Chesapeake Home Theatre & Hi-Fi

Larry Dent is the owner of Chesapeake Home Theatre & Hi-Fi.

These articles were written for the Islander Weekly.

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Larry's Tech Talk

It’s a Knockout!

A few weeks ago I wrote about the big news that Apple Computer will start making and selling flat panel TVs within the next 12 months. If you read that column, sorry, some of this will be redundant. But the news is not only HUGE, it’s worth repeating!

Back in the late 1990’s I really believed that Microsoft would put Steve Jobs’ little computer company out of business. That shows what I know! A week or so ago, Apple announced incredible earnings and has passed Microsoft in both earnings and revenues. “Down goes Frasier!” I think it was $39B in earnings for the quarter. Shut up kid, Joe Frasier was a great boxing champion!

As I’ve mentioned before, Apple didn’t get there with computer sales. It was the “i” devices, i.e. iPod, iPhone, and iPad that really saved the company and launched the revenue growth. But the real genius is not the devices, it is the iTunes service. Apple could have dropped iPods out of airplanes for free and still made tons of money from the iTunes online service. Let’s translate that to the upcoming Apple flat panel TVs. Sure Apple will care about the new TV sales, but the real genius will be the online video service.

Most of us know that we can download music and videos from iTunes to either an Apple Macintosh or a Windows based computer. But having all Apple hardware is really cool. Let’s add the new Apple flat panel TV to that equation. The result, Apple will sell tons of TV hardware and control the video service that comes into our homes via the internet. It might be called iTunes or something else. In addition Apple could include a TV model that includes a computer, in the same box with the TV. Maybe add a wireless keyboard and mouse? You would have a computer, a flat panel TV, a DVR, all of your music, photos and movies in one really sharp box.

Let’s throw another video service’s hat in the ring that will compete directly with cable and satellite tv. I don’t know what Apple will call it, but it’s currently being referred to as “IPTV”. In other words, tv content delivered to your home via the internet. Satellite tv service providers include Dish Network and DirecTV. We have Atlantic Broadband in QA County for cable tv. Other areas might have Comcast (Infinity) and the Verizon service known as FIOS for cable tv. In about a year, you will have another video choice from Apple.

Services like Netflix and already stream video over the internet. And based on Apple’s success, the cable and satellite tv providers better get ready for a “knockout” competitor that slammed Microsoft and is still climbing. Of course you will need an internet connection, but most of us already have internet capability.

Apple is entering into a whole new marketplace and revenue stream. I think we’re about to witness a “knockout!”