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

Nobody Rides For Nothin’

I think I’ve been using the word “change” too much lately. How about “evolve” instead? Yeah, I like that better. OK, so what’s evolving in audio and video technology these days? Well, if you’ve read this column before you know that consumer electronics and entertainment are evolving all the time. Yeah, yeah Larry, we all know that, tell us where you are going with this? Specifically, I am referring to the evolution of the number of payments we make each month.

History credits Henry Ford with inventing the “assembly line” back in the 1900’s. Detroit became known as “Motown” and America was a manufacturing giant. But it seems like America has moved away from manufacturing and evolved into providing services. I’m not saying that is good or bad. I’m just saying, we’re doctors, lawyers, insurance providers, internet and communication providers, mechanics, drivers, etc. Manufacturing has moved to more cost competitive countries. Verizon might provide cell phone service, but the cell phone you use probably wasn’t made in the USA. Software giants like Google and Microsoft aren’t manufacturers. Computers might be designed in the US, but they are probably made in Asia. Electronics are a great example of foreign manufacturing. Not long ago, Darrell Waltrip mentioned during a NASCAR race that of the four auto manufacturers with cars on the racetrack, only the Toyota Camry was manufactured in the US. The other three auto manufacturers included Ford, Chevy, and Dodge. Where did you go Henry?

When I was finished with school (or was school finished with me?). I probably had less than ten checks to write each month. Let’s see, rent, electric, telephone, maybe a car payment. But now with all these new services we have many more monthly payments. Almost everybody has cable or satellite TV service. How about cell phone service? Internet service? Maybe Netflix and satellite radio service. I hear ads about protecting one’s identity, and backing up computer files. Do I really need to pay for credit history protection?

iTunes, Netflix, cable TV, Sirius XM radio, Tivo, DVR, premium movie channels, high definition, video on demand, NFL Ticket, are all examples of the really cool entertainment “services” available to consumers these days. The TV you watch wasn’t made in this country. But the video content you watch was delivered by a company that is in this country. Last week I wrote about IPTV, I think we can look forward to writing yet another check each month. Like it or not, that’s evolution.

I am thinking of lyrics in a song, “nobody rides for nothin’, so step up and pay the price!”