What is Home Entertainment?

April 22, 2012

Depending on your definition, home entertainment is nothing new. What make it interesting or unique is how digital it has become. Since entertainment has become digital the quality has improved considerably and the ability to control it has become more flexible.

Home entertainment has been available long before the iPod, iPad or iPhone was ever dreamed of. There was actually a time where it was cool to carry an AM/FM pocket radio, or to purchase a boom box which would let you play CD recordings anywhere in your home. A home stereo system could easily fill a whole house with quality sound. But the entertainment content itself had to be purchased in physical form unless you were satisfied with lesser quality over the air waves.

In contrast, today’s society has virtually unlimited entertainment content available electronically in their homes through a simple cable connection to their home which provides internet broadband data. With this digital age and a broadband connection, your home can tap into high quality digital music, videos, television programming and movie content.

How to Tap Into Home Digital Technology

So how exactly do you connect your home to all of this new digital entertainment? For most home owners the simplest way to do this is by calling your local cable TV provider. You’ll choose one of their channel lineup packages, tell them the number of TV’s you need connected and they’ll send a technician to connect you to their digital highway.

If you’re happy with their channel selections, service, and price then worry no more – you’re connected. This is exactly what cable companies want, to be your one source for all of your home entertainment needs. It won’t be too long and they’ll be offering you home security and home automation package options as well.

All of the traditional, local TV entertainment providers are doing the same. There are a host of different cable companies, AT&T Uverse, and satellite providers who would all love nothing more than to make one trip into your home to connect the equipment and then take your money once a month for the rest of your life.

What’s wrong with Traditional Home Entertainment Providers?

Your Local Cable TV Provider Can Be Expensive

For most people the cost of their local cable TV provider is too expensive. There is cost involved for the TV channel lineup you select, a separate cost for Internet broadband data service and maybe even more cost for the traditional land-line phone.

On top of the service costs there are additional costs for the set top boxes to connect your TV to their private entertainment content network. There are additional costs for HD content: who would refuse this when you have a large flat-screen television in your family room? Then there are more costs if you want DVR services that allow you to record television shows. This could be an additional cost per TV depending on who your provider is.

Get the picture? Your local cable operator can be expensive. Service can be poor also, depending on a myriad of factors, which makes the whole cable TV experience less than satisfying.

Your Local Cable TV Provider’s Entertainment Content is Pre-Ordained

When it comes to being able to choose which shows you want to watch, you’re limited to maybe several different channel line-ups. Typically the better cable network channels are on the pricier options instead of the base package.

One thing you cannot do is select only the channels you want. You could easily end up with 300 plus channels of entertainment and end up watching only about a half-dozen channels on a regular basis. Common sense would indicate you should only pay for those half-dozen channels, but that’s not the way it works…

Your Local Cable TV Provider’s Equipment is Incompatible with Other Entertainment Options

What happens if you want to watch free movies from the Internet? Do you think your cable company’s service into your home will allow this? Most likely it will not. They are in business to make money. If they provide you with equipment to download free content from the internet then there is a good chance you’ll cancel all or part of their TV service and use only the internet broadband service. That’s not good for their business.

Maybe you have their DVR service option enabled on one of your TV’s. Unless you have whole house DVR service, how easy is it for you watch that show on other TV’s in your home? If the hard drive fills up on your cable company supplied DVR, what are your options for expanding the size?

How Should Home Entertainment Work?

Typical solutions today involve purchasing additional set top boxes for your TV. If you want to watch blue-Ray or DVD movies you need to buy a separate player. If you want to watch free movies downloaded from the Internet you purchase a different set top box and connect it to your TV. Or you figure out how to connect your computer directly to your TV and use this to watch Internet shows on your TV.

All of these options are getting easier and easier to do thanks to advances in home entertainment equipment. But there still needs to be a whole-house solution so that recordings from one TV can be watched on another or video recorded can be watched on any of your televisions, computers or portable devices.

It’s not a whole lot different than electricity. It comes into your home and powers any electrical device anywhere in the house.

Digital content should work the same way. It should come into your home and allow you to tap into it using any of your electronic equipment so that you can enjoy your entertainment the way you like. Most likely this will happen using your home network, which forms the backbone of a complete home entertainment solution.

How Long Before Whole House Home Entertainment Becomes Real?

There are already a lot of different options available for whole home entertainment. Many of them are open source and free – they just need some hardware. These solutions continue to be easier to setup and use. Every day, progress is made to make this more of a reality.

At the present time, many companies make a lot of money from the way the system works today. This includes the companies creating the TV shows, movies, music, etc and the companies which electronically distribute the entertainment content. They’re not about to take a loss just so you can save money on your monthly bill.

But as the home entertainment technology improves and becomes easier for average home owners to understand and use in their homes, companies will be forced to change or else become obsolete.

That is the purpose of NextGenDigitalHome.com.

Understand the home entertainment technology and put it to work for you in your home.