The Television as a Hub?

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Date: Monday, September 19th, 2005, 07:50
Category: Archive

In the past, we had television. Then there were computers. Then there was cable TV. Then there was a cable modem for the computer. Does anyone see a basic connection here and then a disconnect? For at least two years now I’ve been trying to get Apple (or anybody I can get to listen), to finally tie the two technologies together. The silence has been deafening. Read More…


In the past, we had television. Then there were computers. Then there was cable TV. Then there was a cable modem for the computer. Does anyone see a basic connection here and then a disconnect? For at least two years now I’ve been trying to get Apple (or anybody I can get to listen), to finally tie the two technologies together. The silence has been deafening.
A cable TV tuner should be built into the Macintosh. This delivers two technologies at one fell swoop: 1) a TV tuner built-in 2) A cable-modem built-in. TV tuners have been tried before, with many chips and discreet components, and were only marginally good performers because of the lack of a decent computer to attach it to and because networking systems had not evolved very far from “where’s the dial-up phone number?”
That was then, and this is now. Most Apples can run almost anything you throw at them, with fair efficiency; so displaying TV shouldn’t be a big deal. Networking is now a far cry from what it used to be. Cable modems dominates with 70% of high speed Interent connections and broadband has become not only a technical no-brainer, but is now cheap enough for a high percentage of Internet users.
The type of modem argument has been with us for a long time. Telephone modems had their day, but Apple in their infinite wisdom decided on the K56flex modem standard instead of the X2 protocol – and that was when K56flex only had 57% of the marketplace. Here we are today with a clear and dominant favorite (+/- 70%) for cable modems, and no cable TV tuner chips in Apple computers (or any others for that matter). In the old days, this would have cost serious money, but today those chipsets have be very inexpensive at the manufacturing level.
This is not a waste of time, and will finally come into its own, once the electronics gets added to the motherboard. I’m saying it now, and have been saying it for some time. Now the ball is in Apple’s court. First company to the finish line wins. Perhaps Apple needs to take a meeting with their friends at Motorola or Scientific Atlanta to see if this is viable? Or have they already and ruled it out?

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