DVRs — Not PCs — will be Home’s Media Center

THE online REPORTER notes that its the DVR — not PCs — which will dominate the home media center:

"It’s increasingly unlikely that the PC will become the media center for the home’s entertainment network; as we have reported previously particularly after the cablecos’ NCTA trade show in April and the telcos’ SuperComm trade show in June. It’s the DVR, not the PC, that will probably emerge as the central repository for home entertainment for a number of reasons:

- DVRs are already connected to a TV – no fiddling around with hooking up a PC.
- Content delivered to a DVR is more secure than that downloaded to a PC. The studios and labels have more confidence in the copy protection of DVRs than they are of PCs.
- DVRs are also capable of storing music, which can be played on the stereo or surround system.
- Media Center PCs are costly, noisy, heat producing and frankly unattractive. They don’t fit into the décor of other home entertainment gear.
- DVRs are already storing lots of entertainment video – movies, TV shows – that come into the home.
- DVRs can be equipped to handle downloaded video and video-on-demand.
- DVRs can store digital pictures and home videos.
- DVRs can be capable of playing on any TV in the home.
- Most homes already have coax cabling that can be used for an entertainment network.
- The cable and satellite TV companies already have an "in" into the home – to the decision maker – with gear already in place and a billing relationship already established.
- DVRs don’t have spyware, malware, spam, adware, viruses or the other maladies that afflict PCs. It’s bad enough dealing with it at the office. Who wants to wrestle with a PC when it’s time to kick back and relax?

What consumers lose with a DVR-based entertainment network is the flexibility and processing that a computer provides. However, the PC has proven to be leaky -and difficult- when it comes to security to integrate with conventional home entertainment gear such as the TV and stereo.

Let no one think that Microsoft hasn’t noticed the PC’s failure to become the center of the home entertainment network. It’s working to become the software that goes into all the IPTV-based DVRs that the world’s phone companies are thinking about buying.

The PC has made a convenient device for ripping and burning PCs and as a way station for getting songs off the Net in order to copy them to a portable music player, but as a video download and storage center, it’s come up short.

Here’s betting the DVR wins out over the PC in the home entertainment space.

Category: Film, Music, Technology, Television

Give It Away

I get some interesting questions about my interest in music/film. (You may have noticed that commentary on this subject tends to run on Tuesdays). In particular, I find the intersection between technology and entertainment to be fascinating. Clearly, its been a huge driver of so many new innovations and products, from iPods to plasma screens to TiVos.   

Understand where my criticisms of the recording industry come from: While I am interested in music and film as a fan, my issues with some of the poor decision making of the labels and studios comes from a business/investment perspective.

As an investor, I want to know how the Labels have managed their key assets, how they have strategized, what their  business model is for the future, how they incorporated new technology, what their responses are to changing consumer tastes. 

In short, they have done a horrible job. Not just recently, but historically. The recording industry has failed to recognize several key ideas:   

- all business models are temporary;
- change is ever present;
- adapt or die.

On that note, I would like to share a terrific commentary/rant from music industry insider Bob Lefsetz. His take on the Music Industry’s failure to adapt to P2P and other new tech is fascinating:

Give It Away
"Call it the Metallica Rule.  When you can’t get arrested, give it
away.  When you’re a star, arrest people for stealing your music.

Radio’s over.  The model is done.  Unless iPods start coming with
commercials  and every Internet radio station has to have twenty
minutes of ads, terrestrial radio is done.  Oh, it will survive in a
fashion.  As a place for news and talk.  But for music it’s history.

OH NO, you say. It’s in all those cars!

Don’t be a fucking idiot.  Of course radio counts today. But if
you’re thinking about today, you’re just as dumb as the major labels.
Because really, it’s what’s gonna happen TOMORROW!

Look at major label release schedules.  It’s not like the seventies
anymore.  If something doesn’t have hit potential, it doesn’t come
out.  Furthermore, that which DOES come out is tweaked endlessly,
making it palatable for sporting events and fashion shows, but it lacks
that one essential ingredient of TRUE hit music…it doesn’t touch your

It’s all about the bottom line . . . 

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