“With an enticing invitation proclaiming ‘It’s Showtime,’ Mr. Jobs last week touched off speculation about how far Apple will go as it takes its next big step into digital video,” John Markoff reports for The New York Times.
“A distribution deal with the Walt Disney Company and sleeker, higher-capacity video iPods are part of the consensus among those who handicap Apple product announcements. But company executives have hinted that Apple has at least one bigger idea on tap,” Markoff reports. “Mr. Jobs needs one. In his quest to remake Hollywood distribution in the Internet era, his main challenge is one that has bedeviled the personal computer industry. Today, despite many efforts by Microsoft, Intel and a variety of start-up companies to insinuate the computer into home entertainment, almost all movies watched at home use cable, satellite or DVD players, making it possible for Hollywood to control both piracy and pricing.”
“So far Mr. Jobs has kept his strategy well hidden. Much speculation has centered on a living-room-ready version of the company’s least expensive computer, the Mac Mini, a compact desktop model originally positioned as an inexpensive way for PC users to switch to the Macintosh market. A living-room Mini could play DVD’s, download Internet data like digital movies and include a TV tuner,” Markoff reports.
“A more intriguing possibility discussed by former Apple engineers and on rumor sites like AppleInsider.com is that Apple may use wireless technologies like Wi-Fi and ultra-wideband to stream digital content from a Macintosh to the TV. Such a system would allow the video to be played on television screens with the computer’s hand-held Apple remote control,” Markoff reports.
“Such an approach would almost certainly appeal to Mr. Jobs’s spartan aesthetic. And it tracks well with one of Apple’s peripheral products, AirPort Express, which makes it possible to stream digital audio wirelessly to speakers in different rooms of a home,” Markoff reports. “Moreover, such an approach would keep Hollywood digital video content locked up on a Macintosh and stream it to the TV using a connector called HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface), which is engineered to offer copy protection.”
“Mr. Jobs and Apple were pioneers in using Wi-Fi in their computers, and it is likely that he is looking for a way to renew Apple’s technological leadership in video,” Markoff reports. “That is almost certain to make Tuesday’s event, to be held at a theater across the street from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, one of Apple’s most closely watched product introductions.”
Full article here.
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