If it's not digital, or it is digital but it can't be used as raw material to create new things, Apple is probably not interested in building it into the Hub. That just seems to be the way it is. Furthermore, if it's not something that plays directly into Apple's expertise - building computers and applications - Apple probably feels that won't have any luck competing against more specialized vendors. That's the lesson it learned while it was selling printers, scanners, cameras, etc. Apple can compete with the iPod because it's a little dual-processor computer with a software interface, not just because it's a digital hub device. It's something they can do better than a peripheral company can. On the other hand, most of what you want a Mac to do as far as managing components could as easily be incorporated into a Marantz.
[quote]<strong>Ah, what the hell am I explaining this for, I suppose the people who are happy with the current mess of RCA cables, speaker wire, and multiple remotes are the same people who were satisfied with editing videotape by scotchtaping it together.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Not at all. It's just that the alternative is not putting a personal computer at the center of everything. FireWire is
the future connector for stereo components - which opens up the possibility that a Mac could be a peer
on a network of stereo components - and a specialized component (maybe integrated into an amp) could be used to organize and control the rest of the stereo for much less than the cost of a Mac. And unlike most Macs, which don't have IR interfaces, you can use a remote to control the component.
[quote]<strong>I guess it just couldn't possibly get any better than this and no one is going to capitalize on such a market.
Tastes apparently vary, because the most compelling aspect of your vision is the one I think is least likely to happen: The ability to copy and edit broadcast footage. Otherwise, I don't see anything that requires or even prefers a personal computer at the center of everything.
[ 01-09-2002: Message edited by: Amorph ]</p>