As 2004 comes to a close, the world is at once very different and much the same for video enthusiasts wanting to take movies from the Internet, store them on their PCs and shoot them over to giant TV screens. What’s new is the growing list of devices coming out that can connect the two worlds, either wirelessly or with cables. But one thing that hasn’t changed, Cai said, is the dearth of high-quality legally available content that would justify the investment for most people.
“The idea of the digital-media adapter has been around for years through devices like Sony’s RoomLink, but they never really took off,” Cai explained. “One problem has been a lack of consumer awareness. But the bigger problem is the lack of content–not self-created content like home movies, but premium content, meaning first-run Hollywood movies.”
Efforts to make more legal content available are underway, but it will be awhile before they catch up with the hardware.