Opinion

Time to dust down the phrase 'digital lounge'

Catching up with the Apple announcements last night was a little bit like stepping back in time and taking a trip down memory lane to the turn of the century.

Back then the world was divided into the lounge and the study, with the TV living in one and the computer in the other. Bill Gates used to turn up at conferences and talk about how the two were merging but most people just shrugged their shoulders and left him to his predictions.

But with broadband taking off and TV being given a shot in the arm with developments like HD and things like 3D the digital lounge still remains a goal for some hardware vendors.

Some of them might have thought that TV would die as a physical format and research published in the latest issue of the Radio Times does seem to back that up slightly with a significant proportion of young people watching TV via the web.

But in terms of the traditional world collapsing that hasn't happened and so the smart approach is to take the TV and add something to it. Sky of course have done that for the last few years and now the computer vendors are about to have a go.

Apple TV could have an interesting impact when it arrives in time for Christmas next month. At £99 it hits that sweet spot in terms of pricing, not something Apple always manages to do, and it will put the vendor's brand potentially in even more homes.

Wait for other rivals to respond, the analysts have already identified Google and Microsoft as the main two targeted by this move, but from a consumer point of view the choices are multiplying.

This was first published in September 2010

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