Revolution of the Digital Home Entertainment System

After seeing Microsoft’s offering for the living room at the Consumer Electronics Show this year in Las Vegas, I was actually sad when Macworld (held the following week) did not announce a similar “living room experience”. It was anticipated that they would announce a new Mac Mini, but the conference came and went.
Yesterday, on the verge of Apple’s 30th birthday, they finally released the new Mac Mini at a private event. In typical Apple style, it was a secretive, invite only affair that everyone wanted to be at. At it’s core, the future was displayed in the upgrade to the Mac Mini product line, which is less then a year old. The new Mac Mini, not only leverages the new, faster chip set from Intel, but provides a truly digital, home entertainment system at a price point that seems unimaginable (when compared to the stereo components and computer it can replace). The new Mac Mini, smaller than a box of Kleenex, connects to your TV and stereo system allowing you to surf the web, edit home movies, watch DVDs, and email from your couch.
I have the first version, which didn’t include the remote control capabilities or what is known as “optical outputs” for the latest technology in sound output. It’s been the most pleasant computing experience of my life. It simply works. It maintains itself and provides more things for me to play with than I have time for.
For those of you that don’t yet have a computer hooked up to your TV, this is the one you want! While most of my blog entries are focused on my own ideas, I had to write about this event. We are finally to the point where computers are leaving the office desktop and showing up in our living rooms, pockets and cars. They will connect us to everyone and everything in a time frame that will seem faster then the advent of the Internet. I imagine that within a couple of years, most of my dreams of an integrated multi-media lifestyle will be available. Broadband in the homes, Wi-Fi in every coffee shop and soon to be city, third generation cellular networks, all provide the communications platform for these new devices to share all of our personal media with us anywhere we are. Watching your TiVo’d episode of your favorite show will be just as easy on the bus as it is in the home.

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