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Technology and Home Entertainment

Technology and Home Entertainment
Technology with Integrity 

By Tim Torian, Torian Group, Inc.


Here is a quick summary of new developments in technology that may affect your home entertainment.

Blu-Ray is now the clear winner in the HD DVD format war. However, there are still reasons to hold off your purchase. Blu-Ray Disks will likely drop in price as production ramps up. There are multiple Blu-Ray standards. 1.0 and 1.1 are out now. 2.0 incorporates BD-Live - an enhancement to Blu-Ray that allows downloading content from the internet, and picture-in-picture. The current DVD players don’t have it yet (except the PS3), but the next generation will – probably in a few months.

Chart: Hours per week spent online - shows that Gen Y spends more time online than watching television.

The internet has changed how we think about home entertainment. Younger people no longer watch much TV. Instead they are on the internet, cell phone, and IPod, often all at the same time. (www.ecommercetimes.com/story/36894.html?welcome=1204894401 )

Home networking is now commonplace. Windows Home Server is designed to be the center of your home network. It stores and serves up media, backs up all your data, and enables remote access.  (www.microsoft.com/homeserver)  Windows Media center computers also allow you to record movies and music. They are a good choice for home computing, and can integrate with your home theatre.

Most are now familiar with TiVo, which allows you to record movies and watch on your schedule. VUDU (www.vudu.com ) allows you to download and play movies via the internet. The SlingBox (www.slingmedia.com) controls and sends your video signal anywhere, even to a pc while you are out of the house.

Some HD TV sets are integrating internet and media center access, such as the Apple TV (www.apple.com/appletv ) as well as the Sony Bravia Internet video link, and the Panasonic Veria cast.  (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080108-panasonic-sony-announce-new-hdtvs.html )  This integrates with a trend toward providing video via online sources rather than traditional broadcasting. In case you missed it somehow, HD TV will become the standard Feb 17 2009. Broadcasting will all be in HD. The official site: www.dtv.gov.

Smart Homes are houses that are designed with technology in mind. They typically have “structured wiring” built in, which allows for integrating home theater, phone systems, climate and lighting control, and home networking into the home. This has created a new industry.

There are more choices than ever when it comes to home entertainment. Design your media experiences around your life, rather than letting the media set your schedule.

Tim Torian has taught computer networking at the College of Sequoias and Cal Poly Extension. He has a BS in Computer Science, and has been consulting on computer networking for the past 30 Years. His industry certifications include: Cisco CCNA and CCNI, Microsoft MCSE. He was recognized as Entrepreneur of the year for 2008 by the Tulare County EDC. He is president of Torian Group, Inc. which provides a full range of Technology Consulting services to local business, including computer services, networking, web and custom software development. www.toriangroup.com


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