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Imagine listening to your favorite music — whether it is relaxing jazz or classic rock over the rock speakers in your yard and flush mount speakers in your home, while entertaining friends and family. No matter what you are doing around the house, you can play music from every room at any time. You could even have a small portable player in the bathroom as you get ready for your day. To top it off, picture the big football game with all of your friends, playing seamlessly in every zone. You can’t beat the power of whole-house audio from SONOS and how perfectly it blends with your lifestyle! Options have dramatically increased in the last few years, providing more ways to accomplish whole-house audio than ever before— no matter your budget or structural constraints.
Wired or Wireless?
How about both?! SONOS has devices that are designed with built-in speakers like the cute Play1 (popular in bathrooms), the mid sized Play3, ideal for the office & kids rooms, and the larger Play5 that can fill a large room with beautiful sound. These devices plug into the electrical outlet and require no other wiring!
But what if you have a surround sound system or you have speakers already wired throughout your home? SONOS has a solution for that. The SONOS Connect plugs into your surround sound receiver like a CD player, but now you can control everything from your mobile phone or tablet and wirelessly connect it to every other speaker in your home. If you have existing speakers, you can replace your dual zone receiver with a SONOS Connect Amp and control each room separately or link them together.
From Almost Any Source
With SONOS you can play music that’s on your mobile device, your iTunes library on any of the computers in your house, every local AM/FM station in Southern California digitally with no static, and hundreds of music streaming sources including Pandora, iHeartRadio, Slacker, Spotify, etc. The sky is the limit!
So what is Apple TV? Is it even an actual TV? The answer to that is no. Despite the name of the device, the Apple TV is not an actual television.
An Apple TV is a media streamer. It is a device which plugs into your TV or HDTV. Having one gives you the ability to watch movies, trailers, shows, and home videos right on your TV. You can also stream media from other computers or devices that are connected to your home network.
All of the current Apple TVs have no hard drives, so they have no ability to store data on the device itself. Because of this, you can only stream content.
The major difference between Apple TV and other content streamers, is that Apple TV is built to be compatible with other Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, or Mac. If you have a home video you shot from one of these devices, you can stream it on your television, wireless through the Apple TV.
In 2008, Steve Jobs described what Apple TV is better than anyone else. He said, “Apple TV was designed to be an accessory for iTunes and your computer. It was not what people wanted. We learned what people wanted was movies, movies, movies.”
But that Apple TV of course can play more than movies. You can play MP3 files through it as well as display your photo collections to your family right on the big screen.
AirPlay is the name for being able to steam different media from your other Apple devices using Apple TV. You can even play your iPad games with the screen displayed on your TV so the whole family can watch you play giant Angry Birds.
If you have a lot of Apple devices already, Apple TV is a good choice for a content streaming device if you don’t have one already.
It’s easy to talk about the future of television as if it won’t exist. With all the hype surrounding streaming, you might be inclined to think that TV is close to uttering its dying breath. I know that I’ve been guilty of portraying that future, where consumers transition between linear broadcast and online streaming and people cut the cord, ditch their cable subscriptions, and consume everything over the internet. But is that really the case? Will online video replace television as we know it?
I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that the answer to that question isn’t a simple yes or no. Although there is a lot of data indicating that online streaming is growing fast, cord-cutters are still the minority. Millennials subscribe to cable as much as any other demographic, and people are still watching five times as much television as they are streaming video. Of course, I could argue that statements like that (backed by data from Limelight Networks, Nielsen, and others) are “point in time.” They describe the now, not the future; the transition from linear broadcast to online streaming is a generational one. The long view likely reveals a different picture. But the elephant-in-the-room question remains: What’s the relationship between traditional television and online streaming? Because, really, if there’s going to be a transition at some point, it’s probably less about the technology and more about the business models. Content owners and distributors will need to understand how to migrate their existing operations (like generating revenue from ads) to a different delivery method.
I think that when we talk now about a transition between the two delivery methods, we can’t see the forest for the trees. What we should be talking about is what is happening underneath the surface of this supposed migration—video content, as we know it, is changing. From analog to digital, from terrestrial broadcast to IP, video is becoming just a stream of data that can be transported, displayed, and consumed anywhere at any time. In fact, the BBC has been exploring object-based broadcasting, in which the output isn’t a traditional, linear stream but rather a collection of objects and metadata that can be manipulated, reassembled, and consumed by any kind of device. (A BBC blog post features some cool images explaining the entire concept.) The video viewing experience is being decoupled from where it’s watched, whether online or through traditional broadcast. It’s being deconstructed and distilled down into just a stream of bytes. The “future of television” isn’t really about how video will get delivered (broadcast vs. online) but about what we will do with the content, how we will interact with it, how the very experience of watching video will change from wherever we choose to consume it.
If you still want to imagine what television will look like in the future, it will probably be something hybrid—a combination of live and on-demand OTT and broadcast (even if it’s over IP). But it will all be merged together. In the future that I can see, you won’t have to switch between Netflix and your programming guide. Because everything will be exposed via API, XML, and a host of other acronyms, service providers will put video sources together, mash them up, and deliver an experience that unshackles consumers from having to consume content in one specific way.
The future of television isn’t an either/or situation. It’s not linear broadcast or online video. It’s something in between, where it doesn’t matter how the content is being delivered, or to what device. Maybe the word “transition” is the problem. Perhaps we should replace it with something more akin to what’s really happening as people consume more online video: “evolution.”