The Week in Geek: Is 2007 the year of Apple?

By Jonathan Blum and Seth Elkin

The future is definitely
now for Apple. Its Apple TV set-top box is shipping, and with that, the TV
industry should brace itself for a whole new world. This new HD-ready gadget
bridges the gap between the computer and the TV, letting you watch the videos
you download to your computer on your big screen. Of course, it’s
not the first device to serve that purpose, but coming from Apple, it is likely
to be the first one that gains traction in the market. With analog signals due to
be shut off this year, Apple TV comes along at the perfect time. Add an
inexpensive tuner card in your computer and your Apple TV becomes your digital
set-top box. Rollout of Apple TV is easily the top story of early 2007 for the
broadcast industry.

And Apple may also rule the end of 2007. Between Apple TV and the
forthcoming iPhone, Apple products are poised to dominate the tech market for
the 2007 holiday season. Indeed, the iPhone seemed to make the biggest news at
this week’s Cable, Telecommunications and Internet Association
Wireless Show in Orlando.
Even Apple’s computers are starting to generate more buzz.
They’re getting so big that the security industry is starting to
show how vulnerable they are. All of these elements are combining to transform
Apple into an entity that broadcasters will be working with closely.

While we’re talking about new players in the broadcast industry,
don’t forget that Google is making a big push of its own. Looking
ahead to the National Association of Broadcasters show in a couple of weeks,
Google has two of its executives scheduled to speak. And while Google and
Viacom are locked in a lawsuit with one another, the Internet giant is working
hard to develop relationships in broadcasting.

In other tech news, there’s a bigger, badder Xbox 360; HD-DVD players get cheaper; and new versions of the Godfather video game hit the market.

And finally: swap a sketch.