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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 26, 2007 at 10:46 AM

Solving the digital TV puzzle

Today’s column talks about how AppleTV, Xbox and consumer electronics makers are bumper to bumper in the race to connect televisions and the Internet. But maybe we should keep an eye on Kristyn Heath instead.

I wonder if the 16-year-old San Francisco inventor, or some other unknown tinkerer, will figure out the best way to digify the home. She’s built a great gadget for sharing music on an iPod, at least according to this Technology Review article that mentions Microsoft program manager Mike O’Malley.

It’s already time for Heath to create a workaround for the AppleTV. Here’s a note I received today:

Brier,

Read your column on AppleTV. I bought one last week and have been attempting to use the device as a media hub, primarily for DVD title management.

My wife and I are movie buffs and have a rotating stack of DVDs we watch regularly. With the AppleTV we thought we could RIP our DVDs to a hard disk similar to how we managed (and then abandoned) our CD collection to mp3.

In order to transcode my DVD movies I need to essentially break the law by using fringe software and techniques on content I have legitimately purchased. Unless the movie industry moderates their copy protection policies or Apple adds the ability to at least record ATSC, the AppleTV will probably remain a niche device.

GETTY IMAGES

The AppleTV grabbed a good deal of attention when it arrived on the market last week.

Comments | Topics: Apple, Gadgets & products, Microsoft

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