BusinessWeek Online has an interesting interview with Linksys [acquired by Cisco] co-founder Victor Tsao regarding networked home entertainment. Cisco also acquired networked DVD player company KiSS. Snippets:
Q: How will the products that KiSS makes fit into this wave?
A: Today the DVD player is the most popular product in the home, next to the TV. It can be used for two purposes -- to play audio or to play movies. So if you put a hard drive into it, you essentially turn it into a PVR [personal video recorder]. It virtually becomes a TiVo (TIVO ) box right away.
If you add a tuner, you can use it to [choose channels], like with cable TV. And if you have [Internet Protocol TV] and a wireless connection, it can communicate and share content with other devices -- say, another storage device somewhere in the house or another DVD player upstairs or with some other device out on the Internet.
Obviously, digital rights management comes into play [to make sure content providers get paid properly as content moves between devices]. But there are a lot of ways that can be handled.