Are the new iMacs sending a signal?

Today, Apple unveiled its new 24 inch iMac. It’s a great sized display with some power behind it. After seeing the new machine online, I thought that this may signal a start of Apple’s entry into something bigger than just computers.

Apple is a hardware company regardless of what anyone else wants. They’ve been slowly creeping into the living room with the mac mini. The iMac can act as an entertainment hub; I believe that it was the first Mac with Front Row. However, people have complained that it lacks television inputs. Now that Apple has made a 24 inch iMac, what is stopping them from going bigger?

I’d imagine that with the larger displays, the iMac may have some extra hardware space inside the case. Maybe a television tuner isn’t that far off. Additionally, Apple could always be working on new deals with the iTunes Store. iTunes could become a television distribution system. Many televison shows are available on iTunes, so why couldn’t Apple become a distributor of media? They’ve already tinkered with the multi-pass for things like the Daily Show – why not go ahead and have a monthly pass for certain channels? iTunes could offer true a la carte television. Apple could dabble in the subscription system – people are already used to the idea of subscribing to cable or satellite.

Maybe Apple could build a larger display with a computer behind it. A 30 inch iMac would probably have room for an inbuilt TV Tuner or maybe an Apple built break out box where you can hook up a multitude of inputs. Apple could bring a Media Center type experience into the home by sneaking it into the slick iMac packaging. When people see the iMac, they aren’t intimidated by hooking up anything up to anything else. It is similar to people’s television experiences. Simply sneak a computer into the living room by putting it behind the display.

I’m aware that there are PCs built into larger displays. I just think that Apple’s move to a larger iMac signals the beginning of larger, Apple-built living room computers with true Media Center capabilities.

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