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

The perfect marriage?

I’m not talking about the Royal Wedding (I think we got enough of that!) I am referring to the Information Technology marketplace (aka the Computer Industry) integrating with the audio/video world . Or is it the other way around? Actually this is not a new concept, but for some reason the consumer marketplace wasn’t ready to accept the marriage. But the past year has seen manufacturers finally accept the fact that the two markets are perfect for each other.

Take an IPod for example, what is it? Well, it’s a miniature hard drive (a computer device) in a small package that stores digital audio (and video). You can upload music to it via a computer, from the internet or an existing CD. OK, so the IPod (an audio/video device with computer parts) at some point needs a computer. And you wouldn’t want to walk around the health club with your computer to listen to your music collection. So your computer at some point relies on your IPod (or portable music player). Maybe that’s a bad example, but ever since the Compact Disc was invented, audio and video has been going digital. And that paved the way for integration.

New A/V receivers, TVs, BluRay players, and other components are now shipping with network connections as standard inputs. Services like Pandora, Netflix, Vudu, Skype and more, are pre-loaded for our home entertainment. Why listen to Pandora (a free internet music service) on your computer speakers, when you can listen on your surround sound system? Upload the photos from your recent vacation to an internet site to be viewed by friends and family on their Hi-Def TVs. And if you want to video chat live with someone, log on to your free Skype account. It’s not necessary to use your computer, because your TV connects directly to your network router. Why stare at a 17” computer monitor when the whole family can Skype with distant relatives on the 65” TV in the Family room. Or Facebook, or Rhapsody, or other services that are becoming mainstream in our cyberworld. All you need is an internet connection.

I think of the internet as a huge pipe. It might be wired or wireless, and it carries massive amounts of information. Maybe the word information loses some people. Information can come in many forms. Sure “text” is information, but full motion video, audio, still photos, are also examples of information. Hey, if they could digitize a Big Mac…..nah, let’s not go there.

You might not think of Apple Computer as being in the music business. But Apple’s ITunes software and website has made Apple a Music Industry Giant!

How’s that for the Perfect Marriage!