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

Are You Ready For Some Football!! Are You Ready For Some Football!!

We’ve all contemplated the old “chicken or the egg” dilemma. And a famous standup comedian posed the question, does the wind make the trees shake or do the trees shake and make the wind? Hey, it was funny when he said it! Yeah yeah Larry, but what does that have to do with a column titled “Tech Talk?”

I am referring to the concept of how technology has changed our lives. Does culture drive technology or does a new technology change culture? Look at the events that took place recently in Egypt and Libya. It seems like if you want to be an oppressive dictator, you better keep your people in the dark. Back in the Cold War days, there was something called Radio Free Europe. The internet wasn’t invented yet, but radio was and informing populations in communist block countries brought major political changes.

The Berlin Wall is gone. The USSR is over. I wonder what extent the internet had in informing the Russian population and bringing about political change? Maybe Russian girls saw American blue jeans on the internet, and said, hey get our leaders out of here. We want American blue jeans!

So where are we now? It’s the beginning of football season of course! Like it or not, the National Football League is a huge part of American culture these days. And the NFL has embraced technology and created an entertainment giant. C’mon dude, football is about running, blocking and hitting people. You know, Rumblin’, Bumblin’, Stumblin’! What do you mean technology is a part of the gridiron?

Back in the dark ages, professional football made money at the gate. They sold tickets, beer and hotdogs and that was the extent of the revenue. Then television was invented, and TV revenue easily exceeded ticket revenues. Las Vegas contributed to the NFL’s popularity. Football is the perfect game for gamblers. Due to the nature of the scoring, the Vegas point spread has become a big piece of the pie. How about instant replay? Or ESPN? Fantasy Football over the internet? They are just a few examples of the add-ons that increase the NFL’s popularity and footprint.

Let’s not forget the actual video production of a game. The networks that produce the games must be using the most advanced cameras I’ve ever seen. High definition video from an NFL game is fabulous! You can read the coaches lips, and if you get the right angle even read the lips of a player through his face mask! DirecTV has the NFL package. And 3D video is on the league’s horizon. I wonder what a 30 second commercial in this year’s Super Bowl will cost? Want to watch a game on your smartphone or iPad?

I consider the NFL owners to be among the shrewdest business people in the world. How can you squeeze 111 million fans into a stadium to see the most recent Super Bowl? Easy, all you have to do is broadcast the game in the highest definition video available (1080p) with 54 cameras and Dolby 5.1 surround sound to create an at home experience almost as real as being there, that’s how! And a lot of us would prefer to watch from home.

So, did the NFL become the billion dollar entertainment business on its own and casually adopt new technology along the way? Or did technology push the NFL into becoming the billion dollar entertainment industry that it is today? Maybe the chicken knows?

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL??