I decided to not even try getting Halo 3 at midnight. Instead I got a full night’s sleep! That was probably better for me in the long run. It occurred to me that if I bought the game at midnight I’d have to play it right after I got it…otherwise why wouldn’t I just wait to buy it the next day?

So I waltzed into a Wal-Mart near the office this morning on the way to work and picked up a copy. There were at least 50 copies behind the counter and no lines to wait in. Tonight I’ll get to see what all the hubbub’s about, Bub.

Today Amazon launched their MP3 download store. They’re selling DRM-free audio for less than what iTunes charges, and they’re not forcing you to suck it through an Apple-branded AAC straw. 256k VBR is the name of the game! I would have preferred 192 CBR for less money, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers.

You can buy individual songs for $0.99, but the real savings comes when you buy entire albums at a time. Coldplay’s X&Y is $7.99, or $4.68 less than what you’d pay for separate tracks.

Dish Network bought Sling Media. This is potentially great news.

Hybrid Dish/Slingbox receivers could be neat. But I’m thinking bigger.

Watching your TV and recorded shows over the Internet is a silly, nerdy thing to do. I don’t think Slingbox owners have girlfriends and I don’t see their product as something enough people would want to make a company like Sling Media profitable. Maybe it worked for them, I don’t know.

But Sling has experience in transporting video from one point to another, and that’s where I think they can really help out the satellite TV industry. Here’s my master plan.

Right now just about every home in America wired for cable or satellite TV has RG-6 or RG-59 running through its veins. I imagine a day where satellite providers change their model of putting full-featured decoder boxes on each television in the home. Instead, each TV would use a home’s existing coax fed from a central home server. This central home server would basically be a satellite decoder box, just like what’s sitting on top of most TVs now. The difference is that it would have four (or more!) tuners in it and it would connect directly to the dish with RG-6. That box would basically sit between the satellite dish and every other TV in the home.

All connected TVs would share the same recorded content and would use RF remote controls to control their feed from the home server. They’d also need to have ATSC tuners of course, because the server would modulate its output to match up with an unused off-air station. Turn to channel 003-01 on the bedroom TV and bingo – there’s all your stuff in SD and HD.

How great is this plan? Dish Network already does something like this – kind of – with their VIP 722, 622, and 222 receivers. Those boxes can all feed a signal to a second television using a home’s existing coax – no rewiring is required and you only have to pay for one receiver, not two. However as of right now the “TV2” output on those is only able to output a modulated SD signal. That’s fine for most people now, but useless in a multi-HDTV home.

So! Someone at Sling Media/Dish Network, please do this. I’m giving you this idea free of charge. Just make it happen.

I guess that’s it.

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