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Remember when we so proudly displayed our audio video gear and media?

I used to have a killer setup with a stack of stereo components: a receiver, dual tape player, whopping 5-disk CD changer (awesome), equalizer (cool blinking lights), turntable (still the best), VCR or DVD player and gigantic speakers.  I used to have shelves packed with record albums, cassette tapes, VHS tapes, and CDs. I mean, who still has this setup, aside from the true audiophile or collecter?

Today, thanks to hard drives, home networking / broadband, and the cloud, we’ve gone minimalistic.  Who needs all of this “stuff” taking up space and when audio and video can be virtually invisible and yet accessible from anywhere on anything.  The only resemblance of the old home entertainment stereo stack – the DVR could also eventually go away. At CES, Cisco announced a service that enabled cable operators and other TV service providers to offer digital video recording from the cloud via what else…a cloud-based DVR.

Again, what made this possible? Hard drives, home networking/broadband, and the cloud.

Love it or hate it, admit it…we can’t stop it.  Personally, I am coming to grips with the fact that I am getting old. Sure, I like to reminisce of the days cranking 80s Hair Metal on my Technics stereo system, but do I wish I still had that setup in my house today?  Not really, and nor do my kids.  Just yesterday, I suggested to my daughter, while in the process of redecorating her room, “how about a stereo in here so you can listen to your music?”  Her response, “Why?  I have an iPhone for that, plus it takes up too much space.”

Point taken.

Physical space for many is a luxury these days.  Digital space on the other hand, pretty inexpensive, and I would argue, almost a  necessity. How else are we to “get outside and play” or “share content” throughout the home, to the car, or anywhere we go?

So thanks hard drives, home networking / broadband, and the cloud for doing away with that albeit awesome home stereo system and CD collection, and enabling me to break away from the confines of my heavy metal poster ladened bedroom to live a bit more simply, with a lot more room to move.

When it comes to home stereo systems, what do you miss most? (assuming you were born pre-1980s)

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